Tag Archives: Nassau Street Seafood

From Dishwasher to Exec Chef; Upcoming Events: 1 on Nature & Creativity & the other, Halloween Fun; News re Brick Farm Tavern & First Field Ketchup

3 Princeton Area Chefs Tell Their Stories of Working Their Way from the Bottom Rung to the Top of the Restaurant Kitchen Ladder


For the 2016 Harvest Dining issue of US 1, I approached executive chefs at 3 of the Princeton area’s most popular and revered food establishments for the stories of how they navigated their way from the lowest to the top position. That all 3 are Hispanic immigrants with no English at the start speaks volumes. (Donald T***p please take note.) Read about the journeys of Juan Mercado of One53, Jose Lopez of Nassau Street Seafood, and Edgar Urias of Blue Point Grill here.


Nature-as-Muse Workshops at Princeton’s Mountain Lakes Preserve Feature Successful Perfumer, Food Artisan, Graphic Designer, and Poet


Gab Carbone of the Bent Spoon, Courtesy Princeton Echo

The bad news is that this series of October workshops mounted by Friends of Princeton Open Space is sold out. The good news is there probably will be more to come. So if you’re interested in upping your creativity quotient, check out this unique series of open-air walks and a related workshop. Each is led by a different successful professional on four consecutive Sundays: a perfumer from Firmenich (scent), an independent graphic designer (color), a poet (words), and the inimitable Gab Carbone of the Bent Spoon ice cream shop (flavor).

I share all the fascinating details here, in the October issue of the Princeton Echo. Bonus: Get to know Princeton mover-and-shaker Fran McManus, the genius behind the workshops.

Halloween Fun for Grown-ups and New Milestones for Brick Farm Tavern and First Field (the NJ Ketchup Folks)

Food for Thought logoCheck out my “Food for Thought” column in October’s Princeton Echo for details on:

  • Tre Piani & Planet Apothecary teaming up for their Witches & Warlocks Ball
  •  Menu details for the upcoming (and already sold out) dinner at the Beard House by Brick Farm Tavern Chef Greg Vassos on October 22
  • The newest product from the First Field Jersey Ketchup folks which surprised even owners Theresa Viggiano & Patrick Leger in its popularity. (Hint: it’s not ketchup)

Zagat NJ Needs You; Jack Morrison on 30 Years in Seafood Biz; A Better Food Label?; More

Are You One of Those People Who Bemoan the Ratings in the Zagat Survey?

Then here’s your opportunity to eviscerate that stale has-been that gets sterling ratings year in and year out, and to speak up on behalf of that hole-in-the-wall or cool new spot that has been unjustly overlooked by those (ahem) jaded restaurant critics. The voting on NJ restaurants for the 2013/14 guide is going on now through December 2. Just sign up here and have at it – and you’ll get freebies to boot.

Are you a fan of Princeton’s Blue Point Grill or Witherspoon Grill? It all Started 30 Years ago with a little fish market that could…

Jack Morrison
photo courtesy of princetoninfo.com

These days Jack Morrison is a restaurateur, real estate developer, shopkeeper, farmers market founder, and Princeton mover-and-shaker. He got his start three decades ago with a modest seafood market at the “dead” end of town in the middle of a recession. On the occasion of Nassau Street Seafood‘s 30th anniversary, Morrison explains how and why it worked then – and now – in my report in the current issue of US 1.


Speaking of Princeton: Congrats to Jammin’ Crepes

This signature 20-layer crepe cake filled with lemon blossom mousse took The People’s Choice award at the recent dessert competition sponsored by Corner House, the counseling agency for Princeton area young people and their families confronting substance abuse and other emotional issues. Jammin Crepe‘s owners Kim Rizk’s and Kathy Klockenbrink’s crepes are wildly popular at area farmers markets.

Is the US Ready for an Improved Food Label?

How to understand and use the US Nutritional F...

In case you missed it in last Sunday’s NY Times, here’s Mark Bittman’s proposal on how to develop a food label that is quick and easy to read (unlike the current sample above) and provides actual useful information. I like that the one he promotes incorporates the Slow Food ideal of food that is good (tasting), clean (of harmful chemicals, pesticides, etc.), and fair (to animals and to the humans who raise and process them.)

Lobster Bake in Princeton; Philly Restaurant Recommendation; Old-Fashioned Tomato Soup Recipe

$19.82 Lobster Bake to Celebrate Nassau Street Seafood‘s 1982 Founding

Princeton’s foremost fishmonger is hitting the big three-oh and to mark the occasion owner Jack Morrison and crew are holding an outdoor lobster bake at the Nassau Street store on Saturday, September 8, from noon to 4 pm.

Colin Rooney. Nassau Street Seafood

There’ll be live music by Pi Fight, family activities, and trivia, but the centerpiece will be the lobster bake, which includes a one-and-a-quarter pound lobster, Jersey corn, steamed potatoes, coleslaw, drink and dessert. 1982 was a good year, and $19.82 is a great price. Just show up at the appointed time at 256 Nassau Street.

While we’re on the subject of seafood….

I Had a Terrific Meal at Philly’s The Farm and Fisherman

One of my best meals of the summer was at this very personal 30-seat byob on Pine Street. So many restaurants tout “farm to table” but this one, by the husband and wife team of Josh & Colleen Lawler, is the real deal. Every dish is bright, light yet satisfying, and most of all inventive, with unexpected combinations that work. Some prime examples:

Grilled Sicilian eggplant with blueberries, pistachios, burrata, golden raisins, tomato confit.

Bloody beet steak with yogurt, pan drippings, aged balsamic, amaranth.

Marlin with cherry tomatoes, anise hyssop, red grapes, purslane, cucumber.

Next time I hope to try Chicken Its & Bits: terrine, cockscomb, liver, oyster, concord grape. Yowza! The Lawlers have a pretty impressive pedigree: she was sous chef at Picholine and he chef de cuisine at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Local Girl Scout Troop Takes on Sustainability & I Get a Free Cookbook

If you stopped by the West Windsor Farmers Market on some Saturdays in August you would have come across a table of Girl Scouts with a sign offering FREE COOKBOOK. Well, that’s a siren song I never resist, and what I found impressed me. The cookbook – a glassine folder of 25 recipes – was but one result of their journey towards earning the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Under the guidance of Lynn Mahmood and Angie Crichton of Princeton Junction, co-leaders of Troop 70676, seven of the troops, all incoming high school juniors this fall, had tackled the “Sow What?” project. Each of the girls had visited a local farmers market and then together toured Cherry Grove Organic Farm in Lawrenceville. They also calculated the food miles of popular supermarket items and the resulting carbon footprint.

Scout Lauren McTigue took on the task of developing the cookbook. She elected to focus on recipes for apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, and tomatoes, and uncovered a series, new to me, of charming recipe booklets with “Old” or “Old-Fashioned” in their titles. All are by J.S. Collester, a historian at Indiana University. Among the 30 titles Collester produced through Bear Wallow Books are, besides those that focus on each of the above ingredients, those for pumpkin, cheese, candy, bread, bread puddings, and honey-maple syrup-sorghum. Others offer traditional Shaker, pioneer, fishing village, and Native American recipes. All are charming, inexpensive, and available through small distributors like AbeBooks.com and Kauffmansfruitfarm.com.

When I came across the old-timey tomato soup recipe in the Scout’s folder, it made me realize that although I use fresh Jersey tomatoes all the time to make gazpacho and cooked and uncooked tomato sauces, I had never thought to make homemade American-style tomato soup. My family loves Campbell’s so, I thought, why bother?  Well, because this simple recipe is a taste revelation – not to mention lower in sodium and, as Troop 70676 would point out, food miles/carbon footprint.

Slightly adapted from “Old-Fashioned Tomato Recipes” by J.S. Collester (Bear Wallow 2000)

8 to 10 firm ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Combine tomatoes, onion, celery, green pepper, and bay leaf in a soup kettle and cook, stirring frequently, until celery is tender. Push mixture through a sieve or food mill and return to kettle. Make a paste of the flour and butter and stir it into the cooking tomato liquid. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Makes 3 cups.

(Reprinted in part from the August 31, 2012 edition of The Princeton Packet)