Tons of great options in “south central” NJ:
Princeton (sorry to say that our restaurants pretty much suck, but these are the ones that I will recommend that we frequent):
La Mezzaluna - nice Italian with great specials! Flambe with hazelnut gelato to die for!
Blue Point Grill - good seafood
The Ferry House - getting kind of stale
MoC MoC - very good sushi
Blue Bottle Cafe
Nomad Pizza - brick oven pies in less than 3 minutes!
Acacia - Italian
Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies (Hudson St) - this is the best tomato pie in the country
Trenton Kebab House - best gyros I’ve had in NJ
Oliver-A Bistro - awesome Continental/French bistro inspired dishes
Under the Moon - nice Argentinean/South American flair
Hamilton Grill Room
Blackbird - Awesome homemade pasta and other great entrees! Chef Alex Capasso
West Side Gravy - Comfort foods with a twist (Chef Alex Capasso - Sou Chef Siobhan Allgood from Hell’s Kitchen)
Tortilla Press - Mexican
IndiBlue - Indian
Matt’s Red Rooster Grill
Houseki Asian Fusion - hibachi, sushi, and other great Chinese/Japanese/Thai
Many more to come in this area!
Good recommendations, Mark. My wife and I had dinner at the Ferry House in Princeton last summer with fellow Berserker Rick Smith.
We’re a lot more familiar with BYO’s in the Cherry Hill area. We visit there often because my wife is from Haddon Heights. One of our favorite places is Tortilla Press in Collingswood. Although it’s been a few years since we’ve been to some of these places, we also enjoyed:
I haven’t been in a while but was very underwhelmed with Ferry House and La Mezzaluna. You would think a town like Princeton would have better restaurants.
Is Brother’s Moon in Hopewell still good? That was pretty good 6 years ago.
I agree on both counts. We much prefer Eno Terra (in Kingston, just N of Princeton) to any of those. In downtown Ptn, Lahière’s can be very good, but in our experience it’s inconsistent. Of course if you want to sit at the same table that Einstein used, it’s for you .
Brothers Moon is ok and second the thought on Princeton…I reviewed Eno Terra here a few months back, was underwhelmed there as well.
Somerville and New Brunswick seem to have better restaurants across the board…
Copying my old post because its really more of a fit for “South Central”:
Tried Drew’s Bayshore Trattoria yesterday in Keyport, a recent James Beard semi-finalist. Food was stellar (although spicy Cajun was tough to pair with wines).
Also in the that area:
Belford Bistro (Belford)
Bay Ave Trattoria (Highlands)
I believe Doris and Ed’s in Highlands does free Corkage on Sundays (they also have a really nice list)
Chris: nice recs! Café Melange is absolutely awesome. We went there for my wife’s birthday this year and really enjoyed it. I was very underwhelmed with Little Tuna when we went, and the service was pathetic. I hope our server is no longer there because she was very rude and inattentive.
Paul: Ferry House needs some revamping for sure, but Bobby Trigg’s specials are always enjoyable. I think the rest of the menu is getting stale and stagnant as I think he is spending a lot of his time at BT Bistro on Route 1. I could be wrong. Always had great meals at La Mezzaluna, and again, always order from the specials. Always have to get the flambé for dessert with the homemade hazelnut gelato. Absolutely gorgeous!
Brent: Brothers Moon is indeed still around, but not as good as it used to be. Just down the road, Blue Bottle Café is one of the best BYO’s in the area!
Peter: Eno Terra is OK, with a decent wine selection as well. I haven’t gone out of my way to go back there, as it was just OK. Been to Lahiere’s a few times now, and have yet to have a good meal there. We’ve been to many corporate events there, and each time the meals have been mediocre at best. I wonder what would happen if someone tried to sit at Einstein’s table…I think the wait staff might freak out and rip you out of the chair. LOL! Neither of these restaurants are BYO.
JJ: very true on New Brunswick. I can’t say enough good things about Daryl, as well as the Frog and the Peach. Unfortunately, neither are BYO, but Daryl does have Lillian on the menu, so that is not a bad thing at all.
Brian: Belford Bistro and Drew’s Bayshore are both great choices as well, but I wouldn’t really consider them South. Trinity in Keyport is also good, however, not a BYO.
They closed after the customers had an adverse reaction to your shirt.
The Ferry House, btw, was at it’s best when it was in Lambertville (in the Ferry House now occupied by the Japanese Place that sucks). They moved to Princeton about ten years ago and it was good at first but, not just ok as if 5-6 years ago IMO.
I think this is a case of a really talented chef who was excited to be in the restaurant business at first and then got tired and bored.
If I go to Princeton, it is ONLY for Bluepoint Grill which has the best fish around, as far as I am concerned.
Brian’s in Lambertville is excellent. Brian Held had Rouget in Newtown before moving across the river.
Couldn’t agree more on Brian’s! Definitely a great place since they opened. Will have to pay a visit when I am back in Jersey in a couple weeks! Great recommendation. -mJ