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Bucks Cty exceptional food wanted!

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I've been all over Bucks Cty, PA and I'm despirate for great food - I've had expensive, but there are no great bakeries, ethnic places, etc. The only thing that's really good to me is the Thai place in
Newtown, Pa (Siam Cuisine). The places in NewHope are all tiny portioned. Help!

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  1. How about Hamilton Grill in Lambertville? I realize it's not Bucks County but it's right across the river.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Janr

      We just had dinner at Hamilton's Grill last Saturday night.First, the parking lot was a nightmare getting in and out in the dark. Talk about tiny portions! My friend had Sea Bass and her husband had Salmon. The chef ought to be ashamed to send out portions so small! Plus, they charge somewhere in the $20 range. My husband and I shared grilled calamari. The other couple had a salad and calamari. These portions were decent. For our main course, my husband and I had lamb chops. For $32 each we each got 4 or 5 chops. Each couple shared a dessert and one person had coffee. The entire meal cost $100.00 per couple including tip. The food and service were very good, but those fish entree sizes were inadequate.

      1. re: Janr

        Bucks is something of a gastro desert, I'm afraid. I've lived here for 9 years and still looking for something decent. Hamilton Grill is quite good, no doubt about it. Back in PA there's a small place next to the great bookshop in New Hope (on a corner, two floors, way better than it looks). Food is decent, but nothing too creative.
        And that be it, from what I've been able to find.
        The best sashimi lunch in the area is, surprisingly, the Sunny Garden on Rt 1 just south of the Princeton Market Fare. But you have to sit at the Sushi Bar - they serve up crud if you order it in the dining area. They had a sushi chef there called Jimmy who always takes care of regulars, and he used to drop on a few pieces of that superb white milky tuna onto my plate at no extra cost. Haven't been there in a while though.

        1. re: Stephen C

          The small place next to the book shop in New Hope would be Martine's. It moved after the latest flooding--i think somewhere across the street, but I could be wrong. Got a good review in a local publication recently.

          If you are going as far as Princeton for sushi, might as well hit Soonja's on Alexander Road. My friends who are sushi afficionados all seem to love the place.

      2. I have lived in Bucks 2 1/2 years now and overall feel despondent about the food situation! (Doesn't help that I moved here from NYC...)

        Anyhow, we have found a few places that are notable:

        1. Chinatown Cafe in Langhorne--the owner moved his business from Center City Phila, and has exceptional food (don't go for atmosphere). He also does takeout and delivery nearby. We LOVE this place.

        2. Summer Kitchen in Penns Park. Eclectic menu, cute place, BYO. Brunch is very good too.

        3. In Doylestown, we love Ristorante Il Melograno (not to be confused with Melograno in Philly). Wonderful Italian. Doylestown also has a casual branch of Lily's (see below).

        4. Cross the river into Lambertville and try Lily's on the Canal. Cute place w/eclectic menu and nice atmosphere. We also have been to Manon (Provencal-style) and have usually had a good meal--a little inconsistent, but worth a try.

        5. Also in lower Bucks...Bridgetown Mill House--fine French-style dining. We have not been there since the kitchen changed hands, but we had a very nice meal there once. They even had a weeknight prix fixe that was a good deal.

        6. Finally, if you're totally desperate (and appreciate great seafood), drive the 25 minutes to Princeton and go to Blue Point Grill on Nassau Street. It's BYO and has the best fish I have tasted anywhere--very casual but upbeat atmosphere.

        If you find anything else, let us know on this board!
        Good luck.

        1. The Blue Sage is the premier Veggie restaurant in Buck. They have amazing desserts too.

          Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille
          772 Second Street Pike, Southampton

          1 Reply
          1. re: Paul

            The presentation of the food at Blue Sage is really spectacular. My favorite salad is the Casbah, which includes crostini spread with the roasted pepper hummus, as well as a roasted tomato and almond paste, which has a surprising richness from the almonds that cuts down the acidity of the tomatoes.

            The proprietors are very hands-on, and apparently they do a good catering business, too.

            Go if you have the chance. But call for reservations. Weekday lunchtime is especially busy, even after 1:30. Best to go early.

          2. Thanks for all your great info! I noticed how few people answered - it is pretty isolated here!

            1. here. here. the food in Bucks County needs some serious help. especially in Upper Bucks County. we are left to starve or eat at pizza places or restaurants that charge too much for mid grade frozen foods. someone please please open a good cafe with fresh organic and local foods up here. i promise i will come every single day if you do.

              1. Try Slate Bleu in Doylestown - excellent.

                1. you may want to try Cross Culture in Peddlers Village. They have wonderful authentic Indian Cuisine. They may also open a new location in Doylestown this spring. Also The Lovin' Oven in Milford NJ is most fantastic. It's not Bucks County but its just across the river from the Upper Black Eddy/Erwinna area. they serve only breakfast and lunch and will be closed the first two weeks of February - the owners Mike & Julie are getting married.

                  1. I'll add a couple more, not that they haven't been mentioned on this board in the past--- Bakery: Cross Keys Bake Shop in Doylestown is an excellent, European-style mostly bread bakery. Jules Thin Crust Pizza in Doylestown is good, Cross Keys Diner (Doylestown) is excellent if you order right, Just Food in Buckingham is a nice bistro-type place, and since others have gone farther afield, I'll mention Siam in Lambertville. Manon in Lambertville used to be a good little French place, but I haven't been there in a long time-- is it still good?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: watercress

                      Crossroads Bakery in Crosskeys, a true gem is one of the best European style bakeries ever. The owners-bakers are a passionate couple who were scientists, went to France to learn to make bread, came back to Bucks county with French ovens and opened the bakery about 20 years ago.They make exceptional bread, croissants , focaccia, tarts, pies, and on and on. I have driven there from Phila. to buy their stellar baguettes for parties. Visiting French and Italian friends have commented that the quality at Crossroads is as good or better than a lot of what they can get in Europe now. Run don't walk.

                    2. I grew up in Huntedon County, trust me it coulde be worse! Things have come a long way since I left 10 years ago. The Black Bass on the PA side north of New Hope is excellent for both brunch and dinner. Ever May in Erwinna is supposed to be great, along with Harvet Moon Inn in Ringoes, although I have not been to either. I'm not sure if it's still there, but Rick's in Lambertville (BYOB) is quite good for Italian and Siam Thai also in Lambertville . Lastly, Meil's in Stockton has a wonderful brunch. Hope that helps!

                      1. Try Mother's Wine Bar in New Hope. Food is fantastic since the new owners brought in a new chef and cozied the place up.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: lele1228

                          I recently went to Mother's for the first time, though I've been hearing about it for a good ten years. I brought a group of 20, so not surprisingly service was poor. But I also thought the food was mediocre at the very best. I know this is a favorite place of many but it reminded me of the food served at a low end hotel.

                          1. re: Kater

                            I'm surprised. Definitely different than my recent experience at Mother's.

                        2. I'd like to suggest Annabella's in Bristol. Cozy little BYO with tastey Italian dishes. After dinner you can catch a show at the Riverside Theater.

                          1. Some of the best & freshest sushi I've had can be found at Fujiyama at Durham & New Falls Roads in Levittown.Top notch and prices are unbelievable I was very unimpressed by Annabella's in Bristol - food is inconsistent and the owner is rude. Great authentic Spanish food can be found over the bridge in Trenton at Malaga - they have a great buffet luncheon with seafood loaded paella & other wonderful delights. Cramer Bakery in Yardley is a good bakery. For good seafood takeout ck out the new Philly Crab Express in Newtown.

                            1. Duck Sauce (Chinese/Eurasian) and Ota Ya (sushi) in Newtown. Definitely Siam in Lambertville for Thai.

                              1. Crossroads bakery in Cross Keys, just north of Doylestown is a superb, world class European style ( they do American baking too) bakery. The owner \ bakers studied bread and pastry baking in France and make one of the best baguettes you'll ever eat, croissant, brioche, tarts, pies etc. are also fantastic. They also make whole grain loaves and other kinds of bread. Just go early on the weekends as they sometimes sell out.I drive from Philly to buy bread for parties .My European parents are in love with Crossroads and they are mighty hard to please, especially when it comes to bread. Crossroads Bakery is in a small strip shopping center on the left onRte. 611 past the Cross Keys intersection, coming from Doylestown. Cote, a pretty good gourmet grocery (good cheese, pate prosciuto etc.) is in the same strip mall.

                                1. Great bakeries? I adore C'est la Vie in New Hope. It's kind of around back behind the sign for ferry rides.

                                  Also, martine's and Karla's in New Hope are pretty good. The drinks at Karla's a through the roof, price wise, but the rest is relatively reasonable and really good. I've heard Marsha Brown's (the one in the old church) is great Creole food.

                                  There's an Indian place called Cafe Bombay in Bristol that I was impressed with. Ugly, but good food.

                                  I second the person who said Cafe Con Leche in Newtown. Very nice.

                                  1. Oh, Lord! I forgot my absolute FAVORITE. The Inn at Phillips Mill in New Hope. OMG. Wonderful. I'm an aspiring vegetarian, but their filet mignon is amazing. But if I'm being good, their vegetable meals are amazing. The food is French-inspired and fabulous. It's BYO and get this: they don't do credit cards. Cheques are okay, but no CCs.

                                    And Cramer's in Yardley makes killer cakes. :-)

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: creatrix

                                      Living just over the river from Buck's, thought I would throw some thoughts. I second the reco on C'est la vie in New Hope. My husband is french, and he (and his visiting family from Paris) are always wowed by the bagettes and croissants. Baker/owner is from France...and I am also intrigued by the Crossroads reco. Our standbys in Lambertville are Hamilton Grill and No. 9. Bucks itself - we have not been very lucky. I thought the new Italian restaurant in Newton was okay (can't remember name, but across the street from Starbucks d/t). The very nice French restaurant in New Hope was very good when we went there...La Bonne Auberge. Tried Yardley Inn many times - didn't care for it. I concur on the trip to Princeton for Blue Point Grill - we are regulars - super casual, great food, a little loud, and usually busy. Blue Bottle Cafe is my "worth the trip" reco -- in Hopewell, maybe 10 -15 minutes east of Lambertville. Excellent food.

                                      1. re: rgfoodie

                                        My favorite restaurant in New Hope is at the Hotel Du' Village. It has amazing french food and a nice atmosphere. The ambviance is not modern/chic, but very classy without being stuffy or pretentious. It is a family run operation and the hostess/owner Barbara is one of the funniest and nicest women I have ever met. Her husband, who is the chef, creates amazing sweetbreads and each course outdoes the next. It is kind of off the beaten path, but you will definitely not regret it. I usually book a room, so I don't have to drive and can enjoy as much wine as I want.

                                    2. I live in Buckingham, and do most of my eating in Doylestown:
                                      Crossroads bakery is very good. They have great coffee also.
                                      Jules Pizza in Doylestown for a different kind of pizza- think fig jam with gorgonzola, rosemary and prosciutto.
                                      Ooka has very good sushi, and is always busy, so you can feel confident the fish is turned over frequently and is fresh.
                                      I had a great burger at the Knight House, looks like a nice place to eat (try the patio on a nice night).
                                      Mesquito Grill for wings and beer. Great wings, great beer selection, not the greatest service, but it is what it is.
                                      The thai restaurant in Doylestown on State St. (I forget the name) had a nice rendition of pad thai.
                                      Slate Bleu was ok on our one visit there, I think I expected more. A really good mussel soup though.
                                      We definitely need more good eats up here though...

                                      1. One of my favorite places to eat is Annabella's in Bristol, it's a cute little italian place (byob). Fritz's Bakery in Croyden - known for their cinnamon buns, they are to die for.

                                        1. We live in Upper Makefield and dine out often. We love Duck Sauce in Newtown (our favorite local place) and Siam in Lambertville, NJ. We just had dinner last Friday night at Martine's in New Hope and highly recommend it!! It was our first visit since they moved to their new location right on the river. What a surprise! Absolutely lovely setting and the food was very good.

                                          We've found Marsha Brown's to be hit or miss. Never have had good service there and it's way too loud, in my opinion.

                                          A new Jules Thin Crust is under construction in Newtown, so we're waiting for the grand opening--love the one in Doylestown.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: SandyF

                                            I agree on Ooka, Just Food and Jules, but has anyone else out there been to the new restaurant Honey in Doylestown yet? I went last week and was blown away. It was full on a Wednesday night. Excellent food and standout presentation. Every course was better than the last--dessert was a chocolate-chile creme brulee that I still can't stop thinking about.

                                            1. re: emcd

                                              I was at Honey a few Wednesday's ago, and was packed that night also. We had some good food- the calamari was very good, I had the tea smoked ribs with the ginger ice cream- they were also very good, although I'm not sure I quite got the ice cream accompaniment.
                                              My wife had the soft shell crabs- excellent.
                                              All in all, we are happy that D-town has a place like this (upscale, modern) and it looks like it's thriving.

                                              1. re: JCap

                                                I agree about Honey. We've eaten there twice, once as a couple and once with a larger party and everything, both times, was exceptional. The 12-hour pork belly with carmelized peaches and gorgonzola is a must on the small plates, as is the heirloom tomato salad while it's in season. On the large plates, I absolutely love the "meat and potatoes." We sampled it both visits ... the first version was a small filet with a potato I can't remember, short rib with honey mashed and a kobe tartare. The second time it was filet on frites, same short rib combo and a kobe slider on potato bread. Just fantastic flavors. The scallops and the softshells were also unbelievably good. My favorite dessert was the chocolate chili creme brulee, which I didn't think I'd like, but the slow heat of the chili after the semisweet of the chocolate was delicious.
                                                It's a great place to have nearby, I hope they do well.

                                                1. re: lsmutko

                                                  Can you please tell me where "Honey" is located in Doylestown?
                                                  Many thanks!

                                                  1. re: Franco American

                                                    42 Shewell Ave. Phone is 215-489-4200

                                                    1. re: Franco American

                                                      Many thanks, but don't know Shewell Ave.In Europe at the moment but would like to drop-in if I can find it? Was there another restuarant on that site?Where it in relationship to the Blue Slate or Jules Pizza.

                                                      1. re: Franco American

                                                        Starting at the Ag Works building where Slate Bleu is, the nearest intersection is Main and Ashland. Continue up Main, and Jules is on your left not too far away.Go up Main through the intersections at Oakland and then at State. The next intersection is at the courthouse. Shewell is the street to the left of main, but not hard left. Lily's is on the corner and Honey is a few doors down on the left. If you reach the firehouse, you've gone too far. I think the previous tenant was Pergola (?).

                                                        1. re: wandasue

                                                          Thanks for the directions (even though I wasn't the one who requested them). The last time we went to Cafe America we walked past Honey next door and were intrigued, but never followed up. I'm glad to know it's so good - we'll definitely try it!

                                                          1. re: wandasue

                                                            Many thanks!
                                                            Could not imagine where another restaurant could tuck itself into Doylestown.
                                                            Sadly I never ventured into Pergola...very foolish!
                                                            "Honey" sounds like a honey! Merci!

                                              2. has anyone been to "tara" in upper black eddy recently? heard the food was very good but have never been there.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: kelso

                                                  I can't believe someone actually mentioned Tara!! LOL

                                                  Tara may be one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. It has no web site, it doesn't advertise, it doesn't need to. The food is extraordinary and the service outstanding.

                                                  I encourage everyone and anyone to try Tara. Go now and sit outside. You will not be disappointed. Suggest you phone to check the hours as the owners often take vacations to Italy.

                                                  1. re: ambrose

                                                    I am not going to trash the place, but we ate there (okay, it was ten years ago) once and found it comically dated, pretentious, and mediocre. I know it's not fair to judge a place by one visit and so long ago, but I had to put my two cents in.

                                                    1. re: watercress

                                                      Has anyone been to Florentino's in Newtow?

                                                      1. re: jn0921

                                                        I've been there four times for lunch and twice for dinner. Lunch is a good deal as the food is very good with reasonable prices. They don't skimp on the portions either.

                                                        I'll never return for dinner, however. High prices, relatively small portions and the food was nothing special. The place was almost empty during lunch and packed both times during dinner.

                                                        Go figure.

                                                    2. re: ambrose

                                                      I used to love going to Tara. The food is truly extraordinary. Due to an unfortunate incident one evening though, on Valentine's Day when we were forced to wait for 2 hours with a reservation, and then asked to order from the bar before being seated, I expressed my dissatisfaction which is something the tempermental owner does not allow. I felt badly and even sent a formal letter of apology for getting upset. I had been there many times and spent thousands of dollars over many years, but none of that was remembered. If you go there, remember to "ooh and ahh' over everything, and never suggest for one second that everything is not absoutely perfect--or you will be sorry.

                                                      1. re: depai

                                                        I am curious now. What did the owner do? It seems like you had every right to voice a complaint. You should not apologize for speaking up. The owner sounds crazy.

                                                  2. Anton's at the Swan (upscale but pricey)

                                                    1. Augusto's in Warminster is great.

                                                      1. For takeout, Jaimie Hollander, right on the outskirts of New Hope. Really good dry aged beef. Last night, I brought home a rib eye, and after a few minutes in the cast iron pan, it was outstanding. Intensely beefy. They also were soaking slices of pecorino in a big jar of olive oil and citrus. I took home a few pieces to enjoy while my steak was cooking. Yummy. Not cheap, but they definitely have some good stuff. Eventually I'm going to try their house made sorbets and ice creams- strawberry balsamic was one of the interesting flavors I saw.

                                                        1. If you're looking for exceptional, or even very good, food, I do NOT recommend the Groveland Grille (on 611 north of Doylestown). We finally made it there-- there seemed to be a buzz about the place when they opened. Boy, is it nothing special. No decor (not that I care, if the food's good), ordinary food, semi-illiterate menu, I mean it just amazes me that people would be excited by the place! It just goes to show how desperate folks are for something that's not awful in an area that doesn't have many options.