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About Our Wine Dinners

Our guest speakers all have a direct hand in the wine-making process. We only invite the owner, winemaker, or general manager to speak to us, never a salesman or the regional sales manager of a wholesale company etc., etc.

Not that there aren't some great people in that end of the business. We just like to use our long-standing relationships to bring you some insight right from the source. We are honored that these folks think so much of us as to make us a premier venue for this sort of thing.

Wine is about people. Wine is about dining. Wine is food.

Wine is about a common experience.

We hope that you can join us for some of these uncommon common experiences.

Get the most up-to-date information on our upcoming events by joining the Stage Left/Old Vines mailing list.

And don't forget--there are more great events scheduled at our other restaurant, Catherine Lombardi.

Upcoming Events

[Except where noted, prices are per person and do not include tax or service.]

Tha Stage Left Wine Dinner Club: Get 20% off all wine purchases in both restaurants for the entire next calendar year! Just come to six wine dinners in a calendar year and you're automatically a member.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

David O'Reilly - Wonderful Washington Winemaker Dinner

I first met David O'Reilly over lunch in Manhattan circa 2001. Rarely do I accept an invitation to lunch with a new winemaker or new property. A vertical of Chateau Margaux with the winemaker? Yes. Peter Michael? Yes. Mark Aubert? Yes. But in all honesty, those are as much about enjoying the perks of my job as they are in executing my responsibility to find you the best and most exciting wines on the planet and curating our thousand label collection.

At a New York trade-tasting, Mark and I can work our way through upwards of 250 different wines in our ongoing quest to bring you the best, the newest the brightest and the most delicious. A winemaker lunch can take 2.5 hours to taste 12 wines.. and what if the wines suck???? Reluctantly, I went along, partially because the importer who invited me was a friend and partially because I knew David was from Belfast and their might be some good craic.

I was blown away that day at lunch. Mark and I purchase maybe 2-3% of wines we taste over the course of a year. I purchased 80% of what I was shown that day at lunch. Shortly thereafter, we invited David to show his wines at a dinner in Stage Left. He obliged. We were all dumb-struck by the awesomeness of this producer none of us had ever heard of. We were likewise charmed by this gracious, good-humored, extremely intelligent winemaker and his great wines.

Since 1999, Owen Roe Winery has garnered an increasingly impressive reputation for tremendous Oregon Pinot Noir and unusually and excellently well-structured Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Bordeaux Varietals from Washington State. David has become a darling of the press, but he still does not quite have the recognition that he deserves. Rarely have I seen such a wide range of wines so well-done. His Bordeaux varieties have great structure and concentration. His Rhone varieties are spicy, sometimes with great barnyard qualities. His pinot noir are earthy and lush and his pinot gris are some of the most exciting crisp and mineral reminders of Austria that I've come across in the New World.

I've gone on at great length about the merits of David and his wines. This is as abridged as I can get. You need to know this winemaker and to taste these wines. He improves with each vintage and we are proud to call him friend. David O'Reilly will be at Stage Left on Thursday, August 7th to host a Tasting and dinner with our great food and his great wine. I do hope you can join us. Reserve at 732-828-4444 or

The price for dinner and tasting is $129 plus tax and service

Wine Tasting with Passed Hors d’Oeuvres
6:15 - 7PM

Ex Umbris Syrah 2011
Corvidae "Mirth" Chardonnay 2012
Abbotts Table Red 2012
Killmore Pinot Noir 2012

Seated Dinner 7 PM

Lake Trout with Kumamoto Oysters and Saffron
"Crawford Beck" Pinot Gris 2012

Duck Roulade with Nuts
"Sinister Hand" Red 2012

Lamb Three Ways: Lamb Belly, Lamb, Porterhouse, Lamb Stuffed with Merguez Sausage
Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc 2010
Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

White Peaches with Almond Semifredo, Pistachio and Mint

Call 732-828-4444. $129.00

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dinner and a Movie: Big Night (The Ultimate Food Movie)
Big_night1Very Funny - Very Jersey

This is one of Mark and my favorite nights of the year and Big Night is our absolute favorite Foodie Film. A cult classic, it's a hysterical account of the sometimes heated relationship of two brothers who open a very forward-looking Italian restaurant in not-so-forward-looking New Jersey of the 1950's.

It stars Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini, Mark Anthony, Minnie Driver to name just a few. The Italian Feast at the center of the film will be recreated immediately following. We will dine at large communal tables in Catherine Lombardi.

The Private Screening Room at The Heldrich Hotel right across the street is a wonderful place to see a film and the bar remains open during the movie. If you haven't seen the film, you should! If you have, you know you should come.

It's just so darned civilized.

The Menu:

Italian Wedding Soup

Trio of Traditional Risotto

Timpano Stage Left Style

Mixed Family Style Feast:
Roasted Organic Chicken, Whole Roasted Branzino,Roasted Suckling Pig, Zucchini
Flowers, Roasted Garlic with Broccoli Rabe and our famous Garlic Bread

Flambé Pascal

Dinner and the movie is $99 or $125 with Italian country wines. And you KNOW we have great Italian country wines!

Film starts at 6:30 - Dinner immediately following in Catherine Lombardi. Why not make a night of it? We'll make the hotel reservation for right across the street at The Heldrich Hotel!

Click Here For The Trailer

Call 732-828-4444. $99 or $125 with Italian country wines

Get the most up-to-date information on our upcoming events by joining the Stage Left/Old Vines mailing list.

And don't forget--there are more great events scheduled at our other restaurant, Catherine Lombardi.

Dinner-Theater Package

Enjoy a night on the town with a great performance at The State Theater and a fabulous dinner at one of your favorite restaurants. Park once. We’ll pick up the tickets and have them waiting for you here. Dine before or after the show and it’s all for one very reasonable price.

View the Stage Left Menu
View the Catherine Lombardi Menu

Prices are per person plus tax, service and beverage. Please visit the State Theater's website for performance details.

Stage Left | 5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | T: 732.828.4444
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