Tag Archives: Uproot restaurant

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)

Two Posts in One Day? Must Be Important News!!

Here’s the scoop: The new executive chef at the Ryland Inn, which is expected to come back online this summer, will be Anthony Bucco. Bucco, formerly of Uproot in Warren and for many years before that Stage Left in New Brunswick, happens to be one of my favorites, so I could not be more pleased.

Here is a reprint of what I wrote about my first visit to Uproot early in 2010, when it was still new and he was still in charge of the kitchen. (It may still be just as good, but since I haven’t been there since he departed, I can’t say.) Anyway, congrats to everyone involved. Those are big shoes to fill (those of Craig Shelton, of course), but I am very hopeful.

UPROOT YOURSELF

When I learned that Anthony Bucco, longtime chef at Stage Left in New Brunswick, is the executive chef at Uproot, a new restaurant in Warren, I wanted to check it out pronto. This meant not waiting to dine there in my official capacity as restaurant critic, but rather as a civilian – one of a group of six friends out for an evening on the town. What follows is a report on my experience, which differs from the norm because the folks there knew I was coming, there was no need for me to don the disguise I have used in the past, and I dined there on my own dime.

The name of the restaurant has both literal and symbolic meaning. Uprooting himself is exactly what Bucco has done. And the exciting design of the restaurant includes a whimsical take on an inverted tree suspended overhead. Amazingly, the tree isn’t the most dramatic element in this sleek, sophisticated space that manages to be inviting and comfortable as well as ultramodern.

Service is pretty sleek, too. I sometimes forget what it feels like to have your every want and need anticipated, but was reminded of that here. As, too, when a restaurant pays attention to every last detail, including good, crusty rolls, an intelligent cheese plate, and excellent coffee.

Other pluses here: adult cocktails and an interesting wine list. Sommelier/general manager Jonathan Ross (formerly of Anthos in New York) found some impressive vintages within our $60 cap, including a 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape and a 2002 Alsace Riesling.

Every dish on Uproot’s modern American menu peaked my interest. Even the amuse bouche provided excitement: crostini topped with elk tartare. Chef Bucco has a very special way with fish, so I ordered the special appetizer of local fluke with onion marmalade followed by black cod poached in grapefruit-accented broth and, in between, my tablemates and I shared a portion of lightly seared tuna. I smiled contentedly through all three courses while the meat-lovers in my group extolled the venison with rutabaga gratin and huckleberries.

Other dishes, while still good, didn’t quite match the ‘wow’ factor of the above. Pear and bitter greens salad, gnocchi with Surryano ham, and roast chicken with root vegetables, for example.

These days, it is heartening to see a restaurant open that doesn’t stint on style or dumb down its menu in deference to today’s economic conditions. With seven out of ten entrees under $30, the folks at Uproot “get” the economy while providing a welcome respite from the currently ubiquitous “upscale” burgers, mac and cheese, and short ribs.