Next time Restaurant Week comes to Nassau Street, be sure not to miss it. $15 for lunch and $25 for dinner at an upscale restaurant like Mediterra is a deal you don’t want to miss. Located behind Palmer Square, this elegant restaurant serves a variety of Mediterranean cuisines and dishes that make a college student’s mouth water just by reading the tantalizing descriptions on the menu, though the prices might make one cringe in horror. The restaurant, however, was kind enough to offer us a free meal for this review, so we didn’t have to worry about breaking the bank to fill our stomachs.
The excellent food, however, is generally worth the exorbitant price. The Restaurant Week menu offered six appetizers and three main dishes, including some of the restaurant’s signature dishes. The food is spiced to perfection, and accented by succulent sauces. The classy atmosphere provides a drastic, welcome break from the dining hall. The restaurant is adorned with decorations that make this tired student wish she had dressed a little nicer. Friendly waitstaff will make sure your glass is never empty as you enjoy your meal while listening to the cool jazz piped through the speakers. Mediterra manages to feel high-class without being pretentious.
We started off with perhaps the best dish of the evening: the bacon-wrapped dates, which come with whole-grain mustard yogurt sauce. The combination of crispy bacon with sweet, chewy dates couldn’t be more perfect. This sweetness of the dates mixes well with the slightly candied bacon, while a drop of the mustard sauce ties this burst of flavor together.
The albondigas (beef meatballs in tomato sauce with grana cheese) also did not disappoint. Though less outstanding than the bacon-wrapped dates, the albondigas were delicious and well presented. Providing a slight kick to the well-spiced meat, the simple, no-frills tomato sauce paired well with this classic dish.
The Mussels Provençal comes with a more unique tomato sauce. The light, creamy, homemade sauce is mouthwatering, and accents the freshness of the mussels. Every aspect of this dish is savory, flavorful and fresh, from the aforementioned sauce to the evenly-toasted bread, with a perfectly crisp crust surrounding a soft, doughy center. The mussels themselves come from the famed Prince Edward Island, an island in Canada well known as a source of quality shellfish.
A new addition to the menu, the Chicken Marsala, features chicken from Griggstown Farm, a local farm. Potatoes, mushrooms and kale garnish the meal, and blend exquisitely with the chicken, which is anything but dry.
The Restaurant Week menu ended with a warm Pain Perdu. The bread pudding-like, banana flavored, caramel sauce infused dessert covered was soft and delicious, and arrived piping hot as if fresh out of the oven. Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the dish provided a great ending to a great meal.
Address: 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton, N.J.
Hours of Operation: Lunch: Mon – Sat: 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.; Dinner: Mon – Thurs: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Fri – Sat: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Sun: 4 p.m. – 9 a.m.; Taverna: Mon – Thurs: 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Fri – Sat: 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m., Sun: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.