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Oct 20, 2009 12:03 PM

Dennis Foy - Lawrenceville Inn? Anyone been there?

We were fans of Dennis Foy's in Pt. Pleasant Beach and were very disappointed when it closed. I heard from a friend that he and his wife have opened at the Lawrenceville Inn and had a nice opening weekend. Just wondering if anyone's been there and if the menu is anything like the Pt. Pleasant Beach one? I couldn't find a website.

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  1. Dennis Foy is old school. His place in Manasquan was only open a month and that is where all his customers are from. If the didnt drive to Manasqaun, why does he think he will do good in Lawerenceville?

    13 Replies
    1. re: NJDolfan

      Have any of his restaurants remained open successfully? His NYC place is closed as is the Bistro in Manasquan.

      1. re: bfl13

        I can't speak to the Bistro in Manasquan because I never ate there. The NYC place closing, in my opinion, was a combination of 2 things - the location was not the greatest and, like a whole lot of other restaurants, not just in NYC, but all over the country, the economic conditions. Having eaten in most of the BYOs in the Lawrenceville/Princeton/Hopewell area, I think he'd fit in pretty well and it looks like his pricing is also pretty good for the area. Have you eaten there or are you relying on the opinions of others?

        1. re: bucksguy14

          Sorry he has an old following from Bay Head area. He cant succeed in NYC, and the following didnt follow him 1 mile north to Manasquan.
          Time for him to turn in the apron for the paint brush.

          1. re: NJDolfan

            Actually in the early 90s he ran Townsquare in Chatham for over 5 years. It was actually a destination place that we traveled from Monmouth County to get to. Was never able to figure out what his seemingly schizophrenic dabbling down at the shore was supposed to be about...

            1. re: equal_Mark

              And before that, the legendary Tarragon Tree. Hard to believe that it's 35 years since the Tree opened!

            2. re: NJDolfan

              I still don't understand where you're coming from! What is it about his restaurant, or cooking, or whatever that you consider "old school"?

              1. re: bucksguy14

                I don't know about "old school", but I was just curious how a chef could have such a great reputation when so many of his restaurant projects have closed the doors.

                1. re: bfl13

                  Toni Froio still has a reputation, though as far as I know she's not done much of note since she left Farmingdale House like 15 or 20 years ago...

                  1. re: equal_Mark

                    Toni works for Brandl once a month for a "night with Toni"
                    She also had worked at I Cavelini in Colts Neck a few years ago.

                    1. re: kingsurf

                      I don't understand the problem.
                      Both things NJDolfan said were true.
                      Toni cooks at Brandl once a month, and at one time, 'was' at I Cavelini.
                      I thought Nancy Rios owned Casa Solar.

                      1. re: rickster71

                        Rickster, you are correct about Nancy.
                        were you on her black list too?

                      2. re: NJDolfan

                        Must be the one night a month they cut the portions in half...

          2. My husband and I had dinner with some friends at the Lawrenceville Inn this past Saturday. The food was very good. Highlights included butternut squash soup, fettucini carbonara, grilled veal chop, salmon, apple tart and chocolate mousse. Portions of some of the dishes (like the salmon and scallops) were on the small side and my husband left the restaurant still feeling hungry. Two of the four rooms were open-one of the rooms shared space with the kitchen so you were basically eating a few feet away from the chef and kitchen staff. I prefered the other room away from the kitchen. The service was spotty. Our waitress was not as familiar with the menu as she should have been and had a hard time answering questions. We also had to request things like silverware, water and milk for the coffee several times before we actually got them. On the up side, we were there for almost 3 hours and never felt rushed. One final thought...the restaurant had only been open a week and I was surprised that no one such as the chef/owner/manager came over to greet us, see how our food was, etc. In fact, while going to the bathroom I slipped on the wet/slippery floor in front of the entire kichen staff and not a single person came to my aid or asked if I was ok. Not the best way to build a clientale.

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. I am very surprised that Dennis Foy and Estella are opening another restaurant after spectacle of their Manasquan bistro. I ate at Beach Monkey Bistro once. The food was mediocre, which is unacceptable given the high prices, ($7.00 for an omlette that made my plate look like a continent!) the service was terrible- it seemed like the staff had no training, and from the open kitchen I could hear Dennis Foy himself cursing away at his staff and grumbling about the customers.

                I wonder if this place will last a month, too.

                2 Replies
                1. Couple of questions, since I'm interested in Princeton area BYOs. Are they open for lunches? And, what did you have to eat?

                  1. re: RAGHOUND

                    They're supposed to start serving lunch today. I

                2. You tell me: they were out of 3 of the 5 menu entrees and it took an hour to get served while Mrs. Foy lectured the 2 wait staff on customer service. Believe me, they weren't that busy.

                  A bit pricey, which is too bad, since I had high hopes. Suggest you walk around the corner to Vidalia, where I always have great food and a good time, or drive to Leonardo's (used to be Lamberti's) on Business Rte. 1 and Whitehead Rd., where food is spectacular and prices unnecessarily low.