Corrections or additions?
This article by Jamie Saxon was prepared for the October 22, 2003
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Late Night Dining? Yes!
One executive we know, famished and faint from a
deadline (someone we know very well who works through lunch and dinner
on a regular basis), walked into Main Street in Princeton Shopping
Center two minutes before closing time, 10 p.m. on a Friday night.
He asked in a plaintive voice — like Oliver asking for more
fearing the inevitable answer "No!" — could he still be
served? The surprising answer was a resounding, "Of course,
Anybody with a life who’s not curled up on the couch watching
Miami" or "ER" at 10 o’clock, anybody who’s out and about
— at the theater or the movies or stumbling out of the office
way after dark — may think it impossible to find a nice bite to
eat after 10 p.m. in Princeton. Or Hamilton or South Brunswick or
Pennington. What’s a famished cinema junkie, culture vulture, or
Sure, pizza or a hoagie is an option, but if you’re all dressed up
and feeling festive (or just plain relieved you finished that proposal
due to the big boss in the morning), somehow a pepperoni pizza or
a roast beef sub doesn’t cut it. You want a little ambience, a little
savoir faire, and some food that can be called cuisine.
Contrary to popular belief, you can get a fine meal after 10 p.m.
You just have to know where to go. We, who often have low serum
level at 10 or 11 p.m. (and like you, we also get cranky when we get
hungry), did a little sleuthing. Happily, we uncovered a bevy of
to tempt your palate — whether you’re still trying to impress
your date, if she hasn’t bailed by 10 p.m., or you’re out with a group
of friends and you’re just impressing yourselves so much you don’t
want the night to end.
Here’s a summary of restaurants that stay open until 10 p.m. or later
— some on weekdays and weekends, others just on weekend. For more
details including addresses and phone numbers on locations see the
Dining Guide listings that begin on page 27. Hint: If the listing
says the restaurant closes at 10 p.m., try to arrive 10 to 15 minutes
before 10 to make sure you get your order into the kitchen. Note:
Virtually all restaurants with late night listings close much earlier
Indian food. Thai. Mexican. Spanish and Portuguese.
Why is it that late at night we so often crave ethnic food? Too many
gyros while pulling all-nighters in college? What we do know is that
ethnic food tastes great at night, and makes us feel exotic.
At Chutney Mary in South Brunswick, the beautiful 3,000-square-foot
dining room decorated with art from India is a party in itself where
you can get rid of your hunger pains with chicken tikka barbequed
in the classic tandoori oven or lamb chops doused in ginger, garlic,
mustard oil, and yogurt. Wash it all down with 10 kinds of Indian
beer. Last seating on the weekends is 10:45 p.m.
Another Indian choice is Masala Grill, which means "mixture
of spices" in Hindu, on Chambers Street. Some of the most popular
offerings include the samosa appetizer (a spicy turnover), lamb
butter chicken, and the vegetarian dish called navaratan korma, made
with nine vegetables and a cream sauce. Kalluri Corner on Nassau
Street offers Indian and Pakistani cuisine; some say the best dish
is paneer tikka masala.
For Middle Eastern cravings, go to Sahara in Montgomery Shopping
Center, owned by a friendly Lebanese family. One of our staffers says
the rice pudding alone — made with rose water — is worth the
trip. At Thai Village on Nassau Street, a small restaurant with
big city flair, you will find all the classic dishes of Thailand.
Europeans always eat late. You’ll feel like you’re in Europe at
in Trenton, where you’ll get white linen service and Spanish and
cuisine. If you’re lucky enough to go on the first or third Wednesday
of the month, there’s flamenco dancing.
If you’re starving for Mexican, Santa Fe Grill offers heaping
plates of burritos, tacos, and chimichangas.
Amalfi’s in Lawrenceville just keeps getting
bigger and better, and it’s open until 10 p.m. on the weekends.
in delectable dishes like fettucini pasta al tartufo, served with
brandy cream sauce with Italian white truffle oil and shaved
At Lamberti’s Cucina in Lawrenceville, a full Italian menu
that includes such temptations as Abruzzi — chicken or veal
in a shallot brandy cream sauce with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes
with asparagus spears and mozzarella cheese.
For Italian in West Windsor, try Carlucci’s Italian Grill in
Southfield Shopping Center, with appetizers like carciofi dorate —
marinated long-stem artichokes fried to perfection and served with
creamy roasted garlic sauce — and entrees like linguine
Another option is neighborhood favorite Capuano Ristorante
on Clarksville Road.
The best thing about Asian restaurants is that dishes
can be made so quickly that most Asian eateries don’t care if you
come in one minute before closing. Our round-up includes King’s
Castle in Princeton Shopping Center, best-known for its dim sum
(too bad they don’t serve dim sum at night); First Wok in
Shopping Center; Golden Teapot in Hamilton; Good Friends
on the Washington Road entrance to Princeton Junction train station;
Palace of Asia in Mercer Mall; and World Buffet
Get your sushi fix at Ichiban on Witherspoon Street; Edo
Sushi & Wok in Pennington; or Soonja
For sushi carry-out, it’s Teriyaki Boy.
New American cuisine takes on French sensibilities at
Hannah & Mason’s in Cranbury, housed in an historic 200-year-old
building. Indulge in filet mignon au gratin, pecan duck, or
sea bass. Cappuccino and dessert are a must and if you do happen to
get there before 9:30, you’ll enjoy the live jazz. At Amarone’s
Windsor Inn you can eat to the beat — with live music five
nights a week — and dinner’s served until 10 p.m. on weeknights
and 11 p.m. on weekends.
For seafood aficionados, Blue Point Grill on Nassau Street offers
up a wide selection of delicacies from the sea. Dubbed one of
"great neighborhood restaurants" by Bon Appetit last year,
Main Street in Princeton Shopping Center is a wonderful, cozy
bistro and bar. Definitely save room for dessert.
For those of you with real nocturnal staying power or
who have just tumbled out of a wedding with really bad food or have
tummies still grumbling after popcorn and Sprite at the late show,
we’ve got four places for you when the little hand creeps toward 11.
We love Delta’s in New Brunswick for truly Southern cooking.
In this gorgeous restaurant that features live jazz and R&B several
nights a week, we don’t know which is closer to heaven on earth —
the macaroni and cheese or the banana pudding. Last seating for dinner
is at 11 p.m. on weekends; bar menu until 1 a.m.
Good Time Charley’s in Rocky Hill, "just seven minutes north
of Princeton," offers a bar menu of classic American fare until
midnight on the weekends.
Wait for your carriage to turn into a pumpkin at The Crystal Garden
at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, which has a sophisticated bar menu.
You can eat in any of the cozy multi-leveled bar areas until midnight
seven days, um, nights, a week.
Culture Club, at the Westin Princeton, is the late-night winner:
You can rock to the tunes of the ’80s and get nibblies from the bar
menu until 1:30 a.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
So, there you have it, naysayers. Let’s have a double espresso, half
caf, half decaf, with a twist. Herewith the A-list of dining
that are both convenient and accommodating.
The term "weekends" means Friday and Saturday. All of the
restaurants close early on Sunday.
Amalfi’s Cuisine, 146 Lawrenceville-Pennington
Road, Lawrenceville, 609-912-1599; fax, 609-912-1544. BYOB. Sunday
brunch. Last seating 9:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 p.m. weekends.
Amarone’s Windsor Inn, 29 Church Street, Windsor,
609-448-7144. Liquor license. Live music 5 nights a week. Last seating
10 p.m. weekdays, 11 p.m. weekends.
Blue Point Grill, 258 Nassau Street, Princeton,
609-921-1211; fax, 609-924-5336 (www.bluepointgrill.com). BYOB.
Open daily for dinner. Last seating 10 p.m. See ad page 25.
The Bog at Cranbury Golf Club, 49 Southfield Road,
Cranbury, 609-799-2715; fax, 609-799-4639. Liquor license. Open daily
for lunch, Wednesday to Saturday for dinner.
Capuano Ristorante Italiano, 217 Clarksville Road,
Village Square Shopping Center, 609-897-0091; fax, 609-897-9755. Also
at Princeton Arms Shopping Center, East Windsor, 609-426-0020. BYOB.
Open 7 days. Last seating 10 p.m. weekdays, 11 p.m. weekends. See
ad page 32.
Carlucci’s Grill, 335 Princeton-Hightstown Road,
Southfield Shopping Center, West Windsor, 609-936-0900; fax,
(www.carluccisitaliangrill.com). BYOB. Last seating 9:30 p.m.
10:30 p.m. weekends.
Chambers Walk Cafe and Catering, 2667 Main Street,
Lawrenceville, 609-896-5995; fax, 609-896-0445 (www.chamberswalk.com).
BYOB. Weekday lunches and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
Chutney Mary, 3793 Route 1 South, South Brunswick
Manor Inn, Monmouth Junction, 732-422-7700; fax, 732-422-7309. Liquor.
Indian cuisine. Last seating, 9:45 weekdays, 10:45 weekends.
Crystal Garden Cafe at the Hyatt, 102 Carnegie
Center, Princeton, 609-987-1234; fax, 609-987-2584. Liquor license.
Last seating 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, 10 p.m. on weekends, but the bar
menu is served to midnight, seven days.
Delta’s Restaurant, 19 Dennis Street, New
732-249-1551; fax, 732-249-7922 (www.deltasrestaurant.com). Liquor
license. Fine Southern cuisine. Live jazz & R&B. Closed Monday. Open
to midnight Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday to Saturday to 2 a.m.
Last seating, 10 p.m. weekdays, 11 p.m. weekends.
Edo Sushi & Wok, Pennington Shopping Center, Route
31, Pennington, 609-737-1190; fax, 609-737-9088. BYOB. Japanese and
Chinese cuisine. Last seating 9:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 p.m. weekends.
First Wok, Princeton Hightstown Road, Southfield
Shopping Center, West Windsor, 609-716-8323. BYOB. Last seating 9:30
p.m. weekdays, 10:30 p.m. weekends, takeout to 11.
Golden Tea Pot, 1750 Whitehorse Plaza, Mercerville
Road, Mercerville, 609-890-4881; fax, 609-890-4882. BYOB. Vegetarian
& nonvegetarian cuisine. Closed Monday. Last seating 9:15 p.m.
10:15 p.m. weekends.
Good Friends Restaurant, 31 Station Drive,
Junction, 609-799-9891; 609-799-8228. BYOB. Last seating 10 p.m.
11 p.m. weekends.
Good Time Charley’s, 40 Main Street, Kingston,
609-924-7400; fax, 609-924-7070 (www.gtcharleys.com). Liquor license.
Last seating 9 p.m. weekdays with bar menu to 11:30 p.m., weekends
to 10:30 with bar menu to midnight.
Hannah & Mason’s Corner Cafe Gourmet & Catering,
39 North Main Street, Cranbury, 609-655-3220; fax, 609-395-6776. Grand
reopening on Monday, October 27. BYOB. Weekdays for breakfast and
lunch, dinner on Friday and Saturday. Last seating 10 p.m.
Ichiban, 66 Witherspoon Street, Princeton,
fax, 908-359-8551. BYOB. Japanese cuisine. Last seating 9:15 week
days, 10:15 on weekends.
Independence Cafe and Catering, 3 Independence
Way, Princeton, 609-419-9699; fax, 609-419-9698
Kalluri Corner, 235 Nassau Street, Princeton,
fax, 609-688-8926. BYOB. Indian cuisine. Last seating 9:45 week days,
10 p.m. weekends.
KatManDu, Mercer County Waterfront Park, Trenton,
609-393-7300 (www.katmandutrenton.com). Liquor license. Lunch and
dinner daily. Sunday brunch, 10 to 2.
King’s Castle, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton
Shopping Center, Princeton, 609-924-8001; fax, 212-966-3768. BYOB.
Chinese cuisine. Last seating 9:30 weekdays, 10 p.m. weekends. See
ad page 32.
Lahiere’s Restaurant, 5-11 Witherspoon Street,
Princeton, 609-921-2798; fax, 609-921-3812 (www.lahieres.com). Liquor
license. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday.
Lamberti’s Cucina, 2021 Brunswick Avenue (Alternate
Route 1), Lawrenceville, 609-396-4466; fax, 609-396-0440. BYOB. Open
7 days for lunch and dinner. Last seating 10:30 p.m. weekends. See
ad page 22.
Main Street Euro-American Bistro & Bar, North
Street, Princeton Shopping Center, Princeton, 609-921-2779; fax,
(www.mainstreetprinceton.com). Liquor license. Last seating 9:30 p.m.
weekdays, 10 p.m. weekends.
Main Street Coffeehouse and Bakery, 56 Main Street,
Kingston, 609-921-2778; fax, 609-921-2849. BYOB.
Malaga Spanish Restaurant, 511 Lalor Street, off
Route 29 south, Trenton, 609-396-8878; fax, 609-396-5514
Liquor license. Last seating 10 p.m. weekdays, 11 p.m. weekends. See
ad page 19.
Masala Grill, 19 Chambers Street, Princeton,
fax, 609-921-2857. BYOB. Open 7 days, buffets at lunch and Sunday
brunch. Last seating 10 p.m.
Old City Grille, 4355 Route 1 South, Radisson
Princeton, 609-734-0933 (www.oldcitygrille.com). Liquor license. Open
for lunch and dinner daily.
Palace of Asia, 540 Lawrence Square Boulevard
Lawrenceville, 609-689-1500; fax, 609-689-9990
Liquor license. Indian cuisine. Last seating 10 p.m. weekdays, 10:30
Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison
Princeton, 609-921-6234. Princeton’s Restaurant Row: Main Street
& Bar, Sunflower House, King’s Castle, Bon Appetit, The Cafe at
Library, Quiznos Sub, Pizza Star, Taste of Mexico, McCaffrey’s. See
ad with phone numbers, page 26.
Sahara, 1582 Montgomery Shopping Center, Skillman,
609-921-8336. BYOB. Middle Eastern cuisine. Last seating 9:15 p.m.
weekdays, 10:15 weekends. Closed Sunday.
Santa Fe Grille & Bar, 137 Washington Street (Route
518), Rocky Hill, 609-683-8930; fax, 609-683-8931
Liquor license. Bar open to midnight Thursday to Saturday. Last
Savoir Fare, 65 Prospect Avenue, Cloister Inn,
Princeton, 609-924-8587. Onsite and offsite catering.
Soonja’s Cafe and Sushi Bar, 244 Alexander Road,
Princeton, 609-924-9260; fax, 609-924-9745. BYOB. Last seating 10:15
Teriyaki Boy, 3535 Route 1, Princeton Marketfair,
Princeton, 609-897-7979. Last service 9 p.m. weekdays, 10 p.m.
Teriyaki Boy, Princeton Forrestal Village,
Thai Village, Nassau and Olden Streets, Princeton,
609-683-3896; fax, 609-683-1981. BYOB. Last seating 10 p.m., takeout
Tre Piani, 120 Rockingham Row, Princeton,
fax, 609-452-1599. Liquor license. Last seating, 9 p.m. weekends.
The Westin Princeton, 201 Village Boulevard,
Village, Princeton, 609-452-7900; fax, 609-452-0927
Liquor license. Bimi (Japanese cuisine), open for dinner 5:30
to 9:30, closed Sunday. Culture Club open Wednesday to Saturday,
bar menu served to 1:30 p.m. Also Fresh, open seven days for
breakfast lunch and dinner to 10 p.m.
World Buffet, 368 Route 33, Mercerville Shopping
Center, Mercerville, 609-689-3688. BYOB. Weekend brunch 11 to 4 p.m.
Last seating 9:30 p.m. weekdays, 10:30 p.m. weekends.
Corrections or additions?
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