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North End Bistro, Princeton

Not too long ago, my companion and I headed into Princeton for a casual dinner. We drove to the far end of Nassau St, finding ourselves at the aptly named, North End Bistro.

It is in a really cute building, just next door to the Whole Earth Center. The structure which is mostly glass and metal features colorful decor.  From the moment we walked in we noticed that the staff was super nice. We were standing waiting to ask for a table, and a staff person who was not the hostess, greeted us and said someone would be right with us, there was an obvious concern about us standing there waiting. The hostess greeted us and we requested to sit outside on their lovely patio which faces Nassau St, she told us it would just be a minute, so we got comfortable in their cute lounge-like waiting area and sat on the low cushy couches that were in front of giant floor to ceiling windows. We were not sitting for long before another server greeted us and asked if we were waiting and we said yes, someone else was getting us a table outdoors, he said "no, no there is a table, come with me" and we followed him outside and were seated at a table right against the stone wall that divided that patio from the street. In addition to the stone wall, there was also a line of trees to provide privacy while dining on the patio. My companion and I agreed it was a lovely spot.

We were soon greeted by our server and her helper whom she was training that night. We were provided with menus and told about some special beverages they had available and informed that North End Bistro is an outlet for Hopewell Valley Vineyards and that while they do not have a bar, we could buy a bottle of Hopewell Valley wine and enjoy it with our dinner.

We started with two appetizers, fried calamari and zucchini with a great dipping sauce,  that was zesty and
ahi tuna bruschetta, which was really fresh and tasty. My companion was worried about the wasabi cream sauce that came with it, but when the appetizer arrived he was relieved to see that the sauce was used sparingly. And when we tasted the dish, the sauce was not heavy or super creamy, it was a nice texture and added to the freshness of the fish.

While North End did not have any additions to the menu, they do feature daily specials on the menu, a different one for each day. And Saturday happened to be- pork osso bucco! It was Skip's lucky day! It should be no surprise that Skip got the Osso Bucco. My companion ordered the steak frites, the steak was actually covered in root beer and served with yummy fries. Oh! I almost forgot. When we first sat down, instead of providing us with a basket of bread as is the usual in most restaurants. We were given a bowl of homemade potato chips! Wow. They were thin, crispy and extremely delicious! In fact, when our appetizers arrived, we actually moved the chips to the wall so we would stop eating them! haha!

Any way, back to the entrees, the pork osso bucco was so good. It was tender and full of flavor. The dish was supposed to be served with mashed potatoes, but I asked for veggies instead and was able to get brussel sprouts! Hooray! They were super yummy too! It is always nice when a restaurant is able to be accommodating to diners requests. My companion really enjoyed the steak frites. As soon as it arrived at the table, I kept getting a whiff of something that smelled sweet and then I realized it was the root beer from the steak. The meat was tender and the fries were crispy and delish!

We really had no room for dessert, we definitely could have done with just one appetizer, but we were so excited when we got there that we ordered two, which is why we were so stuffed when we left.

North End Bistro is definitely on the list of places we will visit again. If you want to find out why, check them out for yourself.


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