M-Thu (11AM-9PM), F-Sa (11AM-10PM), Su (10AM-8PM)
(609) 291-8301 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
It is good to have somewhere to take a date. You probably want something not too stuffy and formal, but not too relaxed either. The food should be very good, even a little fancy, yet offer a variety of options for any palate. And probably, since you are aiming to impress, you might consider some romantic lighting and memorable decor.
There are lots of options that will satisfy within the greater Trenton area. If you’re looking on a weeknight, Trenton’s own Settimo Cielo is a terrific option (though sadly they’re currently closed on weekends). If you are willing to drive 20 minutes to Princeton and face Princeton prices, you can always hit Agricola (which is one of our faves). But if you want something closer to home on a weekend night, you might find yourself at Under the Moon Cafe in Bordentown. And it is BYOB, which means you might save a few bucks in the process.
Under the Moon Cafe is a whimsically-decorated restaurant with an Argentinian/Spanish-style menu. The interior design looks like it may have come out of a thrift store, or maybe your Grandma’s attic–but yet it is strangely charming. Beautiful painted tin tiles line the ceiling, and there are singular artworks and curiosities along the walls, which are sure to inspire conversation. While prices are hefty (at the time of this writing appetizers are between $3-16, and entrees are between $18-28 dollars), you will see significant savings because you can bring your own bottle. There is currently a three-course prix fixe menu for $30 per person (an appetizer, a salad, and an entree).
The cooking is good to great, though it certainly isn’t the finest in the region. The artichoke rice balls (stuffed with asiago and parmesan) were piquant, though the roasted acorn squash was somewhat bland for our taste. We devoured one of their specials: rosemary polenta fries over a tomato sauce. The crispy polenta fries were flavorful, and the sauce exceptional. Under The Moon Cafe is known throughout the region for its meatloaf, which is served Argentinian-style: wrapped in bacon and stuffed with mozzarella and roasted red peppers, with a whole egg in each slice. It comes with a side of mashed potatoes. Their pear and spinach salad was divine. We didn’t try their desserts–they seem to specialize in cream pies, and had an outrageous assortment of them.
Under The Moon Cafe certainly isn’t for every night, but we enjoyed our visit and will likely find ourselves there again, when the right opportunity presents itself.