Chef’s Table at Elements

I was accompanied by Manish, Jigna, and Piyush; and we all share similar sentiments about our incredible meal at Elements in Princeton.

For those of you that have not been to or heard of Elements, let me start by explaining that this is a restaurant that not only prides itself on the execution of delicious, seasonal, and creative fare… but they strive to (mostly) shop locally for their produce, dairy, and meats… supporting our local farmers. The service is ridiculously professional, by being super friendly and entertaining all the while. Manish and I were lucky to dine there last December, and just last week, we secured a reservation for the 4 of us at the Chefs Table. Here is my recollection of our almost 10 course Omakase style dinner:

Amuse Bouche - Trio of Citrus
Salad of Microgreens; Mixed Greens, and Fluke

A Trio of Amuse… Main theme here being Citrus. Hamachi with meyer lemon vinaigrette; Poached shrimp with citrus soup; potato Salad with citrus

Salad of microgreens and local greens, shaved white asparagus, orange, and local (Jersey shore) fluke

Pea Consomme with fresh Peas and Favas and Speck

Pea consomme with fresh peas, fresh favas, pea shoots, and speck (my favorite of the “vegetable based” courses)

Sea Bass; Sunchoke Puree; Salmon Caviar
Skate; Carrot and Pea Puree

Sea Bass with salmon caviar, apple salad, sunchoke puree, and crispy croutons

Skate with fresh peas, carrot puree, and pea puree

Fresh Ravioli; Jersey Fresh Tomatoes; Basil Oil

Fresh “house made” ravioli with herbed chard ricotta, mozzarella, basil oil, and “Jersey Fresh” tomatoes. Sous Chef Joe Sparatta explained that some of last year’s amazing NJ tomato harvest was canned into what many local shops sell as “Jersey Fresh Tomatoes.” I thought it was last August when I tasted this tomato sauce!! No joke.

Squab, Foie Gras; Bread Pudding
48 Hour Short Ribs; Green Curry; Quail Egg

Squab, savory bread pudding, foie gras, and a sauterne sauce(?) Can someone that I dined with remind me if I remember correctly or not? It was phenomenal… but I can’t remember what the sauce was!! (This was my favorite savory course!)

48 Hour slow cooked Short Ribs with green curry sauce, vegetable slaw, fried quail egg. Such balance!

Pre Dessert

Our “Pre-Dessert” ~ Bacon and Eggs (I was hoping to have this again – YUM!)

Deconstructed Black Forest Cake with a “yodel,” (lol) lambic sorbet (to die for,) drunken cherries, and a mushroom meringue.

Deconstructed Black Forest Cake

(Comment to this post and I’ll respond to you with the vegetarian courses that were offered as well!!)

We ordered some classic cocktails to start, and enjoyed the 2005 Bzikot Puligny Montrachet (Thank, RH!) as well as the 1988 Vieux Telegraph CDP (Thanks, DS!) Both drank beautifully and stood up to the caliber of the food!

Special thanks to Emilia for setting us up at the chefs table at such late notice; to Justin for his impeccable appreciation for what we were hoping to accomplish that evening (you are the best!) And to Chef Joe and Chef Scott for the amazingly creative, seasonal, and delicious meal that we were served.

And of course, the evening was made even more special because we shared it with two people that are so near and dear to us… Cheers guys – here’s to the countless dinners that we shall have in our future together – Love You!

Make your reservation TODAY!!!!

Empire State of Mind

We hosted our dear friends this past weekend to a true New York City Adventure. We ate the best New York style pizza. We saw a Broadway show (Mamma Mia.) We visited FAO Schwarz. We strolled through Central Park. We even explored the Observation deck of the Empire State Building. We absorbed everything “New York” along with the gorgeous weather that we were lucky to have! And to think… this was the first time that our kids stepped into the Empire State Building. I know that as locals, we tend to veer away from “all things tourist-y,” but I have to urge you all to do it once in a while – it was so fun!

Although the weekend focused around kid-friendly environs, we did partake in some memorable dining! Patsy’s Pizzeria greeted us with some delicious creations but it was the hole in the wall across from the Empire State Building that had the mouth watering thin crust NY style pizza that we were all craving! The sign reads “PIZZA” in great big red letters and the place was packed with tourists and homeless folks. It was quite the scene. 😉 El Parador was a pleasant surprise. Traditional Mexican fare with a creative twist – and the menu offered something for everyone. The margaritas were to die for and the shot of house made pineapple tequila was divine. We ended our weekend with an indulgent brunch at Big Daddy’s in Gramercy. Endless stacks of pancakes, fluffy eggs, and morning libations filled our bellies and hearts with delight!

the weekend crew just outside Big Daddy's

Manish and I try to do a “Day in Manhattan” for our anniversary each year. We pack the day with visits to wine shops, cheese shops, restaurants, and the occasional overnight stay. This year, maybe I can squeeze in 15 minutes for my new favorite Pizza dive! Thanks to our friends for making this weekend such a  memorable one! And as my girlfriend Alicia would say… “Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New Yooooooork.” 🙂