Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Agricola

A fine-dining Princeton anachronism has been replaced by the hottest new thing, as a farm-to-table open kitchen (with an actual farm connection) steps into the prime Tiger void left by 91-year-old Lahiere's. French Laundry vet Josh Thomsen succeeds with beautiful dishes that pay simple tribute to the ingredients, and the space is handsome despite its clichés, from the pickle wall to the "Thank a Farmer" tribute to daily greens. Maintaining strong service for such a high-volume dining room, though, remains its biggest challenge.

Agricola


11 Witherspoon St.
Princeton , NJ 08542
609-921-2798
Neighborhood: Princeton Parking: Street parking only.
Handicap access: Wheelchair accessible.
Cuisine type: American
Meals Served:   Brunch   Dinner
Style: A fine-dining Princeton anachronism has been replaced by the hottest new thing, as a farm-to-table open kitchen (with an actual farm connection) steps into the prime Tiger void left by 91-year-old Lahiere’s. French Laundry vet Josh Thomsen succeeds with beautiful dishes that pay simple tribute to the ingredients, and the space is handsome despite its clichés, from the pickle wall to the “Thank a Farmer” tribute to daily greens. Maintaining strong service for such a high-volume dining room, though, remains its biggest challenge.
Specialties: Pea-and-carrot soup, crispy stinging nettles, goat cheese-potato terrine, kale salad, pork chop, halibut, scallops, mushroom stew, rabbit for two (special), flat-iron steak, short rib, huckleberry ice cream sandwich, teff cake.
Alcohol: A substantial, well-rounded program. The 80-label wine cellar focuses on American bottles, with a high-tech preservation system to allow some high-end glass selections (Paraduxx, Nickel & Nickel) with half-glass options to temper high markups, but also some fair values (Adelsheim pinot; Finca Museum Crianza tempranillo) that pair well with the food. There is a substantial whiskey selection, excellent cocktails (try the Jersey Lightning), and a small but craft-centric list of beers.
Weekend noise: The main dining areas are an uncomfortably noisy 93 decibels; the back “family room” is in the reasonable mid-80s. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Dinner Monday through Saturday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Sunday until 9 p.m. Brunch Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Prices: $$$