Looking for a good lunch in Princeton
My (Bucks County) husband and his busy (Connecticut) daughter, neither of whom live in the Princeton area, are meeting in the middle there at the end of July for a hopefully nice lunch to spend a little time together. I rely heavily on Chowhound, so I thought I'd help them by asking for your help, hounds. Thank you! Price, since this is a rare occurance, is not much of a factor (though if there's a non-expensive good place, so much the better). Both are very eclectic and open in their preferences.
The Ferry House on Witherspoon might be a nice choice for American eclectic fare. It's generally quiet atmosphere would be conducive to conversation. Witherspoon Grill is a newer place with the focus on steaks. I've been there for dinner but not for lunch. Food was good, place is a bit noisy, but that was during the early evening. Also, for seafood is Blue Point on Nassau St. Great seafood, comfortable, and great service...or, at least that was my last experience there about 2 months ago...............
I think Mediterra is a nice place for a relaxing lunch. The food is pretty good, or at least has been the few times I have had lunch there. Some friends went for dinner a few months ago and really enjoyed their meal (first visit there).
It's in downtown Princeton; off of Palmer Square.
I don't care for Mediterra any more -- too inconsistent, but I am fond of Tre Piani. Owner/Chef is also Central NJ Convivium Leader of Slow Food, and he does a great job of letting the food speak for itself. Uses a lot of fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant is airy and service is spot on.
Skip all that and have them meet at Conte's on Witherspoon st. for a great thin crust pizza. It's a big open old school bar room, last decorated in the 50's (maybe the 30's).
Have them order the salads ( Iceburg lettuce, onions, pink green house tomato) with blue cheese on the side. Order a large sausage and mushroom. Pitcher of soda. They will have fun!
Then they can go park downtown and get some ice cream and walk around a bit.
I'm a chowhound who has been living in downtown Princeton for a number of years. My two top recommendations would be The Ferry House or Witherspoon Grill. Both are wonderful for lunch or dinner. Tre Piani is also good, but requires a short drive out to Rt. 1 since it is not in town.
Blue Point Grill is closed for lunch, but otherwise awesome.
Meditera certainly looks inviting, but I've had some surprisingly inconsistent and poorly prepared meals here so I don't go anymore.
Contes - I will continue to try...but after having the pizza dozens of times, I continue to be left wondering what all the fuss is about. It's mediocre to me and the atmosphere resembles a cross between your grandmothers house and an old military mess tent. I much prefer Old World Pizza (or Iano's or Massimos or Pizza Star).
The biggest standout in Princeton is The Bent Spoon, on Palmer Square. Dessert only unfortunatly. It's an 'artisinal ice cream' store, and makes some of the best Sorbet's and Ice Cream's around. Easily on par, or better, then il laboratorio del gelato or Otto in NYC.