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Sep 6, 2011 06:14 PM

Dinner in New Hope, Lambertsville or Doylestown

I will be meeting up for a weeknight dinner in the New Hope area. My friend and I decided on the location, as it is the halfway point - they will be coming from Central/Northern NJ, and I will be coming from Delaware County.
Because neither of us are from the area - we're not sure where to start. Open to all cuisine types.

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  1. I think Honey in Doylestown is your best best. Small plates, creative food. Its a little pricey but good. I would avoid New Hope, it gets a little conjested there (though weeknight may be better than weekend) and in my experiences I have yet to find a truly great restaurant there. Most are just decent with really high prices.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AmblerGirl

      Thank you! Honey it is. I think it will also be a smart choice because of the rain/flooding.

      1. re: AmblerGirl

        One of my favorite places in that area, the Inn at Phillips Mill, is on Rt. 32 just north of New Hope, so you avoid the congestion/parking problems in town. It's BYO with a French menu. They also have a very nice outdoor dining area.

      2. +1 for Honey. I can't speak for Lambertville, but I agree with AG regarding New Hope. Honey is once of our favorites restaurants.

        1 Reply
        1. +2 for Honey and also agree with AmblerGirl's assessment of New Hope, with one exception - I agree with CindyJ on Phillips Mill as being the best of the New Hope area with the BYO feature giving you the chance to bring a really good wine at retail pricing.

          1. You've opened the culinary floodgates. There must be two hundred restaurants in the the three towns you've listed. Maybe twenty of them are notable. It would be really helpful if you narrowed down the choices by specifying some kind of cuisine, some price range, your preference on BYO vs. liquor served and location. You can also search this board for many prior threads on the topic.

            To continue the discussion, here are our favorites:

            Lambertville: Hamilton Grill Room, far and away the best. Also, like Marhaba, Inn of the Hawke
            New Hope: The Inn at Phillips Mill (with some, albeit mild, reservations about how much better it was in the "old days") and Sprig and Vine
            Buckingham: Copper Leaf Grille
            Doylestown: Vine and Fig Tree

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: famdoc

              My fave would be the Hamilton Grill in Lambertville. They are BYOB, and there is a great bar next door - The Boat House that you must try. The restaurant menu is very creative, lots of seafood & fresh ingredients. It also has an excellent view.

              For Buckingham area, I like Bacci, which is Italian and delicious.

              Boat House
              8 Coryell St, Lambertville, NJ 08530

            2. Nice to see all the support for Honey in Doylestown. I have always thought it just ok with little or no "Bucks Co." feel, whatever that is. As noted by farmdoc there are many choices in the area you designated. The Hamilton Grill Room, as per truffles, with drinks before or after or both at the Boat House directly across the driveway. Both are interesting venues with character. A bit east of New Hope is the Washington Crossing Inn, might need a boat. Nice place, a bit old school but good drinks and a nice selection of entrees. Some will say the Stockton Inn is "over". Well it is a lovely place and if one picks the right thing the food can be very good. And yes by all means "the Inn at Phillips Mill" great spot, the food can be hit or miss. More really popular places in Lambertville with interesting food and good character which are slipping my mind at the moment. But check out Lambertville Restaurants with search.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Bacchus101

                All restaurants mentioned above have their merits. I too really love Honey, and believe its some of the most interesting food being cooked in bucks county.

                Sprig and Vine is decidedly vegetarian. I am not in love with the setting (an office court/strip mall area.) But it does have great interesting vegetarian food. What I like the most about it is that it features the vegetables and doesn't try to pretend its meat. It is 100% vegan.

                The one other restaurant I would highlight is in Doylestown, and that is Slate Bleu. Its in the Agriculture Works in the center of town and does very good French Bistro food. I also really enjoy their brunch.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  Slate Bleu is the most expensive of the restaurants recommended thusfar and I don't think the price is justified.

                  Have had really good meals at Vine and Fig Tree. Chef there has unrecognized talent and should be given an "A" for enthusiasm about what he is doing in Doylestown.

                  Inn at Phillips Mill has been there for more than 30 years (look at reviews on walls outside rest rooms). There has been little change in its menu in that time. Some of the servers have been there at least that long. Nevertheless, my wife and I go at least once a year, because of all the good memories we have there, the charming setting and fair prices.

                  If you enjoy good wine, selecting a BYO place is a plus. For $30 or $40, you can buy a bottle of wine that you would pay $60 or more for in a restaurant. And, I'm a firm believer that a good wine makes a good meal great. We almost always leave a glass of wine in the bottle for the chef.

                  If the weather is good, outdoor seating is a consideration. IatPM, Vine and Fig Tree, Hamilton's all have outdoor seating.

                  One more place worth mentioning is Via Ponte in Stockton. Also BYO, also has outdoor seating. Very high quality Sicilian cuisine, excellent pizzas.

                  Search this board for more comments about each place mentioned.

                  Via Ponte
                  13 Bridge St, Stockton, NJ 08559

                  1. re: famdoc

                    I would beg to differ on Slate Bleu .. and for what its worth my average bill at Honey is at least fifty dollars more than Slate Bleu (personally I prefer Slate most for brunch ... ).

                    I agree about Vine and Fig, and their courtyard is a delight to sit in.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      Based on the Chef's training and experience, the menu and the lovely location Slate Bleu looks like a must try. Seems I totally missed it for about a year? Prices seem quite moderate, but that is noted without having received a check and the related food items. Don't know what I am missing about Honey but based on others here I am missing it. Just think it is maybe OK and definitely "over priced".

                      1. re: Bacchus101

                        It has been there for longer than a year. It was the replacement for the previous Cafe Arielle, whose owner took it out to Sellersville.

                        LeBan reviewed it in 09.


                        1. re: Bacchus101

                          I only went to Slate Bleu once and was totally disappointed. It was years ago, so it may be better now, but I would have to hear tons of good things about it to give it another chance. Having had boudin blanc at a Thomas Keller restaurant in LV, I was dying to try it again. It was obvious the chef was no Thomas Keller. In less than deft hands, which these were, boudin blanc has all the subtlety of knockwurst.

                          Other dishes had off tastes, like maybe their freshness had past. Desserts, which in a French bistro should be simple and marvelous were ordinary and amateurish.

                          I really wanted to like it because it has a charming atmosphere, but the quality/price ratio was sub-par. But then, I love Honey, so we must have very different tastes.

                          1. re: middleagedfoodie

                            Thanks, cw, maf. Sounds like I have not missed much at Slate Bleu. Too bad, damn. I suppose I will just miss it again until like maf, I hear much differently. I must have been having the "wrong dishes" at Honey as I acknowledge I could be the only negative hound on the place.

                            1. re: Bacchus101

                              Granted, Honey isn't cheap and while good, for small plates, I'm not sure how it would stack up next to the best in it's class in town - Amada, Tinto, A.Kitchen, Bar Ferdinand. But, the combination of nice atmosphere, interesting food, and good service when you just feel like hanging out in the burbs works for me.

                              1. re: Bacchus101

                                Frankly my experience is decidedly different than the previous two posters. My favorite dishes there are the pate, their salad with figs and blue cheese, and their cheese plate. I have had their boudin blanc and while I do not order it often, it is a fine preparation of it, equivalent in quality to that which I have had at Bar Boulud in New York City. I am not a fan of sauerkraut which keeps me from ordering the dish more often.

                                I also really like their brunch menu, including the spinach goat cheese and leek crepes, or the oeufs en meurette, a dish of red wine poached eggs. These are simple dishes, but so different than most anything you will find on a suburban brunch menu.

                                1. re: cwdonald

                                  Off again on again, thanks for the extra details and for "the Leban" notes on same. While I have little experience with the proper french preparation of these classic dishes my enjoyment of same will not be enhanced or diminished by expectations. I do look forward to giving it a try with the hopes of finding it as pleasing and different as you have.