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Nov 15, 2007 05:09 PM


Hi everyone! I want a really great place to have my birthday dinner with some friends... Need a Sunday reservation though, and it seems like all of the good BYO's take Sunday off... We will travel up to 45 minutes outside of Princeton. I guess I need to book it pretty soon though, I am looking for December 2nd...

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  1. Orvieto's in Flemington - great food -byo
    Nonna's- in Raritan - Italian - byo
    Settebello - in Morristown
    Hamilton Grill - Lambertville

    1 Reply
    1. re: jt11647

      hamilton grill is a solid rec...

    2. I just had dinner at No. 9 on Klines Court in Lambertville and it was great. The antipasto was fantastic and I had the best pork chop I had ever tasted. Big, tender and juicy. My wife had Escolar, which you don't see much, which came with a tasty risotto.
      She loved it. The short ribs are fantastic too.
      I'd have everyone meet at the Boathouse Pub, off of Coryell St. for a drink first and walk down the path to No. 9. If you haven't been to the Boathouse I think your guests would get a kick out of it. It's a cozy 2 story "house" with a very eclectic style. It's so unique. BTW, I think it might be cash only. It is directly across from Hamilton Grill, which is pretty good, but I prefer no. 9.
      A little closer for you is the Blue Bottle and Brothers Moon in Hopewell. I like them both, but can't swear they are open on Sunday.

      1. It would help to know how many will be in your party and what kind of experience you are looking for. Some people want a TGIF type place and others are looking for something more upscale. Let us know and we'll try to help.

        I can tell you that the Blue Bottle in Hopewell is closed on Sunday but The Brothers Moon just down the street is open. It's a great little BYO but I think it closes around 8 PM (a lot of restaurants close early on Sunday night).

        If you're willing to drive all the way to Flemington, consider Matt's Red Rooster Grill or Fusion on Main. Both are BYOs and both are very good (and they're open on Sunday). I haven't been to Orvieto for years, mainly because I was never impressed with the food.

        There was a thread some months ago about the best BYOs in Lambertville so you might search for that. I'm afraid I don't know which ones are open on Sunday.

        You might also check out The Main Street Bistro in Somerville. I had a wonderful meal there about two weeks ago. Their web site says they are closed on Sunday but I'm pretty sure this is no longer correct. Give them a call.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ambrose

          Just a thought...

          Our favorite BYO in Lambertville is Manon. However, the restaurant is fairly small so it would work only if your group is small. Here's a recent review from the Star-Ledger. Oh, yes, it is open on Sundays.

        2. Not sure if you are interested in Mexican laid back atmosphere, but my all-time favorite BYO is El Meson in Freehold.

          2 Replies
            1. re: FoodDoc

              I wholeheartedly second FoodDoc's recommendation of Drew's. I would also consider non-BYO's and inquire about corkage fees. For example, during the summer I brought a bottle to One54 in Rocky Hill nd for a very reasonable fee (I don't recall the sum), enjoyed one of my favorite bottles of wine. The food by the way was fantastic and recommend you give it a try as it not too far away from you.

          1. Drew's is pretty far and is pretty small. If it's a lot of people, then you will be disturbing the other diners. I recommend LouCas in Edison on Rt. 27 and Parsonage Rd.

            8 Replies
            1. re: njeggy1

              I wouldn't rule out Drew's if size is a concern. I would call Drew and see what he thinks. I'm sure they should be able to handle your party.

              1. re: njeggy1

                I've been waiting for chance to post my recent experience at LouCas. I was there for an early dinner with my wife and mother, and my wife ordered a veal chop medium rare. It came out between medium and well. We called the waiter over who seemed unsure about what to do, but took the plate away. A minute or two later, an older woman--obviously the owner, although she never introduced herself, came over, and started defending the preparation of the chop. She then took my wife's knife out from under her, cut off a slice, and held it up, saying that it was medium rare because . . . She was loud, obnoxious, and her behavior was unprofessional and unacceptable. I don't believe that a restaurant should ever blame the customer when the kitchen gets it wrong, and that is exactly what she was doing. I would never recommend LouCas on this board or any other.

                1. re: albinoni

                  albinoni - I would take it a step further. This kind of behavior isn't acceptable EVEN if the kitchen wasn't wrong. As far as I'm concerned, the customer is always right and the owner should have taken the dish away and replaced it with one to your wife's liking. Establishments like this should not be rewarded with our patronage.

                  1. re: albinoni

                    I had the exact same experience with Danny from Danny's in Red Bank. I ordered a filet mignon medium rare and it came out medium well. Danny pointed out that the center bite was cooked perfectly!

                    1. re: fershore

                      I would have then sugggested that Danny take a cooking class on the degree of doneness of meat. :-} I can never understand why an owner would risk, actually, insure losing a patron over something so foolish.

                    2. re: albinoni

                      That really was outrageous behavior! The very fact that this person picked up and handled your wife's eating utensils is just plain obnoxious and unsanitary .
                      I hope you didn't get intimidated into paying for her entree.

                      1. re: Tay


                        We paid for everything. I didn't want to make the scene any uglier, since my mother, who is disabled, was with us. I think the best way of dealing with a situation such as a confrontational owner or manager is to post on boards such as Chowhound or Roadfood. The adverse publicity will not deter the restaurant's regulars who do not read Chowhound, of which I am sure there are many, but it will eventually make its way out and encourage potential new customers (and old ones who get wind of what kind of experience they too might one day expect at LouCas) to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere.

                        1. re: albinoni

                          albinoni - I would dispute the charge for the meal with my credit card company.