Dinner in Bordentown, NJ - any recommendations?
My vote also goes to Oliver a bistro. I find the Artful Diner's reviews to be all over the map (his writing has been described as "cringe worthy" on another board) so here's another point of view for you to read. This reviewer gives the restaurant a 'Very Good' for both food and service.
there is toscana on farnsworth ave. fine dining contemporary italian, in my experience it is hit or miss, avoid jesters and anything other then the bar menu at farnsworth house. allstarz puts together a pretty good plate a far cry from the typical "sports bar" under the moon also has some wonderful highpoints, all the breakable items make me a little nervous but it is byob.
What happened to the Farnsworth House? It was excellent back in the early nineties and then about ten years or so ago my wife, son and I went there for dinner and had a really bad meal. There was virtually no one there and our waitress disappeared for what seemed like a half hour after taking our order. We were about to get up and leave when she finally reappeared with our food, that was of course ice cold and had to be sent back. I wanted to just leave but the wife didn’t want to make a scene, so we ate our microwaved entrees and skipped dessert and coffee. Needless to say I left our Houdini waitress a very generous tip. On the way out I asked the bartender, who looked to be about 18, if I could speak to the Manager. To my astonishment, he said that he was the Manager. I told him about our disappointing meal and he just shrugged, so we just left and haven’t been back since then. Do you know if they changed hands or management back around 95 or so? I seem to recall that when it was good, it was run by a couple of middle aged guys who appeared to be of Turkish or similar descent. Maybe they retired and turned it over to one of their kids or something.
Our experience at Farnsworth House has been similar but not so drastic. The food in recent years is not bad, just OK, and somewhat boring. I believe it is still run by the 3 Turkish brothers, who took it over and added the second floor in the mid 1990s. The also own the Collins House in Merchantville.
I haven't dinner in Bordentown in a while, and most of the places I've known have been suggested. I don't know if it's still there but the River Mill Inn is Spanish-Portuguese food. I liked it. It's not as good as Malaga in Trenton, but I thought it was a lot of fun. The service was good as well the two times I've been there, and we got complimentary liqueur after the meal. Lots of sizzling meat, bread, olives, potatoes. I dunno if it's a great restaurant, but it was a really fun experience.
Oliver a Bistro is good, we had a nice meal there a couple of months ago. If your in the mood for something very eclectic, fun and delicious go to UNDER THE MOON also on Farnsworth just up the block from Oliver.
Under The Moon is very casual, its run by a couple (Luigi and Estella) who change the menu daily based on what they find and what they feel like making.
Its billed as Argentinian cuisine but is really a blend of cuisines from around the world. On a recent visit my wife had an awesome homemade eggplant parm. while I had chicken tikka masala and a friend had a rare chunk of tuna over mashed potatoes and veggies.
Now that is varied cuisine but all very good.
Very casual, the tables and chairs you sit on may be sold at any time as the restaurant is also an antiques store.
Great fun and it is BYO.
For pizza, try Palermo's on 206 almost in Hamilton. They had a nice paragraph in the NYTimes recently in an article on the NJ Turnpike. http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/travel/escapes/28turnpike.html?ref=escapes
Under the Moon – excellent Argentinean “home cooked” food, 316 Farnsworth Ave
Tsukasa – Japanese: good sushi, sashimi and tempura, 1 & 1/2 Crosswicks St
Sports Bar – Chickie’s and Pete’s: a Philadelphia institution. Good pizza, crabs, and mussels. http://www.chickiesandpetes.com/page/page/790062.htm
River Mill - Portuguese On Farnsworth between 130 and 206. Beautiful room and bar, friendly service, but the food is uneven. We have had several very good clam appetizers, and some good entrees. The last time we were there the lobster in the Paella was inedible. We weren't charged, but it was disappointing. Definitely Hit or Miss, but we haven't given up on them yet.
Toscano is fine. See our take here http://www.chowhound.com/topics/496638
Skip the Town and Country Diner, Wisdom Diner, Jesters. Many rave about Mastoris: very large portions, OK food, it does little for me.
I can't say enough great things about Under the Moon and Oliver - A Bistro. These are hands down Bordentown City's best restaurants, and both are BYOB. That is an added bonus!
I still think that Farnsworth House serves a good meal, and they hands down have the best steaks in town. They also have a great, and very cheap bar menu.
Next I would rank Toscano. Best Italian in town in my opinion.
Marcello's is good for the deck factor and outside seating which is an added bonus. Jester's is the hangout for all of us townies, and the food is good. We usually eat at the bar, and the "bar food" is good. The owner Mike Scotto is a great guy, and we love Bob the bartender! Pasqualle is now the head chef and has brought some good freshness to Jester's.
If you want bar food in town, then The Heart of Bordentown (Hob) is the place to go.
Tsukasa is newer to town, and has great sushi and tempura, and is afford, and BYOB as well!
Other than that, the only other restaurant in the city is the Park Street Cafe, which is good for breakfast and lunch. It's your typical breakfast and lunch place, but I think they are open for dinner on Wednesday nights maybe?
If you're in a hurry and need a quick cheesesteak or hoagie to go, check out Torp's Deli on Farnsowrth Avenue. They make a damn good cheesesteak!
Reviews of these and others at: http://jerseyfoodies.blogspot.com/ -mJ