Hamilton Square, New Jersey
November 8, 2002
Co-owned by the former pastry chef of Acacia, the restaurant located next door, the desserts at Fedora are a treat for both the eyes and the tongue. Luckily, the rest of the food there is excellent as well.
"Funky" is probably the best way to describe the décor. There are some "standard" tables and chairs, a counter with stools and several low tables surrounded by plush sofas and soft chairs. The color scheme is as varied as the seating options – a mix of dark colors, , animal prints and paisley on the furnishings; the dark color scheme continues to the walls, with the addition of hand-painted heavenly bodies here. The back of the restaurant affords an open view of the kitchen. A long counter along one side serves take-away meals and coffee and ends in a display case for those marvelous desserts and a selection of Thomas Sweet’s ice cream. At lunchtime, you order and pick your food up at the counter; there is table service for dinner and brunch on Sunday.
The food is similarly eclectic. On a recent visit, my mom and I shared the most delicious pork quesadilla appetizer. Sour cream "kicked up" with mild chili and cilantro was served on the side. It was so good, I asked for the recipe!
For dinner, we both chose salads. Mom had a spinach salad with chicken, which she enjoyed to the last bite. My salad also contained chicken, but it was served over mixed greens with pears, nuts and a blue cheese. The salads were fresh, served on cool plates (both temperature and appearance – the tableware at Fedora is as varied as its menu), and delicious. I forgot to ask for dressing on the side, which is usually needed to avoid a deluge of dressing, but that wasn’t a problem here.
For dessert, I was torn: there was an amazing looking white chocolate cloud, filled with a creamy dark chocolate mousse. However, I decided on a pecan tart, topped with a few raspberries with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. It was great: the tart crust was tender and ever so-slightly nutty, the pecan filling was just gooey enough to stick a bit to my teeth without being overly sweet, both desirable characteristics to this pecan pie lover.
I’ve never had bad service here, but it is often a bit "rough" around the edges. They are generally friendly and seem eager to ensure that you enjoy your meal, an attitude that goes a long way to smoothing over those rough edges.
NB – you’ll need to travel to Fedora by car from Princeton; it’s about a 10 minute ride from Palmer Square. Also, the restaurant is BYOB.
From journal Beyond the Tiger's Shadow