Chocolate Lovers Club is a haven for cacao enthusiasts throughout the Princeton area. Regular meet ups, ranging from classes and tastings to date nights for couples, aim to educate attendees about the rich treat and provide them with hours of delicious fun. Themed tastings broaden palates' horizons with samples made in different countries around the world. Beverage-pairing events introduce participants to the harmonies between wine and chocolate or more unconventional marriages of beer, cheese, and chocolate. On Thursday and Friday nights, a dessert café supplies opportunities to indulge in hot-fudge sundaes, chocolate nachos, and the glories of using chocolate syrup as shampoo.
Striving to highlight the diversity of India’s regional cuisine, the cooks at Mehek Restaurant have mastered vegetarian, seafood, lamb, chicken, and rice dishes from across the subcontinent. The eatery’s name, which means “aroma,” serves as a playful tribute to the way each creation from the expansive menu sates several senses at once. Kebabs, vindaloos, masalas, and biryanis can all be ordered with various proteins, and glasses of mango lassi cool off spicy bites. Mehek also offers a buffet rich with options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and those on strict naan diets.
Midway between bustling Philadelphia and New York City, Princeton deflects cosmopolitan busyness with an aura of quaint charm and Ivy League scholastic endeavor, augmented by a lively arts-and-culture scene. Strolling through the 500-acre Princeton University campus, visitors can take in the elite institution's traditional architecture and historic character. Year-round tours wend past the native and exotic flowers of Prospect Garden as guides expound on the history of buildings such as Nassau Hall, which served as America's temporary capitol in 1783. Post-tour, visitors can linger in the university’s art museum to contemplate an extensive collection of American, Asian, and Mediterranean art or grab dinner at a local restaurant before catching an evening performance at the Tony Award–winning campus theater.Right across from the school, trees shade shoppers on Palmer Square, which houses everything from high-end retailers to local chocolatiers. Though downtown Princeton can keep travelers sufficiently busy with boutiques and restaurants, venturesome vacationers may want to pay a visit to nearby Trenton for fine dining in the shadow of the state capitol or to tour battle monuments commemorating American victories during the Revolutionary War.
Chef Bobby Trigg and his team of culinary savants unite French and American flavors to form a menu that has garnered praise from the New York Times. Diners can sip beverages from home alongside appetizers such as the chipotle-crab-and-wild-mushroom tortilla ($13)—adorned with black-bean salsa and avocado before being deprived of its umbrella and caught in a chipotle drizzle. The menu's mushroom and salad section woos taste buds with bold moves, such as pairing roasted portobello bisque with sumptuous goat cheese and fried leeks ($8). Seafood and meat entrees negotiate twists on classic dishes, performing feats of diplomacy between international flavors as in the grilled breast of duck in chipotle-brandy reduction ($28), served with duck confit risotto and a silken kerchief from the maharaja of Lemuria. Chefs roast the baby rack of New Zealand lamb in a mustard-basil crust alongside pineapple slices ($31), served with spiced yam and red-pepper-infused demi-glace.
Using only the freshest local ingredients, Tre Bar prepares savory Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. A major voice in the local food movement in New Jersey, chef and owner Jim Weaver buys the fine seafood, produce, and meat from more than 100 regional farmers, fishermen, and noodle-mongers. Activate your appetite with one of Tre Bar's three bruschettas ($4+), dive fork-first into the State seafood panzanella salad ($12+, as seen on the Food Network) or pacify your palate with a plate of the homemade mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, and roasted peppers drizzled with basil oil ($8+).