Thursday, February 10, 2011


With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we're so excited to announce that we will be OPEN, even though it's a Monday--and traditionally, this is the one day we give to ourselves as a day to recuperate, rest, and refresh to return on Tuesday with our spirits renewed.  But not next Monday.  We've had so many inquiries about whether we're open, and requests to please open the doors to this historic old lady of a building that has so much meaning to so many--from first dates, to high school graduation celebrations, to wedding proposals--that we couldn't say no.  We'll be open from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. and welcome you to share this special day with your loved one at The National Hotel, enjoying a specially designed romantic Valentine's Day menu that is sure to please both of you.  Do call us to make a reservation at 908.996.3200, or contact us via email.  Here's a little sampling of what we have in store for our guests:

Warm Bing cherry, cipollini onions, goat cheese croutons all tossed in spinach and mustard vinaigrette $10
Dried Beet chips, blood orange segments, pomegranate seeds and shaved red onion tossed with arugula leaves and blood orange thyme vinaigrette $12
Assorted local artisanal cheese with a sweet cognac soaked apricots, pistachio honey and homemade crackers and bread $12

Market Fresh oysters – ask your server for our selection
Sweet braised rabbit, granny smith apples, sausage, all served under puffed pastry $12
½ Butter poached Maine lobster, over brandy braised leeks, and topped with a crispy pommes maxim $15
Diced jail island salmon, marinated in grape fruit, jalapeno and fresh coriander $10

And our entrees (a.k.a Plates) will not disappoint, from Filet Mignon, to Scallops over creamy shrimp risotto, drizzled with a spinach Pernot sauce to marinated, grilled and stuffed eggplant rolled with macadamia nut cheese and wilted spinach over roasted tomato and pepper sauce, to braised Turbot fish with white wine and fennel over gorgonzola polenta and saute├ęd watercress with fried will find that there is something for everyone.  I haven't even talked about the specialty drink of the day...or desserts for that matter!!!  Do come by and experience this special menu that our executive chef, Lisa Frederick, has put together for all those out there who want to have a special Valentine's Day with a loved one over a delicious meal that excites the senses and sets the mood and tone for Valentine's Day.  It's sure to be a meal that will create memories you'll recall for years to come.  

But if you're looking for an entire weekend celebration, we can deliver a fabulous getaway that will be unforgettable.  From a spa session to chocolates and champagne in your room, you just can't beat a full weekend experience.  Click here for more information or call our General Manager, Marlon Aranha, at 908.996.3200 to discuss your specific needs.

This is sure to make you forget the amount of ice and snow that is still on the ground.  We've really been hammered up here in the northeast, especially with the last ice/sleet storm.  Not to complain or whine, but boy have we gotten our fair share!  Those of us living in or near Frenchtown have been dealing with school closings that have also affected our days at work these last few weeks--and future vacation plans as well.  But moving past that, the fact is most of our kids have had a blast playing outside!

And inside, we've had so many events at The National Hotel, from the Frenchtown Lions Club Casino Night at the end of January, to our weekly Open Mic Night sessions, to our beloved Wednesday By the Fireplace singer/songwriter series, to even celebrating Chuck Schaeffer's birthday as he performed during our last Sunday Musical Afternoon series.  Do you know what he wanted??  Ice cream cake!  Oh yeah.  We made sure to get it for him.

From all these events to the hear and now, post-Super Bowl Sunday life.  You have no idea how pleased Pete and I were to hear from a patron that she loves coming to The National Hotel because she "can feel the genuine warmth that the staff extends to her when she walks through the door."  She further shared that we have given her "a familiar place to just relax and unwind after a long work day, knowing that you're open late and always have music, trivia, or something else that allows me to sit back and enjoy."  Now if I'd been a little quicker, I would have asked her if it was OK to share her name along with her time.

But one person who did share her name with me, and who surprised us with an exceptional and exquisite gift, is Melissa Maier, from Euphoria Studio.  Melissa used our home away from home, The National Hotel, as the venue for photographing models highlighting some of the romantic styles that Euphoria Studio specializes in creating for their customers.  She had these photos bound in the most beautiful book that she presented to us as a holiday gift.  Thank you, Melissa!


Wait...and if those photos aren't enough to get the blood rushing, how about the article in this month's 54 Magazine?  This is a magazine that truly captures the essence of the arts and culture in our area.  We are just floored by the review.

I cannot tell you how pleased we are that we are being "found" by editors and writers from different publications who are truly thrilled that The National Hotel is bringing to the community a menu that is full of new flavors, ethnic seasonings, multi-cultural offerings, and surprises in our Additions to the Menu (every Thursday to Sunday), intertwined with our traditional American fare.  We are so happy to hear from those "in the know," that we are doing "it right."  THANK YOU!

Help us to put Frenchtown on "the map," so that The New York Times readers and visitors can come to our town.  It's a win-win for everyone.  Please visit  The registration is as simple as adding your name and email address. 

I know that Pete and I have only been the proprietors of The National Hotel for a year and a half, but I can only continue to say thank you to each and every single one of you who have stopped by, talked to us, shared a drink, had a meal, stayed overnight, or enjoyed one of our programs.  We get up every morning with absolute enthusiasm thinking about what the day will hold in store for us.  There have been challenges along the way, but not a single one that we would take back.  Every difficulty we've faced has been rewarded with extraordinary measures of kindness and support by the you.  We cannot imagine doing anything else.  The National Hotel is a treasure, and we absolutely love being in Frenchtown!


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  2. There are definitely some great romantic hotels in NYC! I also really enjoy the boutique hotels, like the Soho when accompanied by my significant other, of course.