By Samantha
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A day does not go by where I don’t look out at the Delaware River and sigh in awe. Can you believe this is right here in our backyard? It’s a sight to see no matter what season – yes, even in the miserable, cold, dead winter.

It’s really an experience from the minute you get in the car to drive along River Road or River Drive. Everyone loves a scenic drive along the canal (just please go the speed limit, people do live here and have places to go – this is New Jersey after all). And I may be 28, but I love getting to restaurants early when its quiet and we can have the place to ourselves. No one ever rushes you through your meal when it’s 5:30pm!

My favorite stretch of dining along the Delaware River begins around Frenchtown, NJ and ends around Yardley, PA. That’s a good 27 miles of River, and at least 20+ restaurants worth checking out! And while some are not technically ON the river, they are a stone’s throw away. After dinner (if you’re not too stuffed) its great to take a walk to the water and catch the sunset.

 

Black Bass Restaurant (Lumberville, PA)

It took me a while to get out to the Black Bass. Their property looked beautiful, but I could never find any food photos online and I’m sorry, but I need to see some good-looking photos before I commit to dining somewhere (must be the social media marketer in me). But it was one of those nights and I had a hankering to try some place new, and The Black Bass Restaurant was at the top of my list.

I could kick myself for waiting four years to drive up there, because it was such a wonderful meal. The property is just perfect (if you ever are looking for a place to stay in the area) and the food was well prepared. I started off with their signature martini, the Bass’tini Earl Grey Tea infused Beefeater Gin, simple syrup and lemon juice. As a tea addict, I really love seeing these kinds of drinks on the menu!

For dinner, I enjoyed the pork belly appetizer, a shrimp crusted cod served with Spanish fried rice, asparagus salad and piquillo pepper aioli, and last but not least the Lancaster County Chicken Breast Stuffed with Brie & pine nuts; served with sautéed asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes and butter-thyme pan jus. It’s definitely an eclectic menu, so I think that you’ll find something to suit your mood. And here are some photos, in case you’re like me!

I would say out of all of the restaurants along the Delaware, the Black Bass has the best river views. Take a walk along the Lumberville footbridge (pictured above) to take it all in.

Stockton Inn (Stockton, NJ)

The Stockton Inn has been a longstanding favorite in my family. We always enjoyed lunch on the front porch, but a lot has changed over the last few years. The area in the back has been transformed and is now open to public dining. They have a beautiful waterfall and a great outdoor bar.

The location is not the only thing that has transformed over the years – the menu is now more upscale and seasonally focused. I enjoyed their Char-Grilled Octopus with Crispy Fingerling, Avocado Puree, Radish, Pickled Red Onion and Mole. But my favorite was the Corn agnolotti with Rogue Smokey Blue Cheese, Chive and Red Onion. It was so nice to kick back with a refreshing glass of Chardonnay and enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

They also now have HAPPY HOUR daily! We will be back to enjoy some drinks and small bites on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon before/after a stroll along the canal.

Golden Pheasant Inn (Erwinna, PA)

If we lived closer to the Golden Pheasant I am sure we’d be regulars for dinner throughout the week. For it being the longest continuously operating restaurant/hotel along the Delaware Canal, it really has been well maintained. The peaceful inn is actually on the canal; you could reach out and touch someone enjoying their evening stroll. The patio they’ve designed almost feels like you’re in someone’s backyard. Colorful pillows and deep-set whicker chairs set the mood, and the experience is only heightened with its menu of local, seasonal fair.

Their dishes on the menu this August included scallops with local corn and peaches, spinach & ricotta ravioli with Fulper Farm ricotta, halibut with Castle Valley Mill farro and dishes with wild foraged fiddleheads and mushrooms. My husband got their Grilled Lancaster County sirloin steak and boudin blanc sausage served with tri-color quinoa, broccoli rabe, Dijon mustard and a chimichurri sauce. The sausage is made in-house and was my favorite bite of the evening!  Their effort to keep the menu as local as possible is extremely impressive. And their extensive wine list (23 pages) ensures that you will find the best pairing for your meal. It was here that I got to enjoy my first cocktail made with Barr Hill gin (Vermont distilled gin with raw honey), which I have been seeing on more and more cocktail menus. We went to the liquor store the following week and picked up a bottle for home!

Whichever restaurant you decide to check out, now is the time to do so. Fall is right around the corner and it will be worth the trip to watch the leaves change colors.

About the Author

Grazin' in New Jersey since 1988

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