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.
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.
Chocolate Lovers 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.
Using only the freshest local ingredients, Tre Piani prepares savory Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in the authentically European style. A major voice in the local food movement in New Jersey, chef and owner Jim Weaver buys the finest seafood, produce, and meat from more than 100 regional farmers, fishermen, and noodle-mongers. Activate your appetite with one of Tre Piani’s three bruschettas ($4-7) before plundering the extensive lunch menu for Garden State Seafood Panzanella Salad ($15, as seen on the Food Network) and homemade fettucini with sausage sauce ($16). Dinner diners, meanwhile, can sample the Chef’s special pignolia nut-crusted New Jersey sea scallops ($28) or the spinach and cheese ravioli with vodka sauce ($19). Unwind after a stressful day quality-testing car alarms with a glass of vino from Tre Piani’s seasonal wine list (http://trepiani.com/pdf/rest-winelistspring200931209.pdf) and finish in luxurious opulence with a homemade dessert of tiramisu topped with creme anglaise and espresso sauce ($11).
PURE Restaurant & Lounge’s double glass doors doorway lead to their cozy foyer, where a smiling Buddha sits serenely by the burbling cascade of an indoor waterfall. After being greeted at the door by the hostess, guests will be shown through the lounge area to the sushi bar and dining room, or take a right to the bar, where hardwood floors and Asian artwork surround guests seated in cushy booths or high-backed chairs. In the kitchen, chefs use seasonal organic, local ingredients to create dishes that are largely gluten-free, ranging from fresh sashimi to a chef's choice combination of delicate sushi and hearty filets. Inside the 7,000-square-foot restaurant, more than 200 guests can comfortably enjoy the relaxing feng shui of the restaurant’s layout, which includes two-story ceilings that glow with the incandescence of dazzling chandeliers.