As a Lego office building or a Kodiak bear cub so amply demonstrate, smaller versions of things can often be more fun than their full-size counterparts. Today's Groupon provides further proof with some delicious small plates. For $20, you get $40 worth of eclectic tapas at Elements Café in Haddon Heights, NJ. Elements is BYOB, so don't expect to find any letter Bs on the menu.
Specializing in American-style tapas, Elements chef and perpetual-motion machinist Fred Kellerman incorporates the flavors of Asia, France, the Mediterranean, and beyond into an ever-changing menu of freshly interpreted favorites and new creations. Each dish benefits from elegant presentation and thoughtful preparation using fresh ingredients, often locally sourced and organic.
The dinner menu is divided into the same four sections as the Bible—"in the beginning," soups, salads, and “the show.” Starters have included a crimini-and-shiitake risotto ($7), as well as shrimp with couscous and tomato ($9). Soup options usually include chowda with cauliflower, shrimp, and rosemary ($6) and a few surprises. The salad course could mean a healthful helping of spinach ($5), served with gorgonzola and other garnishes, or a flavorful mix of peppers, blue cheese, and pecans ($5). As for "the show," main dishes range from updates on traditional Italian preparations—like the gnocchi with tomato, arugula, and oregano ($8)—to the creative (salmon served Reuben style, $11).
Dining at Elements is a great way to introduce your tongue to flavors it’s never met before, having only longingly watched them from across a junior-high dance floor. The small, intimate atmosphere and the opportunity to mingle a variety of dishes with good conversation have made Elements a prime date spot. Two Groupons can be combined for tables of four or more, so use your Tetris skills to determine how many of your smallest friends you can fit around one table.
This Groupon is valid for the regular lunch and dinner menu, but not specialty menus for Restaurant Week or special occasions such as holidays, Sunset Dinner, Sunday Supper, and others.
The Artful Diner reviewed Elements Café, saying:
- Elements Café provides its patrons with a most exhilarating and satisfying evening at table. You would do well to consider it a definite must on your dining agenda. – The Artful Diner
- It's such a great little gourmet gem. – OpenTable user who dined on 12/10/2009
- The tapas-style portions are perfectly sized, and the flavors are handled with a very light and elegant touch. – OpenTable user who dined on 11/21/2009
- The small intimate setting makes it a great place to enjoy for a romantic evening. – EbonyB, Zagat
- Consistently excellent quality, inventive preparations (nothing ever looks like you expect it to), pleasant service make for a very pleasant meal. – RandolphR5485, Zagat
Within Elements Cafe’s romantically lit dining room, guests nibble on upscale, American-style tapas featuring locally grown and organic ingredients. Fred Kellermann, the owner and mastermind chef behind Elements, creates an eclectic menu that brings together unusual flavor combinations in dishes such as potato ravioli with root beer and short ribs or pumpkin-mushroom soup with rosemary cream. To stay on the cutting edge of the ever-evolving food scene, Chef Fred continually updates his repertoire by experimenting with seasonal ingredients and new preparations. Customers can taste his newest creations every Sunday during Sunday supper, which features with a weekly changing menu of new dishes, old favorites, and a pill that cures the Mondays.