Blue Point Grill Princeton - Incredible [moved from Elsewhere board]
I was prepared to not like this place, so we avoided it for the past few months.
It was my husband's birthday, and we had some good news, so we decided to come here. I purchased (and chilled) a half bottle of Veuve Cliquot as well as a bottle of a Lodi Zin to have with dinner.
Our server immediately opened the Veuve and asked whether we wanted the red opened (not yet). For a deuce, it was nice having the shelf next to us to put the candle, salt & pepper, extra glassware, bread, as the table was narrow. It really made it more comfortable.
We started with the lump crab atop tomatoes. These were divine. I used some of the breadcrusts (soft artisan white; not a baguette, more of a German or Irish styled bread) to sop up the flavoured oil.
Then a half dozen of the Cape May oysters (trying out the local fare): wow. These were saline, creamy, with a floral note. There were 8 varieties to choose from tonight, and of them, I had only tried 3-4 in the past. My husband, who considers oysters snot, liked one too (he's limited to trying one, considering his opinion of them). The cocktail sauce and mignonette were also good. I dipped my bread into the mignoette--it was a fruitier variety--possibly a raspberry vinagre--with a healthy dose of dill. So good.
Then the entrees. We had trouble deciding, and chose the duo of Icelandic Arctic Char+S. American Tilapia--grilled--plus crispy red snapper.
Char: excellent. Much like a mild salmon, without any bitterness. Not as firm as most places make it (overcooked). This place knows fish, and does it properly.
Tilapia: creamy, a little mushy, with that soothing flavour expected and done perfectly. I like tilapia because it has the flavour of catfish without the bones.
Red snapper: wow. this one had crispy fins and tail (yes, I eat those parts until it gets boney) with a tender, slightly mushed texture, but again, perfect.
We had fries and garlic mashed potatoes on the side; avoid the fries, as they're nothing special (nothing wrong with them, just nothing special) and my husband liked the mash.
We ended with the creme caramel (real vanilla beans!) and a decaf espresso which was also perfect.
We left happy and content. The food was served perfectly done, the service relaxed but prompt when we needed bottles opened or glasses removed.
We were there roughly 2 hours for an incredible meal.
2 for dinner, $93 with tax before tip.
Knowing that there might be a wait, we called ahead (just in case, considering their call-back service for waits; no reservations). By the time we left (8:15), there was a line out the door.
I now understand and appreciate this place.
Blue Point Grill
258 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542
The reason I was prepared to not like it was simply that there are so many places in Princeton which people adore, and which we've found to be utter crap. When we first moved here, we were literally going door to door to each of the restaurants to check out how things were, and it was bad. That said, some of our new favourites have been the places we had avoided. At this point, there are at most a handful of restaurants in downtown Princeton we havn't yet gone to. Considering our recent luck, we plan to try all of the remaining places. :)
Great review. We love BPG and go often!
Next time, try the grilled whole bronzini. You have to fillet it yourself, but that's what I like the most! Takes me back to many great dinners on the mediterranean. Also try the sweet potato fries - a new addition.
Here's a thread with more on BPG and its ultra fresh fish! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/547267
I still enjoy Blue Point Grill, but I do think that it was better 4-5 years ago when I first went there. Regardless, we'll stop in there at least once over the summer, and sit outside for a nice dinner! Last time we had dinner there, we sat next to a table that was drinking a '97 Insignia. YUM! Nice review, and somewhere we might have to visit on a Friday night since it is the season of Lent. -mJ