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News, Announcements, Inside Stories, & Tips from Pleasantdale Chateau

Il Borro Wine Dinner with Salvatore Ferragamo

What an exquisite evening it was at our Pleasantdale Chateau estate celebrating the wonderful wines of the treasure of Tuscany, the Il Borro estate and vineyards. Our honored guest, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chairman of the legendary Salvatore Ferragamo fashion brand and CEO of Il Borro Wines, was fantastically charming and insightfully engaging with fascinating anecdotes of the creation of his wines, spending so much of his time interacting with our guests.

By all accounts, our culinary team led by Pleasantdale’s Executive Chef Robert Albers, executed another fabulous pairing of dishes with the evening’s astute wine selections.

Our Director of Sales, Fred Fogg’s cohesive collaboration with Wine Legend’s President Mahesh Lekkala made for yet another elite experience for our guests, among whom were notable television personalities, high level chefs, wine industry experts, and so many beloved friends and family…including lovely past and future Pleasantdale brides and grooms.

So much of the joy that we get from organizing experiences like this is in connecting interesting people of talent and accomplishment with each other over the delights of fine food and wine–A priceless experience for those who enjoy events of distinction. Our thanks again to our valued guests, organizers, and participants who were a part of this wonderful evening; we look forward to future opportunities to welcome you back to our estate.

If you’d like an opportunity to join us for future events, please make sure that you’re a member of our mailing list.

Visit our Facebook Page for more photos of our Il Borro Wine Dinner with Salvatore Ferragamo.

Spring Awakens Across Our Estate

As the quiet wonders of early spring awaken on our estate, the verdant grounds, kept true to their natural beauty, are gently born anew with a carpet of greens and yellows and pops of pastels nestled within to welcome our guests with an unspoken promise of the start of new joys to come, like the wild hope of spring romance blossoming into a forever love.

Our Pleasantdale Chateau estate, a wedding day retreat experience for all seasons.

Pleasantdale Chateau Hosts the “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro’s daughter Sofia’s Sweet 16

As reported by PEOPLE magazine, our over-the-top birthday celebration takes the cake!

As a go-to venue for celebrity and elite celebrations, we “party like a boss”!

As published by PEOPLE magazine:Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro‘s daughter Sofia turned 16 on Tuesday and to celebrate, her parents hosted an extravagant sweet sixteen party on April 12 that was straight out of a fairytale.

“I’ll never forget the moment you were born and I looked at you and I just cried,” Valastro said in his speech during the event, which was captured in the video by Ethereal Media. “Don’t ever change. I wish you all the happiness, luck and everything the world has to offer. Mommy and Daddy will always be here for you. We’re so proud of you in this moment. I love you my little bear.”

The party at Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, N.J. was attended by 400 guests including the “entire Cake Boss famiglia” and Real Housewives of New Jersey star Joe Gorga and his children, Buddy tells PEOPLE exclusively…”

FOR THE FULL DISH ON CAKE BOSS BUDDY VALASTRO’S SWEETEST FAMILY MOMENTS, READ THE FULL PEOPLE ARTICLE HERE >>

Video by Ethereal Media.
Photography by Michael Jurick.

Pleasantdale Chateau Rated #1 of All Wedding Venues in New Jersey

As reported by NJ.com, Pleasantdale Château has been rated #1 amongst all of the top ranked wedding venues throughout New Jersey!

According to NJ.com:

As the warm weather approaches, so do the New Jersey weddings. Chances are you have at least one “Save The Date” magnet on your refrigerator right now. 

And maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have been invited to a reception at one of these magnificent establishments…

RATED #1:

Pleasantdale Chateau Recognized by Time/Money Magazine as One of the Top 9 Wedding Venues in the Nation 

While we’re certainly used to regularly receiving awards and accolades for the grandeur of our unique estate and the high-level of events that we host, along with press coverage for the elite echelon of clientele we serve, it is still extra-special when an acknowledgment comes from leading international media outlets like TIME and Money magazines. We are honored to be recognized by these media industry stalwarts as one of the “Top 9 Wedding Venues” across the entire United States.

Serving Excellence to the Culinary Elite

As one of the top nine wedding venues in the country, we pride ourselves on being able to fully customize every detail of a wedding for a bride and groom. With our recognition as an industry leader as the top venue for food, culinary execution, and menu design, there are clients who seek us out from all over the world. Executive Chef, Christopher Engel, of the legendary Charlie Palmer’s famed flagship restaurant Aureole and his wife, Abby sought out Pleasantdale Chateau for their own wedding. They were able to find the European authenticity of a real chateau along with the culinary expertise of our team they were looking for. Christopher and his beautiful wife Abby had many international guests including some acclaimed chefs from across the globe. Wedding guests, as well as chefs from Italy and Germany, dined on an exquisite five-course tasting menu with individually paired wines. Our own Chef, Robert Albers and his culinary team executed the meal flawlessly, while our Pastry Chef, Carla Reinoso, tantalized guests with her artistic desserts. We are humbled by the guests who we served and the culinary talent we had dine with us for this event. Please enjoy this brief behind the scenes glimpse of our Pleasantdale Chateau team creating a fine dining experience…

(Filmed & edited by Ethereal Media.)

Pleasantdale Chateau Wins The Knot‘s “Best of Weddings” Award for 2019

This year just keeps getting better! Another great acknowledgement of the hard work we’ve put into creating spectacular wedding celebrations. In addition to being in The Knot’s “Hall of Fame”, we’ve been recognized again this year with their “Best of Weddings” award. Only the top 4% of wedding professionals across the nation are ev

en considered to receive this recognition. Our thanks to The Knot and to our wonderful Pleasantdale couples whose amazing reviews were a big part of earning this award.

Pleasantdale Chateau Wins Manhattan Bride magazine’s “Best of 2019” Award

We’re thrilled to already be off to a great start to the New Year, with another recognition by Manhattan Bride magazine for our “superior standards of service and quality”. This “Best of 2019” award is based on their following criteria:

Outstanding … in our knowledge of our field and in our professionalism.
Reputable … in that Manhattan Bride magazine has received only positive reviews and comments from Pleasantdale Chateau’s clients.
Reliable … in addition to being on time, they note note that we follow up with care and insight.

According to Manhattan Bride, “We asked, are they … Trustworthy and knowledgeable? Open to discussion about creative ideas? Willing to work through difficulties and solve problems? Flexible enough to accommodate changes in plans, schedules, and other factors? Available for questions? Professional in their approach? In our dealings with them: Yes.”
Our thanks to Manhattan Bride magazine for recognizing our commitment to excellence!

Pleasantdale Chateau Wins “Best Banquet Facility” Award

Suburban Essex magazine has honored Pleasantdale Chateau for another consecutive year with its top prize of the Gold Award as the overall Best Banquet Facility throughout the region, as an exclusive, sought-after venue for weddings private social events and corporate meetings in the tri-state area. We greatly appreciate all of the individuals who made an effort to vote for us over so many other quality venues. Thank you!

Pleasantdale Chateau Wins Morris|Essex Health & Life Magazine’s Reader Choice Award for Best Wedding Reception Venue

Thanks to all the votes from readers of Morris|Essex Health & Life magazine, Pleasantdale Chateau was once again awarded with the number one spot in the category of “Best Wedding Reception Venue” for 2018. We appreciate all the support and great feedback from all those in-the-know. Thank you!

Pleasantdale Chateau Won’t Let Winter Sour Its Recipe for Local Ingredients

Picking Bright Flavors of Summer Sunshine From Pleasantdale Chateau’s Orangerie for an Orchard-to-Table Taste

Wade Knowles, co-owner of Knowles Hospitality, surveying the Calamondin orange trees that rise to the glass rooftop of Pleasantdale Chateau’s Orangerie.

There may be freezing temperatures in the forecast and snow piling up everywhere, but for the Knowles group of restaurants, it’s perfect New Jersey weather for picking oranges.

On a bitter cold day in West Orange, Wade Knowles, co-owner of Knowles Hospitality, stood alongside the operation’s Farm and Grounds Manager, looking up at the Calamondin orange trees growing inside Pleasantdale Chateau’s climate- controlled “Orangerie.” This stunning indoor greenhouse conservatory showcases a wide variety of tropical plants, exotic flowers, and–as its name suggests–is also the host to an intriguing collection of fruit-bearing orange trees. Studying the masses of brightly colored ripened fruit replete within the canopy of green leaves and twisted branches overhead, they decided it was time–time to harvest the oranges.

A ladder, some pruning shears, and a few short hours later, the crop of Calamondins had been picked, cleaned, and hand-delivered to another of the Knowles family’s properties less than a mile down the road. Once at Highlawn Pavilion, the fine dining restaurant inside Eagle Rock Reservation known for its creative cuisine and skyline overlook, the diminutive fruits were quickly put to use by its executive chef. Prepped and placed in a heated sugar-water mixture, the chef began the process of candying the oranges. The next night the oranges would find a place on the plate of a new special on the menu. If you stop into Highlawn Pavilion soon–if there are still enough oranges–your waiter may offer you a Niman Ranch pork tasting of tenderloin and pork belly with baby vegetables, a side of creamy mashed potatoes, port reduction…and candied Calamondin oranges. It’s just one example of the restaurant’s attempts to bring hyper-local fruits, vegetables and herbs to the table any time of year.

For Wade Knowles, maintaining the orange trees and the entire Orangerie is a labor of love. “The history of Pleasantdale Chateau and all of its one-of-a-kind elements makes it a true New Jersey gem worth preserving for guests hosting special events with us. We’ve put a great deal of work into maintaining and creating compelling spaces like the Orangerie that are difficult to find elsewhere,” said Knowles. “But what makes it all-the-more rewarding is to have an Orangerie that truly yields and can supply our restaurants with its bounty even in the middle of winter.”

The six generation family business whose restaurant and hospitality operations include The Manor, Highlawn Pavilion, and Pleasantdale Chateau, all in West Orange, as well as Ram’s Head Inn in Galloway, NJ, continues to honor its long-held philosophy of integrating fresh, local produce into the dishes that their restaurants serve. Long before the term “farm-to-table” was en vogue, their dining establishments were growing fruits and vegetables on their properties and working hand-in-hand with local farmers. When the Knowles family acquired Pleasantdale Chateau in 1994, it also revitalized the farm on the 40-acre estate to help service the needs of its restaurants. Originally Dutch farmland as early as 1835, the Knowles now operate their own farm as a means of supplying a broad range of ingredients to their restaurant kitchens.

The farm manager tasked with ensuring the health of the Orangerie as well as the maintenance of the farm and each of the properties’ gardens and grounds said, “It’s rewarding to see your hard work quite literally bear fruit. To know that we can create an environment that is visually appealing for our brides and other guests of the Chateau while also providing a green, local source of ingredients to our restaurants is encouraging.” In the latest season operating the farm, they have cultivated a range of crops from over forty varieties of heirloom tomatoes, to herbs, squash, cucumbers and much more. In addition to the farm’s orchard of plum, apple and pear trees, the farm also supplied the Knowles’ restaurants with several gallons of pure raw honey from its beehives.

To see more photos of the Orangerie or to learn more about The Farm at Pleasantdale, please visit one of The Farm’s social media pages.

Visit the farm’s FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages to see all the work that goes into running our farm.
    

A Family Who Called Pleasantdale Chateau Home

Tradition, history, and the importance of our team as family are core values at Pleasantdale Chateau. Shown here is one of the wonderful long-time grounds keepers, John Dykstra, from the early days of the estate, who not only cared for the expansive grounds but also lived on the property with his family. Members of the family recount their time spent growing up on the estate as being idyllic, having something out of a fairytale as their backyard.

The tradition continues to this day, as our current farm & grounds manager, Jaycie Sluss, not only oversees the upkeep and picture-perfect appearance of the same grounds Mr. Dykstra maintained, but resides on the estate as well to keep a close watch on its care. The dedication of our staff at all levels and their endless efforts towards perfection are what help to make Pleasantdale Chateau a fairytale experience like no other for our guests. (A special thanks to Troy Wesillius for his friendship and for providing charming photos of his family.)

Pleasantdale Chateau Wins Manhattan Bride Magazine’s “BEST OF 2018” Award

Pleasantdale Chateau is proud to be recognized again this year by Manhattan Bride magazine for our “superior standards of service and quality”. This “Best of 2018” award is based on their following criteria:

Outstanding … in our knowledge of our field and in our professionalism.
Reputable … in that Manhattan Bride magazine has received only positive reviews and comments from Pleasantdale Chateau’s clients.
Reliable … in addition to being on time, they note that we follow up with care and insight.

According to Manhattan Bride, “We asked, are they … Trustworthy and knowledgeable? Open to discussion about creative ideas? Willing to work through difficulties and solve problems? Flexible enough to accommodate changes in plans, schedules, and other factors? Available for questions? Professional in their approach? In our dealings with them: Yes.”

Our thanks to Manhattan Bride magazine for recognizing our commitment to excellence!

Pleasantdale Chateau Wins “Best Banquet Facility” Award

wedding party

Suburban Essex magazine has honored Pleasantdale Chateau with it’s gold award as the overall Best Banquet Facility anywhere in the area, as an exclusive, sought-after venue for weddings private social events and corporate meetings in the tri-state area. Our thanks to all the readers whose votes helped us to bring home the accolade and win out over all the other great venues!

Pleasantdale Chateau Named As Wedding Spot’s “Best of 2016”

west orange wedding venue aerial view

Pleasantdale Chateau is proud to receive Wedding Spot’s “Best of 2016” award for our private estate. We were selected based on the information gathered from the millions of couples that search and compare the over 8,000 top venues that Wedding Spot features.

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