Behind the Red Door: Sneak Peek – The Prince William Ballroom

Red Door - Sneak Peek

As of our last update in May, we’ve made some great progress on construction that we wanted to share with you, specifically, The Prince William Ballroom (coming back in September!).

Ballroom

Prince William Ballroom - May 2012

As of July:

The New Windows are In and the Wood Trim is Up!

Wiring is in progress!

Ceiling is almost complete!

An additional shot – The Assembly Area!

There’s your sneak peek – we’re almost there and really excited!  Construction will be complete and the Prince William Ballroom will be ready by early September for its first booked special event!

We still have a few things we’re keeping under wraps, but those will be unveiled later.

Stay tuned for additional updates!

Question: What are you most excited to see at the Nassau Inn once construction is complete? 

By: Lauren Scarpa
Photos By: Mike Bonotto

 

Beat the Heat, Princeton!

98, 101, 105… do you recognize these numbers?  You should, they’ve been the temperatures Princeton’s been facing this summer.  In what’s been deemed the scorcher, people around town have been looking for ways to stay cool and beat the heat.

If it’s one thing I know, it’s how to keep cool when things get warm!

Fresh Food! 
I don’t know about you, but when the weather gets hot, the last thing I want to eat is something heavy and greasy.  Light, flavorful, and satisfying is the name of the game!

Yankee Doodle Tap Room
Now, I may be partial to the Tap Room, but since Chef Nino unveiled the new menus, there are so many fun fresh choices!  (My favorite are the Mixed Fruit and Shrimp Salad and the Fish Tacos!)

Tico’s Eatery & Juice Bar
One of the most talked about places (and another one of my favorites) in Princeton is Tico’s.  Known for their delicious food (nothing is fried), fresh juices (juiced right in front of you), and amazing owners, put this on your list of must tries!

Anyone else drooling over this picture?

Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt! – PSSSSST!  July 15th is National Ice Cream Day!!!!
Creamy, cool, decadent, delicious… those are the words that come to my mind when I think about ice cream.  When I need to indulge, here are a few of the places on the Square I head to!

Halo Pub
Made from milk and cream from their dairy farm. They offer more than 45 flavors of all natural ice creams … at half the price!

Bent Spoon
Specializing in artisan ice creams and sorbets in unimaginable flavors, you’re sure to find something original and appealing!  Flavors change based on the season too!

Iced Coffee! 
Nothing screams summer more than iced coffee.  Although an acquired taste, when you find that one perfect brew, it’s incredible!  Starbucks and Small World Coffee are located near the Square and happen to serve a few varieties of iced coffees made to your liking!

 

Pools!
Did you know Princeton is chock full of pools? Me either, but lucky for us, it is!

The Princeton Community Pool
Located off Witherspoon Street, the Community pool is open to all residents.  Offers swim lessons, recreational water sports, swim teams, lap and general public swim.

Broadmead Swim Club
Located on Broadmead Street close to Princeton University, this swim club offers a 20 meter swimming pool and a baby pool for the younger kids. Soak up some sun on the open lawn, or cool off in the shaded picnic area.

Nassau Swim Club
Surrounded by woods on Lower Springdale Road, The Nassau Swim Club gives its guests a few different swimming options. They have a six-lane Olympic style pool, a 13.5 foot deep diving pool, and a kiddie pool. Free swim lessons are available.

Willows Swim Club
The Willows is located off Main Street in nearby Lawrenceville. Along with a large pool equipped with diving board, the club includes changing areas, showers, grills, a playground, and a volleyball court. The Willows prides itself on its “backyard” feel, inviting guests to mingle and have fun in a friendly and comfortable setting.

West Windsor Waterworks
Located in West Windsor Community Park on Princeton/Hightstown Road, Waterworks has everything your family needs to cool off, relax, and have fun this summer. A leisure pool, wading pool, lap pool, two story waterslide, concession stands, and recreation area with basketball courts are all available with memberships, which are discounted for local residents.

The Quarry Swim Club
“The Old Swimming Hole Since 1928″ provides a unique swimming experience. Surrounded by natural rock cliffs is a 55 foot deep spring-fed lake, containing various floats and dive boards. There is also a large swimming pool, sand volleyball, and a picnic area with grills. A perfect spot to host parties or get-togethers while re-living those lazy summer days of the past.

What’s better on a hot summers day than sipping an iced cold beverage or digging into some ice cream?  Other than sitting by a pool or in an air conditioned home, I can’t think of too many!  But alas, we can’t stay inside all summer so let’s venture out, have some fun, and remain cool, shall we?

Tell me, how are you keeping cool in the summer?

By: Lauren Scarpa

 

 

 

 

Fourth of July Celebrations – Where are YOU Celebrating America’s Independence?

Ahhh, the 4th of July – a day designated to barbeque, head down the shore, and see some fireworks!  But how many of us lose sight as to the true meaning of Independence Day? In 1776, 56 men (who if caught, could have been executed for treason) signed a document declaring America’s independence from Great Britain.  236 years later, America still stands strong and free.

In remembrance of those 56 men and countless others who built the foundation of our great nation, lets celebrate!!

If you’re going to be in the Philadelphia Area (you know, the place where it all happened!), they began celebrating June 25th.  Yep, 10 days of events culminating with the huge fireworks display on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway – coming from a South Jersey native, if you haven’t seen those fireworks, you’re missing out!

For those who are staying local, or want to stay in New Jersey, never fear, I’ve found your 2012 Jersey Fireworks Guide!  You can search by region or date!

Additionally, if you’re going to the Trenton Thunder game that night, there will be a fireworks display for all after the game!

So, wherever you decide to celebrate, promise me one thing… remember the reason we’re celebrating.  What are your plans?

 

By: Lauren Scarpa

Tap Room July Events – Meet the Brewers, Olympics, and more!

Stop by the Tap Room in July.  From Meet the Brewers to the Olympics, excitement is brewing and you won’t want to miss it!

Meet The Brewer Summer Series

Weyerbacher
July 12, 2012
6 – 8:30pm

 Lagunitas 
July 18, 2012
5:30 – 8pm

Saranac
July 31, 2012
6 – 8pm

2012 Olympic Specials!

Make the Yankee Doodle Tap Room your Olympic Headquarters from July 27- August 12!

Books on Tap Group
Princeton Public Library

Bring your library card to get $2 and $3 selected beer specials and a 10 percent discount on any appetizer from the menu.

July 31, 2012
7 – 9pm

August 28, 2012
7 – 9pm

Edgar Palmer – The Visionary of Palmer Square

Mr. Edgar Palmer

If you have ever been to Princeton or the surrounding areas, you may have heard of Palmer Square. Named after its visionary and developer, Mr. Edgar Palmer, the Square “boasts a unique collection of shopping and dining right in the heart of downtown.”

As mentioned in our previous post about its history, Palmer Square is currently celebrating its 75th Anniversary. And as we learned about the history and design, it made us wonder about the man behind the Square. Who was Edgar Palmer? And why did he envision Palmer Square?

A beloved husband and father, Mr. Palmer was a doting family man.  He thrived on community, close-knit ties, and pride.  Professionally, his business skills were unparalleled. A graduate of Princeton University (class of 1903), and then a charter trustee, Mr. Palmer inherited the New Jersey Zinc Company where he was President until 1943. During his prosperous career, he proved to be a generous philanthropist.  He donated much to Princeton, a town he lived in and loved, as well as our country during World Wars I and II. Palmer House and Palmer Stadium were two renowned donations.

Picture courtesy of Princeton University

Palmer House, which is located on Princeton University campus, was Mr. Palmer’s residence and donated by his wife after his death.  Palmer Stadium, which was named after and dedicated to his father Stephen Palmer, was another donation to the University. During World War I and II, Mr. Palmer gave his first and second schooners, both named Guinevere, to the US Navy.  Always willing to help fellow sea mates, Mr. Palmer was a well-known yachtsman and served as Commodore of American Yacht Club in Rye, NY. 

So what brought this man, a doting family man, the heir to a company, and humanitarian, to design the central hub of Palmer Square that we all know and love? Simply put…it was a dream.

Mr. Palmer envisioned an area that would offer residents a home above or near shops and within Construction began on his dream in 1936.  At the time of his death in 1943, Mr. Palmer got to see about half of his vision completed.  Princeton embraced what Mr. Palmer planned and continued the project in his honor – eventually naming the square after him.

The Residences at Palmer Square

While construction on the shops of Palmer Square finished long ago, Mr. Palmer’s dream is still being refined. In 2010, construction began on the Residence at Palmer Square, the final piece to complete his dream to live, shop, dine, and stay in an urban up-scale setting.

Even we here at the Nassau Inn are dusting ourselves off and undergoing a rejuvenation, which will be finished by 2013.

We are happy to uphold his legacy (in part with our own) within the community and we encourage those to enjoy Edgar Palmer’s dream first hand.  Looking to take a vacation? Stay at the Nassau Inn!  Looking to live in Princeton? Consider the Residences at Palmer Square!  Come experience the Square and all it has to offer.

By: Stephanie Piccarillo and Lauren Scarpa

Father’s Day – A Day for Memories and Appreciation!

Have you ever noticed that Mother’s Day gets so much attention (very much deserved!), but Father’s Day (while still acknowledged) gets left out in the cold?  Not this year dads, I’m coming to your rescue!

With all the hard work you put in day in and day out, you deserve some recognition!

Fathers, whether we realize it or not, build the framework to family life.  Oftentimes the disciplinarian, the voice of reason, or the problem solver, fathers provide a complimentary balance to our mothers.

The father/child bond may not be recognized when you’re growing up, but it most certainly is when you’re an adult and reminisce.

Think back to all those nights you spent learning how to ride a bike with dad holding onto the back so you wouldn’t fall, or him teaching you how to throw a ball in the back yard.

Those day trips to the shore where he taught you how to swim or to the bay where you went fishing and he told you stories to keep you from being bored.


How about as you got older?  Think back to your dad walking you down the aisle at your wedding, helping you buy your first car or supporting you as you bought your first house or holding their grandchildren.  

I’m sure you could create a list of memories and fun times you had with your dad, and I bet you appreciate them more now, right?

Memories are better than any gift, and really, how many tool kits, BBQ utensils, and golf balls can a man receive? Show dad how much he means to you this Sunday.

As you plan what you’re doing this Father’s Day, pick activities to help create more memories – A Beef & Beer at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, perhaps? Maybe a Wine Tasting for Dad?  How about a Run for Dad? There are a ton of fun options out there!

Giveaway Alert!
Leave a comment below saying what you are planning for dad this Father’s Day or one of your best memories - Best comment will receive a FREE appetizer in the Yankee Doodle Tap Room!

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!!

By: Lauren Scarpa

A Cake of Memories

Guest post by Faith Bahadurian

My family, all of us born in Princeton, has enjoyed many meals at the Nassau Inn over the years, including a couple of memorable late 1980s Christmas Eve dinners at the old Palmer’s restaurant that used to be upstairs.  One time, after dinner, my father’s London Fog coat, one of those really common tan ones with a warm lining, had gone missing from the coat rack near the entrance.  Someone – possibly a little too full of holiday “cheer”? – had apparently taken his by accident, because the similar coat that was still there was much too small for Dad.   We had a good laugh wondering how it was that whoever took it didn’t realize his coat was suddenly too big!   And that person didn’t return it, so the Inn shortly replaced my father’s coat.

Between Palmers and the more casual Green House restaurant that looked out on the Square (a must for out of town guests), I don’t remember having carrot cake at the Inn.  But that was the attribution on the well-worn recipe card I found in my father’s files after he died earlier this spring.  I suspect he came by the recipe during the years I lived in Colorado (I moved back to Princeton in 1985), and I just never heard the story. He loved that cake and made it often.

Original recipe card owned by Faith's father

It was a surprise to me that no one at the Inn remembered a signature carrot cake on the menu, either!  I just knew I wanted to write about this for my bi-weekly In The Kitchen recipe column for the Princeton Packet and of course suggested that the Inn try out the recipe.

Chef Nino proudly displaying his version of the carrot cake with Lori Rabon, Nassau Inn's General Manager

I love the photo they took of Executive Chef Nino LoCascio and General Manager Lori Rabon, with Nino proudly holding his cake (pictured right). Of course, being a pro, Nino did it up right, with two cake layers, cream cheese frosting, and chopped nuts pressed into the sides.  Gorgeous!

My own effort…well, I am not a professional chef, much less baker, so my cake definitely has that “loving hands at home” appearance!

I took the easy route and used a 9 x 13-inch pan.  I bought shredded carrots at the supermarket and used those. But I have a trick – those shreds are often long and rather thick, not like grated carrots.  So I emptied the bag into a bowl, and used my kitchen shears to chop, chop, chop at them until they were shorter lengths.  Perfect!

I didn’t have quite enough walnuts on hand, so mixed them with some pecans. The can of crushed pineapple is important, so I’d made a point of buying that.  I did cut back on the sugar about 1/3 cup from the 2 cups called for.  I used almost the full 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil – I might cut that down a tad next time, too.

Faith's carrot cake creation

I baked the cake one morning, and couldn’t resist having a piece (or two) right out of the pan mid-afternoon.  Later on I went out to dinner, and when I came home I made the cream cheese frosting. I’d left the butter out to soften, so it was quickly blended with my Neufchatel (lower fat) cream cheese.  I only made a half batch of frosting, since I only had half a box of confectioners’ sugar.  But it’s been so long since I made cream cheese frosting that I completely forgot I should have sifted the sugar, so my “loving hands at home” frosting is dotted with tiny lumps you can plainly see here in the photo.  I carefully frosted the rest of my cake and promptly had a piece for dessert.  What can I say, don’t postpone joy!

Maybe next time, I’ll just go to the Inn for my carrot cake fix.  I wonder if they’ll be calling it “Sam’s Carrot Cake”?

Faith Bahadurian blogs at www.packetinsider.com/ blog/njspice (also www.twitter.com/njspice).

 

 

Yankee Doodle Tap Room Events for June!

Yankee Doodle Tap RoomThe Square is in full swing and we’re loving all the activity!  Take a look below and see what’s going on and how you can get involved!

Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day!

You know the saying ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’? Well what better way to show your love and appreciation for dad than to treat him to an excellent meal?  Come celebrate Father’s Day at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room! We’ll be offering a set menu created by Chef Nino that will be sure to keep Dads happy!

Meet the Brewer Summer Series!

Meet the Brewer

Yards Brewing Company will visit the Yankee Doodle Tap Room Patio on June 28th from 6pm to 8:30pm for a Meet the Brewer Series! Come try some new-to-you beers and take part in this fun series.  Secret Specials will be offered!

Tweet Your Seat

Trenton Thunder Tweet Your Seat!

If you’re going to a Trenton Thunder game, Tweet Your Seat when you get there for a chance to win a $15 gift card to the Yankee Doodle Tap Room!  All you have to do is Tweet Your Seat location beginning at 10am on game days and mention @TrentonThunder @NassauInn #tweetyourseat in your tweet!  You’ll be tweeted back during the game if you win!

Happy Hour Specials!

Have you been to the Tap Room for Happy Hour?  What are you waiting for?  Join us for $2 Bud Light and Yuengling, $2 House Wine, and $4 Well Drinks!

Palmer Square Celebrates 75 Years!

What begun as one man’s vision in 1929 has become a ‘must-go’ destination for people of all ages.  Located in downtown Princeton and across from the prestigious  Princeton University, Palmer Square is a combination of boutique shops, delectable restaurants with incredible dining possibilities, and luxury residences. It is also on the state and national register of historic places.

Edgar Palmer

Edgar Palmer - The Visionary of Palmer Square

Developer Edgar Palmer wanted to revolutionize the town of Princeton – a place he had strong ties to.  Mr. Palmer, heir to the New Jersey Zinc Company fortune as well as a Princeton University graduate and charter trustee of the University, hired architect Thomas Stapleton to create the square and in 1929 announced his plans to develop the area into the central municipality and a commercial hub.  However, the project was put on hold until the impact of the Great Depression eased.  In 1936 his dream became reality and construction began.

Mr. Palmer envisioned an area that would offer residents a home above or near shops and within walking distance of their workplace, and visitors an exclusive destination to stay, shop, and dine.  It would be styled after a European walking village set amid a quasi-metropolitan downtown.

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn then

Nestled right in the heart of the Square (the centerpiece of the development) would be the Nassau Inn, which would relocate from 52 Nassau Street.  Mr. Palmer was so interested in the Inn moving to the Square that he took part in the real estate negotiations until agreements were made.  Construction was complete and the doors of the new Nassau Inn opened in 1937 – where we’ve been ever since.

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn today

Unfortunately, Mr. Palmer only got to see half of the construction on the Square complete before his death in 1943, but what’s become of his vision has truly escalated Downtown Princeton to ‘must visit’ status.

Through the years many additions have been made to accommodate the growing demand of excellence.  The Square now includes 1 Hotel (the Nassau Inn), 41 retail locations, 6 dining establishments, over 125 homes, and 2 parking garages.

In 2009, construction began on the rejuvenation of the Nassau Inn and the development of The Residences at Palmer Square.

When completed, the Nassau Inn will have the historic charm of the past, but with fresh and modern updates – or simply put, 18th Century elegance with 21st Century comfort.

The Residences will include 17 townhouses and 83 condominiums and will complete the realization of Mr. Palmer’s vision of family living in the square – making living in Palmer Square part of an urban lifestyle.

For the rest of the year, Palmer Square will host events to celebrate this incredible milestone and we hope you will join us!

By: Lauren Scarpa

CJ Barna Performs at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room!

CJ Barna
Have You Heard CJ Barna Perform? If you’ve stopped by the Yankee Doodle Tap Room on a Thursday night, the answer to that question would be yes. If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing.

CJ, a NJ native, began performing in the Tap Room last spring. His pop rock style mixed with a heavy R&B influence creates a unique sound and that easily made him a crowd favorite.

His sets are a blend of original and cover songs – everything from Hello, a song off of his new album Circle, to One Week by the Barenaked Ladies!

Of his musical style, CJ says “If Edwin McCain, Rob Thomas and Paul Rogers had lunch at Jason Mraz’s house, that would be where my original music would probably live. I like taking covers and adding just a little of me into them.” Got that?

CJ’s local roots, unique style, and loyal fan following were all factors in securing gigs in local area venues such as Big Mans West in Red Bank, Small World, Thomas Sweet, It’s A Grind, Grover’s Mill, Café Improv, and of course, the Nassau Inn! Never one to disappoint a crowd, he keeps the crowd engaged and singing along “…I love songs that have a positive spin, and make people feel and or bop.”

CJ Barna

CJ entertaining the crowd

When asked what drew him to music, CJ had one word, “Love.” Going on to explain, he said, “I’ve loved music ever since I can remember. I’m always listening to it and I love the creative aspect of it. For a while it was to meet girls! But in the end, it comes back to how much I love it… writing it, singing it, feeling it come alive and watching it touch people.”

In addition, CJ also composes orchestral music and new age instrumentals and has released three albums in these genres along with Circle and one other – a collection of demo releases – for a total of five albums!

If you’re in the Princeton area on Thursday nights and are looking for some excellent entertainment, look no further than the Yankee Doodle Tap Room – CJ Barna will take it from there.

By: Lauren Scarpa