Food And Beverage News / Pino's Gift Basket Shoppe, Wine Cellar & Lounge

Bridging the Gap Between Central Jersey's Right Bank and Left Bank

Via: ReleaseWire

Updated 1:12 PM CDT, Thu, November 01,2018

A favorite neighborhood bar teams up with a Zagat rated fine dining establishment for 4 course wine and spirit dinners.

Highland Park, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/01/2018 -- After adding "The Lounge" in 2013, Pino's Gift Basket Shoppe and Wine Cellar (a "green grocer" in it's former life) has become a niche neighborhood lounge and bottle shop. What started as a simple "Wine Bar", now offers craft beer, artisanal spirits, wine, seasonal and barrel-aged cocktails. The Lounge has slowly grown, and hosts a variety of gatherings including tastings, live music, themed parties, and fundraisers, but sadly, with no kitchen, there is no food served in house. Though most guests are content with Pino's "BYOF" (bring your own food) policy, since Pino's provides take out menus for all of the local restaurants, the desire to offer food for events was still there.

In 2016, Siobhan Weinstein, co-owner of Pino's, pitched an idea to the Manager Jim Mullens, and Chef-Owner Bruce Lefebvre of her favorite New Brunswick restaurant, The Frog and the Peach. The partnership would bridge the gap between two opposing cities-the hopping college town of New Brunswick and the neighboring, seemingly sleepy, but eccentric town of Highland Park.

Simply put, the idea was to work together to supplement each other's businesses. After dining at the Frog and the Peach one evening with her husband, and co-owner of Pino's, Steve Weinstein, Siobhan realized how often she tried unique cordials, aperitifs or wines at the restaurant, only to later purchase the same spirits to sell at Pino's. Since then, she has worked closely with Jim, The Frog's General Manager and Wine Director, to review wines that have previously been featured at The Frog, and to hand select wines that she felt would appeal to Pino's customers as well.

With regular 5-course wine dinners held at the elegant, white linen restaurant, Siobhan advocated that Pino's become the Frog's designated retailer, accepting patron orders direct at each event. At The Frog's Falesco wine dinner, they did exactly that, and achieved the desired result. It brought guests that frequent restaurants in New Brunswick to Highland Park to shop.

With a diverse community, Highland Park has a plethora of restaurants and eateries-Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Kosher, Turkish, Greek and Indian. However, the need for a restaurant serving farm to table style cuisine was still there. Chef Bruce, " is known for his modern take on American Cuisine and for staying true to the authenticity of The Garden State's world class agriculture and fisheries." He says "The Frog has always been proud to highlight local ingredients."

Knowing so many of her customers have an appreciation for the finer things in life, but also operate on a budget, Siobhan wanted to offer similar wine/spirit dinners at an affordable price, without compromising the quality. Bruce and his team have created custom pairing menus for a number of events at Pino's since then, proving, once again that the partnership is successful, with the first wine dinner exceeding ticket sales at 55 people, and the past two dinners (Bourbon & Whisky) selling out days in advance. Once they streamlined the plating/serving/pouring process and timing, they gained confidence and branched out once again, working with other restaurants like Delta's (neighbors to the Frog and the Peach) on a Bourbon dinner and a brunch.

Also available for private events is a "Casual Catering" menu created by Chef Bruce for Pino's. Reasonably priced, the family style menu showcases the culinary creativity of Chef Bruce and his talented team, and can be enjoyed in the casual atmosphere that is Pino's Lounge.

The "Casual Catering by The Frog and The Peach" menu, available through Pino's, offers gluten free, meat/fish free, non dairy and vegan options for patrons that knowingly have such dietary restrictions. To request the menu or book a private event, please contact Siobhan at Pino's,

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Siobhan Commerfor
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