If you have time to spare and can use a fresh yet hearty meal, take a ride out to the North End Bistro in Princeton for a fresh take on American Comfort Food. The Procaccini Brothers (owners of PJ’s, Osteria Proccacini and Princeton Sports Bar & Grill ) are at it again bringing a another big menu to Princeton. The North End Bistro has had its doors open for 3 weeks now and is a new modern building next to the Whole Earth Center. (Replacing Tom Yum Goong that burned down in 2009)
Food: A lot to choose from that will keep you coming back for more. Crispy, thick, house-made potato chips are served shortly after you arrive. Appetizers range from ($9-12) including the Calamari that is seasoned nicely, breaded and fried. The Calamari is fresh and you’ll want more of the zucchini it comes with. Squeeze the lemon over the top as the marinara is what you would expect but not too much more.
All burgers and sandwiches are served with a crispy pickle and give you the option of sweet potato or “North End” fries. Go with the North End fries.
The Reuben ($11) is right on the money. Moist and tastey Corned Beef stacked up with Swiss, sauerkraut and house Russian will hit the spot.
The North End Burger is served on a Croissant and is $12 as is the Veggie Burger (Beans, rice, oats). Opt for the meat. The veggie burger was a lacking in any varying texture which makes the patty and the bread almost taste the same. Thankfully, the tangy goat cheese and cranberries ride on top of the veggie burger which saves it from failing. Perfecting a veggie burger is a difficult feat but for the price point we were a little bummed.
The blacked chicken sandwich ($12) is served with Avocado, Bacon, Bleu and Lettuce on a bun and was a perfect sandwich for a midday meal.
There is plenty more on the menu to choose from like a wide variety of Mac N’ Cheeses, some good salad options and something we need more of around here…tacos!
Atmosphere: Finally, more outdoor seating in Princeton! The patio seats 30 and is on the Nassau street side which makes it a tad noisy but the space is sunny and inviting. For a business lunch you might want to opt to eat inside where the tables are larger and the sound level is better. A solid music selection plays at a decent level and the mod interior is well designed and has a fun, fresh feel to it. They seat about 70 inside and there is plenty of light which compliments the airy menu.
Service: Friendly and attentive servers. The menu gives you “heads up” that food is made to order so don’t come if you are in a rush and don’t complain. Expect to be there for at least 50 minutes to an hour. (well worth it)
The Drinks: North End serves wine by the bottle only and have an exclusive with Hopewell Valley Vineyards . You can also BYOB, try to BYOBubbly and take them up on the House Mimosa. Boylan’s soda and MASH waters are available for you looking for a non-boozey option.
The Last Bite: A great option for when you want a big lunch and you aren’t in a rush. The North End Bistro is inviting and casual and the menu has some classics with some enticing new twists. Bring a client or bring your kids. You can’t go wrong and you will be back for more.