YDTR Staff Picks: Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a week away? During this special time of the year, we are extremely thankful for our staff—many of whom will be serving on Thanksgiving!

YDTR Staff

From left to right: Josh, Matthew, Fabio, and Colleen

Meet our Yankee Doodle Tap Room crew, who are excited to share their Thanksgiving traditions with you!

Giving to others.
“Oh jeez, I can’t remember the last time I celebrated since I’m usually working!” said Colleen Kasian, Food & Beverage Supervisor at our Tap Room of 1 year and 2 months. During Thanksgiving, she makes the holiday experience special for guests at our YDTR Thanksgiving Buffet. From her past memories of the holiday, she recalls dinner with her mom’s side of the family. They would drive to her grandmother’s house. “It’s a big family. My mom’s the youngest of her siblings. We’d have the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, and my favorite—the stuffing!”

Feasting.
Matthew Hendricks, our server, really likes to feast on Thanksgiving. “And I mean FEAST,” he said. It is tradition for his family to do arts & crafts, drink wine, and enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes and their family’s favorite stuffing. “It has a delightful crunchy top, but is soft on the inside, and with some gravy… oh man!” They would always have an amazing dessert table filled with delicious sweets. “Apple pie, pecan pie, cookies, vanilla ice cream… My grandma is a bit of a chocoholic.” He likes to hang out with the younger kids at their table and also hear the older people reminisce about old days and current events. Matthew’s favorite part about the holiday is falling asleep on the couch after being stuffed with food and wine while football plays on TV.

Time with Family.
“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is being with family,” said Josh Jean-Charles our bus boy. He loves the simple and sweet enjoyment of spending time together, eating, and then cozily falling asleep.

Post-eating Siesta.
“Eat ‘til I sleep!” said Fabio Salvador, our server & bartender of 9 months.

Watching Football and the Parade.
“My favorite tradition is watching football and the parade at my parent’s house,” said Rayne Lewis, our Food & Beverage Manager who’s been with us for 12 years.

Rayne Lewis

Prepping the Day Before.
“My favorite tradition is prepping with my sister. The day before Thanksgiving, we clean the house, turn up the music, put up decorations, and prepare food while our mom is at work,” said Julie Heise, our breakfast and lunch server of 7 years. She feels very happy to be able to spend the holidays being productive with her sister, whom she almost lost to leukemia on several occasions. “Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s relaxing to be surrounded by good company, and I get to enjoy my mom’s chestnut stuffing. It’s amazing. She boils the chestnuts hot and gets the meat out. I really need to figure out what it is she does! She makes a vegetarian version just for me. I’m also really excited about the holidays because my brother, who’s a veteran, is coming home for Thanksgiving this year!”

Julie and her family

Julie (bottom right) and her family

What’s your story on favorite holiday traditions? Share with us, and tag #YDTR! Our kitchen staff will share their favorite holiday dishes in the next post. Stay tuned!


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

5 Holiday Party Planning Tips

‘Tis the season for celebrating!

Thanksgiving is on the horizon, the trees outside will soon be adorned with lights, and decorative ornaments will fill window displays. It’s the ideal time for throwing a holiday party. If you want to be the office hero and plan an awesome party sure to be hash-tagged and talked about for months, follow these 5 simple holiday planning tips!

Nassau Inn Christmas Lights Exterior

  1. Start early. To ensure best availability, pick a venue and book your party ahead of time. If you haven’t done so already, get off the computer and make some calls. There’s still time to book your perfect party! For next year, mark your calendars for July. Venues often like to run Christmas in July promos, offering great packages and best availabilities.
  2. Timing. A great option for companies who are busy during holiday season and those on a tight budget is to host a luncheon or celebration during off-peak hours. Venues tend to be more flexible in pricing if you have a post-holiday party in January. You may also get lucky and have upgrades thrown in!
  3. Location. Select a venue that is already festive; with the time and money you save on decorations, you’ll have more to invest on entertainment. Live music is always a crowd pleaser!
  4. Menu. The most festive of menus is the reception style which encourages mingling. For easy planning, go with venues that have inclusive packages already designed for you. Don’t forget to consider your guests’ dietary needs prior to notifying your venue and making menu choices to ensure most people can be accommodated!
  5. Give. The gift of giving will never go out of style, especially this season. Personalized take-home treats for guests can be sweet, but consider donating to a local charity in lieu of favors, and give them something to feel good about!

Holiday Party

Happy holidays! Remember to have fun and take pictures. If you are looking for a place to host a party, check out our 2016 Holiday Specials and Party Packages. Let’s get this party started!


About the Author: Lily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

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Top 5 Cold Weather Beers

Now that it’s the cold, crisp and beautiful month of November, it’s time to savor darker, flavorful and seasonal brews.

John Ryan

John Ryan, our beer aficionado, has been with us at the Nassau Inn for over six years. He loves rich, dark beers, especially in the fall. If you’re wondering what drinks to try, he can easily find your perfect match! Here are his Top 5 Cold Weather Beers!

  1. Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale: A seasonal favorite, with subtle spiced flavors, and a crisp, refreshing aroma reminiscent of leaves and fall. If you like a darker, spiced taste, try this as a Guinness Black and Tan.Black and Tan
  2. Samuel Adams Octoberfest: Amber colored, seasonal craft beer, with a roasted malt taste and sweet notes of caramel and toffee. This American award winning beer is a huge crowd pleaser for its time of the year.Samuel Adams Octoberfest
  3. Rogue Dead Guy Ale: Colder weather calls for darker styles; if you enjoy malty lagers, then you’ll love this Maibock. It has a deep color and a strong flavor that is nutty, malty and sweet. This ale is one of Rogue’s most popular drinks.Rogue Dead Guy Ale
  4. The Shed Brewery’s Mountain Ale: An English Style Brown Ale from Vermont, great for the slopes. It has a mouthfeel like Porter, but drinks like a rough brown with just enough bitterness.The Shed Brewery’s Mountain Ale
  5. Spellbound Brewing’s Palo Santo Porter: Aged with smoked wood, this dark style Porter tastes earthy and smoky. Its mouthfeel is creamy, and at the back end, you’ll enjoy the aroma of chocolate, vanilla, anise and even hints of mint.Spellbound Brewing’s Palo Santo Porter

‘Tis the season to be warm, cozy and festive! Come and try these cold weather beers at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room. Still not sure what to try? Just ask us!


About the Author: Lily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Meeting Planning 101

In-person meetings provide an invaluable opportunity for colleagues to collaborate and build relationships. Let us help you create a meaningful experience in one of Nassau Inn’s thirteen versatile meeting rooms!

New to meeting planning? Nassau Inn’s Conference Service Manager, Kyle Pitts, has been with us for 5 years and shares his top 5 meeting planning tips to get you started. Follow his advice and you will look like you have been meeting planning for years!

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  1. One of the first people you will be in touch with when you call to plan your meeting is your Conference Service or Catering Sales Manager. This person is your lifeline. They will guide you through the planning process from start to finish. Make sure to share all the details and concerns you have up-front, and ask lots of questions.
  2. Determining your headcount can be tricky when you first begin to plan, however, a good estimate is essential to ensure you have the proper room size. If you have a few people you are unsure of, it is best to include them in the count so that the room selected is the right size for your maximum number of guests. Keep in mind, your final guarantee is not due until closer to the event and you will be able to adjust your numbers by up to 30%.
  3. Don’t let hunger interrupt your team’s focus. Our EMP package provides meals as well as a morning and afternoon break with snacks. People are more productive and energetic when fueled with healthy meals and snacks! Be sure to ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions before you provide your final head count. We can always accommodate allergies and special requests.
  4. Do you have a presentation? Will you be bringing a Mac or PC laptop? Let us know these details so we can ensure you a successful audio visual presentation. It’s always a good idea to do a practice test before the meeting should your schedule allow.
  5. Room set up can be one of the most confusing aspects of planning! This should be determined based on what style meeting you are conducting and is one of the first questions you will need to answer when booking a room. The U-shaped set up is great for small-medium size meetings with projector presentations, and allows for interaction amongst colleagues.
    Nassau Inn Conferences
    Classroom style works well for larger team meetings and lecture presentations. A pod set up is also great for larger group meetings that will eventually break down into smaller team huddles. If you are unsure what setup to go with, your sales manager can offer advice based on your meeting needs.Nassau Inn ConferencesNassau Inn Conferences

If you plan on hosting your guests overnight, stay tuned for our group room block 101 blog post coming soon!


About the Author: Lily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Kendra & John’s Wedding
August 2015

Kendra and John fell in love when their lives crossed paths. “We met through a mutual friend while both visiting NYC for the weekend,” Kendra says. “He was in Lambertville and I was up in Boston, but after 1 ½ years of long distance we moved to Princeton together! We were all over the map on where to get married and then realized that one of our favorite things to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning is to just to walk around town and see what’s going on. A lot of my friends and family have never been to Princeton so I figured this would be a perfect way for them to see the town that I’ve come to call my home. With all the activities going on in town; live music in Palmer Square, shopping and walking campus, no one needed to get in their car all weekend once they arrived, and that was very important to both of us. Plus, we just love being able to walk by the exact spot where we said ‘I do’ and reminisce about the best day of our lives.”

“They’re a Princeton classic. Very sweet and charming. When you look at them, you just know,” said Melissa Dill, Sales & Catering Manager at the Nassau Inn.

Here’s a glimpse at Kendra & John’s Best Day Ever!

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Photos by Couple of Dudes Photography


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Fall Menu Must-Haves

From appetizer, lunch, dinner to dessert – here are some of our favorite dishes from our newly released fall menu. You’ll want to try them al­l!

Appetizers

Fall Menu 2016

Bubbling in a miniature black cast iron pan, the Fiery Black Iron Chili is spicy, cheesy, and perfect for chilly fall evenings!

Roasted Pear Salad Roasted Pear Salad tastes just like autumn with the lightness of feta cheese, fresh fall greens, and sweet smoked walnut vinaigrette. You’ll feel festive after the first bite!

Chicken & Waffles Salad

Drizzled with maple vinaigrette and bacon, Battered Fried Chicken is sweet, salty, and goes with any mood you’re feeling; it’s the ultimate chicken and waffle styled soul-food of salads.

Lunch

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Smothered in pepper jack cheese, the Pan Fried Meatloaf Sandwich is buttery soft with crisp frazzled onions on toasty bread. Savor the different textures as they unravel with each bite.

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If you’re in the mood for something light, creamy, and comforting – indulge in the Pecan Crusted Tilapia, soaked in an orange butter sauce, with delicious root vegetable risotto.

Dinner

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The Filet Mignon Au Poivre is professionally cold-smoked, infused with smoky flavor and grilled. Soaked in a cognac demi-glace cream, the mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts are a perfect complement to this tender and succulent dish.

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House Smoked Pork Chop is deliciously doused in apple brandy and cognac demi-glace sauce, with local apple and sage bread pudding broccolini on the side. The smoky taste evokes a campfire like feeling.

Dessert

Nassau Inn

Mason Jar Pumpkin Pie has a wonderful pumpkin mousse filling with a delightfully light and airy texture. This creamy, soft mouse is such a tasty seasonal dessert, you’ll crave it all season long!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake with Lavender Salt is an indulgent dessert with chocolatey, smooth, soft, melt-in-your-mouth cake embellished by the gentle, sweet chill of Tahitian ice cream and delicate fluffiness of whipped cream. The subtle yet soothing lavender salt is the perfect ending to a serene night.

Enticed? There are many more options for you to discover and enjoy! Come and join us in tasting our new fall menu. Whether you are looking for a place to gather with friends or to indulge in a good meal on your own, we look forward to welcoming you this beautiful season!


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Preparing for Autumn with Chef Michael LaCorte

There’s something comforting about being seated in a historic booth surrounded by carvings of diner’s past, anticipating a rich and savory meal. When enjoying your Butternut Squash Risotto, you feel the nostalgia and wonder about the mastermind behind your warm and tasty dish. A chef’s journey is one filled with selfless time, energy and love, ultimately to provide you with scrumptious food to nurture your mind, body, and soul.

Yankee Doodle Tap Room

You may wonder, how does a chef become a chef? Some say destiny, some believe in luck and happenstance. For Michael LaCorte, it was a mix of both. He worked at a hospital during high school, but with a twist of fate, his friend encouraged him take a job at a local Italian restaurant. This opportunity, along with the generous mentorship from the restaurant owner, gave him the push towards becoming a chef – and never looking back.

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn

Fast forward to 2016 – Michael’s fourth year as our Executive Chef. The new fall menu is on the horizon, and we were given a chance to interview him about the creative process behind his menu development. When putting the fall menu items together, there were important considerations to be made. Michael believes in tradition, locality, and seasonality.

  • Tradition: Our piping hot, flaky and creamy Nassau Inn Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate comfort food for the soul. It tastes like home and has been a guest favorite for countless years. The braised short ribs, with its succulent taste and fall-off-the-bone texture, is another long-standing tradition. Indulging in a traditional meal is very soothing after a long day. You can always depend on the Yankee Doodle Tap Room to have comfort food that will put you at ease and fill your heart with delight!

Yankee Doodle Tap Room

  • Locality: It’s important to get ingredients from the best, local places available. Just try the Apple Orchard Salad and you can taste the freshness of deliciously sweet and crisp local apples. Michael personally loves cheese, especially during autumn days. The gourmet cheese shop here in Palmer Square, Olsson’s Fine Foods, is a favorite source.

Yankee Doodle Tap Room

  • Seasonality: With auburn leaves outside and darker autumn evenings, we could use something warm, spicy and cheesy – Fiery Black Iron Chili with Wisconsin cheddar and our House Smoked Pork Chop are especially delicious this time of the year. We only use fruits and vegetables at their peak – just try our Sugar Beet & Bleu Cheese Salad, Roasted Pear Salad or Cauliflower Fritters all of which are busting with flavor. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert. If you’re in a dreamy mood, go for the mason jar Pumpkin Pie, always a crowd pleaser Crème Brûlée with spiced pumpkin or Warm Apple Cobbler, all the perfect ending to your night!

Yankee Doodle Tap Room

Autumn menu planning is an exciting mixture of divergent and convergent thinking. Michael and the chefs collaborate on creative ideas, and then finalize their plans. Before the menu is released, there’s a tasting at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room. All the new dishes are laid out on a big table for everyone to feast on. We can’t wait to try them and share the experience with you!


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Making the Most of Your Wedding Room Block

We interviewed Jaime Wolf, catering sales manager at the Nassau Inn, who has been with us for 10 years! This is her version of Wedding Room Block Planning 101 for you.

Nassau Inn

  1. Tell your guests to save the wedding date and start reserving their overnight rooms before wedding invites are sent out. This way you won’t run into trouble if rooms are not available later on.
  2. If you are wondering what to pack for gift bags, some essentials include: water, Advil/Tylenol, a snack, and an itinerary (timeline for the weekend, breakfast arrangements, rehearsal dinner, transportation plans, etc.).
  3. Frequently Asked Question: “Can guests check in early?”
    Answer: It depends – but it’s safer to assume you can’t. Weekends, especially in towns like Princeton, can be busy and time may be needed for previous guests to check out and rooms to be cleaned.
  4. If you have a large room block, it is considered thoughtful to have a breakfast the next morning to say thank you to all of your guests! We have great breakfast packages and offer discounts for all in house weddings! Be sure to ask your Catering Manager for details.
  5. Encourage your guests to make time to explore. Princeton is a great place to stay and this is the perfect opportunity for them to make it a mini vacation or getaway. Site seeing, downtown shopping, dining and bar hopping are just a few of the reasons you need more than a day to take it all in!

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn

Nassau Inn


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Princeton’s Best Travel Tips

Traveling to Princeton soon?
These are our best tips when coming to visit us!

Palmer Square

  1. Need advice on what to pack? Refer to our seasonal guide for weather tips based on your time of travel. There is always something going on in town, do a quick Google search before you plan your itinerary. You never know what festivals, side walk sales, or events we’re having.
  2. If you are a first timer, check out the Princeton Tour Company. They will give you the all-around Princeton experience. They offer guided walking tours that include sites on Princeton University campus, the neighborhoods of Albert Einstein, TS Eliot, F Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Oppenheimer, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, JFK, countless tycoons, Hollywood celebrities, Signers of the Declaration of Independence and much more.
  3. You can travel by train from NYC or Newark Airport. The “historical” Dinky Train will pick you up and drop you off at Princeton Junction just minutes away from the center of down.
  4. We have the best shopping right here in Palmer Square, so if you forgot something, do not worry – there is most likely a store where you will find it!

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About the Author: Brandon DeChirico spent the summer interning at the Nassau Inn. He is a student at Widener University studying hospitality.

Edited by Lily Lee

A Seasonal Guide for Princeton Travel

Princeton welcomes you any time of the year. When coming to visit us here in Princeton, know what to expect depending on the season!

Traveling

If you’re coming during the autumn, expect green, auburn, and yellow crisp leaves scattered across the grass and sidewalks. Pack layers of clothing so you can enjoy the scenery outside without being bothered by the cool gushes of wind. During this season, try the Pumpkin Spiced Café at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room for freshly brewed coffee with pumpkin spice, cinnamon and whipped cream.

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When winter is here, make sure to keep warm under a big coat. Occasionally, the snow may drizzle. It’s the perfect weather to wear knit hats, mittens and hold hands while staring into the effervescent lights spread jubilantly around Princeton. Join in on the holiday cheer at Palmer Square, where you are sure to bump into carolers or even the big man himself!

Winter Wonderland - outsideSpring is cherry blossom season. Many trees are in bloom here. You don’t want to miss out on the flower filled tree lined streets. Take a walk around the University, Cherry Valley Road, and Washington Ave. This is a good time to bring out the capris, cardigans, blazers, and light jackets for the evenings. Cherry-Blossoms1

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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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The moment summer arrives is when Princeton feels particularly like an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. In his novel, This Side of Paradise, his writing exemplifies the beauty of Princeton and the special place he had for it in his heart, not failing to mention the Nassau Inn! Summer is time to begin again—so strip away from all the layers, and pack light clothing.

Happy travels!


About the Author: Lily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.