When I called to make a last minute reservation at the Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell, NJ, the owner, Rory Philipson, did us a solid and squeezed us in. She also let me know we had missed the last two menus – unacceptable!
If you’ve never been, Blue Bottle lives up to its name. Literally… blue bottles, everywhere. The little blue house is great about offering seasonal, local fare and that’s why we keep going back (even if we do miss a menu here and there). If you have the opportunity, my favorite room to sit in is “The Trellis Room,” an enclosed greenhouse with a whimsical bistro feel.
Some of their most well-loved dishes include the gnocchi and scallops… and I can attest to both being fantastic. We had some roasted garlic gnocchi that was part of a braised veal shank osso bucco and to be honest, the gnocchi was the star of the dish! In fact, their gnocchi is so great that the restaurant has deemed Mondays “Gnocchi Monday” where Chef Aaron will make a different gnocchi dish each Monday.
The most flavorful dishes of the night that are still on the menu so GO TRY THEM were…
WHITE GAZPACHO Chilled Soup of Green Grapes, Almonds, Bread and Garlic with Sorrel and Marinated Peaches: It was my first time having white gazpacho and it was so insanely flavorful and dare I say it – almost better than a red gazpacho?
CRISPY VEAL SWEETBREADS with Proscuitto, Red Onion, Raisins, Tomato, Frisee and Sherry: I always like to order things that I can’t or wouldn’t cook at home, even if its just a few elements of a dish. Sweetbreads are something I definitely don’t make at home, and while some people won’t even try them, the preparation was incredible. If it’s someone’s first time trying sweetbreads, this is the best way to try them.
GRIGGSTOWN CHICKEN Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Crispy Boneless Chicken Thigh, Mac & Cheese, Green Bean Slaw, Alabama White Sauce: While on the phone with the owner she made a comment that the chicken was outrageously good, and a must-try. For me, chicken is often something I don’t order because it IS something I cook at home often, but once I saw what the dish entailed I just had to try it. I don’t know what’s in Alabama white sauce and I don’t think I want to know (I typically steer away from anything with mayo in it) but this sauce was so good I want to put it on everything I eat! And the chicken was perfectly crispy, and the bean slaw was a perfect fresh compliment to this comfort meal.
So if you see wine in a blue bottle at the store, it’s a sign you need to save it for a trip to the Blue Bottle Cafe. You won’t be disappointed.