Saturday, September 25, 2010


It must be September, because the days are just SOOOOO full of things to do. Between The National Hotel, the girls' school (and let's not forget their afterschool activities), friends' fundraisers, etc., the days have escaped me and I am only now putting "pen to paper" to post another installment of our blog.

Pete's been in the kitchen! I know he's my husband, but I'm so proud of all that he's been able to do and the enthusiasm with which he embraces every day. He's been hard at work re-creating some Indian delicacies with which he grew up in India, and combining his memories with some delicious traditional recipes from classic Indian cook books with our terrific kitchen staff. These will make up our entire Additions to the Menu that started this past Thursday, September 23rd through tomorrow, Sunday, September 26th. Be sure to stop by and savor some exotic flavors right here in our own backyard--Indian Nights at The National Hotel! Click on the link to see some of the delicacies we'll be featuring this weekend...

This follows a wonderful write-up from Icon Magazine by Robert Gordon. Their Dining Out section took our summer menu to task and we are just so pleased to have passed their litmus test. What a terrific endorsement from a wonderful publication.

And we just hosted another Open Mic Night session on Thursday too, featuring Brian Molnar. The night's host was Kevin Gilson and it was a total crowd pleaser. Our other Open Mic Nights have seen new talent the the mic as well as some familiar faces.

And many of these familiar faces came out to support our featured performers these last few weeks, during our Sunday Musical Afternoon series. We've been fortunate to have had so many talented performers, including Mike Pfeiffer once again, Chuck Schaeffer returning for another successful night of country rockabilly fun, Steve Jones , and a former Frenchtown resident, Russell Norkevich . We also were treated to the sounds of David Falcone on the 12th of September, and tomorrow we'll host the return appearance of Ray McGeehan. Every week, another wonderful 2 hours of music that delight our patrons, and lift the spirits of those of us working on the premises. Sunday is one of our favorite days of the week! Just look and listen to a few of our featured musicians...find more at our The National Hotel NJ YouTube channel:

This entire month has been a month filled with the arts. We just finished hosting the last installment of "our" monthly People's Poetry last week--and I say "our" in quotes, because it's a program initiated and supported by our local community members...not something that Pete and I put into motion, but rather something that has grown organically. It was a treat to be a witness to the wonderful poets who took the mike. Be sure to visit the People's Poetry facebook fanpage to get up-to-date information on the poets, the events, and future plans. And last Sunday's poetry open mic was followed by our weekly Sunday Musical Afternoon series that has provided our guests with the wonderful musical performances of local talent. Again, yet another opportunity for The National Hotel to shine, simply because these artists have adopted The National Hotel as their chosen venue. Thank you!!! Thank you for bringing your art, your talent, your creativity to our establishment, for ALL of us to enjoy.

We can't wait to see you at The National Hotel. Whether you're coming to savor our Indian Nights Additions to the Menu items this weekend, spending time with us at the Rat's weekly Open Mic Night, joining us for our monthly People's Poetry, or supporting our local artists as they perform during our weekly Sunday Musical Afternoon series, please continue to visit our facebook fanpage, search our artists' webclips by subscribing to our National Hotel NJ youtube channel, or sign up for our twitter page. If you'd like to leave a comment on things you've enjoyed at The National Hotel, send a note to one of these artists, or just share some thoughts, please do so, or email me directly at Hope to see you this weekend...the food is YUMMM!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Frenchtown is in full swing, celebrating it's annual Riverfest weekend. We put our heads together, and Ron Rittenhouse, our executive chef, came up with a wonderful Mardi Gras inspired menu that is sure to please. From crabfritter salad (boston and romaine lettuce with creole mustard vinaigrette topped with fried crab fritters), to shrimp, andouille and gritts (sauteed andouille sausage, jumbo shrimp served over creamy grits with a hot pepper cream sauce)...or how about trout meuniere (fresh trout filet, dredged in flour, panfried and served with a New Orleans classic meuneire sauce), or even, pecan chicken (chicken breast breaded in pecans and bread crumbs, topped with bourbon green onion sauce accompanied with red beans and rice)...and so many other dishes. But let's not forget the beignets. After all, it wouldn't be Mardi Gras without beignets!

We hope you'll make some time to come out to The National Hotel to sample some of Ron's creations. His team in our kitchen is just stellar. Pete and I feel so fortunate to have such a dedicated and committed staff, from Lisa, to Teresa, and Mikey. They truly make it such a smooth process for everyone involved. And when Ron and Kasey Goyette, our lead bartender, get together to plan out menus and discuss specialty drinks that will enhance each other, you know it's a winning combination.

Do join us for this special weekend in Frenchtown, when all the shops will feature special events, activities, and a fun time for the family. We're looking forward to a terrific holiday weekend in Frenchtown, and everyone who works at The National Hotel is looking forward to getting a sampling of this special Mardi Gras fare. Those of us who have been to New Orleans before know what a special place that is, and how central truly great food is to their way of life. I do hope you'll share this with us, and that you'll post a comment or email me directly with your feedback at