Tag Archives: Osteria Procaccini

HomeFront’s Teaching Kitchen Helping Families Become Self-Sufficient;Yet More Restaurants Opening in Princeton; Making Perfect Porchetta

Long-time Princeton Caterer & Cooking Instructor Teaches Homeless Adults and Children in New State-of-the-Art Kitchen

Christina Crawford’s Wooden Spoon Catering Company was Princeton staple for 15 years. After that, she taught children and adults at the culinary center inside Princeton’s Whole Food. But now that she’s heading up HomeFront’s Teaching Kitchen in Ewing, she told me, “This job is a thousand times better than anything I could have thought about doing.” Find out why, here in my profile in the February issue of The Princeton Echo.

Christina Crawford & Students

Christina Crawford & Students

February Food for Thought: 3 More New Eateries Coming to Downtown Princeton; Dining Deal at the Peacock Inn; Mediterranean Farm-to-Table Dinners at Hopewell Valley Vineyards

Hopewell Valley Vineyards Chef Nikiforos Vaimakis, courtesy Infini-T Cafe Princeton

Hopewell Valley Vineyards Chef Nikiforos Vaimakis (courtesy Infini-T Cafe Princeton)

Gosh, how I love having the central part of our state as my base of operations. One prime example: this February Echo column that’s chock-full of exciting developments. Details on: Jules Thin Crust Pizza, Marhaba, Kung Fu Tea & Noodle House, a new Osteria Procaccini outpost, $49 to dine at the Peacock Inn, $70 for a 5-course meal with wines in Hopewell. My, oh my.

Picture Perfect Porchetta

For some reason I got it into my head that I wanted to attempt porchetta for Christmas this past year. It turned out to be a showstopper (my family took to calling it the Meat Log), and it would make an impressive centerpiece for any winter dinner party.

My porchetta

My porchetta

Now, I’m not going to tell you that forming a jelly roll out of thick slabs of meat and fat is easy, but it’s worth the effort. I followed this Martha Stewart recipe and video for Porchetta with Salsa Verde, using wonderful boneless pork loin and pork belly from Double Brook Farm (which I had pre-ordered from butcher Cole Dougherty at Brick Farm Market).

You know you're onto something when your canine guest plants himself outside the kitchen

You know you’re onto something when your canine guest plants himself outside the kitchen and won’t budge

The stuffing of fresh Mediterranean herbs and garlic featured exceptionally fragrant fennel pollen from Princeton’s Savory Spice Shop. And added bonus was that for days afterwards we enjoyed leftovers of porchetta sandwiches on Terra Momo Bread focaccia.

The Taco Truck, Meatball Mania, Dairy Home Delivery, More

My Newest Gig: Say Hello to the Princeton Echo

Princeton Echo April 2015

Princeton Echo April 2015

Princeton doesn’t lack for free newspapers, but this latest player in town, a monthly, aims to set itself apart by the stories it chooses to cover and its slant. I’m happy to announce that I will be part of that. Each month I contribute both a restaurant feature – an in-depth profile, not a review – and a newsy/gossipy column that’s a collection of happenings and interesting developments on the food and dining scene. (If you have tips, please email me at dinewithpat@gmail.com!)

Here are my entries for April:

Jason Scott & Lynh Pham, The Taco Truck Courtesy Princeton Echo

Jason Scott & Lynh Pham, The Taco Truck
Courtesy Princeton Echo

The Taco Truck: Meet Jason Scott, who with partner Chris Viola, founded what started out as an actual truck in Hoboken and which recently opened its 4th brick-and-mortar location in NJ in the Princeton Shopping Center. How have Princetonians responded to this city slicker? And how has Princeton changed the way The Taco Truck is doing business? Find out here.

“Food for Thought.” This is the name of my new monthly column, a compilation of interesting developments on the Princeton area food, drinks, & dining scene. In the April issue these include:

Courtesy Osteria Procaccini

Courtesy Osteria Procaccini

Meatball mania: Kingston residents have gone bonkers for the meatballs, of all things, at Osteria Procaccini, an artisan pizza spot. Insiders know to scoop them up each week before they run out. What makes them so special?

LactomanLactoman to the rescue! If you live within a 10 mile radius of Princeton, there’s a new, easy, and inexpensive service that delivers milk, cheese, and other products from local farms and food artisans directly to your door. Check it out!

Forrestal Farmers MarketFarmers market season is fast approaching, and the first batch of changes/additions concerns the Princeton Forrestal Village Market. Think more dairy, cheese, fermented goodies, and grab-and-go lunches from the likes of Bobolink Bubbly Jen’s, and Brick Farm Market.

Pork Roll CookbookPork Roll Cookbook & Signing: If you missed the details in my previous post at NJMonthly.com (which accumulated 750 likes in a matter of days), they’re all in April’s “Food for Thought.”

 

Restaurants: US 1 Fall Dining Issue; Review of Just in Old Bridge; Elements Special Dinner

Before I get to the restaurant stuff, I want to let you know you’ll be getting a second posting from me today. On Monday I composed and thought I had published a post on what restaurants are doing to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief. Somehow I forgot to press the “publish” button. I’m blaming that on Sandy. Although I was one of the lucky ones – only 3 days without power, no damage – I have noticed that I’m not multitasking as efficiently as usual. Have you noticed the same?

US 1 Fall Dining

Despite the soft economy, some veteran restaurateurs in Central NJ are adding sibling restaurants to their existing stable. Read my profile of them and their new and forthcoming restaurants in the 2012 Fall Dining Issue of US 1.

Among the restaurants: A second Osteria Procaccini, a second PJ’s Pancake House, North End Bistro, Masa Sushi, and Centro Grille. That last, btw, is from the current owner of Acacia in Lawrenceville.

Just: A Fine Dining Restaurant on Route 9 in Old Bridge

Read my review of this ambitious undertaking on an unlikely stretch of that roadway, from the November issue of New Jersey Monthly.

Elements Collaborative Dinner Thursday, November 15

An interesting lineup of NJ chefs is cooking up a collaborative feast for a good cause at Scott Anderson’s elements in Princeton. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. Taking on one course each are David Felton of 90 Acres, Josh Thomsen of the highly anticipated Agricola, Gabby Carbone of the Bent Spoon, Will Mooney of the Brothers Moon, and Chris Albrecht of Eno Terra. The evening will begin with hors d’oeuvres at 6pm. For information and reservations click here.