Who among us, save the vegetarians, doesn’t hanker for a good steak or plump pork chop every once in a while as a change from the virtuous chicken and fish? If you get such a craving, you might head for On the Bone, located in the DoubleTree hotel on Route 1 South at the corner of Ridge Road.
The restaurant is an open space decorated in dramatic Wedgewood blue and Pompeii red walls. The bar is punctuated by a brilliantly lit blue back wall and is raised a couple of steps above the main dining area. Unfortunately the ubiquitous TVs are positioned in such a way that it is hard to find a table where you don’t have a football game or other show directly in view to kill conversation. But once you are seated, the staff is attentive and the menu tempting. Despite the bar area integrating with the dining room, the atmosphere is quiet and conversation is not drowned.
The focus is natural, grass-fed organic meat cooked on the bone, whether it be beef, pork, or chicken. The greatest choice naturally is in the wet aged beef selections, where prices range up to $39 for the Cowboy ribeye. But my friend and I were tempted by the short ribs and the pork chop, which clearly had to once belong to a race of giant porkers.
There are plenty of house-made pastas to choose from for the pasta lover and the chicken and fish offerings are not slighted. We ended up with a half rack of ribs ($14), served with fresh vegetables and a filet of Atlantic salmon, served on a bed of lentils ($20). Entrees come with a chef’s choice of vegetables but sides are available for $3.50. All produce is organic and locally grown, if possible.
You are immediately offered a long, hot loaf of sourdough bread with honey cinnamon butter, an irresistible combination. This bread is so popular they are happy to pack up what you don’t finish to enjoy the next day. Having to cut the rather unwieldy loaf yourself at the table is awkward but no doubt the staff would accommodate with the slicing, if asked.
A pleasant alternative to full entrees is the small “grazing” plates, a variety of tapas dishes ranging from $3.50 to $8 for pan-seared diver scallops. We shared a plate of Spanish cheese with fig puree ($5.50). Appetizers are eclectic as well. A large serving of onion soup is $6 and jumbo shrimp wrapped in chorizo sausage is $12 as is the carpaccio of pepper-crusted tenderloin. This array of hearty appetizers, smaller selections, plus the range of salads and sandwiches accommodates a wide choice of tastes and fits any dining budget.
For dessert we succumbed to a massive slice of red velvet cake ($9) half of which made it home for another day’s enjoyment.
The wine list is ample and the choice of wines by the glass is more extensive than at many area restaurants. Prices for full bottles are within the $20 to $40 range and half bottles are offered as well for certain selections. In addition, they offer an intriguing flight of mini martinis.
This venue is convenient and a good choice for the business lunch or dinner and would be a nice option for a simple night out with friends. Service is prompt and very accommodating.
On the Bone, 4355 Route 1 South at Ridge Road, 609-514-BONE (2663). www.ontheboneprinceton.com. Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Happy hour daily 5 to 8 p.m., with free appetizer samplings at the bar.
Vodka Tasting Event, Thursday, October 22, 5 to 8 p.m. Tasting of premium vodka and reduced-price martinis.