Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 34
 
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

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It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton



GREAT TASTES: “We have re-invented on the bone cooking. It’s moister, juicier, and more flavorful. You know the saying: ‘Because it’s always sweeter on the bone.’” Chef Juan Villasenor (left) and general manager Joe Stamile look forward to introducing customers to their new restaurant, On the Bone.

On the Bone … Because It’s Always Sweeter: New Restaurant Offers Special Bone-In Dishes

On the Bone, the new restaurant at 4355 Route One South (adjacent to the Doubletree Hotel), has lots to recommend it. Customers are finding it appealing on many levels — from delicious “on the bone” cooking, to welcoming and knowledgeable service, and an inviting atmosphere to a comfortable and family-friendly price range.

It features natural, grass-fed and organic beef, pork, and poultry, cooked and served on the bone, as well as fresh, sustainable seafood, homemade pasta, and local, organically-grown produce.

“We are viewed as a steak house because of our name,” says general manager Joe Stamile. “And we do have top quality meat, with no hormones or antibiotics. In addition, we also have the freshest seafood, homemade pasta, and we bake our sourdough bread on the premises.

“Our cuisine is American with a Latin flavor,” he continues. “Our chef, Juan Villasenor was born in Mexico, and has been chef at many top quality restaurants and clubs, including the Montauk Yacht Club. He was also chef on one of the episodes of the TV show, ‘The Apprentice’.”

Area Farmers

Supporting area farmers and focusing on environmentally-responsible practices are very important at On the Bone. “We specialize in ‘From Farm to Table, Zone 7’ which is a group of 15 to 20 organic and sustainable farms in the area,” points out Mr. Stamile. “We support the local farmers and try to get as many products as we can from local people. We keep a low carbon footprint, and we believe recycling is important. We reprocess many things to compost.”

The restaurant, which opened in March, is owned by Shamrock/Hostmark Hotels. Shamrock is the investment company for the Roy Disney Family. Two more On the Bone eateries are scheduled to open, one in Andover, Mass. in September, and another in Long Beach, Calif.

“Our Princeton location is our beta project,” explains Mr. Stamile, who has a family history in the restaurant business, and who came on board in July 2006 to help with the planning stages. “We can seat 85 people, and next year, we will add an outdoor deck for al fresco dining. We also welcome groups for special lunches and dinners.

“We have had a great response,” he adds. “The surprise is that it has gone so much better than I expected, especially in this economy. We have many repeat customers, and we get lots of families. They appreciate the reasonable prices, and we have a kids’ menu. We can also accommodate all dietary needs, and we pride ourselves on not being at all stuffy or pretentious.”

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, On the Bone does indeed feature top-notch dining in an attractive setting. The menu includes small “grazing”-size plates meant for sharing. “These tapas, from $3.50 a plate, are very popular,” reports Mr. Stamile. “This way, if someone doesn’t want a big meal, they can have a light refreshment. Grazing is very popular now.”

Among the favorite small plates are Tuscan Black and White Bean Hummus with toasted bagel chips for dipping; Caesar Parmesan Cone — three parmesan crisp cones stuffed with julienne Caesar salad; Skirt Steak Chimichurri — fire-grilled and topped with classic gaucho steak sauce; and Eggplant Bruschetta — roasted eggplant, shallots, extra Virgin olive oil, and fresh cilantro with garlic crostini.

Wet-Aged

Among entrees, steak is the best-seller, says Mr. Stamile, and all the steaks are wet-aged for 21 days. Among the most popular are the 14-ounce natural bone-in New York Strip, flame-grilled on the restaurant’s hickory wood grill; also the 12-ounce bone-in filet mignon, slow-roasted on the bone; and the 24-ounce bone-in Cowboy Rib Eye, flame-grilled over hickory wood.

Other favorites are the 14-ounce all natural prime rib pork chop, hickory wood-grilled and served with Granny Smith apple-thyme sauce; the always popular Osso Bucco available with veal, pork, or lamb; and seafood, including lobster, salmon, red snapper, among others, and always a special “Catch of the Day.”

There are many pasta choices, and a variety of salads includes the favorite Cobb Salad; organic baby spinach; classic Caesar; and heart-healthy grilled chicken with black bean salsa. Entrees start at $13 and sandwiches at $8.

Lunch features an appetizing assortment of soups, salads, and sandwiches, including hamburgers, paninis, and triple decker clubs, among many other choices.

No one goes away hungry at On the Bone, and diners have the opportunity to sample super desserts: decadent chocolate cake, cheesecake, and the best-selling Red Velvet cake. Customers also can’t get enough of the freshly made sorbets and gelatos.

In addition to its splendid food, the restaurant has a number of unique touches, including salads tossed at the table, signature iced tea “towers” (tall, sleek carafes), with various flavors from pomegranate to raspberry, fun “bone” shaped drink stirrers, and a special sampling of three mini martinis: “Mini tinis”.

All-Natural

Wine is a big favorite, and there is an extensive list, including many choices by the glass. In addition, a variety of popular mixed drinks is available.

“We are very proud of what we do at On the Bone,” points out Mr. Stamile. “We are set apart by our all-natural ingredients, our Latin twist, and our versatility. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to help shape the restaurant, and the marketing part of the business. On the Bone lends itself to so many fun things: the bone concept, the iced tea tower, the mini martinis, and the branding.”

He also adds that the complimentary V.I.P. Club is available (already with 800 members), which offers access to special events at the restaurant.

“We are fortunate to have a great staff here, and we also look forward to being a part of the Princeton community and to giving back to the community. We have held fund-raisers for the Special Olympics and the Muscular Distrophy Association.

“We’re brand new, and we hope people will come in and try us out. Let us know what you think!”

On the Bone is open for breakfast from 6 a.m.; lunch 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; dinner 5 to 10; until midnight on Friday and Saturday. (609) 514-2663. Website: www.ontheboneprinceton.com.

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