Al fresco dining ranges from crowded sidewalk tables for people watching to sun-drenched patios overlooking expansive vistas and everything in between. Such venues are common in Mediterranean climates but much more difficult to find where the experience is limited to the warmer months.
Za Restaurant in Pennington, NJ near Princeton offers authentic al fresco dining in its Wisteria Garden, a vine covered pergola that blooms in May. This luscious space is bordered by herb garden boxes on one side, an old-growth entwined lattice on another, and secluded from the town road by a heavy growth landscape and water garden.
Shaded during the day, the garden provides a wonderful setting for lunch/ brunch which is seated from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Served Monday through Saturday, Za’s midday menu included a selection of eggs benedict, their unique Za Frittatas, an open-faced Italian style omelet, summer salads, Mediterranean pastas, sandwich wraps and dinner entrées at a reduced price from the dinner menu.
At night, the Wisteria canopy provides an enveloping cover to the lantern and candle lit patio. Za’s trademarked Cross-Cultural Comfort Cuisine, American twists on classic international dishes, includes fresh seafood delivered daily from New Jersey’s deep water catch, Chateaubriand, Mediterranean lamb chops and the house specialty the Latin Lobsterman, a risotto served with the meat from half a fresh two pound Maine lobster.
Because Za’s Wisteria Garden is authentic outdoor dining, reservations can only be made on the day you plan to dine. Diner is seated Monday through Saturday from 5:00 – 9:30 and Sunday from 2:00 – 7:00.
Reservations are suggested and can be made online. As always, Za Restaurant is B.Y.O.B. Za Restaurant, 147 West Delaware Avenue, Pennington, NJ 08534, 609-737-4400. www.ZaRestaurants.com
Valid from 04/28/2009 to 10/01/2009