Tag Archives: Agricola restaurant


A special four-course dinner on February 10th, limited to 45 guests, is your chance to meet Dennis Cakebread, whose family winery has been a luminary of the California wine scene for almost four decades. Among the wines he’ll pour that night are hard or impossible to find vintages, paired with a menu created just for the occasion by Agricola’s executive chef, Josh Thomsen.

Dennis Cakebread & Josh Thomsen Photo by Fred Oufredo

Dennis Cakebread & Josh Thomsen
Photo by Fred Oufredo

I spoke with Thomsen about how he and his friend Cakebread collaborated on the wines and food, and how the dinner came about in the first place. Get all the details here, in my post on the New Jersey Monthly website.

My Review of Agricola; Unusual Berries from an Unlikely Plot

I weigh in on Agricola, the Princeton dining sensation, here in the July issue of New Jersey Monthly, which is just now hitting the newsstands.

Agricola sign

Jostaberries, Goumi Berries, & Serviceberries: Just a Few of the Rarities at Kendall Park’s Pitspone Farm


Michael Brown grows these berries in his backyard in the middle of a suburban development in Middlesex County, along with elderberries, red currants, and more – and chefs at leading restaurants in nearby Princeton have taken notice. Read all about it – complete with this Food Network recipe for Summer Pudding from Emeril Lagasse and the Groset Fool recipe below (gooseberries optional) in my June 7th In the Kitchen column in the Princeton Packet.

GROSET FOOL (Gooseberry Cream)
British and Irish Cooking (Garland Books; ‘Round the World Cooking Library 1972)

Note: A recipe on the blog Hungriness mixes elderflower cordial (i.e. St. Germaine) into the whipped cream instead of vanilla extract. Brilliant! – p.t.

1 pound fresh gooseberries
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place berries in a saucepan, add water and 1/2 cup sugar and cook over low heat until fruit is soft. Force the fruit through a strainer to remove the seeds. Allow pureed fruit to cool. Whip the cream until almost stiff. Beat in the 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla and fold the cream into the fruit puree. Chill 4 hours.
Serves 4.

Michael Brown, Pitspone Farm, in front of European elderberries
Michael Brown, Pitspone Farm, in front of European elderberries

Uproot Review; Irish Julep Recipe; Agricola Opens; ‘Outstanding in the Field’ Comes to NJ; Edible Jersey Names Local Heroes

That’s a lot packed inside here – and yet there’s more. This post marks my 100th at dinewithpat! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the support and encouragement you’ve given me over the last 99. I’d be so grateful if you would help me celebrate by getting another food-loving friend to subscribe, or by following me on Twitter and Facebook. Yay me!

Uproot 2.0

This restaurant in Warren changed its focus and uprooted its menu (sorry; couldn’t resist) after its opening chef, Anthony Bucco, moved on to the Ryland Inn. Here’s my NJ Monthly review of the “new” Uproot, from the March issue. (Beer lovers will want to check out the cover stories as well.)

NJ Monthly cover mar13

For St. Patrick’s Day: No Green Beer Here!clipart shamrock

This year the folks at Salt Creek Grill in Princeton are saving us from that particular alcoholic monstrosity. Their alternative – the Irish Julep – is inspired. It’s made, predictably, with Jameson – but also with a particularly intriguing twist: Amaro Averna from Sicily. Here’s the recipe:

Salt Creek Grill's Irish Julep

Salt Creek Grill’s Irish Julep

Salt Creek Grill’s Irish Julep

1.5 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey
¼ ounce Averna Amaro
½ ounce simple syrup
6 mint leaves
1 mint sprig
1/2 ounce water
Crushed Ice

Muddle mint leaves, simple syrup, and water in a highball glass.
Add crushed ice and Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Float Averna Amaro on top and garnish with mint sprig.

Breaking News on My Previous Breaking News: Agricola is Open

Agricola opening date

In my last post I reported that this long-awaited Princeton restaurant would open sometime in March. Well, that sometime is here: Sunday, March 10. Check out the opening menus at the Agricola website.

2 NJ Dates for ‘Outstanding in the Field’ Dinners

Last season, this company that mounts chef/farmer dinners around the country (and the world) in the middle of farm fields, on ranches, etc. did not hold an event in our fair state. This coming season, there are two of what they term “roving culinary adventures.” Tickets go on sale at the Outstanding the Field website on March 20th and, even at $200 a head, they sell out fast. Here’s a heads-up on the NJ dinners:

9/15 at Great Road Farm, Skillman (owned by Jim Nawn of Agricola). Chef is Josh Thomsen (Agricola) and farmer is Steve Tomlinson.

9/17 at Stonybrook Meadows, Hopewell (an equine and sustainable meats & produce farm). Chef is Laura Del Campo (an alum of elements in Princeton) and farmers is Anne Del Campo (her mom).

Congratulations to Edible Jersey’s 2013 ‘Local Heroes’

Here are this year’s award winners, selected by Edible Jersey magazine’s readers.  Well done & well deserved all. Cheers!

Sometimes you just gotta pop some Champagne.

Sometimes you just gotta pop some Champagne. (Photo credit: ganesha.isis)

River Horse Brewing Company, Lambertville (Beverage Artisan)
Matthew Gregg, Forty North Oyster Farms, Mantoloking (Farm/Farmer)
First Field, Princeton (Food Artisan)
Marilyn Schlossbach, Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park (Chef/Restaurant)
Basil Bandwagon and Natural Market, Flemington (Food Shop)
Hunterdon Land Trust, Flemington (Nonprofit)

Breaking News! First Look inside Agricola in Princeton

Last Friday I got a sneak peak – and a guided behind-the-scenes tour – from chef Josh Thomsen of his highly anticipated farm-to-table restaurant set to open in a few short weeks. Check it out in this blog post on NJMonthly.com. Agricola sign