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Help with dinner in New Hope/Lambertville!

  • j

Going to New Hope B and B ( Inn at Bowman's Hill) for 2 nights for our anniversary in early March. We have been to Esca, Inn at Phillips Mill and Hamilton's Grill Room. We are going to try Marsha Brown's despite some occasional negative reviews since we like steakhouses but need recommendations for our first night. I've narrowed it down to Tastebuds in New Hope or Manon, No.9, or Lily's on the Canal in Lambertville. Any advice to help me choose one of these would be greatly appreciated. I would like to have two great dining experiences hopefully on our trip. Thanks!

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  1. I haven't been to Lily's in a few years, but I've always had great experiences there. It's also a lovely spot.

    1. I had a great country French meal at the Hotel du Village in New Hope.

      However, if I were to pick from your list, I'd go to Lambertville. New Hope is soooooo commerical now, it's ridiculous. Lambertville being a little less so...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pesel

        I'd go to Manon, because it's such a cozy spot. The food's decent, too. Good anniversary atmosphere if you like cozy storefront (which I do)

      2. One more place to consider in Lambertville is Anton's at the Swan. Interesting menu and nice wine list.

        6 Replies
        1. re: cwdonald

          I just read a very nice review of Anton's and it is at the top our list to try next time we are up that way. What would you suggest as a can't miss when we go?

          1. re: crazyspice

            Just looking primarily for attentive service and well prepared dishes with a reasonable number of menu choices. My only concern about Manon or No. 9 is that they are reportedly pretty small and I don't like to be squeezed in. This may not be a problem on a Wednesday in early March, however.

            1. re: jerrp

              We did not like No. 9 at all. The service was SO bad the day we went, we walked out. The restaurant was not crowded when we were there.

              1. re: crazyspice

                We were there with another couple on a Saturday night recently. It was crowded. The service and the food were both excellent. It was my first time there and I would definitely go back.

                1. re: crazyspice

                  Just out of curiosity, what made the service so bad that you had to leave? -mJ

              2. re: crazyspice

                I personally like the lamb there. Since the demise of Evermay and Deux Cheminee this is about the best lamb I have found in the area.

            2. 15 minutes from Lambertville is Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell which is IMO the best in the area by far. Do a search and you will see many glowing reports.

              1. Lily's is best for lunch. They make an excellent burger and tuna melt. No. 9 is fantastic! What it lakes in ambiance, it more than makes up for with the food. Manon is small and quite good, but not a standout in my opinion. Sergeantsville Inn is about a 15 minute drive from Lambertville and it is very romantic (warm, cozy, big fireplace) and the food is excellent. The tomato bisque is to die for. That would be my first choice, but No. 9 would be second on my list (they make a great pork chop).

                1 Reply
                1. re: 2greyrooms

                  I second the recommendation for the Sergeantsville Inn. Someone on this board recommended it to us last summer and we loved it. Nice atmosphere without the pretentiousness you may encounter elsewhere.

                  For the record: I've been to No. 9 twice -- the first time, it was great; the second, not so much. The signature dish is the braised shortribs, and I was really looking forward to them the second time around. They had one order left, so I let my husband have it. The funny thing about this was, it was 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night. There were only two other tables seated. -- how do you run out of your specialty? Strike one. So I ordered a stuffed mushroom appetizer, which came drenched in a funky, and I do mean, funky cheese. My stomach wasn't the same for two days. Strike two.

                  Seems to me, based on the other posts, this place is just too inconsistent to consider, and since you only have limited dining opportunities, don't waste your time. Go with one of the other recommendations here, or take a nice drive out to Sergeantsville. That should make you happy. We had dinner at the bar and it was the nicest experience of our trip.

                2. All of the places you listed are good . Lily's has a lively funky vibe and is consistently good. Manon has a neat rustic french bistro atmosphere and has good french food. I really like the food at NO.9 ,but atmosphere is not as nice as the other 2. If you do go to Lambertville I would definitely go to the boathouse bar in the courtyard where Hamilton's grill is. It is a quaint little bar with after dinner type drinks (fine scotches ,wines etc.) and is a special romantic place.

                  1. Another vote for Tastebuds. Relaxed atmosphere, wonderful food, friendly people. We go there for our romantic dinners - Valentine's, birthdays, etc. You are never rushed and the food is always wonderful. We bring a couple bottles of wine and take our time. Do save room for dessert!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: caitlinhc

                      Tastebuds is definitely somewhere I am dying to try. Maybe we'll give it a shot on Valentine's Day this year. -mJ

                        1. re: KathyH

                          I'll definitely report back if we go...and put something on our blog. -mJ

                    2. The Black Bass Hotel is back, and better than ever. Here's my review of our recent dinner (scroll to end). Couldn't think of a better place for a great anniversary dining experience in the New Hope area. Congratulations and enjoy your weekend!

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/480289

                      http://www.blackbasshotel.com/