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Best formal/semi-formal restaurant in Mercer county?

Looking to plan a special occasion dinner for myself and 2 girlfriends. We are in our early 30s, looking for delicious food, modern atmosphere. Nice wine list and/or cocktail menu a plus. We are all based in Manhattan but will be in Princeton for biz. Price not an option. TIA!

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  1. elements (modern food and atmosphere) or The Peacock Inn (modern food / traditional atmosphere) are both in Princeton and both outstanding.

    Chef's table at elements is a great experience. 9 to 14 small courses - if you include the various amuse and treats along the way.

    and check out Agricola Eatery in Princeton. Just opened and looks very promising. Chef x-French Laundry and other top kitchens. Local farm to table cuisine.

    http://www.elementsprinceton.com/
    http://peacockinn.com/
    http://www.agricolaeatery.com/

    1. Peacock Inn in Princeton would be my first choice

      1. You might also want to consider Rat's Restaurant on the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Twp. See http://www.groundsforsculpture.org/Ra...

        2 Replies
          1. re: TomDel

            +1 for Rats. I prefer the brunch there which in spring is a wonderful way to enjoy the grounds and the wonderful food.

            If you are willing to go for a BYO, (saves a bit of money and you can bring wine from NYC.. ) Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell is really puting out some great food.

          2. One of my favs in the Princeton area is Eno Terra, great special occasion place. Great food, great service, nice bar http://www.enoterra.com/

            1. I made reservations at both Rats and Agricola Eatery. Has anyone eaten at Agricola yet? I have been to Rats (and do love their brunch @cwdonald). Which do you think is better for a group in their early 30s for food/ambience? Thanks!

              1 Reply
              1. re: kmesquita

                Agricola over Rat's.

                We've been to Agricola twice for dinner and we've already made reservations to go back again. The crowd at Agricola is a lot of 20's, 30's and young at heart 40+! Food is excellent. Smaller portions. Unique cocktails, well served. Plus Agricola's location in the heart of town offers a lot of pre or post dinner options.

                Agricola review -
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/894185

              2. We ended up at Agricola. The service and ambience were terrific. The place was PACKED! Goat cheese/potato terrine was incredible. Octopus was warm, succulent, and perfectly cooked.Cod fritters appetizer was a bit too salty. I had the Wild Mushroom stew which was delicious and delicate. The sun chokes in the dish, intended to add earthiness, were (to me) too large--was almost like eating a huge chunk of a raw potato. My friends got the Eden's Park Chops which were amazing. Brussels sprouts were delicious. Great, knowledgeable service. Would recommend. It's nice to see something this fresh and new in Town.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kmesquita

                  Sounds great, glad you enjoyed our new local fav. We've been three times now and had a stellar experience each time. Looking forward to trying the pork chops on our next visit.