Yet More Restaurants: Ricky’s Thai, Skillman; FunniBonz BBQ Smokehouse, Robbinsville; Szechuan House, Hamilton; Peony Pavilion, West Windsor; Cafe Vienna, Princeton

What I stated in my previous post holds true: I am still playing catch-up since my daughter’s wedding, and I continue to burst out in restaurant-related print. Here’s the next batch. I am still not current. Consider yourself warned.

Ricky’s Thai, Skillman

Heaven knows, there’s a dearth of good Thai restaurants in the Princeton area. Check out my review of newbie Ricky’s Thai, from the May issue of the Montgomery News.

Spicy duck

FunniBonz BBQ Smokehouse

Jim Barbour, the originator of the highly successful line of FunniBonz barbecue sauces, opened his first restaurant, the small, casual storefront FunniBonz BBQ Smokehouse in Robbinsville, in December 2013.

Courtesy Community News Service

Courtesy Community News Service

I recently sat down with him over lunch to get the scoop. Midway through our chat, he confessed that he had revealed things about himself that he’s never spoken of in public before. That includes his goal of turning FunniBonz into the Chipotle of fast-casual barbecue chains. My profile of Barbour-the-entrepreneur and Barbour-the-man is here, in the May issue of the Robbinsville Advance. In a subsequent post I’ll report on my lunch at FunniBonz. (Spoiler alert: I thought it was terrific.)

Lisa Shao of Szechuan House, Hamilton & Peony Pavilion, West Windsor

Assorted dim sum, Peony Pavilion

Assorted dim sum, Peony Pavilion

I’ve previously posted about Peony Pavilion, Shao’s Asian fusion restaurant that opened late last year on Farber Road, just off Route 1: reviewing it for the Montgomery News & blogging here about a dim sum lunch I later enjoyed. And I’ve long been a fan of the traditional Szechuan House on Nottingham Way, which Shao took over in 2010.

4-30 Cover & Front (1-8).indd

So for the cover story of the 2014 US 1 Spring Dining issue (above), I wanted to learn what makes this 44-year-old dynamo tick. Over lunch with Shao at Szechuan House I discovered how her love of the fine and performing arts led to her path as restaurateur. (I’ll report on that lunch in a subsequent post, too.)

Cafe Vienna, Princeton

Although there are already several fine coffeehouses downtown – Small World and Rojo’s to name just two – Cafe Vienna, which opened on April 26, sets itself apart by offering the beverages and sweet treats of a traditional Wiener Kaffehaus, including Sacher torte. It comes by them honestly: proprietor Anita Waldenberger is an Austrian native and many of the recipes are old family recipes.

Cafe Vienna, Princeton

Cafe Vienna, Princeton

I did a quick reconnoiter on Thursday afternoon. Sitting out on Nassau Street during the balmy post-deluge weather, my Jause for Kaffee und Kutchen consisted of a fine apple strudel and cafe mocha (hot chocolate with a shot of espresso). Clearly, more research is warranted.

 

 

One response to “Yet More Restaurants: Ricky’s Thai, Skillman; FunniBonz BBQ Smokehouse, Robbinsville; Szechuan House, Hamilton; Peony Pavilion, West Windsor; Cafe Vienna, Princeton

  1. Pat, you’re amazing, returning to the fray after being in that very different country known as “my daughter’s wedding.” We’re lost without your perspective and your taste, but we also grant permission for the perfect pacing of your return.

    Carolyn, who is also attempting to return after moving from Princeton to Lawrenceville. (and will need some good restaurants)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s