10 Reasons To Visit Newark As A Post-Grad

Hometown of the Blue Hens, Newark may be thought of as a college town, but it’s so much more than that. With co-ops, art classes, escape rooms, and a brand new brewery, there’s plenty to do after graduation is long behind you. Whether if it’s been a few years since you’ve been back or you live the next town over, it’s time to schedule another visit and see what fun things Newark has to offer!

10 Reasons To Visit Newark As A Post-Grad - Social Stylate

Check out the art scene. Sign up for a class or take in one of the many upcoming exhibits through Newark Arts Alliance. Young at Art is the current exhibit (until March 24) featuring artists ranging in age from 5-18. Paint, sip, repeat at Painting with a Twist. Offering complimentary beverages of the caffeinated, alcoholic, or refreshing variety while you learn to paint beautiful and unique images from experienced artists. Great for girl’s night, birthday parties, or just an excuse to paint with your friends! Take in the national movie scene with Main Street Movies, where you can reserve your seats ahead of time or book a party with your friends and family. Plus, every Tuesday is Bargain Tuesday and all tickets are $6!

10 Reasons To Visit Newark As A Post-Grad - Midnight Oil Brewing Company - Social Stylate

Feeling thirsty? The newest brewery in town, Midnight Oil Brewing Company, made its debut on Super Bowl Sunday featuring their own craft beers, some here for good (like Insomnia Stout and Hop Envy IPA) and some just for the season (hello Luna and Heathen Holiday Ale!), so get them while they’re in! Many of the bars in town have their very own Trivia Night, so head to Deer Park Tavern on Mondays and Mad-Macs on Thursdays to test your random fact knowledge!

If adventure is your middle name, sign up for Axxiom Escape Rooms where you’ll be locked in a room, given clues, and made to work together with your group to escape within an hour! Room themes include Sherlock Holmes, Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasures, and more! Take advantage of National Trails Day on June 2 and choose one of the many awesome hikes in the area, like Mason Dixon Trail, Chestnut Hill Trail, and J.F. Hall Trail!

If you’re looking to get to know the area better, join Newark Parks & Rec for their 50th anniversary and 50 Days of Fun! With events happening each month like planting a tree on Arbor Day (April 27) or stargazing at the Newark Reservoir (July 20) or a summertime evening swim (Aug 10), you’re bound to stay active this year. Continue supporting the community by shopping local at Newark Natural Foods Co-Op Farmers Market. Buying directly from local agriculturalists help keep the small-town feel of Newark while supporting farming families and raising awareness for environmental issues. It’s a win-win!

10 Reasons To Visit Newark As A Post-Grad - Caffe Gelato - Social Stylate

You’ll need something to eat after all that activity! Caffé Gelato, a Newark Main Street staple, features Italian-inspired cuisine, 1,500 bottles of wine, and a sophisticated atmosphere, not to mention its namesake: made-in-house (and exquisite) gelato. Their warm and friendly ambiance is seconded only to their delicious dishes. Offering specials like Lobster and Goat Cheese Ravioli and favorites such as House-Crafted Cheese Tortellini, there are also plenty of specials throughout the week: 1/2 price pasta on Sundays, 1/2 price bottles of vino on Tuesdays, and $6 paninis on Thursdays! Plus, if you wear your UD apparel on Sundays, you get 50% off brunch. Yes, we’ll have another glass of your Italian Prosecco! Grazie!

If you’re looking for something unique to try, check out some of Caffé Gelato’s upcoming events, such as Pasta Making and Chianti on March 15, Kentucky Bourbon Dinner on April 26, or bring your children for Kid’s Cooking Class on June 9! Stay tuned for PAWS on the Porch, where you can celebrate and support Paws for People during Spring Happy Hours! Paws for People (Pet-assisted Visitation Volunteer Services- PAWS), is a non-profit organization offering healing pet therapy to elders and children, alike, providing them with loving, gentle affection from their well-trained and compassionate furry friends.

Newark is an exciting little town, bustling with things to do for people of all ages. Whether you grew up here, only stayed four years, or are considering moving to the area, Newark is a great corner of the world. Filled with small-town vibes, a great sense of community, and an endless amount of places to explore, Newark is so much more than a college town.

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Local Chef and Artist Hold A Pop-up Art Infused Seven Course Tasting

Local marketing manager Rachel Starrett gives us the inside scoop on last month’s pop-up art dinner.

Fresh off his two-week staging experience at world famous Chicago-based restaurant Alinea, local chef Alex Neaton collaborated with local artist Rick Hidalgo to present an original pop-up chef tasting featuring seven courses and corresponding to the dishes, seven works of art. Neaton, of the upscale 1906 at Longwood Gardens, wrote the menu before his experience at Alinea and fleshed it out after, knowing he would be inspired with the details while at the three-star Michelin restaurant. The tasting was presented in Hockessin at Hidalgo’s recently opened RH Gallery & Studios last Friday and Saturday to twenty guests per night and sold out in a week.

Pop-Up Art Dinner - RH Gallery & Studios - Hockessin, Delaware - Social Stylate

The pop-up required the conversion of Hidalgo’s personal studio space into a kitchen for the evenings (not an easy feat) and the gallery was turned into a dining room, with two 10-top tables beside the artwork, which the guests took in before taking their seats. To render his art, Hidalgo was given only the colors included in the dish and the main ingredient.

The tasting kicked off with an amuse bouche dedicated to Neaton’s father who had recently passed. The dish was plated uniquely, an elegant swirl of ricotta was centered on an otherwise bare white plate and the meatball sat to the side in a shot glass. Heather Buckman of Wilmington, an attendee on Saturday night said, “It was a touching and intimate moment when the chef came out to explain the loss of his father and that his meatballs were his favorite. You don’t get that kind of intimate dining experience and a connection with the person preparing the food you’re about to eat in a restaurant.”

Pop-Up Art Dinner - RH Gallery & Studios - Hockessin, Delaware - Social Stylate

The courses that followed were a mash up of the best of what Neaton has learned from his mentors along the way: the first, a lemon, tarragon and butter poached lobster tail accompanied by a frisee salad and buddhapalm, sauvignon blanc gold-flecked gel cubes and topped with a tarragon and lemon puree. The second, Neaton’s wild card and to his surprise the crowd favorite, was an orange velvet carrot ginger soup adorned with a single roasted purple carrot and finished with a yellow carrot puree, smoked walnuts, a punchy red chili oil and garnished with micro carrot tops. A butternut squash caramelli came third, in beautiful thrown clay bowls by local artist Tim Austin. The dish was a nod to Neaton’s first mentor Chef Mike O’Hare, owner of Gennaro’s in Aston, PA, and was topped with a piece of butternut squash ‘paper’ he created with a slow dehydration process.

Pop-Up Art Dinner - RH Gallery & Studios - Hockessin, Delaware - Social Stylate

Fourth was a filet paired with a port cherry cream sauce, celery root puree, a bruleed leek, shallots and a black garlic and cherry puree. A pan seared duck breast came fifth atop a truffle scented soubise sauce, local trumpet mushrooms, a roasted chipollini onion, port wine foam and a crisp parsnip. A single spoon of pineapple and aloe was served as a palette cleanser, and then came dessert. A goat cheese cheesecake with an ‘everything bagel’ crust paired with a gooseberry jam and the finale: Neaton’s take on a KitKat bar — a triple stacked bar of chocolate mousse, chocolate ganashe and a chocolate feuilletine blend, adorned with a white chocolate disk and paired with orange butter sauce. The guests enjoyed seeing Hidalgo’s interpretation of each dish as the courses were served. Seven 7×7 squares hung opposite the guests and showcased Hidalgo’s artistic interpretation of each dish. Each piece was mixed media with resin and acrylic on wood panel. Eric Starrett of Chadds Ford, also a Saturday attendee said, “Sitting at a dining table in the middle of an art gallery, surrounded by white walls, bright light and art and being served incredibly creative food while enjoying an artist’s interpretation of a culinary dish was so engaging and thought provoking. And the food blew me away.”

Pop-Up Art Dinner - RH Gallery & Studios - Hockessin, Delaware - Social Stylate

Neaton and Hidalgo, both self-taught, created the event as a celebration of their decade long friendship and to honor how far they’ve have come in their respective crafts. Neaton, having come from a troubled past, started out as a dishwasher more than a decade ago and worked his way up, attributing his love of cooking with getting his life back on track. Hidalgo opened RH Gallery in the summer of 2017, and his work has been featured at The Delaware Contemporary, Chris White Gallery, and The Moving Parts Collective at The Mill Space among others. RH Gallery & Studios, a stone’s throw away from the upscale New American restaurant and Hockessin gem The House of William and Merry, hosts monthly art exhibits featuring local artists.

Neaton was incredibly grateful to his Longwood family for their support of the event. Chefs William Brown and Matthew Anderson, respectively, both of Longwood, were especially supportive, helping in the kitchen and attending the event. Also, among the guests were Kenneth Warner of Longwood, Brian Kimble of Winterthur, and Mexican eatery El Diablo co-owner Roger Andrews. Photographer David Heitur of Wilmington photographed the event.

For more information or if you would like to get on the list for tickets to the next pop-up email: artdinnerpopup@gmail.com

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Local Love: Photographer Alessandra Manzotti

Chester County Photographer Alessandra Manzotti - Social Stylate

Photo of Alessandra Manzotti taken by Karen Gowen.

Alessandra Manzotti, a freelance portrait and landscape photographer, was born and raised in Milan, Italy. At the age of 20, she traveled to the United States in search of different opportunities, living in Hawaii and California before settling into the countryside of Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and four dogs.

Chester County Photographer Alessandra Manzotti - Social Stylate

With intuitive and innate talent, Manzotti creates ethereal, dynamic, and intimate photographs. Her inspiration comes from childhood memories of Italy, her extensive travels, her journey through motherhood, and a perpetual sense of restlessness. “With my images I try to evoke a sense of space and motion often enhanced by rich and dramatic use of monochromatic tones,” she says. Manzotti honed her technique while studying under John Paul Caponigro and Alison Shaw and creates a look all her own. Her remarkable style of photography has a way of drawing you in and enveloping you into her view of the world.

Chester County Photographer Alessandra Manzotti - Social Stylate

Manzotti starts a new photographic adventure this February; she tells us she’ll “join BBC and Human Planet photographer Timothy Allen and 6 other photographers from Europe and South America on a 150Km photographic expedition.” They’ll be exploring and capturing images of the “remote region of the Altai Mountain of Western Mongolia following the nomadic spring migration of a family of Kazakhs eagle hunters, their prized eagles, and herd of 1,000 cattle and camels.” With temperatures dropping as low as -40 degrees, Manzotti will sleep in traditional round tents called gers. She’ll use this unique opportunity to become immersed in the life of the nomadic people of Mongolia while witnessing and photographing areas very rarely seen by outsiders.

Chester County Photographer Alessandra Manzotti - Social Stylate

Manzotti has featured her photographs in exhibits in New York City, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. On March 1, she is opening a shared gallery in the heart of Chadds Ford with a contemporary painter from Belgium, Susan Iserbyt . To experience her work, the gallery is located at the old forge in Fairville Village, 522 Kennett Pike, Chadds Ford, PA.

We’ll definitely be stopping into the gallery and we look forward to seeing what images she brings home after her Mongolian expedition!

For more information on Alessandra, visit 4dogsphotography.com for client based/commercial work and amanzottifineart.com for fine art work. ALSO, Be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook too!

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Giving Back: E-Racing the Blues for Mental Health

Mental Health Association In Delaware - Eracing The Blues For Mental Health - Lauren Golt - Social Stylate

The Mental Health Association in Delaware (MHA) is a nonprofit founded in 1932 with a focus on education, support, and advocacy for mental health issues. Mental Illness is a public health issue that affects one in five Americans through depression or anxiety every year. This means more than 100,000 Delawareans are affected yearly!

Since exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, the MHA hosts an annual 5K run/walk called E-Racing the Blues for Mental Health. This October marks the event’s 15th anniversary. Members of the community participate in honor or in memory of loved ones, to support the cause, and/or to exercise for their own mental health. Last year the event raised $75,000 and, if this years goal is met, the MHA will reach a total of $1,000,000 raised from the yearly 5K.

Mental Health Association In Delaware - Eracing The Blues For Mental Health - Lauren Golt - Social Stylate

Sunday, October 29th at 8:30am come out to the Wilmington Riverfront to show your support! Your registration fee and donations all go directly to the Mental Health Association in Delaware. Not a runner? Don’t worry, you are more than welcome to walk the 5K, volunteer, or donate to the cause!

Social Stylate co-founder Lauren Golt is participates in this event every year in honor of her father, who passed away from suicide in 2011. This event and the organization is very close to our hearts and we appreciate any support you can give! (To donate to Lauren’s team, For My Pops, click here.)

 

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