Tag Archives: Susan Yeske

Princeton’s One-and-Only Ivy Inn; Gourmet Hot Dogs in Lawrenceville; Excellent Lunch in Lambertville

Ivy Inn Princeton Echo

Ivy Inn, courtesy the Princeton Echo

Out-of-towners are always surprised to learn there’s something akin to a dive bar in toney Princeton. Even more remarkable, the place draws regulars from every economic, educational, and social strata in the area. On Saturday, August 6th, the Ivy Inn celebrated its 50th anniversary. Leading up to that I polled townies, visitors, and the Ivy’s owner, Richey Ryan, about its unique and lasting appeal. Here, in the August issue of The Princeton Echo.

Princeton University Eating Club Spawns Gourmet Hot Dog Eatery (Plus: NJ’s Own Hard Apple Cider Debuts and Jammin’ Crepes Readies Its First Truck)

Food for Thought logo

Tower Dogs, a casual eatery that opened in Lawrenceville in June, is a collaboration between the Tower Club’s longtime chef and a club board member. Chef Jim Forkel spent years perfecting his now-proprietary hot dog recipe, which is the star of a full-blown menu of gourmet dogs. Details here, in my “Food for Thought” column in that same August issue of The Princeton Echo. (Along with info on Ironbound Cider, named for the Newark neighborhood not far from where its NJ-grown apples are turned into hard cider, and on The Flying Crepeze, the truck that will start dispensing Jammin’ Crepes’ popular wares in the coming weeks.)

Annie’s Gourmet-to-Go: A Pleasant Surprise in Lambertville

I must thank food writer Susan S. Yeske for introducing me to Annie’s, where we shared a terrific lunch recently. Back in 2013 owner and chef Debra Caucci took over the spot on North Union Street that had been Ennis’ Market and named it after her mother. She serves fresh, from-scratch, generously portioned breakfast and lunch fare, both for eating-in and taking-out.

Annies porchetta sandwich

Porchetta Sandwich, Annie’s Gourmet-to-Go, Lambertville. Photo courtesy www.anniesnj.com

I was won over by her Sicilian porchetta sandwich of pan-roasted, properly herbed (and garlicked) pork, broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone on a warm, crisped ciabatta roll. For a side dish I chose m macaroni salad – made with small pasta shells, if I recall correctly – that took me back to my grandmother’s own. Not realizing the sandwich came with its own side, Susan and I had also ordered a wedge salad to share, and that, too, was fresh, generous, and perfected executed. (The menu board shown above isn’t quite up to date; among other things, a number of salads have been added.)

Annie’s is open everyday but Tuesday, with different hours on weekdays and weekends.

Ramen @Ajihei; Bar Food @Witherspoon Grill; Vegetarian in Frenchtown; Pierogies in Milford

Princeton’s Venerable Sushi Restaurant Adds Ramen

Koji Kitamura’s Ajihei has been known for two things since it opened on Chambers Street 15 years ago: exceptional sushi and quirky dining rules. Both remain – but the menu is full of changes, including the addition of three types of ramen. My interview with Mr. Kitamura in the May 2015 issue of the Princeton Echo.

Courtesy Princeton EchoKaoru Kitamura, Courtesy Princeton Echo

Witherspoon Grill Introduces New Bar Menu

Cocktail Hour Menu at Witherspoon Grill

Cocktail Hour Menu at Witherspoon Grill

In that same issue of the Echo, my Food for Thought column included this tasty tidbit:

“They’re labeling it ‘Cocktail Hour,’ singular, but the newly introduced food and drink offerings at the bar at Witherspoon Grill in Princeton can be had not just one, but three hours each weekday – from 3 to 6 pm. Chef Christian Graciano has developed a set of 6 enticing small plate options that range from $3 to $6. Here’s the lineup of flavor-forward noshes:

Duck fat potato with black garlic sour cream
Lamb lollipops with blackberry mint jam, mint yogurt, and feta
Shrimp ceviche corn tacos
Thick Nueske bacon with maple chipotle syrup
Infused-cheese spreads (pesto goat cheese and sun-dried tomato cream cheese) with French baguette
Warm pub pretzel with 2 whole grain mustards, 1 flavored with Irish whiskey & another with stout

Shrimp Ceviche Taco (gluten free), Witherspoon GrillShrimp Ceviche Taco (gluten free), Witherspoon Grill

To wash them down in style (but with a similar eye to budget-consciousness), drink specials include select draft beers for $3; select wines by the glass for $4; and select cocktails for $5. These last include mojitos and sangrias.”

To introduce the new offerings, the folks at Witherspoon Grill hosted a group of us food bloggers, and you can read my colleagues’ comments on Twitter at #eatwellprinceton.

Pulp Vegetarian Cafe & Juice Bar Opens in Frenchtown; Maria’s Homemade Pierogies Opens in Milford

Black Bean Burger, Pulp Vegetarian Cafe, Frenchtown

Black Bean Burger, Pulp, Frenchtown

I recently dined at both Pulp and Maria’s, in the company of two food-writing buddies: Susan Sprague Yeske (Trenton Times, etc.) and Faith Bahadurian (Princeton Packet,etc.). Here’s Faith’s excellent report on our outing, from her blog, NJSpice.

Menu, Maria's Homemade Pierogies, Milford

Menu, Maria’s Homemade Pierogies, Milford


Pork Roll Mania: Cookbook, Signing, Festival, Recipe

Why did it take a publisher in Maine to recognize the potential of NJ’s favorite porcine foodstuff? I can’t say, but thank goodness there’s now Pork Roll The Cookbook – and Pork Roll The Festival. Check them out – and more – here in my post on NJMonthly.com. (Including, btw, a dip recipe for your next party.)

Pork Roll Cookbook

Upcoming: Sizzlin’ Chefs, Cheese Curators &…Haute Hair?

Seriously Accomplished Chefs Sizzling at Summer of Chefs Series at elements in Princeton

Scott Anderson has lined up a phalanx of accoladed chefs to create cutting-edge cuisine alongside him and his crew this spring and summer. The third installment in the dinner series is set for this Sunday, June 10, when Michael Cimarusti of the two-Michelin-starred Providence in L.A. comes home, so to speak. Cimarusti, who you may have seen on Top Chef, grew up in Pennington. Before establishing Providence he worked for, among others, Larry Forgione, Paul Bocuse, Roger Verge, and Wolfgang Puck.

Check out my story on The Summer of Chefs in the June 6 issue of US 1 for info on how to score reservations. In it, I interview Anderson about  what he and the each of  the guest chefs have in common, what spawned the idea for the series, what has transpired so far (one example: California abalone with foie gras and seaweeds), and what guests can expect both this Sunday and for the last dinner in the series on Friday, July 13. That final one has two guest chefs, one of whom is Shawn Gawle of Corton in NYC, named Food & Wine‘s Best New Pastry Chef of 2012.

Calling all Cheese Hounds

First Amanti Vino, the wine store in Montclair, announced that they have added a cheese case with a curated selection of 12 artisanal specimen from NYC’s respected Artisanal Premium Cheeses. Now they’ve add this related event:

Cheese School 101

Cheese School 101 (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

“Author and cheese expert Max McCalman (of Artisanal Cheese in NYC) will be at Amanti Vino for a master class on pairing cheese with wine (and maybe some beer, too). In this single session class, Max provides illuminating evidence in support of his claim that cheese is a “near-perfect” food, especially when it is paired appropriately with wine. We’ve all heard about the wonderful aspects of the “Mediterranean Diet” and the “French Paradox.” This class provides point by point explanations of how it all comes together, all while you enjoy a variety of these remarkable cheeses paired with fine wines. Class will run from 4-6pm on Saturday, June 16th.  Seats are $40 each.”  To book a seat, email sharon@amantivino.com.

Calling all Hair Hounds?

Gee…that doesn’t sound right, does it? What I mean to say is, there’s a great event that involves beautiful hair for a beautiful cause coming up this Sunday, June 10.  And there is a restaurant connection, too.

Care Couture is the non-profit behind the 2nd Annual Hair Art Runway Show. Leading salons like Joseph-Jeffreys in Newtown, PA and Godfrey Fitzgerald in Princeton showcase cutting-edge hair designs, with proceeds from the $25 ticket price going to a Capital Health Foundation program that funds free wigs for cancer patients in financial need. This year’s event starts at 6 pm at Rho Ristorante and Discoteca in Trenton. For info and tickets, click here.

The chef at Rho, a new Italian restaurant in the space that had been Katmandu, is Luis Martinez, who gained a lot of fans as the longtime chef at the perennially popular Teresa’s Caffe in Princeton. (He is also a heck of a nice guy.) I haven’t dined at Rho yet so here’s Trenton Times reviewer Susan Yeske’s report.