Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Feasting

Foodie Fish

For many animals, including humans, fall marks the beginning of fattening time.  Meat becomes gamier and soups become thicker.  People use flavorful holiday spices—cinnamon, nutmeg—and every dish seems to be more comforting during this season as the leaves change colors. 

Fall is personally my favorite season.  The air is cool and crisp, as the colorful falling leaves make me feel like it’s time for a fresh start.  It also happens to be the season of my birth date.  This means I have a pretty powerful card to play to get my family to take me out to special dinners with ornate dessert finished off with a lit candle. 

This year, I decided to document the best restaurant/dishes I’ve had during my birth month (October) to recommend some amazing locations for special events.

Rocky Hill Inn:

This is one of my favorite restaurants in the area.  It is located on the corner on the main street of the tiny town Rocky Hill, right outside of Princeton.  The building is an old, red brick inn with a white wooden sign out front. 

Eating at Rocky Hill Inn is done tavern style.  Although it has a rather “classy” atmosphere, the homey detailing and extremely friendly service makes it much less intimidating.  The waiters are very approachable, and you are free to make conversation with them.  They bring your drinks immediately, but they do take a bit too much time to take your dinner order. 

However, the food is definitely worth the wait.  The two dishes I want to highlight are the braised short rib and the seared diver scallops.  The short rib is a famous dish of Rocky Hill Inn, which has been highly anticipated by many restaurant goers (especially my mother) during the warmer seasons while it’s not on the menu.  Well the short rib just got back three days ago and it is better than ever.  The meat is now marinated longer, amplifying the flavors.  The way it’s braised makes the texture feel less pulled pork more baby back ribs.  It is served on top of a vibrantly colored butternut squash risotto with spinach and plenty of garlic.  The dish you would never get sick of is the scallops though.  The scallops are a truly comforting treat that does not even feel to heavy.  They are plump with a slightly crunchy sear on both sides.  Each serving has five, lined up in a row sitting on top of a delicious bed of risotto.  This risotto is completely different from the last.  This risotto is cooked in cream with pancetta for a great mouth-feel.  The pancetta adds a blast of flavor as well, very similar to bacon but less smoky.  The risotto is a flavor explosion of pungent mushrooms, pancetta, and the delectable white truffle olive oil.  It is an experience not to be missed that no one could get bored of.