Everyone loves a party. And there are plenty of reasons to have one: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, holidays, retirement, corporate events or even just because! Parties should be as unique as the people throwing them and area venues are making sure that each special event is a memorable occasion for all who attend.
When it comes to elegance, Nanina’s In The Park in Belleville, N.J., stands out among the rest. Nestled among the cherry blossoms of Branch Brook Park, the lavishly manicured grounds and traditional architecture provide the perfect scenic backdrop for an outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour and, of course, photo opportunity to forever memorialize that special day.
General Manager Julian Reyes says the lavish gardens, complete with waterfalls, a bridge, stream and pond in the historic park-like setting are what make Nanina’s extra special for its guests. Once indoors, the Grand Ballroom adorned with Austrian crystal chandeliers and a starlit patio “create a one-of-a-kind ambiance for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.”
Guests at Nanina’s have a wide array of culinary options, including an extensive cocktail hour and dinner menu that include items such as a seafood raw bar, multiple carving stations, a mac and cheese station (with lobster) and an outdoor grill. Guests can also choose items from the “Over the Top” menu which includes customizable station options. After all, who can really resist shrimp crepes and hot apple pie zeppole?
Reyes adds that Nanina’s caters to one event at a time, ensuring only the best personalized service for your special event. Visit www.naninasinthepark.com for complete menu, photo galleries of the grounds and ballroom, as well as links to the facility’s recommended vendors for bakeries, flowers, nearby guest accommodations and other amenities. (Other properties are the Park Savoy in Florham Park and The Park Chateau in East Brunswick.)
Excitement at every turn
Since its opening in 1976, the Meadowlands Racetrack has undergone many changes but none so spectacular as the reincarnation of the last few years. Now called Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, the state-of-the-art venue boasts multiple entertainment spaces that are sure to make your next event exceptional, says Rachel Ryan, marketing manager.
The Victory Sports Bar & Club can host up to 350 guests and features copper paneled walls, multiple flat screen HD TVs and “one of the best sound systems you’ll ever find!” says Ryan, adding that The Lounge, which overlooks the room and the racetrack, is a creatively decorated area that can accommodate parties of up to 600 guests and can be booked in conjunction with the Victory or independently of it.
The Skybox Suites can hold up to 200 people feature outdoor decks with a great view of the New York City skyline, making it a perfect venue for a summer-time event. Likewise, the Victory Terrace is a beautiful outdoor rooftop bar that also boasts the stunning skyline view for up to 500 guests.
The Backyard is a two-and-a-half acre outdoor dining and entertainment section that is available for diverse party options, complete with party tents, picnic tables, outdoor games and activities and extensive barbecue catering options. The Gallery is a multipurpose room that is ideal for larger corporate events and meetings.
With so many different spaces, Ryan says, there are an unlimited number of events people can have at the track. “People have hosted birthday and retirement parties, reunions, graduations, corporate seminars and trade shows. It is also great for fantasy draft parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs since it provides a ‘club feel’ that so many teenagers are eager for.”
All catering is done on-site and the menu options include buffet-style dining, action stations, passed hors d’oeuvres and BBQ packages. Special menu requests are available for guests with food sensitivities or vegetarian preferences, and the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment chefs can also work with outside vendors if dietary restrictions are a concern, Ryan adds.
Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is the perfect venue for any event, big or small, corporate or social, formal or casual. “We have hosted extravagant black-tie events for U.S. Senators with President Bill Clinton and singer Gloria Gaynor as the featured guests, a fashion show with catwalk in Victory and a magazine launch party in the Skyboxes,” says Ryan.
Visit www.playmeadowlands.com to book an event or a personalized tour.
Local comfort, casual & complete
Family-owned Redd’s Restaurant & Pub in Carlstadt, N.J. has everything a local eatery needs—a perfect location in the heart of the Meadowlands, extensive menu with homemade specialties, a unique pub atmosphere for a casual night out and a beautiful banquet facility for private parties and special occasions. Oh, and then there are a few other amenities, like the popular tailgate parties on the premises before big events at MetLife Stadium and a shuttle service to and from the stadium—exclusive to Redd’s.
Owner Doug Palsi says the idea of adding a shuttle service grew out of his customers’ complaints about access and parking challenges while getting to and leaving sporting events, concerts and other events at the stadium. “We’ve taken the worry out of it for our customers,” Palsi says, adding, “The shuttle service really put us on the map.”
The tailgate parties before events are a “real fun atmosphere,” he says. “We’ve extended our liquor license to the parking lot, so people can eat and hang out, hop on the shuttle and relax. And after the event, they get back quickly.”
Back indoors at Redd’s, customers can enjoy Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding event nights at the Meadowlands) with traditional pub fare. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. for lunch and dinner and features an all-inclusive menu with original items such as cheese steak eggrolls and grilled steakhouse bacon; pretzel-crusted chicken and beer-battered grouper sandwich; and an excellent selection of martinis and bottled and draught beers.
The private banquet space on the second floor has a 2,000 square foot balcony, and can accommodate parties of up to 200 people. Redd’s offers a both a buffet and sit-down menu options, hors d’oeuvres and casual cocktail party packages.
“The best part of this business is when we have a christening or a first communion party and those same customers come back again,” Palsi says. “Repeat business is a big part of what we do.”
Redd’s also offers an off-site catering menu (available for pick-up or delivery) and can accommodate parties of all sizes. Visit www.reddsrestaurant.com for a complete look.
Angela Daidone is a freelance writer, editor and public relations specialist. She can be reached at email@example.com.