Taste of Long Branch gets five stars

By Patty Booth O’Neill
The Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce tried something different this year, and it was a huge success.

Monday night The Taste of Long Branch, which replaced the annual Jersey Shore Chef’s Challenge, was held at Rooney’s. The events are almost the same thing, with a few changes, the main ones being there were no judges rating the food and all the eateries were from Long Branch.

There was plenty of food to sample, pleasing everyone’s palate, presented by 17 restaurants and bakeries from around the city.

Rooney’s graciously offered their space for the evening’s event and the restaurant was filled to capacity. “My staff did a great job setting this up,” said Darrell Wordelmann, Rooney’s manager. “They know what they’re doing, and it showed.”

“We got so many calls and finally had to stop selling tickets,” said Chamber director Nancy Kleiberg. “This event ran so smoothly; we’re very happy with how it turned out.”

There were beautiful flower arrangements created by Flowers by Van Brunt on every table. Some lucky diners got to take one home with them.

Organizers of the event were Sam
Nativo, Darrell Wordelmann, Aaron Levine, Nancy Kleiberg and Denise

Presenting food at the event were 2nd Flr. Restaurant, Avenue, Bacon Beach Grille, Becca’s Cookie Bar, Charley’s, Mar Belo, The Marketplace, McLoone’s, MIX, Rockafellers Station, Rooney’s, Simply Greek, Taste the Cakes, Trama’s Trattoria, Tuzzio’s and WindMill.

“We’re very pleased with the changes we made this year and the feedback we received,” Kleiberg said. “We already decided that we are doing it again next year, same time, same place.”