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Not all Olive Oil is Created Equal

Not all Olive Oil is Created Equal

By Patricia A. Hanigan, Owner of Patricia & Paul Artisans of Fine Oils & Balsamics, 20 Elm Street, Westfield NJ

In 2011 Tom Mueller, one of the leading authorities on Extra Virgin Olive Oil, released his book “Extra Virginity: The sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.” In it he revealed a world of deception where low quality oils and artificial coloring were being passed off as extra-virgin olive oils to the American public. In Europe, you would be breaking the law if you were mixing refined oils with Extra Virgin and labeling it 100% Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Unfortunately, here in the states we do not have strict regulations and thus there are a lot of fraudulent bottled Extra-Virgin Olive Oils on the market. When companies taint the oil, the consumer loses the health benefits of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.

How to choose good olive oil:

  1. Know your source. This was and is extremely important to me as a nutritionist when I was searching for my importer—I wanted to ensure that what I was selling was truly 100% Extra-Virgin and that my customers were receiving all the health benefits inherent in olives.  I wanted to work with a company that conducted independent chemical analysis and one that was respected in the industry. Therefore, I chose Veronica Foods who does conduct routine testing and came highly recommended by Tom Mueller himself.
  2. There are two main factors to determine if an oil is Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). It has to be less than 0.8 acidity and the taste. You should be able to taste fruitiness, bitterness, and pungency. It should have some positive taste notes of grass or artichoke. An oil may not be labeled extra virgin if there is any defect in tasting such as rancid or musty smelling.
  3. Olive Oil does not get better with age. Olive Oil has a two-year life span from the time of crush. Therefore, look for a crush date. Once opened you should consume the oil within 4-6 months.
  4. There are three things that will speed up the deterioration of Olive Oil—Air, heat, and light. Therefore, always buy your oil in a dark bottle and keep it closed tightly. Store it away in a cool dark cabinet and even though it looks nice, never store your oil on or near the stove. Remember, the better you treat your oil the longer it will maintain its health benefits.

So, as we head into the summer months go ahead and enjoy all the health benefits and delicious taste that Extra-Virgin Olive Oil has to offer on your salads, in your marinades, roasting, sautéing, grilling and of course, for dipping your favorite baguette. 

Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival Begins July 4

Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival Begins July 4
Live music every Tuesday night in July & August, 7-9pm 

Residents, visitors, shoppers and diners are invited to enjoy the free music at the Annual Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival while strolling, dining and relaxing at the various outdoor venues around town featuring live musicians. The 21st Annual Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival 2017 will run from July 4 through August 29. Talented jazz groups will play and entertain each Tuesday evening from 7pm until 9pm during July and August with Wednesday rain dates. Five bands will play each Tuesday, including at the new location at South and Westfield Avenues in Foundation Park. Visit Downtown Westfield for the Jazz and arrive early to shop and enjoy the restaurants and dessert places too. We look forward to seeing everyone! For details and the 2017 performance schedule, click here.



DWC Design Committee Recent Projects

DWC Design Committee Recent Projects

For over 25 years, the DWC Design Committee has administered their successful Façade Renovation Incentive Grant Program to over 150 different storefronts.  From historic restorations to new signs or awnings, the DWC staff and committee work with tenants and property owners using historic photos, materials, and often photoshop renderings to collaborate design changes.  

Two recent examples of major storefront renovations and expansions include Michael Robert Construction and Limani Seafood Grill.  Pictured are: Michael, Ellie Mroz (and children) at Michael Robert Construction, 400 W. Broad Street. George and Vasilia Vastardis of Limani Seafood Grill, 235 North Ave. W., were also presented with a Façade Renovation Incentive Grant check from Councilman Sam Della Fera, DWC board member and Council liaison.  


Legal Battle Over Westfield Stop & Shop Expansion Moves Forward

Legal Battle Over Westfield Stop & Shop Expansion Moves Forward

A years-long legal battle over the proposed expansion of Downtown Westfield's Stop & Shop could be over by September, Town Attorney Russell Finestein told the Westfield Town Council during this week's conference meeting. A superior court judge's decision in the summer of 2015 to dismiss the case against the expansion was appealed that August. "After two years of waiting, we finally have oral arguments scheduled before the appellate division on May 16," Finestein told the council Tuesday.

Read the full story on TAPintoWestfield... 


Fitness Corner

Fitness Corner


Join Athleta for very special events during Girls' Day & Night Out on May 11. From 11am-3pm enjoy Club Pilates Demos, an EyeCandy Jewelry Trunk Show, and On The Side Day Spa complimentary in-store massage with purchase and refreshments. Then from 5pm-9pm, enjoy an EyeCandy Jewelry Trunk Show, Rodan and Fields consultant in-store, Lunchbox Waxing Salon complimentary in-store wax with purchase, and complimentary in-store massage with purchase. Athleta is also celebrating mothers & daughters everywhere with a special event on May 13! Join them for an in-store Yoga class with Yoga Essence of New Providence, bracelet making, and refreshments (Mother + Daughter Namaste Together) on Saturday, May 13 at 8:45am. All attendees please bring in an essential baby item for their diaper drive (Moms Helping Moms Diaper Drive, May 1st thru May 13th) to receive an exclusive discount. 234 E. Broad St., 908.518.7620.

POE Yoga

In honor of National Teachers Appreciation Week, May 1-7, POE is offering 3 free classes to local teachers at any of POE locations during this week! Simply contact  to sign up. See the website for class schedules. POE also has a cool event on June 2 with the author of Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker. They are doing a mom-and-me girl power yoga class, then a book signing with treats from The Juice House (of Garwood) and a trunk show from Ivvivia yoga gear for girls. Call or visit their website for details. 128 Elm St., 908.264.7995. 

Satsang Yoga Studio

Your OM away from home in the heart of Downtown Westfield. Satsang is offering a Spring class card sale that can help you jumpstart your countdown to a summer fitness plan. Enjoy 10% off class cards (except new student specials). College students receive 10% off class cards all summer long with current student id. Sale Cards can be purchased in person or by phone May 1st-May 15th. 235 E. Broad St., 2nd floor. 908.789.7203. 


Food & Wine

Food & Wine

Mother's Day Dinner at Sweet Waters Steak House

Sweet Waters will be open Mother's Day from 1pm-9pm serving dinner all day. Sunday brunch will resume the following week. Also, on Saturday May 6 for the Kentucky Derby, they will be offering $6 Sweet Waters Mint Juleps, as well as 1/2 price drinks and appetizers from noon-7pm at the bar and outside patio. 43 Elm St., 908.317.2599. 

Mother's Day Brunch at Xocolatz

Appreciate mom on Mother's Day May 14 with a reservation for brunch at Xocolatz. They will be offering a special brunch and dinner menu, so plan ahead and make your reservation early. 235 Elmer St., 908.232.3962. 

New Owners, Chef and Renovation at Chez Catherine
Chez Catherine Restaurant in Westfield NJ has been known as one of New Jersey's top destinations since 1979 for classic French cuisine. Former maître d'hôtel, now Restauranteur Stephan Bocket and his business partner Michael Cowan recently purchased this renowned restaurant and have invigorated this Westfield staple with beautiful renovations, new menus and a fresh staff headed by Executive Chef Christine Migton. Read more... 431 North Ave. W., 908.654.4011.  

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Best Bets

Best Bets



Johari Bra & Swimwear 

Johari has beautiful lingerie and bathing suits. Stop in to get fitted and lifted, especially for your prom and graduation dresses. 112 Central Ave., 908.228.2779. 

Jude Connally

May has arrived and It's the season for celebrations, graduations, barbeques and long weekends! Visit Jude Connally in Westfield to get the perfect look for your special occasion. 111 Central Ave., 908.889.0900.

Just Bead Yourself

Create Mother-Daughter Bangles! Take a selfie of mother and daughter and Just Bead Yourself will turn it into a personalized charm bangle bracelet! Or bead your own crystal bangle with a charm of your choice, or create a wish box charm bangle in which you write a secret message or wish for each other and place it in each other's wish box charm. Plus, create a photo keychain or bookmark for Grandma. Create memories! 113 Central Ave., 908.232.3411.

The Town Book Store 

Everyone love books! The Town Book Store has a great selection of gift ideas. From sentimental books to just great reads, they are confident they have something for you. Now is also the time of year for college and university graduations. Books are a perfect keepsake for these milestone occasions. 270 E. Broad St., 908.233.3535. 



Blue Jasmine

Design a thoughtful gift for your mother in three easy steps with Blue Jasmine's Mother's Day Flower Bar. Choose your style, size and color palette for a beautiful arrangement unique to your mom. Call to hear Blue Jasmine's full Flower Bar Menu. 23 Elm St., 908.232.2393.




The Farmhouse Store

Change is good...interchangeable is better. The Farmhouse Store is proud to partner with Nora Fleming to offer a gift for every occasion.  Nora Fleming offers tableware, serveware, and decorative pieces that change for every holiday, event or season. Just remove the Nora Fleming "Mini" (a ceramic piece - an American flag, a heart, a witch's hat, a Christmas tree, baby blocks, a birthday cake, etc.), and add another to your table for a new look to match your occasion. 221 E. Broad St., 908.654.0444.

Evalyn Dunn Gallery

Evalyn Dunn Gallery is offering a 10% discount on the purchase of all Mother's Day gifts through May 13. They just received 2 new jewelry lines, one from Paris and one from Israel. All of the jewelry is hand crafted. They also just received a selection of hand painted silk scarves and magnificent hand crafted stained glass boxes. Stop in to the gallery to appreciate the wide variety of gifts on display. Offer not to be combined with other offers and must be mentioned at time of purchase. 549 South Ave. W., 908.232.0412.




Elegant Image Salon

Elegant Image is offering Mother's Day promotions as well as $10 off prom hair and makeup bookings. Enjoy a "Like Mother Like Daughter" promotion with 2 manicures for $20, or 2 manicures and pedicures for $70, or 2 manicures, 2 pedicures and 2 blow dries for $120! Must be redeemed by two guests or purchase in advance as a gift certificate. 405 South Ave. W., 908.232.4900.

Facial Reality Spa & Salon

Celebrate Moms all month long -- Purchase a $100 Gift Card and you will receive a $25 Gift Card just for you! Gift Cards can be used toward any product or service in the spa. Come in soon and see what's new with Eminence, a favorite organic skincare line. 221 Lenox Ave., 908.928.0010.

Glamorous Girlz

For the month of May, Glamorous Girlz will be offering to all Mothers a free manicure with a pedicure! Plus, receive free eyebrow waxing when getting a haircut. 28 Prospect St., 908.264.8819.

R Studio Lash Spa

This month at R Studio Lash Spa it's all about the brows. For May only, a Custom Brow Design is being offered for only $30. This service includes customized shaping, wax, and brow tint to give you beautifully defined brows. 100 Quimby St., Suite 3, 908.858.0746. 

Open Door Therapy

A Free Talk: 'MOTHER: The Influence of a Lifetime' -- Come and enjoy a free and inspiring community presentation by relationship and couples counselor Terri DiMatteo on May 8 from 7pm-8pm at Open Door Therapy. The presentation will focus on the powerful, lifelong influence of mothers as it relates to Theory of Attachment. For more information and to reserve your spot, call Terri DiMatteo or reserve your spot online. 111 Quimby St., Suite 111, 908.403.9300.

The Westfield Service League

The WSL will be closing for the summer break on June 16 through to the beginning of September. The weeks leading up to their closing in June, they will be having some fantastic clearance sales to make way for the fall merchandise they will be selling come September. The Westfield Service League is grateful to all their loyal customers and thanks you for your continued support. 114 Elmer St., Thrift 908.233.2530, Consignment 908.232.1223. 



Mother's Day Essentials - Flowers, Chocolates & Cakes

Mother's Day Essentials - Flowers, Chocolates & Cakes

There are plenty of local businesses downtown that offer flowers, chocolates and sweet desserts for the special women in your life. Here are a few of Westfield's essential gift destinations. Call or stop by!

Blue Jasmine Floral Design & Boutique - 23 Elm St., 908.232.2393,  

Flower Art by Design Contempo - 103 Prospect St., 908.301.0300,  

The Green Room - 227 Elmer St., 908.518.0400

Brummer's Chocolates 125 E. Broad St., 908.232.1904,  

The Chocolate Bar 112 Quimby St., 908.389.9000,  

Kilwins 9 Elm St., 908.264.7476, 

Bovella's Pastry Shoppe 101 E. Broad St., 908.232.4149,   

Carlo's Bakery 21 E. Broad St., 908.228.5525,

Tutti Baci Italian Bakery 401 South Ave. W., 908.317.9200

Trader Joe's 155 Elm St., 908.301.0910,  

Grand Openings in May

Grand Openings in May

Blende Custom Beauty is opening May 2 at 106 Elm St. after completing a beautiful restoration. Celebrity makeup artist Keira Karlin, Blende's co-owner, has worked on TV shows including Law and Order SVU, The Blacklist, The Affair, Blue Bloods and SNL. She has been the personal makeup artist for celebrities and dignitaries such as Debra Messing, Lucy Liu, Kevin Costner and President Bill Clinton. Her partner Nikki Tardibuono is a Makeup Artist and Licensed Esthetician certified in Microblading, with many years of retail management experience. Both women are working moms, living in the Westfield area for the past 17 years. This duo brings their talents to their new shop in the heart of Downtown Westfield. Blende specializes in custom blended makeup and lip bar, microblading and brow sculpting, private and group lessons, weddings and parties. 908.588.2094. Read more... 

Hand Picked, featuring urban wear and Supreme clothing, including sneakers and caps, is open at 107 Prospect St. (across from Bovella's).  


$5 Comfort Food, offering sandwiches, salads and more with most everything on the menu priced at $5, is now open at 311 South Ave. W. (former location of Subway). Call in advance for pick-up or delivery. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Give mom a day off and bring the family for a meal here on Mother's Day! 908.233.9333.

Golden Age Fretted Instruments has moved to a new location! Formerly at 309 South Ave., Golden Age is now in a bigger, better, more beautiful location at 266 E. Broad St. (in the historic Carnegie library space formerly Felice, between The Town Book Store and Betty Gallagher Antiques). Golden Age specializes in boutique guitars with many handmade new, used and vintage guitars and accessories. They also do repairs. With the extra space, Golden Age is planning monthly in-store jams as well as workshops and clinics showcasing some of today's top players and instructors. 908.301.0001. 

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NJWA Summer Workshop’s Early Elementary Programs: Keep the Curiosity Alive

NJWA Summer Workshop’s Early Elementary Programs: Keep the Curiosity Alive

Children are natural learners and have a penchant for seeking out anything new and not yet experienced. The NJWA Summer Workshop provides an opportunity to appease and feed this curiosity that drives young students to explore, discover and create, both singularly and collaboratively.

The Young Explorers program is for students who will be entering a junior kindergarten (4+) or kindergarten program in the fall. Activities include arts and crafts, violin, life science, LEGO Education pre-engineering builds and pre-readers workshop. All of these experiences work in tandem to provide an inspirational springboard for further learning and understanding.

The First Grade Adventurers program is for students entering the first grade in the fall. Sharing a similar curriculum to that of the Young Explorers, this program also offers arts and crafts, violin, physical science and practical applications, and author studies. Language arts and engineering are also explored using the teacher-favored curriculum from LEGO Education, where cooperative learning is an integral part of the process.

The teaching staff is comprised of Early Education professionals who promote a classroom culture that is inspirational, challenging, creative and fun. The freedom to discover, create and play in a warm and encouraging environment results in children who are happy and self- reliant and helps pave a path for future and successful educational endeavors.

The NJWA Summer Workshop is a three-week camp, dedicated to providing exciting cognitive and creative opportunities for students entering junior kindergarten through 9th grade. This year’s Workshop will be held at the air-conditioned Lincoln School, 400 2nd Ave, Garwood, NJ. Camp runs weekdays from July 10-July 28, 8:30am-12:30pm with an optional 7:30am drop off. The Summer Workshop partners with the Westfield area YMCA and offers Afternoon Adventures for those needing a full day program. To view, download or print the 2017 brochure, visit us on-line at


Photo Caption: Early Elementary students enjoy opportunities in both collaborative and individual learning in a fun and nurturing environment.