October 30, 2013

To the Editor:

On June 10, 2006 the Princeton Community said farewell to our loyal and contributing lifelong resident. Mr. Albert Edward Hinds lived to be 104 and within those years he contributed more to our town than any other person. I had the privilege to speak at his memorial service and at the end of the tribute I stated that a building, square or street should be named in his honor.

In 2007 the idea of recognizing Mr. Hinds became a reality when I twice went before the Princeton Borough Council with information about his life and rationale as to why the square should be named in his honor. With the support of James Floyd and residents of the Witherspoon Jackson Community, the members of the Council, headed by Mayor Mildred Trotman, agreed to name the square next to the Princeton Public Library the “Albert E. Hinds Plaza!”

A dedicated Hinds Plaza Committee headed by Wendy Benchley, later by Barbara Trelstad, was formed to suggest a fitting tribute to Mr. Hinds. Mr. Tom Nussbaum, a sculptor from Montclair, New Jersey, was selected to design the memorial gates and plaques. James Floyd presented the idea of an open gate to represent Mr. Hinds’ connection to his life in a segregated area of Princeton and his contributions and relationships to the entire town of Princeton. Mr. Nussbaum engraved symbols in the gates that represent Mr. Hinds’ life and contributions in Princeton.

On Sunday, September 29 the Hinds Plaza Memorial Gates and Plaques were dedicated. This is a public THANK YOU to the members of the Hinds Plaza Memorial Committee the members of the Advisory Board, the many donors whose generous contributions made the gates and plaque possible. In addition acknowledgments go to those who shared in the dedication of the gates and plaque: Mrs. Myrna Hinds Fuller; Mr. Hinds’ daughter and family members; Mr. James Floyd; Reverend Dr. Deborah Brooks; Mayor Elizabeth Lempert; Eric Broadway, Esq.; Mr. Tom Nussbaum; Minister William D. Carter, III; Ms. Barbara Trelstad; former Princeton mayors; Princeton Council members; the Historical Society of Princeton, for producing the audio portion of the memorial plaques; and the Princeton community residents and visitors.

Shirley A. Satterfield

Quarry Street

“COMFORT” CUISINE: “We have a varied menu that focuses on ‘comfort’ food that people love — meat loaf, mac ’n cheese, La Frieda burgers, chicken pot pie, fish ’n chips, spaghetti and meat balls, and much, much more. Our prices are reasonable, our food is the highest quality, and the environment and ambiance are as nice as you will find.” John Procaccini (left), Zissis Pappas, and Tino Procaccini, owners of North End Bistro, look forward to welcoming customers to their new restaurant.

“COMFORT” CUISINE: “We have a varied menu that focuses on ‘comfort’ food that people love — meat loaf, mac ’n cheese, La Frieda burgers, chicken pot pie, fish ’n chips, spaghetti and meat balls, and much, much more. Our prices are reasonable, our food is the highest quality, and the environment and ambiance are as nice as you will find.” John Procaccini (left), Zissis Pappas, and Tino Procaccini, owners of North End Bistro, look forward to welcoming customers to their new restaurant.

Appealing, authentic, and accommodating. These adjectives come to mind when North End Bistro is mentioned.

Just opened at 354 Nassau Street (a near neighbor to the Whole Earth Center), it is the latest venture of the Procaccini brothers, John and Tino, and their partner Zissis (“Zi”) Pappas, who are rapidly establishing a reputation as up-and-coming restaurateurs and entrepreneurs in the Princeton area.

Owners also of P.J.’s Pancake & Pasta House, Osteria Procaccini in Princeton and Pennington, and the new P.J.’s in West Windsor, the Procaccini brothers and Mr. Pappas have worked hard to create unique and convivial dining experiences for their customers.

“A friendly, knowledgeable staff, customer service, and quality food are a priority for us,” says John Procaccini. “People know they can count on us. It’s our experience and reputation. With the Bistro, people have said to us: ‘When we heard it was you guys, we knew it would work.’ They know they can count on the quality and value we offer. There is no cookie-cutter feeling in any of our restaurants.  Everything is fresh and made to order.”

Quite A Journey

It has been quite a journey for John and Tino Procaccini since — at the ages of 24 and 21 — they first opened La Borgata Ristorante & Pizzeria (later known as La Principessa) in the Kingston Mall on Route 27 in 1999.

This was followed by Sotto Ristorante (later the Princeton Sports Bar & Grill). They discovered their passion for the restaurant business, with Tino as chef and John handling the business end and “front of the house.”

“We never really envisioned where we are today,” says John. “It just evolved. The turning point was when we opened Sotto with our cousins in Princeton, and we have continued to learn with all our different experiences. Once you find the right concept and model, it falls into place.”

“Our business motivation is diversification,” he continues. “This is important in today’s world and economy. We offer something for everyone. You can go to P.J’s. for breakfast, and to the Osteria or Bistro for lunch and dinner. We have people who come to each of our restaurants every day.

“We have such a nice mix,” adds Mr. Pappas, who joined the team two years ago. “The mix is fun, and it keeps us busy. We can go to five different restaurants throughout the day — starting with P.J.’s, then to the Bistro and Osteria, and then over to Pennington, and soon to West Windsor. I really enjoy the variety.”

They certainly seem to have found the right “M.O.” Each of their restaurants is a hit with customers, and chances are you will see someone you know enjoying lunch or dinner.

Charming Setting

This is certainly true of the Bistro, which offers seating for 70 inside and 26 outside in a charming setting. Tables and booths are available, as well as a small bar area, with four chairs.

“We wanted to establish a feeling of tranquility and comfort,” points out Mr. Pappas, whose mother, interior designer Urania Pappas, is responsible for the decor. “Our design elements emphasize earth tones, restfulness, and serenity.”

Design features include depictions of sepia-toned tree branches (so softly rendered that they almost resemble a waterfall), and color scheme of moss green, and egg plant purple. A comfortable waiting area offers a small sofa and chairs.

Indeed, comfort is the key — both in the appealingly down-to-earth atmosphere and in the choice of food.

As one recent diner noted, “To me, the first thing that comes to mind is the lobster mac and cheese. Super! Then, being able to sit outside on a nice warm evening or afternoon is such a pleasure. I think the Bistro has a European feel to it, with lunch or dinner served outside next to the sidewalk, with people walking by and a sense of activity. It’s a very appealing atmosphere.”

The menu, which is the same for lunch and dinner, has proved to be a big success. There is truly something for everyone’s taste. Sandwiches, salads, tacos, pastas, entrees, such as chicken rustica, glazed salmon, steak, and more offer choices at reasonable prices.

“Thanksgiving Dinner”

For customers who like to plan ahead, the menu features regular specials for each day of the week. Monday: chicken pot pie; Tuesday: corned beef and cabbage; Wednesday: slow-cooked spare ribs; Thursday: “Thanksgiving Dinner” turkey breast, cranberry orange relish, mashed potatoes; Friday: seafood steam pot; Saturday: braised pork ossa bucco; Sunday: chicken parm.

The “Thanksgiving Dinner” has been a conversation piece, and as Mr. Pappas points out, it was a result of “the genius of the minds melding together!”

Appetizers include such specialties as truffle spinach and artichoke dip; poutine (fresh cut fries, gravy, and melted provolone cheese); and cannelini bean hummus, among others.

The French onion soup is a favorite of many diners, as is the mac and cheese (in many variations), and spaghetti and “mama’s” meatballs (John and Tino’s mom’s specialty!).

“Popular sandwiches include the lobster roll, our special half-pound La Frieda burgers — a blend of filet, short ribs, and sirloin,” reports John. “Customers also love the blackened chicken with bibb lettuce, avocado, and cherry wood bacon; the traditional Reuben, and our fish, chicken, or beef tacos are always in demand.”

A specialty on the menu is the Kids Corner, featuring a variety of choices, such as spaghetti and meatballs, mac ’n cheese, grilled cheese sandwich, chicken tenders, and peanut butter and jelly, served with beverage and brownie for $8.

Jersey Shore Favorite

No one forgets desserts at the Bistro. Seasonal cobblers, brioche bread pudding, brownie a la mode, fresh berry and cream parfait are all in demand. And the restaurant is now known for offering that special Jersey shore favorite, fried Oreos!

The Bistro does not have a liquor license, but it has an arrangement with Hopewell Valley Vineyards, and can sell bottles of wine. Customers are also welcome to bring their own libation of choice.

Take-out is available, and many people stop in to take something home after work, or back to their office for lunch. The proximity of the restaurant to nearby offices, stores, and residences is a real plus, notes the Bistro team.

“Lots of people walk in. We’re conveniently located with sidewalks right in front, and we want to be the local place for people to stop in. And, if people are driving, we have convenient parking space as well.”

Prices start at $8 for appetizers, $10 for sandwiches and salads, $12 for tacos, and $15 for entrees.

The Procaccini brothers and Mr. Pappas are very happy about the enthusiastic response to the restaurant, and they look forward to giving customers a warm welcome. “We want to make our guests feel good. We offer hospitality, quality, and a unique atmosphere. And you don’t have to break the bank to eat here. We have reasonable prices that can work for everyone’s pocket book. We are very popular with families. We’re easy-going, and very kid-friendly. We really appeal to all ages. We love what we do. We will have opened 3 restaurants in one year, 2013!”

North End Bistro is open seven days, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (609) 683-9700. Website: www.gretaliahospitality.com.

 

October 23, 2013

To the Editor:

Here’s what happened: As I walked my dog this morning a huge bleeding buck — 12 or 14 point — charged across the street into a neighbor’s yard, an arrow stuck in its left shoulder.
I live in a residential neighborhood where deer also live. I encounter them daily on walks. They regularly get hit by cars. Deer are not, in short, an unusual sight, and this is not the first wounded deer I’ve seen.

But that arrow. I called the police. Here’s the conversation:

Me: There’s an arrow-wounded buck in my neighborhood.

She: It’s hunting season.

Me: Is this a municipal cull?

She: No, this has nothing to do with us.

Me: So this is just some idiot with a bow and arrow?

She: No, it’s a hunter.

Me: Apparently a bad one if he left a wounded animal to suffer.

She: *silence*

So I called Animal Control. Mark Johnson came, then called to say he’d tracked the buck into the woods. He hoped to find it later today. When he does, I know he’ll shoot it. Under the circumstances, the right thing. I’m not against all hunting. If you hunt for food, are skilled and don’t leave wounded animals to drag themselves off to die, fine. But in most cases this means using a rifle, competently. It also means that should you wound an animal you have the responsibility of tracking that animal down until you find it. If one is going to eat meat, perhaps the least offensive manner of obtaining it is by being responsible for tracking, killing, skinning, butchering, and preparing it. In that way you are accountable, you are in relationship with the animal in a way you aren’t if, like me, all you do is go to Whole Foods and buy a steak (even a pasture-raised animal and not a factory beast).

That entire argument goes out the window, though, in the face of retro-macho bow hunting. Few are good at it. More animals suffer, and not because the hunter hunts in order to feed himself or his family, but so that the hunter can play out some archetypical masculine fantasy (regardless of gender). A hunter friend tells me the meat from a wounded animal is often inedible, because the wound festers and becomes gangrenous. Lovely.

What happened this morning is cruel and immoral.

Lauren B. Davis

Gallup Road

 

To the Editor:

This letter was written after a tough experience at the Princeton Plainsboro Hospital.

In regard to HIPAA laws, here’s a RED FLAG. If a patient has no family member, but has designated a friend as a driver, be aware that nurses at the nurses’ station refuse to speak about a patient’s discharge with a non-family member.

To bring a patient home without verification of discharge is negligent, even dangerous. There should be proper communication about discharge available for a patient’s designated driver.

I urge the hospital administrators to register and verify the driver’s identification on the patient’s chart and then to allow that driver to verify the validity of the release so that he/she feels secure when taking over responsibility for the patient.

LYNN SANFORD

Cherry Valley Road

 

To the Editor,

I am shocked and frightened about the lack of respect that Princeton drivers have for school crossing guards and the children of our community.

Every morning I walk my children to school. When we arrive at the intersection of Valley Road and Mount Lucas Road, there is a school crossing guard. She holds a large red Stop Sign in her hand and wears a bright yellow vest over her jacket — you can’t miss her! When my children and I arrive at the corner, she waits for the traffic light to change and then walks to the center of the intersection to stop all traffic so that we can cross safely in both directions. More often than not, a car speeds across the intersection as we are crossing. Not only is this illegal, it is extremely dangerous and selfish, and it shows a total lack of respect for the crossing guard, my children and me.

We as a community put great value on education. Why don’t we put an equally great value on allowing our children to get to school so that they can be educated?

The children who attend our elementary schools range in age from 5- to 11-years-old. Many of these children are too small for a driver to see over the dashboard. This makes it all the more critical that drivers respect the signals of the crossing guards, traffic lights, and marked crosswalks. These conventions are meant to establish a baseline for safety on the roadways for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers alike. It only takes one person to break these rules for another person to get hurt.

If you are really in a rush to get somewhere between 8 and 8:30 a.m. (and 3 to 3:30 p.m.) please take a route far away from the roads that lead to our schools.

LOUISA CLAYTON

Mount Lucas Road

To the Editor:

I support the candidacies of Fausta Rodriguez Wertz for Princeton Council and Ron Cefalone for Mercer County Freeholder. Both candidates represent a refreshing change from the political regimes that have dominated Princeton and Mercer County politics for too many years.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz offers inclusion to several alienated and frustrated groups which have been deliberately excluded from the decision-making processes that control our lives. In a public Princeton Council meeting recently, her opponent, Ms. Crumiller, directly told me that Council was entitled to spend much more than any other New Jersey municipality of Princeton’s size because of the voluntary payments of non-profit organizations, which don’t even total 10 percent of the Princeton budget. Rather than providing an excuse for continued, extravagant spending, including more than $10 million in annual debt service, which also far exceeds any town of Princeton’s size in New Jersey, these voluntary, non-profit payments should serve to relieve the enormous tax burden that is destroying what remains of Princeton’s middle class. Ms. Rodriguez Wertz clearly understands this fact, and she will also ably represent the concerns of Princeton’s taxpayers before the other two taxing jurisdictions that today threaten to drive some of us from our homes.

Ron Cefalone understands the wasteful spending and duplication that exist within Mercer County government. In the case of Princeton, he knows how unfair it is to increase taxes by nearly 10 percent while the level of county services is less than in most of Mercer County. He also realizes the fundamental flaw of the county “equalization” tax method which assumes that the value of all Princeton real property has increased at the same rate.

On November 5, please vote for Fausta Rodriguez Wertz and Ron Cefalone.

Frank Wiener

Loomis Court

 

TT Ed Alex Hermann

Ed: “Roger Staubach because he was a fantastic quarterback and his whole team was amazing back then.”

Alex: “Joe Namath because he is one of the greatest of all times.” —Ed Hermann with son Alex, Lawrenceville

 TT Joseph Henderson

“Tony Romo, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys because my Dad and I stand our ground for the Cowboys even though we are here with Eagles and Giants fans. He has the confidence and swagger of the Dallas Cowboys of the past.”

—Joseph Henderson, Trenton

 TT Adrian Cole

“Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, he is a really good running back and we share the same first name.”

—Adrian Cole, Princeton

 TT George Slavi Dusiphka

“Greatest football player past and present would be Michael Strahan, No. 92 of the New York Giants. He won two Super Bowl rings with the team and he was the anchor of a Staubach defense over the years and they were able to upset the favorites, the New England Patriots, twice.”

—George Dusiphka with daughter Slavi, Hamilton

TT Elle Yi

 “Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is my favorite, he is a great quarterback.” —Elle Yi, Princeton
TT Mic Harris
 “Charlie ‘Choo Choo’ Justice played for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He is an awesome legend.”—Mic Harris, Kennebunkport, Maine  (visiting Princeton relatives)

TT Johncarlo Quitieri

 “The Eagles are my favorite team. They are all really good players but my favorite and greatest player
of all time is Lawrence Taylor of the Giants.”—Johncarlo Quitieri, Princeton Junction

 

Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter to President Eisgruber.

Dear President Eisgruber of Princeton University,

Congratulations on your new appointment. I am a “loyal local” who was born and raised in Hopewell. I attended the football game this weekend with my family and was astonished to find that the University had done away with children’s tickets at sporting events. The cost for my family of five to attend a college football game was $50.

I have been going to Princeton sporting events (hockey, basketball, football and lacrosse) my entire life and there has always been children’s tickets. One of the greatest things about living in this area is the symbiotic relationship between the town and the University and, let’s be honest, if the residents did not go to the football games (seeing as they only win about 20 percent of their games) there would be no one there.

I believe what you are doing is not fair. The University does not pay property tax to the town and your endowment was in the 18 billion dollar range the last time I checked. You are squeezing the local residents and creating animosity over $5.

I would hope that you would reinstate children’s tickets for 12 and under and continue a tradition of loyal fans for generations to come. Thank you for your consideration.

Clark Reed

Hopewell

 

To the Editor:

The Princeton community needs, more than ever, public servants who will provide oversight and reform of the many problems that face us.

Looking around our consolidated town, one can not help but see that governance issues such as municipal management need scrutiny and transparency. This means elected public officials that challenge the status quo.

Jenny Crumiller and Patrick Simon bring the most important trait of a public advocate to the table of our civic life: courage.

Jenny Crumiller has been a voice for the unrepresented and overlooked in her career. Her concern for neighborhood preservation is unmatched. She has fought for transparency and accountability at every turn.

Patrick Simon brings a fresh, thoughtful, and analytical approach to the concerns of our town. He has shown that skill in his term in office, in particular, in the achievement of consolidation.

On November 5th, please send these two Princetonians back to fight for all of us.

BETH and JIM HEALEY

Moore Street

To the Editor:

Jenny Crumiller and Patrick Simon have each served on Princeton Council with distinction, and we are pleased to support their candidacy for reelection. Hearing them speak at the PCDO general meeting last week, we were reminded again of their great leadership qualities. They are genuine, thoughtful, and open. They acknowledge challenges and address them directly. Each makes a point of being accessible to constituents; they are good listeners and follow through with action as needed. They have a deep knowledge of Princeton needs and governance, and use it wisely.

Each brings particular interests to benefit our town. Patrick led the Emergency Preparedness Task Force creating the first emergency operations plan that covers all of Princeton. Thanks to his leadership we now have plans in place for emergency communications, shelters, comfort centers, and restoring power and road access.

Jenny is committed to preserving neighborhoods and giving residents a voice in planning and zoning decisions; she is helping to create neighborhood Advisory Planning Districts for this purpose. She supports maintaining proper scale, historic preservation, and sustainable practices in any development planning.

Preservation also means maintaining affordability; Jenny and Patrick have created budgets without raising taxes for the past four years; they work to support affordable housing, and to maintain the diversity of our community.

We are lucky to be represented by Jenny Crumiller and Patrick Simon. We urge all to vote your support for their reelection on November 5.

LIZ and DAVID COHEN

Terhune Road

To the Editor:

I appreciate the fiscal responsibility of the Princeton Public School Board. Managing the hard reality of the two percent tax cap that is New Jersey law, the demographic-driven increases in pension and healthcare benefits, and mandates from every level of government must be extremely challenging. Everyone wants a share of the pot and saying, “No” is never popular.

Despite rankings that have their own problems, we know home buyers desire Princeton because of the quality of our schools. As the parent of a John Wirherspoon Middle School student, I couldn’t be more impressed by the professional staff, the upgraded facilities, and the culture of excellence promulgated by the leadership of our schools.

For this reason, I support the re-election of Andrea Spalla and Molly Chrein to the Board of Education. They have worked extremely hard to balance many different competing needs and get the most from our taxpayer dollars.

DOUGLAS RUBIN

Laurel Road

To the Editor:

For the past four months I have had the privilege of serving on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education. Having served on the board in the past (2000-06), this return engagement has been exceptionally rewarding. I have found my fellow board members to be an absolutely outstanding group of community leaders, deeply committed to ensuring all of our children receive an excellent educational experience.

Two of the board leaders, Andrea Spalla and Molly Chrein, are total standouts and both are up for re-election this November. I heartily urge Princeton voters to cast their ballots for these two experienced, knowledgeable, and committed women. Andrea currently serves as the Board’s vice president and chairman of the Student Achievement Committee, while Molly serves as chairman for the Personnel Committee. As attorneys, Molly and Andrea bring a wealth of experience to the table. They have been active in negotiating union contracts, and served on the District Evaluation Advisory Committee. More importantly, both were leaders during the recent successful superintendent search, and I truly believe their presence on the board will be crucial during this transitional period as we welcome a new superintendent.

Please vote for Andrea Spalla and Molly Chrein for Princeton Public School Board on November 5.

ANNE BURNS

Baldwin Lane

To the Editor,

I write in support of Molly Chrein and Andrea Spalla for Princeton School Board. Both candidates currently serve on the Board, and both have served our schools well during their tenures. These two women are devoted to our schools. From the time they served on their kids’ school PTO’s to the hard work each has contributed on the various committees of the Board — they have rolled up their sleeves and done their part to help make our schools as great as they are.

I know each of these public servants personally and I know that Molly and Andrea have what it takes to help our schools be the best that they can be so that every child gets an excellent education every day.

I urge you to vote for them on November 5.

CAROL GOLDEN

Snowden Lane

October 16, 2013

TT Betsy Hoover

“I think it sad that the government is holding this very important federal election on a Wednesday three weeks before the statewide election. Obviously, he [Governor Christie] did not want to have a strong voter turnout for either election and that just hurts the public and our perception of government. And then we, the public, have to foot the bill, which I think is over $10 million for the special statewide election.” —Betsy Hoover, Princeton

TT Michael Dalton

 “I’m planning to vote. I think the big question for everyone is why did we need to have a special election so close to the regular election? There was a special primary and now we have a special election. I think it has cost taxpayers something like $20 million for the two special elections. I just think it’s a waste of taxpayer money, and it’s also on a Wednesday, which is an odd day for an election. I know a lot of people think the timing will suppress voter turnout.”—Michael Dalton, Jersey CityTT Kathy Mclellan

 “I plan on voting, but I think it was unnecessary to have a special election. We could have done it when the general election takes place. It’s an unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer’s money. It’s just plain politics.”—Kathy McClellan, West WindsorTT Brian Breuel

 “I think it was unnecessarily rushed, and I was just as happy having it take place during the regular election. I do plan on voting on Wednesday, however. —Brian Breuel, Princeton
TT John Heilner
 “I have a real problem with the special election. First of all, I think it is a complete misuse of public money that we taxpayers are going to have to pay to run this special election, over and above what it would have cost to run it on the normal election day. My second problem is that I think it’s a move by our governor to make life easier for himself. Should he run on election day, he would also be running at the same time as a very strong and very progressive Democratic candidate, Cory Booker. And so that would bring people to the polls who might well vote for Barbara Buono, who is a very strong candidate. By moving the date to three weeks earlier, Governor Christie has taken a whole bunch of people out of the election, who may not come November 5, but who may have voted against him. —John Heilner, Princeton

 
October 9, 2013

TT Andrew Yedlin Maria Casey

Andrew: “Applesauce with cinnamon.”
Maria: “Apple crisp with blueberries.”
—Andrew Yedlin, New York City (visiting his home-town, Princeton) with Maria Casey, Connecticut

 TT Elaine Madigan

“My favorite way to eat an apple is fresh right out of my hand, you crunch into it and you get the best of everything, you get the texture, the appeal of the skin and the juice running down your chin. My second and new favorite way to enjoy apples is apple salsa with chips, you get the juice, tart and sweet, with spicy jalapeño flavor. It is wonderful.”

—Elaine Madigan, Hamilton

 TT Story Rogers

“Candy apple covered with caramel and M&Ms on a stick.”
—Story Rogers, Princeton

 TT Brandon Green Brianna Marcus Green

Brandon: “I think that the best way to eat apples is applesauce.”
Brianna: “The best way to eat apples is applesauce.”
Marcus: “The best way to eat apples is apple pie.”
—(from left): Brandon Green, Brianna Solomon, and Marcus Green, Brooklyn

TT Mike Maddie Bitterly Kelsey Chiesco

Mike: “Caramel apple, which I really shouldn’t eat, and warm apple pie with ice cream on top.”
Maddie: “Applesauce and apple pie.”
Kelsey: “Apples with Nutella.”
—(from left): Mike Bitterly, with daughter Maddie and Kelsey Chiesco, Princeton

TT Colleen Coyle Matt McGarvey

Colleen: “Apples cut up for snack are the best.”
Matt: “My mother has always made really good Jewish apple cake around Thanksgiving time. I always look forward to it.”
—Colleen Coyle, North Brunswick and Matt McGarvey, Daytona Beach

CHEERS!: “Freshness is important. Not only in our food but in our libations as well. We make anything we can from scratch, and otherwise source quality ingredients from elsewhere. Always experimenting, always having fun.” Jamie Dodge (left), bar keep at elements restaurant, is shown in the newly remodeled and expanded bar.

CHEERS!: “Freshness is important. Not only in our food but in our libations as well. We make anything we can from scratch, and otherwise source quality ingredients from elsewhere. Always experimenting, always having fun.” Jamie Dodge (left), bar keep at elements restaurant, is shown in the newly remodeled and expanded bar.

elements has now been in town five years. To say it has made an impression is an understatement. The award-winning restaurant at 163 Bayard Lane has garnered kudos from food critics and the public alike, and it continues to gain approval both from long-time regulars and first-time diners.

“The kitchen is unique here,” points out administrative manager Beth Rota. “The dishes are well-conceived and thought out. It’s wonderful to see how appreciative customers are when they leave. They often ask to meet the chef!”

The restaurant is intriguing in many ways. The menu, of course, but also the decor and atmosphere. With its sleek, sophisticated lines (both exterior and interior) and delicious dining, it offers a treat for the senses visually and gastronomically.

Stone, glass, and steel are the main “elements” in the restaurant’s interior. Its clean lines and modern style create a sense of refined elegance throughout the setting. It can accommodate 70 diners, and spaces include the main dining room, the adjacent “cube” (a more intimate setting, with opaque glass walls for private dining), and the upstairs “loft” dining room with its inviting open air space — often used for private events

Union of Elements

The name “elements” is derived from the restaurant’s structure and philosophy, explains elements’ welcoming statement. “Our name speaks to our philosophy, and a memorable dining experience depends on a harmonious union of elements, the food, service, and environment. We unite these key ingredients with the utmost passion, dedication, and respect.”

“It’s about texture,” adds Ms. Rota. “The texture of the food, of the setting, of the wine.”

“Interpretive American” cuisine is featured at elements. As one critic described it in his review of the restaurant, this “essentially means classic flavors cast in new, even edgy, roles that defy expectation.”

Chef/owner Scott Anderson, formerly chef at The Ryland Inn, emphasizes local, seasonal ingredients and is known for his creativity in preparing imaginative, delicious choices. “I like the craft of cooking,” he explains. “Taking ingredients and transforming them through heat into something edible. It’s a very dynamic art.

“The menu is seasonal, and using local products is first and foremost,” he continues. “It’s proper eating to eat seasonally, locally, and whatever is available. We serve items in season, when it’s the correct time. We even go foraging in the woods for some ingredients, and we also have our own garden in the back.”

“Everything revolves around the kitchen,” adds general manager Matthew Rotella. “The menu is constantly evolving. We’re always adding new things, trying different flavors and profiles. The menu changes daily, and there is always something new.”

Several Options

Lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch are served, and there are vegetarian dishes as well as gluten-free, so people with special dietary needs can be accommodated.

One of the most popular dishes at elements is the “48-hour short-rib”, served with green peppers, potato, and mushroom. “It is cooked Sous Vide (with submersion) for 48 hours so it is incredibly tender,” explains Ms. Rota. “Scott is also very proud of our seafood dishes and sourcing. We’ve added a new wild salmon choice, and there are always several options of fish.”

“Sometimes, guests call ahead to ask for our sashimi plates,” adds Mr. Anderson.

Other fish specialties include summer flounder with cucumber, radish, sesame, and coconut milk; and monkfish, big eye tuna, and Oregon king salmon are all available. Chef Anderson points out that many of the fish choices come from the New Jersey shore.

Other popular entrees include Griggstown chicken with buttermilk, cornbread, tomatillo, and cashew; filet mignon and Lava Lake lamb are also favorites.

Chef Anderson is especially noted for his multi-course customized Chef’s Tasting Menus. These provide guests with an extensive dining experience, as the chef guides them through the special menu, made from the days finest ingredients, plus a special look into the kitchen. “These are for adventurous diners,” says the chef.

Lunch and brunch tasting menus are also available.

Sunday Brunch

Lunch at elements is especially popular for business and corporate meetings, and of course, for “ladies who lunch”. Favorite dishes include Peterson’s burger, with elements’ bacon, lamb chopper, miso?, and homemade potato bun; Griggstown chicken sausage; and roasted sunchokes. Also, many items on the dinner menu are available for lunch.

Sunday brunch is another specialty, which has been popular since the restaurant opened. In addition to the regular menu, with buttermilk pancakes, fromage de tete hash, chicken sausage, and scrambled eggs, a children’s menu is offered, with pancakes, macaroni and cheese, and organic eggs.

The same care that goes into planning the “beginning” (appetizers) and “middle” (entrees) is also emphasized with the “end” (dessert), as the categories are described on the menu. So many choices, so little time!

Specialties include fascinating combinations: peach and nectarine, cherry, smoked tea sponge cake?, blueberries and blackberries with apple, anise, and lime; chocolate ? including hazelnut, mint, feutilletine?; and peach, bourbon, and fennel beignets, along with housemade ice cream and sorbet, and artisanal cheeses.

Wines and spirits are an important part of the elements’ dynamic, and the bar has recently been expanded, doubling in size. “Our bar attracted its following from our craft cocktail offerings,” points out Beth Rota.

“Our bartenders always have a mix of classic cocktails to let guests experience famous drinks from other eras as well as new and modern flavor combinations listed under the heading, elements Classics. We have the most extensive collection of bottles/types of alcohol I have ever seen in an establishment, and our bartenders know how to use all of it. It is truly amazing.”

New Spin

“We put a new spin on an old cocktaill or create new cocktails,” adds Mr. Rotella. “We build flavors and have unique flavors.”

Everything from the latest martini combination to single malt Scotch to the best beers and wines, after dinner port and liberating liqueurs is available — with seemingly never-ending choices. And those who prefer non-alcoholic cocktails will not be disappointed either. How about a purple cooler, with blackberry, fennel, citrus, vanilla, and bubbles?

A new selection of “Bar Bites” has been added to the menu, as well, and these include a variety of tastes. For example: garden green coquettes with malt vinegar and squid ink; pork rinds “popcorn” with paprika and arugula; salt roasted chicken “oyster” and lime pickle; mushroom tempura and tonkatsu? sauce, to note just some on the list.

elements is also introducing a new “element”, adds Ms. Rota. “We are going to have ‘Sparkling Wednesday’, with complimentary sparkling wines and champagne. We think this will have great appeal, and especially to the ladies — for a night out.”

The elements’ staff is very proud of the response to the restaurant. elements has received numerous awards, including being selected as one of the top 25 restaurants in the state, and the best brunch and lunch 2011, 2012 from New Jersey Monthly magazine. OAD’s (Opinionated About Dining) Nationwide List of the Top 100 named it 23rd, and it came out ahead of several well-known New York City establishments.

Best Award of Excellence for the wine list came from Wine Spectator; and in the National Seafood Challenge 2011, Chef Anderson cooked at Drumthwacket against other New Jersey top chefs, and was voted to represent the state in the National Seafood Challenge in Louisiana, where he placed third.

“As a restaurant, we have done well; we’ve been well-received, and I’m proud of elements’ being recognized,” says Mr. Anderson. “I am also proud of the town of Princeton. There are good restaurants here now. Four of the top 25 restaurants in the state named by New Jersey Monthly are in Princeton.”

In addition to regular dining, elements offers special dining events and selected catering. It will also now offer a selection of cigars, which can be enjoyed outside on the patio.

Reservations are appreciated, and elements is open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner Sunday through Thursday 5:30 to 9, Friday and Saturday until 11; Sunday brunch 11 to 2. (609) 924-0078. Website: www.elementsprinceton.com.

FAMILY FARM: “Our products are truly New Jersey-grown. Our New Jersey growing plants acclimate to this climate better than merchandise shipped in from all over the country,” explains Melinda Madden, owner, with her husband Peter, of Madden Family Farms, with two locations. Shown is the farm at 50 Route 518 in tk, The other location is the long-time garden center at 4312 Route 27 in Little Rocky Hill.

FAMILY FARM: “Our products are truly New Jersey-grown. Our New Jersey growing plants acclimate to this climate better than merchandise shipped in from all over the country,” explains Melinda Madden, owner, with her husband Peter, of Madden Family Farms, with two locations. Shown is the farm at 50 Route 518 in tk, The other location is the long-time garden center at 4312 Route 27 in Little Rocky Hill.

When Melinda and Peter Madden opened Madden’s Nursery & Landscaping on Route 27 in Little Rocky Hill, Ms. Madden was fresh from a career as a multi-media coordinator for corporate meetings in New York City. A young mother, with no horticultural experience, she began an intensive learning program.

“Peter had been in the landscaping design business, and it was always his dream to have his own garden center,” she explains. “Although I had always loved flowers, I had no real horticultural background, so I signed up for courses at Rutgers.”

That was in 1995. In the past 18 years, the nursery — like its plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs — has thrived. The Madden’s now have a second location open full time to customers. They acquired their 24-acre farm nine years ago, and it is where they grow the products for their Route 27 location. Now, customers can go directly to the farm at 50 Route 518 (not far off Route 27) in Franklin Township.??

“We grow all our own plants, both annuals and perennials, and shrubs and trees (?),” notes Ms. Madden. “This was always our plan to compensate for changes in the economy; it enables us to keep our prices low over the years.

Winter Pansies

“We have bigger spruce trees at the farm, including 2½ and 3 inch caliper trees,” she continues. “Lots of nice evergreens, including 6-foot Norway spruce, blue spruce, and 8-10-foot white pine. Also, weeping cherry, flowering cherry, flowering pear, and dogwood.”

Shrubs include hydrangeas, weigela, spirea, azalea, rhododendron, and boxwood, among others. Fall is an excellent time for planting all of the above, adds Ms. Madden. “Winter pansies are available, as are flowering kale and cabbage. Of course, mums are very popular now, and we have a big selection, all home-grown, with a starting price of four for $10.”

Pumpkins are on hand and also cornstalks and bales of straw for fall decorating.

“We get a lot of customers in the fall,” says Ms. Madden. “And as a special treat for kids on the weekends from September 21 through the end of October, we will have a complimentary petting zoo, with our mini cow, Lindyann, goats, bunnies, and chickens. A visit to the farm can be a fun family outing.”

Landscaping Ideas

The creativity and natural beauty that is an intrinsic part of Madden Family Farms especially appeals to Ms. Madden, and she enjoys helping customers with landscaping ideas. “I like to help select the plants for a customer’s landscape and garden. And if people e-mail pictures, we can help design a landscape for them. I love this; it is so creative.”

In fact, Ms Madden enjoys just about everything about her work. “I love this business. It truly is my passion. Watching seedlings grow into lush beautiful plants is exciting. I love the beauty of the farm and the garden center. I love plants and flowers. Actually, I feel as if I have an addiction to certain types of plants, such as succulents and hybrid coleus as well as hard-to-find Rex begonias.

“Our family has had a passion for this business from the time we opened. A lot of hard work and long hours have gone into it. My children were babies when we opened, and they have worked in the business right along with us. Now our son Mason is 23, and is running the farm, and in charge of its expansion. His younger brother Mike helps on weekends and after school. Our daughter Megan, who is studying commercial photography, helps with our website.”

Ms. Madden also likes the seasonal aspect of the business, even when the weather poses a challenge. As she says, there is also something different to look forward to. “Every season is different in our business. We start the new year strategizing and planning for the spring. When the end of February rolls around, our little seedlings arrive at our farm, where the production of growing annuals and perennials begins. Our doors open mid-March with a vast selection of cool crop annuals. As the temperatures warm up, the array of hundreds of proven winter annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees arrive at our nursery on Route 27, and we start setting up our display at the farm. We have pottery shipped in from all over the world.

Array of Colors

“As spring turns to summer, Madden’s continues to sell beautiful summer flowers, both perennials and annuals through August. With the arrival of September and cool nights, both our locations are filled with mums in a huge array of colors. We have pumpkin gourds and Indian corn for fall decorating needs.

“As fall comes to an end, and winter approaches, Madden’s gets ready for our cut Christmas trees, fresh Fraser fir wreaths, poinsettias, and grave blankets. All of our Christmas inventory is handmade by our family, including the dozens and dozens of complimentary homemade cookies, a way of thanking each and every customer who comes to our door to support our family business.”

Ms. Madden thinks of her business as offering people a soothing activity in the midst of an increasingly high tech society. “In a business like this, it is back to the basics. People like to come here. It’s low stress, and there is beauty here. I am so pleased when people are happy buying our flowers, and I love to watch young people becoming enthusiastic about gardening. I love working outside, and I love working with the public. I also love it that I am working with my family. This is truly an owned and operated family business. We have come a long way, and I absolutely love what I do!”

Madden’s farm location is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Route 27 garden center is open seven days 9 to 6. (908) 208-5164. Website: www.maddensfamilyfarms.com.

 

To the Editor:

The sample ballots are out for the special U.S. Senate election, but nowhere on the ballot are voters reminded that October 16, election day, is a Wednesday. I am hoping that, as a public service, Town Topics will publicize this voting anomaly prominently in its October 9 edition to deter voters from heading to the polls the following Tuesday. Perhaps, if you plan to publicize the League’s October 15 forum, the reminder could also be included there. Town Topics reaches everyone and is thus invaluable for reaching voters with vital information.

Chrystal Schivell

Voter Service chair,

League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area

To the Editor:

The lunacy in Princeton shows no signs of letting up. First, to appease shrub-loving snobs, hundreds of thousands in tax money was squandered in a cruel and ill-advised deer eradication program that is now in its 13th year. Rather than allowing nature to find a balance, predators such as foxes and coyotes are now on the hit list as well. Without predators, guess what happens to the deer population? Did Princeton’s “wildlife experts” sleep through Biology 101? Is killing and sanitizing the ecosystem really the best that officials can come up with? Princeton can and must do better.

Bill Laznovsky

Mandon Court

 

To the Editor:

I am writing to acknowledge a generous contribution made by the Church and Dwight Employee Giving Fund to the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative (PSGC). This donation will enable the PSGC to continue supporting the thriving garden education programs at the four elementary schools in the Princeton public school system.

The school gardens movement in Princeton’s public schools began as a grassroots effort almost a decade ago. The elementary school gardens are the foundation of PSGC’s vision for K-12 food education in Princeton. We would like every Princeton High School graduate to be able to be able to grow a salad, read a label, cook a meal, set a table, and understand the impact of their food choices on the world around us. Today — thanks to Church and Dwight’s contribution, the steadfast support of the individual school PTOs, school administrators, our enthusiastic teachers, and other grant-making organizations — every elementary school child in Princeton touches and is touched by the gardens.

What does this mean? Our children engage all of their senses in the school gardens. They plant seeds and bulbs, weed and turn compost, observe differences in light and temperature, hear the sounds of the insects and animals that share these spaces, taste and smell the fruits of their labor. Cooperation and patience are cultivated, too, as students work together to tend, harvest, and cook the foods they have grown. Academics are enhanced as science experiments, writing assignments, and history lessons are experienced in and through the gardens.

We are so grateful to Church and Dwight’s employees for supporting PSGC’s effort to make sustained, meaningful garden education part of every PPS student’s life.

Jennifer Jang

Princeton School Gardens Cooperative

 

To the Editor:

Diversity is an important component of the Princeton community. Why then should we not vote Fausta Rodriguez Wertz onto the Princeton Council? We could all take pride in making her the first Latina to hold the office in Princeton, but Ms. Rodriguez Wertz offers Princeton voters something more than her ethnic background. Electing her will provide the Council with new ideas, improved openness, and wider representation. Anyone who had a chance to see the debates last month could see that she is thoughtful, patient, and aware of the challenges our community faces. She will insist on greater transparency and improved financial discipline, things the Council badly needs. For example, I learned in the debates that Princeton, despite the benefits of consolidation, has a debt burden so high that it cannot float any more bonds for another six years. In other words, Princeton has effectively maxed-out its credit because of high interest costs. I didn’t know this. Did you? I find this situation outrageous. The current composition of the Council is four former Borough and two former Township residents and will remain so if the two other candidates are re-elected. Ms. Rodriguez Wertz lives in the former Township and is familiar with the needs of the outer community, something I’d welcome. Princeton takes pride in its diversity. Why not in its Council too?

James Hockenberry

Randall Road

 

To the Editor:

We would like to thank the members of the Princeton and Blawenburg Fire Departments as well as representatives from the Princeton Police Department for so generously helping make the John Witherspoon Middle School  (JWMS)Super Saturday Carnival such a success last weekend. The JWMS students and families attending were thrilled to watch Principal Jason Burr, and Assistant Principal Lynne Harkness ride up to the sky in the ladder truck’s bucket to drop thousands of ping pong balls. Many thanks also to Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, who announced that JWMS sixth grader Catherine Dyevich, whose ball landed closest to the target painted on the street, was the lucky winner of a set of Beats Dr. Dre headphones. Thanks also to the officers from the Princeton Police Department, some of whom are JWMS alumni, who were on hand to meet students. The event, which raised funding for the annual sixth grade overnight environmental science trip, was all the more successful thanks to the gracious participation by all of you.

Brigitte Delaney, Ann Marciano

JWMS parent volunteers

 

To the Editor:

The Friends of the Princeton Public Library held their Annual Book Sale the weekend of September 27 – 29. Aided by glorious weather and a book-loving community, the sale had its best year ever. We sold thousands upon thousands of books, some dating from the early 1700’s and some published just last month. We would like to thank our wonderful volunteers, whose work throughout the year made the sale possible. Thanks also to all those who donated books to the Friends; we are so lucky to have such great offerings from this community of readers. The book sale wouldn’t be possible, of course, without the support of the library’s wonderful staff and particularly the facilities crew, who gave us their wholehearted support over many, many, hours. Others provided valuable assistance as well: Witherspoon Grill and D’Angelo’s donated meals for our set up and clean up crews, Johnson Park Elementary School Principal Bob Ginsburg and the Princeton Public Schools lent us tables for the sale, and McCaffrey’s donated the bags for the Bag Sale.

All profits from the Annual Book Sale (and from our used book store, open daily and located just inside the library entrance) go to support the library. http://princetonlibrary.org/booksale.

Sherri Garber, Eve Niedergang

Friends of the Library Book Sale Co-Chairs

 

October 2, 2013

To the Editor:

I write today because I am so deeply disturbed by the arrogant attitude of Princeton University toward the town and community of Princeton.

The Dinky station has now been moved almost to College Road. The new location is a very long walk from the center of town, particularly if one is pulling or carrying luggage. Princeton was truly blessed with convenient rail connection to the main line. Most communities would value this connection as does the town of Princeton. However, the University seems to feel that just because it has the financial resources, it should be allowed to do exactly what it pleases without regard to anyone else, even if it includes truncating this resource.

The historic gateway to Princeton, which combined residential buildings, offices and retail, has been destroyed. What was good enough for Scott Fitzgerald, John Kennedy, Bill Bradley, and Brooke Shields will now become some sort of generic conglomeration.

I ask again what part of overpass and underpass does the University not understand? If the new, improved Arts Center must go in this location, why not have some consideration for the community?

Ruth Sayer

Library Place

 

To the Editor:

Town Topics readers don’t complain as much as they should about our awful roads, which such a wealthy town shouldn’t countenance.

The pavement on most Princeton roads

Can best be appreciated by toads.

Yes, these warted connivers

Can outwit all our drivers

Our potholes are their best abodes.

Charles Townsend

Hickory Court

 

Dear Governor Christie:

I applaud your efforts on behalf of the shore, but I am writing about New Jersey’s significantly historic Washington Crossing Park. I wish to “rock the boat” and ask that you give attention to this treasure in the State’s Park system, which needs your help and that of your administration.

The state park is our side of Washington’s famous “Crossing” of the Delaware. Using boats from up and down the Delaware, Washington and his army left Pennsylvania in 1776 and landed here and then moved on to Trenton. The Johnson ferry house, used by Washington and his staff, is still here. The Swan Collection of American Revolutionary War artifacts is here. It is the annual site of New Jersey’s History Fair. But the museum and its various structures are in desperate need of repair and the park itself needs major attention.

The park also has a great nature center, meadows, and trails for hiking, but many of the trails were affected by Hurricane Sandy and are still blocked. The historic family pavilions are also in rough shape along with park amenities like foot bridges, picnic tables, and bathrooms.

The park needs a “Friends” group to help, but it also needs a big push from the DEP. A “Friends” group is what I am in the process of forming to assist this beautiful park in its return to its former glory.

Your DEP Head Bob Martin has made numerous references to historic tourism and a relationship between the State and “Friends” groups. I hope to find out that he meant what he said and that includes what he said on your behalf.

Respectfully and wishing for your help to “Rock the Boat.”

Joe Carney

Organizer, Washington State Park Friends

 

September 25, 2013

TT Celia Zoe Totaro

Celia: “Bad Kitty and I like to read to myself.”
Zoe: “I read to myself, Amelia Bedelia is my favorite.”
—Celia (left) and Zoe Totaro, Flemington

TT Nina Crews Asa Antoine

Aesop in California and Pinocchio and we read out loud together.” —Nina Crews and son Asa Antoine, Brooklyn

TT Barrett Miller

 “I read out loud and to myself. My favorite books are The Grimm Sisters and the Judy Moody books.”
—Barrett Miller, Lawrenceville
TT Andy Ratner Nate Howard
 Andy: “I like nonfiction books mostly about airplanes and vehicles and stuff like that. I like to read to myself.”
Nate: “I like the Septimus Heap series and the Artemis Fowl series. I read to myself.”
—Andy Ratner and Nate Howard, Princeton
TT Sophia Nathan
 “I read to myself. My favorite book is Princess Bess Gets Dressed, which I bought here a few years ago.”
—Sophia Nathan, Princeton
TT Alfred Honore

 “I read to myself and I like the Pokemon series.”
— Alfred Honore, Chapel Hill, N.C. (formerly of Princeton)

TT Deirdre Owen Ristic

Deirdre: ”The Giving Tree and books by Kevin Henkes. I read to myself.”
Owen: “Harry Potter series and I like to read to myself.”
—Deirdre and Owen Ristic, Princeton

 

GREAT TASTES: “We have Mediterranean food with a focus on kebabs. It’s good, healthy food with very fresh ingredients.” Ekrem (“Frankie”) Bodur, chef/owner/manager of EFES Mediterranean Grill, is pleased to introduce diners to his unique cuisine.

GREAT TASTES: “We have Mediterranean food with a focus on kebabs. It’s good, healthy food with very fresh ingredients.” Ekrem (“Frankie”) Bodur, chef/owner/manager of EFES Mediterranean Grill, is pleased to introduce diners to his unique cuisine.

Lunch, dinner, take-out, and catering are all available at EFES Mediterranean Grill. Opened in February 2012 at 235 B Nassau Street, it has attracted a growing number of customers who enjoy its tasty middle eastern-style cuisine and family-oriented atmosphere.

“Princeton is a good location for us,” says chef/owner/manager Ekrem (“Frankie”) Bodur. “It’s an international community, and many people here have traveled to Turkey, where I am from. We have a great customer base, including lots of families, and lot of kids. Kids love the kebabs, our specialty.”

A native of Turkey, Mr. Bodur came to the U.S. when he was a boy in 1989. After initially settling in Brooklyn, N.Y., the family moved to New Jersey, and eventually Mr. Bodur, his brothers, and cousins, opened a successful restaurant EFES Mediterranean Grill in New Brunswick.

“I love to cook,” he explains. “I have always enjoyed it. It’s creative, and I’m always experimenting.”

Classical City

The New Brunswick restaurant was very successful, with many customers from all over the area, including Princeton. “We had a lot of people from Princeton, who asked us to open here,” says Mr. Bodur. “We have had great word-of-mouth, with people coming from Princeton, Kingston, Lawrenceville, and all over the area. We have also had a lot of Princeton University students come in.”

Customers are enjoying both the food and the atmosphere at EFES Mediterranean Grill. Named for Efes, the ancient classical city in Turkey (once ruled by the Greeks and the Romans), the restaurant can accommodate 15 people for sit-down dining as well as 15 more outside. The decor features attractive mosaic tile from Turkey, and Turkish artwork and artifacts will be added soon.

The menu offers wide-ranging choices, including hot and cold appetizers, soup, salads, side dishes, sandwiches and wraps, entrees, and special dishes.

“The kebabs are the most popular item,” reports Mr. Bodur. “It’s the taste. It’s different. They are charcoal-grilled, with a unique flavor. We bring our own herbs and spices from Turkey, and we have our own special recipes. Oregano and paprika are very important in our dishes.”

Turkish Bread

Popular appetizers include stuffed grape leaves, grilled hummus, baba ghanoush, mixed eggplant, and falafel, among others. Many vegetarian appetizers are available.

Sandwiches and wraps are served on pita bread, with lettuce, tomato, onion, and white and red sauce. “We use our special Turkish bread,” says Mr. Bodur.

Favorite sandwiches are the grilled H-gyro-doner (ground lamb and beef combination), H-Adana kebab (ground lamb flavored with red bell peppers slightly seasoned with paprika and grilled on a skewer), and H-chicken kebab (tender chunks of chicken marinated with the chef’s own blend of herbs and spices).

The entrees are served with bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and rice or French fries. Kebabs are in small or larger sizes, and include the traditional shish kebab (special marinated cubes of baby lamb, grilled on skewers), mixed grill (a combination of shish kebab, gyro, and grilled chicken), and a variety of other kebabs.

In addition, specialties, such as lamb chops and moussaka (chunks of baby eggplant with ground leg of lamb seasoned with herbs, and served with rice), are favorite dishes.

Seafood is also available, as are hamburgers. The popular baklava (freshly homemade and perfectly flavored) is a traditional dessert, and Turkish coffee is a specialty along with Turkish tea. Regular coffee, iced tea, and assorted sodas are also available.

Family Business

Catering has become a big part of EFES’s business, notes Mr. Bodur. “We do every kind and size event. We recently catered a gathering for 500 people!”

He is proud of the restaurant’s success and that it is a thriving family business, offering the freshest ingredients and tastiest dishes for his diners. “Everything we have is so fresh, and with our own unique flavors. Come and see us. You can bring wine or beer, and have a relaxed, leisurely meal in our friendly, down-to-earth restaurant.”

Mr. Bodur has made an effort to keep prices reasonable. Appetizers are $2.95 to $7.95; salads $6.50 and up; sandwiches and wraps $5.95 and $6.95; hamburgers $4.50; small kebabs $8.50, large $11.95; moussaka $12.95, and baklava $3.95.

EFES Mediterranean Grill is open seven days, from 11 a.m. to 9:30/10 p.m. (609) 683-1220. Website: www.efesgrill.com.