• Beyond the Plate Food Tours: Tasting Hudson County’s Best Food 

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    Hudson County is decorated with some of the best restaurants on this side of the Hudson, with award-winning, highly-acclaimed spots in every neighborhood. With so many local eateries at our fingertips, there’s somewhere to go and something to eat at any given moment. Because of this good fortune, the possibilities for dining out are endless.

    One way to see the city and all it has to offer is through a food tour. Hoboken Girl recently caught up with Alessia Aron, owner and tour leader of Beyond the Plate Food Tours, a growing company that highlights the cuisine of local restaurants, giving participants the opportunity to taste some of the best food in town, while exploring the ins and outs of the city. Keep reading to learn all about Beyond the Plate Food Tours, giving locals and tourists alike the chance to taste some of Hudson County’s best food.

    beyond the plate tours

    About Alessia 

    Alessia began her career in sales and marketing but always knew there was something else in her future. The craziness of the corporate world paired with the commute was not what she wanted for herself after a period of time. While visiting Seattle, she went on a highly-recommended food tour with Savor Seattle and was forever changed. 

    “The experience stuck with me. It is a way to showcase food through culture and tell stories through food,” she said. After taking a vacation to South America and finding a part-time gig at a restaurant in the JC area, she found herself simultaneously researching food tours and realized the market for such a service. In 2013, she began Garden State Food Tours, which evolved into Jersey Girls Food Tour the following year and ultimately began her solo venture, Beyond The Plate Food Tours, which took root this June, and she hasn’t looked back since. 

    See More: 10 Unique Food and Drink-Making Classes Hoboken + Jersey City

    About the Food Tour

    A food tour with Alessia is an exciting culinary and cultural experience where guests can gather together to enjoy the cuisine of some popular restaurants in Jersey City {Red Bank + Somerville, too}. Many couples or groups of friends and family book a tour with her but it is also a unique way for singles to mingle and meet new people as well. Beyond The Plate also offers private group tours for different companies and is great for team building and bonding. The tour is about three hours long and stops at four local eateries {finishing with a take-home treat from a local cookie shop}. During these stops, guests will learn about the history of the city and each restaurant, discover the menu, meet the owners and/or chefs, as well as eat + drink their way through selected favorites. 

    The Stops

    Stop No. 1: Frankie {264 Grove Street} 

    frankie beyond the plate

    The first stop on the tour — Frankie, an Australian restaurant and bar with British + Asian influences. The menu is real, simple, and free of “junk”, as they call it. Taste the house-made hummus {with cumin, turmeric, and fried chickpeas}, labneh {a yogurt dip topped with pistachios, blueberries, and honey}, and vegan spring pea dumplings. This is paired with a delightful light rosé. Each of the selections was deliciously unique and answered the question, what in the world is Australian cuisine? What an awesome way to begin the food tour.

    Stop No. 2: Luna {279 Grove Street} 

    luna beyond the plate

    Following that, Alessia took the group to Luna, where guests were greeted with a Bad Apple —a specialty cocktail with a freshly juiced apple, Misunderstood whiskey, and a roasted cinnamon stick. Julian Muscio, the owner of Luna, brought out a grilled polenta topped shiitake and Portobello mushrooms and a brandy flambé as well as empanadas and homemade penne drenched in a flavorful Bolognese sauce. It’s hard not to want to take second and third helpings but a true foodie knows how to hold back — as hard as it may be.

    Stop No. 3: Porta {135 Newark Avenue}

    porta beyond the plate

    After, the group moved to Porta {135 Newark Avenue}, a rooftop {+ indoor} restaurant and bar featuring some of the best brick oven pizza in the area. The group was able to sample their authentic Neapolitan pizza, made by the strict guidelines of  The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, as well as their fresh mozzarella. Talk about deliciozo. These plates were paired with a spiked basil lemonade {and shots} from Corgi Spirits, a distillery located right in Jersey City. 

    Read More: Bread and Salt in Jersey City: Pizza Dough for the Soul

    Stop No. 4: Gringo’s Tacos {12 Coles Street}

    gringos beyond the plate

    The final stop on the tour — Gringo’s Tacos, where house margaritas and chicken + waffle tacos were waiting for the group. The sweet and savory components of the meal were perfectly paired; the taco brought a strong finish to the day. Just because the tour ended didn’t mean the fun couldn’t still go on. The group continued to hang and mingle even after the tour, ending the day with gooey, fresh cookies from Bang Cookies.

    Beyond the Plate Food Tours introduces locals and visitors to the deliciousness of Jersey City and allows foodies to taste the best of the best. Tour dates vary and are posted on the website for Jersey City, Red Bank, + Somerville. This tour is a different way to bring together friends, family, and colleagues {and is even a great way to meet new people} and taste all the goodness that the city has to offer. 

    Have you been on a food tour with Alessia? Tell us all about it in the comments below! 

    Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

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    Written by:

    Hoboken homeowner and lover of all things local, Danielle made her home in the Mile Square City nearly six years ago. Danielle is a second grade teacher by day; after hours, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up a a new recipe or grabbing a bite to eat with her husband and friends. Danielle is the try-er and buyer of all things beauty and loves finding a good deal. Shopping on Washington, interior decorating, and riding her Peloton are just a few of Danielle's favorite things. Oh, and did we mention her undying love for the New York Yankees?