Doubly Happy at the Double Tree & On the Bone Princeton

Double Tree Hotel – You’ll be doubly happy!
By: Katie DeVito
Follow me on Twitter @kdevito

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Princeton Chamber of Commerce Trade Show. As I walked out the door I said to my husband, maybe I’ll win a raffle (although I never have). I had a great time at the trade show and during the Tweet Up they held a raffle. My name was the first name called and I won an overnight stay at the Double Tree Hotel Princeton and $100 gift certificate for On the Bone (the restaurant attached to the Double Tree).

Our one-year wedding anniversary was soon approaching. What a perfect opportunity to experience the newly renovated Double Tree and check out On the Bone steakhouse. I booked our reservation and anxiously awaited our Princeton staycation.

When we arrived at the Double Tree, we were pleasantly surprised by the lobby décor. We heard they recently renovated the hotel, but had no idea it would be so trendy chic. Juan Soto greeted us at the front desk. He was also the Front Office Manager on duty as well as the General Hotel Manager for the evening. When you think customer service doesn’t exist anymore… head over to see Juan at the Double Tree. He was fabulous!

We got our keys and headed up to our Parlor Suite room. We walked in and the room had not yet been cleaned. I immediately picked up the phone to call the front desk, while it was ringing, someone was knocking on our door, and it was Juan. He apologized for the inconvenience and moved us across the hall. We settled in and made ourselves some Wolfgang Puck coffee and relaxed in our Parlor Suite. The suite consists of a living area with a couch, table to eat, and TV. The bathroom is great, and even includes tons of Neutrogena products. Even special facial moisturizer with SPF 15. How great is that? The bedroom was beautiful, it also included a TV, a really cool alarm clock and a leather bench to sit and put shoes on at. I can’t tell you how comfortable the bed and pillows were. Apparently guests can even purchase them if they so chose. That should tell you just how comfy it is.

We took a nice long nap and then got ready for our anniversary dinner at On the Bone Steakhouse, which is attached to the Double Tree. We walked up and gave our name to the hostess but told her that we were going to sit at the bar for a cocktail first. Nick the bartender made me a killer extra dirty Grey Goose martini and my husband had his signature Johnny Walker Black.  The bar was packed!

We went back up to the hostess after our drinks to be seated. The décor in On the Bone is very stylish and trendy. As soon as we sat down I noticed that the menu and silverware all had the same silver imprinted design. The people next to us over heard me say that it all matched and they said they go there all the time and never noticed. We ended up chatting with them and go to On the Bone almost once a week for their American Kobe Beef Burgers; they love them and say they have the best in the area.

Our server Caitlin came over to take our order. We ordered two glasses of Cabernet, a shrimp and chorizo sausage dish as our appetizer, a 6oz. filet mignon and the On the Bone filet mignon. The shrimp and chorizo sausage app was great and plated with a drizzle of a BBQ/Chipotle sauce and a lime mousse. Both of our entrees were cooked to perfection. I ordered the 6oz. filet mignon, which came with fresh vegetables, and I ordered loaded baked potato. With all the fixins of course! Is there any other way? My husband had the On the Bone filet mignon, which is exactly that, on the bone, with their vegetables and french fries. Most of the restaurants dishes are served “on the bone” hence their name. As many of you foodies out there know, when meat/poultry etc. are left on the bone it adds a lot more flavor to the dish. We were both completely satisfied and stuffed with our meal. But it was our anniversary so we had to divulge in some dessert. It was the right thing to do. We ordered a slice of their chocolate cake.

After dinner we went back to our room and were greeted by 2 small plates of dessert, champagne and a note from Juan. What a nice way to end the evening!

I woke up the next morning very relaxed, I loved their bedding. We truly enjoyed our stay at the Double Tree Princeton and will recommend it to out of town guests.

A week or so later we headed back to On the Bone after a Clarence Clemons book signing to try out their Kobe burgers. They were out of this world and they come with killer onion rings. I think we are going to be regulars at On the Bone.

Blues Traveler Interview

Blues Traveler Interview
By: Katie DeVito (Self-Proclaimed Princeton Celebrity Journalist)
Follow me on Twitter @kdevito and @PartyLiteNJ

Here we go Tigers, Here we go! Clap! Clap!

PrincetonScoop is stoked to be able to share their first ever celebrity interview with you. We were able to score an interview with Princeton’s own Tad Kinchla from the band “Blues Traveler”. Here’s what happened:

Hey Tad! First of all thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview for Princeton Scoop. I know our readers are going to love hearing about all your favorite things Princeton. If at any time you don’t like the question, don’t have an answer, or just don’t feel like answering, just say pass. (*He didn’t. He answered everything.)

PrincetonScoop:    What teams or groups were you involved with growing up in Princeton?

Tad Kinchla:    We were involved with Princeton Travelling Team Hockey, Princeton Soccer Association, Princeton Little League,  Princeton Pop Warner Football, Trinity Church Men Boys and Girls Choir.

PS:            What was your first job? Was it in Princeton?

TK:    I worked in the kitchen at the Colonial Eating Club at Princeton University.  I was also part of the paint crew at the Institute For Advanced Studies.

PS:    When you are not on tour, and visiting Princeton, besides visiting friends and family, where’s the first place you must go?

TK:    We always make it a point to stop by the Battle Field to hang out.

PS:    Favorite place to hang out when attending Princeton High School?

TK:    While at PHS, you could usually find us hanging out at The Arch.

Ok this appears to be the food section, I mean culinary section. I for one am always on the search for the best of the best, so I’m curious what your faves are.

PS:             All time favorite restaurant?

TK:            No Doubt, Lahiere’s!

PS:    Favorite Pizza Place? Favorite toppings? What do you prefer to drink with your pizza?

TK:    Victor’s is my favorite place for pizza.  I always get a plain slice with a Mellow Yellow.

PS:                Favorite Ice cream place? What do you order?

TK:    Without a doubt Thomas Sweets!  Sweet Cream ice cream with peanut butter cups blended in.

PS:            Favorite Coffee Shop? What is your drink of choice?

TK:            You can never go wrong with a large coffee from Wawa.

PS:        Hoagie Haven was a popular answer when I posed the question “you know you’re from Princeton…” What is your typical order at Hoagie Haven?

TK:    I always order a #8 with everything. Extra ketchup and oregano on the fries is a must.

PS:        Do you call them subs or hoagies? It’s an ongoing debate. I say subs and the hubs refuses to go for subs but say’s we can go for hoagies.

TK:            Definitely hoagies!

PS:        Favorite place to grab a beer? What do you typically order? Favorite bartender?

TK:            I always like to head out to the Rusty Scupper for a Yuengling.

PS:        Favorite Chinese restaurant? What do you order? I’ve always been a fan of chicken with broccoli.

TK:            The Great Wall for the best General Tso’s.

PS:            Who has the best wings? Hot? Mild? BBQ?

TK:    Chuck’s had the best wings before the Menendez brother bought it.  Hot is the way to go.

Ok enough talk about food. Now I’m starving! Let’s go back to general questions.

PS:                Where did you used to rehearse?

TK:            We used to rehearse in Brendan’s basement.

PS:                Where was your very first gig? Was it in Princeton?

TK:            Our very first gig was at John and Peter’s in New Hope PA.

PS:        Where would you hang out after rehearsals and gigs? Princetonian Diner? Should this have been in the food section? ☺

TK:            After rehearsals we used to hang at Mykonos on Nassau St.

PS:        What’s a little known fact about Princeton not everyone might know?

TK:            It was once our nations capital in 1783.

PS:    Favorite movie that was filmed in Princeton  (IQ, A Beautiful Mind, Transformers 2, etc.)? Little known fact, I was an extra in both “ A Beautiful Mind” and “Transformers 2”. Does that sway your decision?

TK:            “IQ”,  I lived down the street from where they filmed it.

PS:                Favorite place to shop? Not shoppers? That’s cool too.

TK:            Quaker Bridge Mall.

PS:                Where did you get your hair cut?

TK:            I always went to the Continental Barber Shop.

PS:                Who were you favorite teachers at Princeton High School?

TK:            Mr. Lucker and Mr. Hand were always my favorites.

PS:                Did you ever carve your name in a table at PJ’s Pancake House?

TK:            Of course!

PS:                What’s your favorite historical site in Princeton?

TK:            Definitely the Battle Field.

PS:        Did you ever sell or buy albums at the Princeton Record Exchange?

TK:            Yes! I’ve sold and bought albums at the Record Exchange.

Social/New Media is blowing up, as you are well aware. For our readers, when I posed the question “you know you’re from Princeton…” Blues Traveler responded right away without hesitation, which led to me scoring this interview. That’s just one reason why they are so incredible.

PS:        Thoughts on social/new media and how it can help build a brand?

TK:    It’s great for bands and allows direct and instantaneous connection with fans.  Social media is way better than giving out gigs at a glance on New York City street corners.

PS:        Besides me (@kdevito) and @princetonscoop, who are some of your favorite NJ Tweeps?

TK:            We’re always looking for some.

PS:        Anything else that is a favorite thing Princeton I didn’t mention?

TK:    Sneak into Reunions (When you’re underage.  It loses its glamour once you’re 21)

PS:        David Letterman gives a Top Ten List at the beginning of every show. What are your Top Princeton Pick’s?

TK:    In no particular order:
Thomas Sweets in the Summer
Getting drunk at Reunions
Throwing eggs at the ETS facility
Sledding at Springdale golf course
Stickball at the Governor’s Mansion (Morven not Drumthwacket)
Chuck’s Buffalo Wings.  We miss you Chuck!
Skitching down Nassau Street
PHS Tigers Football Games listening to Duke Ellington standards dispatched by the PHS Jazz Band.  Nice white slacks fulfills this sick acoustic experience.

PS:        Anything else you want to tell our audience? How Princeton rocks?

TK:    Big Ups to Princeton and to Mercer County in general.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

I can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your hectic touring schedule to answer all these questions for me and I know the Princeton Scoop readers are going to love it. Who knows, maybe we’ll catch you at Thomas Sweets one of these days.

Make sure you follow Blues Traveler on Twitter @blues_traveler!

Cheer Ya Up Cheddar & Beer Soup

Recently I cam across a killer recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network’s site. I of course had to make my own adjustments to the recipe. This is the perfect dish for a cold night during the holiday season. It’s also a great dish for only 2 people since no other food is needed, it’s sooo filling. Although, some nice sour dough bread would have been great with it. Next time I will def try it in a sour dough bread bowl.

Here’s the dish:

1/2 lb. kielbasa sausage, finely chopped and crumbled

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups chopped yellow onion

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 bay leaves

3 tbsp. garlic, minced

8 tbsp. flour

6 cups chicken stock

2 cups lager beer (preferably amber)

Dash of thyme

4 cups grated cheddar cheese (I used 1 1/2 pkgs. of 8 oz. shredded cheddar)

Cook the kielbasa in olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until golden brown. Add the onions, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cook until onions are slightly carmelized (12-15 mins). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant about a minute. SPrinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and beer. Add the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring until nearly completely melted after each addition. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.