Friday, July 24, 2009

Big Fish in a Small Mall

By Millicent K. Brody

Last Saturday proved to be a nice day for a drive, so we met friends at the MarketFair Mall on U.S. 1 at Meadow Road, in Princeton. We decided to browse, and dine at Big Fish. MarketFair is considerably smaller than the Mall at Short Hlls (my usual shopping destination) but nonetheless houses a discerning collection of shops: Smith & Hawken, White House/Black Market, Chico’s, Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, and Barnes & Noble.

For the foodies, MarketFair also has a Williams Sonoma and Harry and David. If you hurry into Harry and David before July 31st, you’ll be able to mix and match from the following categories:Gourmet Relishes, Savory Salsa, Premium Preserves, Snack Mixes, Moose Munch Confection, chocolate truffles, fruit chocolates, Mondo Malt Balls, gummies, licorice, nuts, and more! The deal is, buy 3 and get the 4th Free. Villeroy & Boch, an excellent stop for anyone looking for attractive dishes, is also having a sale: save an additional 25% off their regular savings price. Available patterns include :Petite Fleur, Vieux Luxembourg, Design Naif, Switch 3, Manoir, Flora, and Cascara.

After dashing in and out of all the shops, we were starving, so we headed for one of only two restaurants actually inside the mall: Big Fish Bistro (there are also a few restaurants just outside the mall building). To celebrate the bistro's name, there's an enormous splash of color spanning the wall that is designed to resemble a BIG FISH. Adding to the decor are gigantic, blown glass globes of light, patches and swatches of color, and crisp table settings.

You’ll like the menu. Hitting various price points, it offers something for everyone. Starters included Tuscan shrimp marinated in garlic and herbs, paired with a tomato and cannellini bean salad, ($9.99); a crab cake with mustard sauce and roasted corn salsa, ($10.99); and shrimp mango spring rolls, or a mixture of shrimp, mango relish, Napa cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots in rice paper, served chilled with peanut sauce, ($8.99). You can choose a salad or cup of soup for an additional $2.99. We all started with a fresh and delicious Caesar salad. I moved to cedar planked Atlantic salmon, roasted with a tarragon-mustard glaze and served with a gaggle of roasted vegetables and redskin potatoes ($19.99). My friend Phyllis enjoyed the potato-encrusted tilapia, served with fresh vegetables ($17.99). My husband ordered the crab-stuffed sole with lemon butter sauce ($21.99), and Stan chose salmon Rockefeller stuffed with bacon, jumbo lump crab, and classic Rockefeller stuffing, ($21.99). A blueberry-hazelnut crisp with Hammonton blueberries, served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce ($6.99), was enough for each of us to share. Both food and service were a fine contribution to a delightful Saturday.

1 comment:

ML Cottingham said...

(1) Besides the food court and Big Fish... what other restaurant is INSIDE the mall? None... or are you counting Starbucks as a restaurant.

(2) There are numerous restaurants within 1 mile of Marketfair and the Big Fish. Within the Marketfair complex alone, there is Macaroni Grill, On the Border, PF Changs, and TGIFridays. The other side of Meadow Rd is Sunny Garden. Following Route 1 S, there is the Princetonian Diner, BT's (formerly Charlie Brown's) and Chili's... all before you get to the next block of box stores and restaurants.