Agricola {Princeton, N.J.}

11 Witherspoon St. | 609-921-2798 |

When a former chef comes to town from two of the most esteemed restaurants in America (French Laundry and Tao), and a modern eatery assumes the mantle from a beloved, 91-year-old restaurant (Lahiere’s), the combination is irresistible. The New York Times and the James Beard Foundation came calling, as have legions of diners since chef/partner Josh Thomsen donned his white jacket for Agricola (pronounced ag-REE-kul-ah) earlier this year.

Much of Agricola’s produce arrives daily from the 112-acre Great Road Farm four miles away, which grows 120 different varieties of vegetables and pasture-raised chicken eggs. The farm, and Agricola, are both owned by New Jersey restaurant veteran Jim Nawn.

Guests will find a contemporary rustic atmosphere, and open kitchen, inventive cocktails, and a large bar. On the menu, they’ll find just about anything American from New York State duck “two ways” with farro and a cherry gastrique and Cape May Dayboat scallops with Yukon gold potato-leek soubise.

Committed to community, Agricola works with food-based charities such as the Mercer Street Kitchen in Princeton and has donated scholarship money for the study of food arts at Mercer County Community College.


Triumph Brewing Company {New Hope, Pa.}

400 Union Square | 215-862-8300 |

Of the three Philadelphia-area restaurants nominated for The Nature Conservancy’s “Nature’s Plate Award,” honoring eateries dedicated to sustainable or farm-to-table cuisine, one is…a brewing company? This won’t come as a surprise to the regulars of Triumph Brewing Company in New Hope, Pa.

Last year, Triumph offered a smaller, separate menu focused on local, regional, and sustainable foods. Now, whenever possible, everything is made this way. And the gastropub is truly transparent about being “green”—each element in each dish has its pedigree printed right on the menu. Risotto, for example, has charred Marolda Farms kale, Shady Brook Farm cherry tomato, Shibumi Farm baby shiitake mushrooms, and Cherry Grove Farm Lawrenceville jack cheese.

Selections can change regularly. But Executive Chef Tony Sauppe delivers a subtle “spin on simplicity,” as general manager Paul Foglia calls it, so typical bar fare is anything but: sliders, for example, are made with braised pork, apple, and kale; nachos get a dollop of grass-fed short rib ragout with cheddar fondue and house-made crème fraiche.


Caleb’s American Kitchen {Lahaska, Pa.}

5738 Route 202 | 215-794-8588 |

Last month, Caleb Lentchner saw the sign go up for his very own restaurant, Caleb’s American Kitchen, in the former home of Waterlilies near Peddler’s Village. It was a joyous achievement after eight successful years as executive chef and general manager of Marsha Brown in New Hope, where he turned out Cajun and Creole specialties and was known for his signature steaks. He will still present a Kansas City strip, beef filet medallions and a mixed grill trio, but the rest of his menu will traverse America for inspiration: Philly cheese steak empanadas, Maui ahi tuna, New England lobster rolls, Santa Cruz fish tacos made with corn tortillas for gluten-free diners.

Catering to gluten-free needs, in fact, is a priority for Lentchner, whose young daughter has celiac disease. Any burger or sandwich on the menu can pair up with gluten-free buns and breads; a salted caramel flourless chocolate cake will be a fixture; and kitchen preparations will guard against cross-contamination. Vegans will also find themselves welcome at Caleb’s, as well as those following a paleo plan.

Locally sourced produce, meats and fish are at the heart of Lentchner’s creations, and Blue Moon Acres even grows a speckled romaine lettuce exclusively for Caleb’s. Next year, he’ll also be turning more to his own garden.




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