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Dinner Rec in Lambertville?

  • j

My husband and I have not been to Lambertville in at least several years but are planning to go
in two weeks. I am not up to date on the Lambertville restaurant scene - where would you recommend for a good dinner in an atmosphere where conversation is possible? Thanks

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  1. Don't know what you like, but we went to a Mexican restaurant named Buho recently that was pretty good. Quiet, good service, good food, and reasonable. Right off the main drag that goes over the bridge. I don't get to Lambertville that much so that is all I know. Probably not the place if this is a special occasion

    3 Replies
    1. re: Abner Kravitz

      Didn't the prices seem pretty high at Buho's?

      1. re: glutton

        Around $120 for 4 after tip. We ate a lot of stuff, so it seemed pretty reasonable

        1. re: Abner Kravitz

          Given what they serve, that seems pretty steep to me. Then again, I have a Californian's perspective on quality and price for mexican food, which rarely means I approve of the NJ mexican dining scene.

    2. I would recommend No. 9, especially if you like short ribs. We had recent visits to both Manon and Hamilton Grill Room, which we both love, however, we were both disappointed with our latest visits. Kind of depessing in all actuality, and maybe we just caught them both on bad nights, I don't know.

      But at either, I ordered steaks, and I was disappointed in both of them. At Manon, for the first time ever, the menu seemed uninteresting to me,so I ended up ordering a filet. At Hamilton Grill Room, I ordered a strip steak, and the flavors from the grill were wonderful, but the cut of meat was very disappointing.

      We actually went to Lambertville yesterday, and opted to do lunch in New Hope for a change instead. We hit Marsha Browns for the first time, even after reading terrible reviews, and minus the price of the cocktails, I was pleasantly surprised. Heck of a great lunch, and great service at the bar! Cheers! -mJ

      5 Replies
      1. re: njfoodies

        It pains me to say this but the dining scene in Lambertville has been slowly eroding the past 10 years or so. Hamilton Grill Room has been living off its reputation for some time.
        Number 9 was always a favorite but the menu has not changed since it opened. Deanna's is so inconsistent etc etc

        I think the best meals in town are Marharba and the Thai place on North Union.

        1. re: tom246

          Several weeks back my girlfriend and I had a good meal at Rick's. The decor is certainly not fancy, with simple wood paneled walls, but the food was tasty and reasonably priced. Also, it is a small enough restaurant where good conversation should be possible. Be sure to check out the daily specials before deciding.

          Also had a few decent lunches at the Lambertville Station restaurant recently. Have not been there for dinner yet, but the food (for lunch anyway) was pretty good.

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          Lambertville Station Restaurant
          11 Bridge Street, Lambertviile, NJ 08530

          1. re: tom246

            I have to agree with you on No. 9 tom246, but sadly, the only thing I have ever had there have been the short ribs. LOL! I know that diversity is good, but I just cannot go there and not order them! So good!

            Deanna's was a huge disappointment when we were there over the Shad Fest, and I can't see going back. Friends had warned us that it had gone down hill, but we had to give it a whirl. Took that one off the list.

            So for now, I think that Tastebuds is still the best bet in that area for dinner, even though it's across the river on the other side. Our lunch at Marsha Browns was great too though! -mJ

            1. re: njfoodies

              Why do you think Tastebuds is so under the radar? The location? I've been dying to try it, but it's hard to find anything out about it.... Menu looks good though...

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              Tastebuds
              6774 US Highway 9, Howell, NJ 07731

              1. re: Heatherb

                I wish I knew really. Such a great place, and I am sorry to say that we haven't been there since Valentine's Day this year (2010). Yikes! Definitely need to make time to get back as our dinner was pretty awesome. -mJ

        2. As mentioned above No. 9 is a great choice and it is a byo, so you get to save a few bucks.

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          No. 9 Restaurant
          9 Kline's Court, Lambertville, NJ

          1. I suggest you consider Anton's at the Swan. It should satisfy both your requirements and you may find parking a little easier than in other parts of town.

            http://www.antons-at-the-swan.com/

            I do like the food at Marhaba's but I don't think of it as a destination for dinner. It can also be rather noisy when it's busy.

            21 Replies
            1. re: ambrose

              These suggestions (as well as the warnings!) are very helpful. Thank you.

              1. re: ambrose

                Yes Anton's is another great choice and if you are looking for a cozy little bar they simply can not be beat.

                1. re: JerzeyShore

                  Coundn't agree more! Love sitting in front of the giant window by the fireplace on a snowy day! Reminds me of the window in their apartment they had on Friends. -mJ

                  1. re: njfoodies

                    I'll gladly join the chorus in support of Anton's!

                    Anton's ambiance, just off the beaten path location, great cocktails and dependable cuisine puts it at the very top of our list. Our review from earlier this year:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7025...

                    1. re: Foody4life

                      Count me in as a fan of Anton's too. And I LOVE the bar!

                      1. re: flourgirl

                        Odd coincidence. We met out of town friends half way at the Lambertville Train Station for lunch. VAried menu, very nice service,quiet, nice ambience. On one hand I was impressed by the way the lobster roll was served, in two small authentic type buns, for $15.99. On the other, the taste just did not scream fresh fresh Maine flavor, even though the recipe was quite good, and large chunks of lobster were visible. don't know what this would be like for dinner, but a nice spot for lunch.

                        1. re: Bashful3

                          I think that I am in the minority here as I have never been impressed with the food at Lambertville Station. I do however love the ambiance in their new wine bar downstairs, and the new homemade chocolate creations can be very tasty as well. -mJ

                          1. re: njfoodies

                            I've never been overly impressed either - but that said, I do go there for lunch occasionally. Sitting at a table overlooking the canal is very pleasant and some of the food is pretty decent.

                            1. re: flourgirl

                              Went to both Lambertviile Sta (lunch) and No 9 (dinner) recently and would not go back to No 9. Food was OK and atmosphere was pretty nothing. Service at both was not good.
                              Another couple of suggestions, near Lambertville but not in the town would be Frenchtown Inn or the Black Bass. Nicer rooms, better food, more professional service IMHO.

                              -----
                              Frenchtown Inn
                              7 Bridge St, Frenchtown, NJ 08825

                              No 9 Restaurant
                              9 Klines Ct, Lambertville, NJ 08530

                              1. re: foodyum

                                I had lunch and dinner at the Black Bass a few months back and both times it was very good. I've always loved that place and I'm so glad it re-opened.

                                I've personally never had a problem with the service at the Station. My mom likes it there, so we go once in a while and it makes her happy. If the food was terrible I wouldn't do it, but it's OK.

                                1. re: flourgirl

                                  Haven't been to the Black Bass since it reopened, but will have to add it back to the list. Their crab something or other on the menu was to die for way back when! It's just too bad that Jack isn't there playing piano anymore! -mJ

                                  1. re: njfoodies

                                    That'd be the Charleston Meeting House crab. Still on the menu and the same ultra richness with huge lumps of sweet crab. Also the crawfish ap is still available as a "special" on the three occasions we've been back since the reopening. The renovation is beyond outstanding. Do yourself a favor and visit on a weeknight when dining can be sublime!

                                    1. re: Foody4life

                                      That crab dish is soooo good!!!! I made sure to order it after reading about here on CH.

                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                        Awesome dish indeed! Can't wait to have it again!

                                      2. re: Foody4life

                                        Was just at the BB two weeks ago for lunch on a Sat. We sat outside, and the weather was perfect. Had the Charleston Meeting House crab, and it is excellent. IMO, this place is all about the atmosphere, and the food is secondary. I think you're fine if you stick to the basics there. Service is good, but a bit amateurish,, if that;s even a word. For example, three of us split 2 spinach salads. We explained to the waitress that we would be sharing. Instead of splitting the two salads in the kitchen, she brought out an extra plate, leaving us to do the splitting at the table. (also the salad advertised it had goat cheese, and both salads had an absolutely minuscule amount of cheese on them).
                                        It is a very charming place, and I heard the burgers are great there as well.

                                        1. re: mschow

                                          I've never dined outside there, but that definitely sounds nice! We used to love going there in the winter for dinner and looking at the cold snow outside. Just seemed like a great place, and gave you that feel that you were out in the middle of nowhere...which you kind of are! LOL! Hope to go next weekend maybe! Cheers! -mJ

                                          1. re: mschow

                                            Agree on your amateurish service description. The Black Bass has a jekyll and hyde personality! Weeknights, quiet, tranquil ambiance, professional staff and service. Weekends, packed to the gills inside and out and the extra staff added are not pro's, merely order takers and runners. My recommendation is if at all possible, avoid Friday & Saturday nights here.

                                2. re: njfoodies

                                  I'm in agreement with njfoodies on Lambertville Station. It's pedestrian food, executed inconsistently.

                      2. re: ambrose

                        I really liked the setting in the bar at Anton's, but I have to say that the food was thoroughly uninspired. Both of our entrees were mediocre. I may as well have been eating at a Holiday Inn restaurant in Peoria, Illinois. Boring steamed vegetables (not even in season), lame rice, and nothing much else to speak of.

                        In contrast, we've had very nice meals at Hamilton's Grill Room. The setting is nice, the service can be a bit unprofessional, but it's always attentive. The food is well executed, especially if you order grilled items. I haven't found their desserts to be all that great, though.

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                        Hamilton's Grill Room
                        8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530

                        1. re: glutton

                          The key with Lambertville and New Hope dining is that your description of "pedestrian food, inconsistently executed" is spot on. Could be applied to 99.5% of what's been served in both locations for a long time.

                          Rarely are we wowed by any fare in either town. However, we still continue to dine there due to the river setting and for a change of pace.

                          Our dining decisions are now based on mood and atmosphere versus culinary excellence. Hence our preference for Anton's, Black Bass, Hamilton Grill Room (tho I'll go kicking and screaming due to a lot of dud meals there), etc.

                          Hope the OP has an enjoyable evening wherever they dine.

                          1. re: Foody4life

                            +1 for sure. At one time The Ferry House (since moved to Princeton), Manon, Anton's HGR etc were innovative and fresh.
                            Time has seemed to left them behind, not that they are bad in any way. If the formula works and people are happy, stick with it :)

                            -----
                            Ferry House
                            32 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542

                      3. While the ambience of Anton's is lovely, the past two times we have eaten there the food was just so-so. When I order a chicken dish that does not specify "confit" I don't expect my dinner to consist of a tiny drumstick and a thigh that looked like it came from a cornish game hen.

                        While not fancy at all, we enjoy Inn of the Hawke. There is a nice alcove area that is semi private and fairly quiet. And we had great meals!

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                        Inn of the Hawke
                        74 S Union St, Lambertville, NJ 08530

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Gwendolen

                          I don't think I'll go back for the food at Anton's, but I thought the bar was great. I'd be content to grab a drink there and then walk over to Marhaba for better food.

                          1. re: Gwendolen

                            I love the Inn too (as anyone who has ever read my posts knows). I was in Anton's when touring the bars of New Hope/Lambertville this past spring and I wasn't all that thrilled with it. I'm a pub girl, and Anton's definitely wasn't a pub atmosphere. I didn't have any food there, but wasn't too impressed by the dishes I saw coming out - they seemed uninspired. But then again looks can be deceiving, so I may be wrong (but are the others who posted here?).

                            Inn of the Hawke is more my pace because it tends more towards comfort - comfort food and a comfortable atmosphere. It's a uniformly friendly place - I think nothing of going in and having a meal at the bar on my own if I'm in town. I just tend to avoid the Asian-inspired dishes on the menu - they can be way off the mark. And for a while there was a pesto manicotti on the menu that was just a disappointment. Love the burgers and filet though, and the pork loin is usually nicely executed.

                            -----
                            Inn of the Hawke
                            74 S Union St, Lambertville, NJ 08530

                            1. re: Heatherb

                              The food in Anton's bar is much better than bar food in my opinion. Their burger is actually delicious, and you can tell their grill is nicely seasoned. Their mashed potatoe pizza is pretty damn good as well.

                              We used to frequent the Inn at the Hawke, but found the food to have gone downhill the last few years. Our last meal there about a year and a half ago was much better than the last few before that, but I still haven't been insprired to go back. Maybe we'll do that one of these days as well.

                              Too many restaurants, not enough time! -mJ

                              1. re: njfoodies

                                Thank you everyone for all of the good suggestions and candid feedback. We were deciding between Hamilton's Grill Room and Anton's - finally picked Hamilton's because the menu seemed to appeal more to my husband. We had a somewhat early reservation (7:00) and we had a very nice meal - pleasant ambience, nice menu choices, good service. By the time we left, the place was hopping so I wonder if the later diners received good service; we were very pleased - thank you again.

                                -----
                                Hamilton's Grill Room
                                8 Coryell Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530