Palate in Newtown
New BYOB. New American. Chef/partner has worked at Blue Bottle Inn in Hopewell, NJ and Ryland Inn. Had a wonderful meal after they were open just one week. Lovely Fois Gras app for me, nice salads and apps for everyone else. Salmon entree was excellent. Pork duet included tenderloin and belly (which, somehow, was not rediculously fatty) and scallops, which were also excellent. Cheese plate was relatively simple, but very nice. Prices were all very reasonable and service was attentive, pleasant, and knowledgable. Desserts were also really good. I'm highly recommending this place to chowhounds, but don't tell
TOO many people, because soon you won't be able to get a reservation.
Blue Bottle Cafe
101 E Broad St, Hopewell, NJ 08525
Heard about this place - so since we go to Newtown often we checked it out. The window menu really turned me off. Nothing I would want to eat. So, since I have not eaten here I can not comment on the food - just that a sidewalk cruise by to look at the menu ensures I won' t be eating here.
Not sure if this place deserves 3 stars. If we lived in or close to Newtown, we would certainly give it another try. As it is, it is not worth a 20 minute drive unless we are in the area or dining with friends who want to go there.
First off, the service was quite good and the prices were reasonable for the quality. Having a very good PA Liquor Store a short walk away is a great plus for a BYO. The lighting needed to be dimmed.
The menu looked interesting, but only some of our choices lived up to our expectations. The tuna crudo appetizer was good quality, but I did not care for the presentation. It was served in odd, thick, rectangular cut pieces. The Thai broth was ordinary and a little bland. I couldn't tell if our other appetizer, Crab Rangoon was made from scratch or with prepared wontons, but they were totally greaseless and tasted better than potstickers, so I suppose they were homemade. The filling and apple viniagrette puree were delicious.
Of our 2 entrees, the bronzino wrapped in speck was better, although, I prefer bronzino sauteed. This must have been roasted which doesn't bring out the delicate flavor of bronzino, so, the speck dominated. The dish could have used a starch. As it was, the main side was little roasted onions. They called them cipollinis, but the shape looked like pearl onions to me. They tasted good but nothing special.
The other entree, turbot with homemade lemon tagliatelli was disappointing. The fish was nicely sauteed, but too heavily salted and the homemade tagliatelli had been pulled out of the pot too soon. It was cooked only to just short of crunchy.
We found the appetizers to be smaller than average and the entrees to be ample, to the point that we were too full for dessert. They do not offer espresso, which is a minus in a restaurant with a sophisticated menu. The coffee had good flavor but was too weak. If you are a serious coffee drinker, head down the street to Starbucks.