I know you’re asking yourself why is Linda’s List talking about early fall fun? Well, the answer is simple: we all had our summer fun and now it’s time for fall fun. The summer always seems to pass so quickly. I just love September; it’s actually one of my favorite months. While I’m sure children returning to school aren’t very happy to see September return, most Moms must be jumping for joy. I, for one, am so thrilled that Bergen County offers so many great things to do once the weather starts cooling off. Further, anyone who knows me knows I hate to drive so I’m thrilled that there is so much to do without me having to leave Bergen County. When this Barba goes beyond Bergen I am very fortunate to have my very dear friend Tatyana that loves to drive. I fondly refer to her as “Tuber.” Come on; let’s go have some fun.

I just love apples, so off we go to Demarest Farms (244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale). Who said apple picking is just for kids? Wow, what great views and well manicured trees. Decisions, decisions – I just hate making decisions on which apples to pick. There are 14 varieties of pick your own apples here. I think I’m in apple heaven! I’m not leaving without some homemade apple cider. We grabbed some herb crusted roasted pork and roasted broccoli in the deli and it was simply delish. Some fun notes on the farm is the current owners started working on the farm as teenagers and Mrs. Demarest, when she got up in age, sold it to them rather than to developers to preserve the farm. I’m sure glad she did! Put this spot on your bucket list.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say there’s nothing better than outdoor dining. It’s a beautiful night as there’s a slight breeze and the city view is crystal clear. Tonight’s dinner spot is Joe’s Crab Shack (541 River Road, Edgewater). A bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay and the cedar-roasted salmon will do. The salmon was on their extensive gluten-free menu. I live vicariously through my friends because of my food allergies, and their consensus was don’t leave Joe’s without trying the key lime pie. Yummy is the only word that kept coming out of their mouths between bites. I have to say, for a chain restaurant, Joe’s has really good food and, of course, the view always takes my breath away.

It’s “Sunday Funday” and the living is easy. Did I mention how great the weather is? How about brunch at Stony Hill Inn (231 Polifly Road, Hackensack)? Do I have lunch or breakfast? I don’t know about you ladies but I’m off to the carving station and the salads. Being the great friends that they are, when I return my glass of champagne is waiting for me. Are you sure this buffet is only $38 per person? It is incredible. What an awesome selection and the food never disappoints.

If you know me, it’s no secret that I love wine – red or white, as long as it’s dry and not sweet. In order to be my friend, you must like wine. We have wineries right here in Bergen County.   I’m psyched. My goal is to visit them all. So stay tuned! Let me tell you about my first find: Tomasello Winery at Abma’s Farm (700 Lawins Road, Wyckoff). Dan could not have been nicer when I called to inquire on the telephone. He took my reservation for my bestie and I for 2 p.m. since it takes about 39-40 minutes for two people to sample eight 1 oz. pours. Of course, we chose the $15 Riedel glass for our tasting. We are serious tasters! My favorites were the cab, merlot, pinot noir and chardonnay. They produce approximately 47 wines right here in Hammonton, N.J.   Well, that was fun. I can’t leave without a bottle or two! The wine prices are very reasonable.

Let’s hurry. We can make Capital Grille (1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus) for their lunch special, which ends at 4 p.m. I know what I’m having, and I knew T would have the same. We both love salmon and salad. After we give the no butter and dairy spiel, the chef sends our dishes out sans butter or dairy. We are two very happy besties. The bartender asks, “Do you ladies want something to drink?” I answer with, “Have you met us?” Of course we have a vino or two. I can’t believe all of this is only $20. We scratch our heads and both laugh. Our bar bill is always more money than our food bill.

Thanks for having fall fun with me. We did so many fun things. Ciao for now. See you next time.

By Linda Barba

Linda Barba is out and about every day of the week! Have something cool for her to check out? Just let us know! Email info@bcthemag.com with “Linda’s List” as the subject. Also, check out her daily postings at facebook.com/bcthemag.


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