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Oct 14, 2013 11:49 AM

Great dinner at ONE 53 in Rocky Hill

My husband and I had dinner at ONE 53 this past Saturday night...we were so pleasantly surprised after being more or less disappointed with restaurants in the Princeton area. This was the one place we put off visiting after having less than satisfying meals at Elements, Mediterra, Eno Terra, etc. The best meal we've had has been at Peacock Inn but it's quite pricey for visiting on a regular basis. We like Teresa's very much but the no reservation policy makes for a long wait (and we're on the clock with the babysitter!).

We started with the roasted cauliflower with romanesco sauce and the grilled octopus. Really enjoyed the octopus - nicely grilled, not chewy at all. Alongside the octopus were perfect little cubes of fried potatoes. Husband had a bourbon sour and I had the ONE 53 martini. Both very nice cocktails.

Oh, the kitchen sent out an amuse bouche of ravioli in a cream sauce with candied pecans and fried sage. I want to say it was butternut squash ravioli but my memory is totally escaping me. Anyways, it was delicious.

For entrees, I had the Muscovy duck breast cooked medium rare. I loved the duck and most of the accompaniments but felt the plate could have been edited down. The duck was served with a cherry sauce, shredded brussel sprouts, cubes of parsnip (or was it turnip?) and young carrots. It was just a bit too busy. My husband had the roast chicken which was fantastic. I love it when restaurants offer up amazing roast chicken.

We shared the chocolate bread pudding for dessert which was much better than most bread pudding desserts I've had - their version was very moist and almost like pudding.

All in all, a wonderful meal.

My other complaint which is not necessarily just towards ONE 53 - why do restaurants around here who put themselves out there as being serious about their food insist on having a TV at the bar? I get it at places like Triumph Brewery but it just seems kind of ridiculous at a place like ONE 53. Anyways, we'll be happy to go back there, it's just one of those things that make the restaurant feel like a chain restaurant.

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  1. Thanks for posting the thoughtful review. This sounds really good. We've had similar disappointing experiences around town (as we've discussed on previous threads). Now excited to check out One 53. Will report back on our experience.

    1. Pellegrino31 - great report on our long time local fav!

      We agree it's consistently the best in the area as it offers everything we like - small menu with enough variety to satisfy all, menu changes frequently, triple E service (experienced, engaging and efficient!), great cocktails and an extensive wine list, casual vibe, etc. etc. etc.!

      Next time you're there, try the mussels, pork chop (double cut, best we've ever had), fries with truffle mayo, and finish with the decadent ice cream sandwich. All classics here - that we love.

      We've been posting about our One 53 experiences here

      and glad you've added to the conversation.

      1. Thanks for posting this. I also had a memorable dining experience there - too long ago now! I need to find an excuse to go back.

        1. Thanks everyone...we can't wait to go back. Now we know it's not just good, it's also worthy of getting a babysitter for.

          Foody4life - we did consider the ice cream sandwich but I'm a sucker for bread pudding. Next time we'll get the sandwich!

          1. (I posted this a couple years ago on the other One 53 thread and it still holds true today - updated with current info):

            Another couple of years have gone by and One 53 continues to outshine all others in our area including the newer spots in town!

            We enjoyed a couple of excellent dinners here last Friday and this past Monday. We continue to be impressed with the high standards - food (menu changes frequently), service (best in our area) and ambiance (our fav is enjoying a cocktail and dinner at their bar).

            Here's my recommendation for a great dinner off their current menu:

            - One 53 cocktail to start.
            - Grilled Spanish Octopus app.
            - Softshell Crab (back today as a special) sautéed with with roasted garlic, butter and white wine over angel hair.
            - Grilled Ice Cream Sandwich for dessert.

            The grilled ice cream sandwich is as decadent as it sounds. A couple of thin slices of pound cake are lightly grilled then vanilla gelato is added in between the layers and a dark chocolate sauce covers the sandwich. Outstanding.


            It's worth a visit, if you're dining in the Princeton area.