April 21, 2023 – On April 14, 2023, the Rahway Taste of Spring, hosted by Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe, the Rahway City Council, and Rahway Special Improvement District (SID) returned for the first time since 2019 to offer guests a fun night filled with great food, desserts, drinks, and live music. Establishments located throughout Rahway came together at the Rahway Recreation Center to share their best culinary creations with the sold-out crowd and provide a preview of the City's ever-evolving and growing business community.
“This past Friday, the Rahway Taste of Spring took place for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began and highlighted the economic recovery and development of our City. Throughout the pandemic, many businesses struggled, and needed assistance from the City of Rahway to help them survive. Today, our businesses are stronger than ever, and the Taste of Spring provided the opportunity for our restaurants to showcase the hard work and talent that contributes to their continued success. As our largest indoor event in years, I see it as a true milestone in Rahway as society continues to move forward from the pandemic,” said Mayor Giacobbe.
As our business community continues to grow, its presence at the annual event does as well, with Rahway establishments making up two-thirds of this year's participants. Additional businesses came from neighboring towns including Westfield, Linden, Edison, Port Reading, Roselle, and Kenilworth, totaling nearly 40 local eateries and bakeries, plus an additional 40 stations of national distributors of fine wine, beer, and alcohol.
“The Taste of Spring is a unique event, and one of the biggest here in Rahway that reaches far beyond just our community. One of our goals as the event returned was to increase the presence of Rahway restaurants compared to previous years and really give them a platform to draw in new business, and it was a major success with two-thirds of the participating restaurants being from Rahway,” said Councilwoman Danni Newbury, Chairwoman of the Special Improvement District.
Throughout the evening, the Taste of Spring judges, consisting of Gary Gonzalez – Rahway’s Own & Chopped Champion, Lily Terhune – Social Media Influencer (@thesaturdaylocal), Cyd Katz – Social Media Influencer (@newjerseyisntboring), Jen Adona – Social Media Influencer (@jerseygirltravels), Susan Martino – Rahway High School Culinary Arts Teacher, Shelly & Pete Kowal – Owner of Butch Kowal’s Tavern, Emma Monica & Jack Barry – Owners of The Gilded Lily, and Heidi Rosal – Owner of Atelier Rosal and Rahway Chamber of Commerce President, visited each station and tallied their scores to close out the event by giving awards to the most impressive dishes, desserts, drinks, and displays of the night. Winners included Best Appetizer – Moaaz Mediterranean Grill, Best Salad – Gigi’s Latin Bistro, Best Dessert – D’Orsi’s Bakery, Best Drink – Chevys Fresh Mex, Best Meat Entrée – Hugo’s Restaurant, Best Seafood Entrée – Craven BBQ, Best Pasta Entrée – Il Forno a Legna, Best Other Entrée – Moaaz Mediterranean Grill, Best Bakery – Pinho’s Bakery, Best Display – Brown Foreman Distributors, and Best of Taste – Alfonso’s Catering.
Following a successful return, the Taste of Spring has been firmly reestablished as one of Rahway's premier events and an influential, yearly platform for new and existing local businesses to showcase their work to a wider audience.