Corrections or additions?
Dining, Casual to Elegant
Here is a list of selected restaurants, as advertised in U.S. 1
Newspaper on April 26. For the complete listings of area restaurants
consult the extensive database at www.princetoninfo.com/idining.dat.
For Broadway restaurants, go to www.princeontinfo.com/00426p02.html
Banzai Hibachi & Sushi Bar, 3690 Quakerbridge Road,
Classic Japanese food with sushi bar, hibachi-cooked
steaks and seafood, Japanese drinks, and private tatami rooms. Private
rooms available, liquor license.
Capuano Ristorante Italiano, 217 Clarksville Road,
Village Square Shopping Center, West Windsor. 609-897-0091.
With dinner entrees from $11 up, this eatery can do for
a quick bite or a nice evening out. BYOB. Party rooms are available,
as are catering services. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Carlucci’s Grill, 335 Princeton-Hightstown Road,
Southfield Shopping Center, West Windsor. 609-936-0900.
This is another of those shopping center restaurants
that will surprise you with its elegance and its impressive menu.
The full Italian menu here gets an unusual twist thanks to a special
woodburning grill. More casual diners can choose from an assortment
of gourmet brick oven pizzas. BYOB. Outdoor tables.
Conti’s Little Flower Ristorante, 136 Farnsworth
Avenue, Bordentown. 609-291-0291.
In historic Bordentown, this restaurant offers
Italian dining and cocktails. Formerly Conrad’s, it is open for dinner
Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.
Diamond’s, 132 Kent Street, Trenton. 609-393-1000.
The classic ‘Burg eatery, with characteristically opulent
decor and a huge and varied menu — Italian, of course. Diamond’s
specializes in veal, prime aged steaks, fresh seafood, and a wide
variety of inventive, elegant, Italian specialties prepared by an
award-winning staff. Lunch on weekdays; dinner daily. Liquor license.
Hunan Chinese Restaurant, 1225 Route 206, State
Road, Princeton North Shopping Center, Princeton. 609-921-0995.
This is the Chinese restaurant in the Grand Union
center. Daily lunch specials, children’s menu and Chinese New Year
Ichiban, 66 Witherspoon Street, Princeton.
This stylish Japanese restaurant, complete with sushi
bar, is tucked into the little center opposite the public library
and creates a haven of quietude, especially with outdoor seating in
the garden patio.
BYOB. Open daily for lunch and dinner plus weekend
King’s Castle, North Harrison Street, Princeton
Shopping Center, Princeton. 609-924-8001.
King’s Castle offers an extensive Chinese menu with Hong
Kong specialties. And if you’re really hungry consider the lunch
on weekdays. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Dim sum brunches are
on weekends. BYOB. Outdoor tables. Wheelchair accessible. Private
rooms for up to 120 people.
Lahiere’s Restaurant, 5-11 Witherspoon Street,
With its elegant atmosphere and prime location, just
off Nassau Street on Witherspoon, Lahiere’s has always been the Place
to Go on an important occasion. Now its classic French cuisine has
evolved to include Italian, Californian, and even Japanese influences
to loyal repeat customers and new visitors alike.
A look at the lunch menu shows how Lahiere’s cuisine
has changed in the past few years. The rich sauces, sleepy spices,
and elaborate presentations of yesteryear have been banished in favor
of healthier, punchier, simpler choices. And while dinner continues
to be pricey, especially if you choose what you really want from the
extensive and expensive wine menu, lunch can be a real bargain.
Main Street Euro-American Bistro & Bar, North
Street, Princeton Shopping Center. 609-921-2779.
Owner-founder Sue Simpkins has figured out what her
customers crave — comfort, variety, less salt, and most
better drinks, an extensive wine list, and microbrewed beers on tap,
served in perfectly frosted pint glasses.
Lunch is equally inventive, with smaller and cheaper
portions of some of the items on the dinner menu, plus a variety of
sandwiches and burgers. A private room for up to 50 people is
in the wine cellar. Liquor license. No smoking. Bringing infants and
toddlers is not encouraged.
Maxine’s Restaurant, 120 South Warren Street,
International cuisine with a soulful flair is the
here. Located just around the corner from busy State Street in the
capital city, Maxine’s also hosts a bustling business lunch crowd.
In the evenings Maxine’s also features a varied menu
of live entertainment, including salsa dance lessons, open mikes,
karaoke, and jazz.
Mediterra, 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton.
As in the name, the menu includes a little bit of
from the three continents and 21 countries that border the
Dine in the restaurant area (indoor or outdoor tables) or snack at
the tapas bar.
In the Spanish tradition of noshing or nibbling at any
time of the day, the tapas is delectable, and portions are tiny —
as planned, so you can relax with a glass of wine and a bite to eat.
Choose from all different types of olives, salads, a tuna carpacchio,
white beans with Spanish sausage, a red pepper coriander humus, with
a variety of breads.
Opera Room, Route 206, Skillman. 609-921-8551.
Both Chinese and Japanese cuisine are offered by the
former proprietors of the Great Wall restaurant at Princeton Shopping
Centers. For up to 150 people can be accommodated. Live Chinese music
will be offered on some evenings. BYOB. Open daily for lunch and
A weekday business lunch buffet, including sushi, is $6.95.
Orchid Pavilion, 238 Nassau Street, Princeton.
Elsie Pang presents regional Chinese cooking from
Canton and Taiwan, with superb outdoor seating on a raised terrace
above upper Nassau Street. The menu features unusual soups such as
Malaysia Laksa, a half dozen diet-worthy steamed dishes, plus such
specialties as an creaky squid, Thai-style fish fillet, and something
called "Strange Flavored Chicken." Reservations accepted on
weekends. BYOB. Free parking in rear.
Rat’s Restaurant, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton.
Located next to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, this
premier destination for elegant dining is the brainchild of sculptor
and pharmaceutical heir J. Seward Johnson Jr. Newly built as an
world" village setting, with slate floors and rustic stone and
woodwork, the goal is sophisticated dining in a picturesque, country
inn setting. There are numerous dining rooms and a lakeside terrace.
The food has been termed "the well-traveled French
kitchen." Menus range from a light-fare Cafe (with entrees as
low as $9) to a full menu of five to seven courses that change with
the seasons. A la carte menu also available. Diverse cheese course
and innovative dessert menu. Wine list features 550 bottles that focus
on small growers and original wines with extensive French Bordeaux
and Burgundy selections.
Romeo’s Ristorante Italiano and Pizzeria, 10
Crossing Road, Plainsboro Town Center, Plainsboro. 609-799-4554.
Enter through the pizza parlor entrance and it looks
like another sub, pizza, and calzone take-out place with booths. But
ask to have dinner, and you begin the migration through a series of
more pleasantly decorated back rooms. Entrees such as vodka rigatoni,
along with seafood, veal, and chicken dishes, helped Romeo’s win a
Winner Reader’s Choice award in New Jersey Monthly. BYOB.
Rusty Scupper, 378 Alexander Road, Princeton.
Dine outdoors when it’s hot, or by the fireplace when
it’s not. Recent renovations have added some tables indoors and out,
but the hefty drinks with steaks, seafood, and a salad bar still
a regular following for business lunches. Also popular, the weekday
happy hour around the large tables at the loft bar, complete with
five TV screens and pool tables. Private rooms available. Open daily
for lunch and dinner.
Sahara Restaurant, 1582 Montgomery Shopping
Center, Skillman. 609-921-8336.
Authentic Middle Eastern fare, in generous portions,
popular with the Montgomery Theater pre-movie crowd. Shish kebab,
gyros, kibbee, baklava, stuffed grape leaves, etc., plus some American
standards for the timid. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday to
BYOB. Credit cards accepted. Also takeout.
Santa Fe Grille at the Rocky Hill Inn, 137
Street, Rocky Hill. 609-683-8930. 609-683-8931
Owner Jenna Kleinman serves up American cuisine with
a southwest touch. Count on southwest specialties plus grilled steaks,
chicken, seafood, and pasta. Healthy eaters will welcome rice and
beans cooked in water, not oil, and all-corn or all-wheat items for
those with allergies. Private room available.
Shogun 27 Restaurant, 3376 Route 27, Kendall Park.
Shogun retains its Japanese flair but offers adaptations
for American tastes. It’s a huge place with so many hibachi tables
— 16 of them — that the hibachi room, off to one side, is
redolent with aromas. There’s one Japanese style tatami room and two
American style "VIP" rooms plus a regular bar, the long sushi
bar, and more than 100 tables in the dining room.
Sunny Garden, 15 Farber Road, Princeton.
A pleasant spot, with a decor designed to emphasize calm
serenity and genuinely friendly service. The menu pays attention to
your health and is tasty besides. It’s so popular that at popular
times, unless you make reservations you may have a bit of a wait.
The lunch buffet is $7.55. Open for lunch and dinner daily. No
Private rooms available. BYOB.
World Buffet, 368 Route 33, Mercerville.
Eclectic cuisine includes a sushi bar plus continental,
Italian, and Oriental dishes. The buffet — billed as the largest
one in town — costs $6.45 at lunch, $11.95 for dinner on weekdays,
and $2 more on Sundays. Weekend brunch is $19.95. Private room
KatManDu, 50 Riverview Executive Plaza, Trenton
Waterfront Park, Trenton. 609-393-7300. 609-695-5816
Sprinkling a dash of the tropics next to the Delaware
River, in Trenton’s old Cooper Iron Works on Route 29 at Trenton
Park, KatManDu packs a whole lotta jah-mon into 20,000 square
feet, six bars (indoors and outdoors), seating for 160 (including
a tree house that seats 30), two music stages, a large dinner menu,
and voluminous hours of operation.
The hordes mingle at the canopy-covered outdoor bar
with tiki torches.
Varsity Liquors, 234 Nassau Street, Princeton.
This homey store — near "restaurant row"
on the east side of town — boasts a surprising selection of wines.
Best of all: It delivers.
Baldassari Regency Caterers, 145 Morris Avenue,
Four Girls Catering, Princeton, Pennington, and
Titusville area. 609-406-0700.
Main Street Catering, 5 Crescent Avenue, Rocky
Hill. 609-921-2777. 609-921-7067
Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Drive, Monroe.
Stirlings offers an elegant dining experience,
in daily, fresh-from-the market fish selections, in a setting
by two award-winning 18-hole golf courses.
The Bog at Cranbury Golf Club, 49 Southfield Road,
Cranbury. 609-799-2715. 609-799-4639
Enjoy 20 draught beers on tap at this "public country
club," located between Route 571 and Village Road. Brunches on
special Sundays, such as Mother’s Day. Private rooms available for
up to 70 people. Working fireplace in winter.
Theo’s at the Meadows, 70 Hunters Glen Drive,
at Middlesex Golf Course, Plainsboro. 609-799-8315.
Billed as Plainsboro’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill, it
has happy hour and Sunday football specials and occasional live music.
It’s located on the public golf course, Meadows at Middlesex, formerly
Princeton Meadows Country Club.
Cafe Nicole at Novotel Hotel, 100 Independence
Way, Princeton. 609-520-1200. 609-520-0594
New American food in a hotel setting with a sleek
atmosphere. A special feature of the restaurant is its daily breakfast
buffet. Look also for the nightly fitness specials, low in fat,
and calories. Liquor license with a nice wine list. Open for
lunch, and dinner daily, with fancy brunch for special Sundays.
Crystal Garden Cafe at the Hyatt, 102 Carnegie
Center, Princeton. 609-987-1234. 609-987-2584
Something’s always going on that is stylish and fun at
the Hyatt. A jazz band may play or the grand piano is staffed during
dinner. The bountiful Sunday brunch includes unlimited champagne.
Favored dinner entrees include crispy farm-raised bass, Japanese
and blackened Atlantic salmon.
Doral Forrestal at Princeton: Gratella Trattori,
100 College Road East, Princeton. 609-452-7800.
Impressive antipasto bar and Italian specialties,
Tuscan cuisine with wood-grilled specialties and Italian desserts.
Special brunches with entertainment on holidays.
Doral Forrestal: Homestate Cafe, 609-452-7800.
Emphasis on Jersey Fresh vegetables — including
greens. The Saturday night seafood buffet is always sumptuous, as
is the Sunday brunch. In addition to the main dining room, decorated
in Arts & Crafts style, there is a casual bar (Barley’s, with a bar
menu, billiards, shuffleboard, and card tables) with photographs on
the walls provided by the Historical
Society of Princeton.
Gallagher’s Steak House, at the Holiday Inn,
4355 Route 1 South, Princeton. 609-452-2044.
Billed as "the best known steak house on the east
coast," Gallagher’s has been at 52nd and Broadway since speakeasy
days. Now it’s also at the Holiday Inn, where the atmosphere is New
York casual, accented by hundreds of photographs of celebrities,
and working people of the 1920s. They are all meat-and-potatoes
you figure, and they all look pretty healthy.
Lucy’s Ravioli Kitchen & Market, 830 State Road,
Think of two dozen varieties of home-made ravioli, for
take-out. Also pasta, sauces, gourmet sandwiches, home-made meatballs,
pot pies, cheeses, olives, pates, salad, bread and dessert. Box
can be prepared.
Main Street Coffeehouse and Bakery, 56 Main Street,
Stylish is the word for everything at this continental
shop with tables for lunch and brunch munchers. It also does a brisk
takeout business with its soups (three kinds daily), fresh salads,
sandwiches, and all kinds of breads. Mornings, look for breakfast
pastries and sandwiches, such as ham and cheese on a croissant and
sausage en croute. Lunch sandwiches also emphasize the unusual.
Momo’s Market & Bakery, 41 Princeton-Hightstown
Road, Princeton Junction. 609-275-8800.
The same people who bring you Mediterra also have a
shop that sets a similar benchmark for excellence. For something
try one of Momo’s inventive box lunches ($8.95).
Pizza Colore, 124 Nassau Street, Princeton.
Terhune Orchard, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton.
Teriyaki Boy, 3535 Route 1, Princeton Marketfair,
Teriyaki Boy, Princeton Forrestal Village,
609-734-0900. A price performer, and the sushi here meets high
Try the vegetable udon soup. The salmon teriyaki includes rice,
broccoli, and salad. With cucumber roll, it’s $6. Open daily for lunch
Corrections or additions?
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— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.