Teresa Caffe, also known as Teresa’s, is an Italian restaurant conveniently situated on the east side of Palmer Square next to the Nassau Inn. The restaurant is softly lit but still friendly and casual, and it is usually bustling with people looking to eat a good dinner of pasta and pizza. The restaurant is often crowded, especially on weekends around dinner time, and the restaurant does not take reservations, so getting a table can sometimes be tough. However, a hungry diner’s painful anticipation is easily soothed by a very friendly, accommodating staff, who are even willing to text you when your seat is ready so you can be free to window-shop as you wait. Once you are seated, the service remains excellent, and servers deliver your plates to your table with little delay.
When I inquired about the restaurant’s specialties, the waiter insisted that I try a Funghi Misti pizza. He also mentioned that the pappardelle pasta and roast chicken were very popular among diners. Enticed by his descriptions, I ended up ordering the Funghi Misti pizza and pappardelle pasta. The manager also kindly gave me a complimentary appetizer, a finely prepared bruschetta antipasto.
Funghi Misti ($16.00) — 4/5 stars
Warm and deliciously cheesy, this personal pie comes equipped with roasted signorina mushrooms and cipollini onions, topped with chewy Fontina cheese and thyme over a thin, crisp crust. The pizza is rather sizable, and along with the complimentary fresh bread from Terra Momo Bread Company, makes for a satisfying and filling meal. I especially enjoyed the aroma of the thyme that was sprinkled over the cheese, and the springy texture of the signorina mushrooms added an interesting, complementary texture to the pizza as a whole. The sweetness of the onions works to balance out the savory taste of the Fontina cheese, which is a little stronger than standard mozzarella. Glancing around at other tables in the restaurant, I saw that pizza was a popular choice among customers, and after savoring every delicious bite of my own pie, I can say with confidence that this popularity is fully deserved.
Papparadelle ($16.00) — 4.5/5 stars
My other entree was a creamy pappardelle pasta with roasted chicken, wild mushrooms and kale. The sauce is mild and not too rich, making this pasta dish relatively light, well-balanced and delicious. The shape of perfectly-cooked pappardelle catches a perfect amount of sauce in each bite. I particularly loved the texture of the kale, which offset the creaminess of the rest of the pasta.
Bruschetta ($9.00) — 3.25/5 stars
These flavored, toasted slices of baguette come with three types of dip: cannellini bean puree, sheep milk ricotta and salsa Genovese. The baguette is toasted to perfection, and is adorned with garlic and basil. The dipping sauces all have distinct flavors and personalities, though some of the sauces complement the taste of the bruschetta better than others. My favorite was easily the bean puree. Mild, but with a distinct, earthy taste, the bean puree has a smooth consistency that complements the crispy, oily bread. The ricotta also works to reduce the dryness of the bread. However, I felt that the taste of the cheese could be a little stronger so as not to be overpowered by the flavors of the bruschetta itself. The Genovese is made of fine basil and olive oil mixed into a tasty spread, though ultimately, the similarity between the oily taste of the Genovese and the bruschetta makes for a rather uninspiring combination.
Teresa’s is also close to great places to get dessert, like Halo Pub and Bent Spoon. Their food is reasonably priced but delicious, with a classy but friendly atmosphere. Teresa’s is a versatile place; with delicious, freshly-baked pizza and bread, it’s truly the perfect place for a casual outing with friends, a dinner with visiting family or a date.
Address: 23 Palmer Square East, Princeton, NJ 08542
Hours of Operation: Brunch: Sat – Sun 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Lunch: Mon – Fri 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Dinner: Mon – Thur 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Fri 4:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., Sat 3:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., Sun 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.