Aug 29 2013

Announcing our Bar Remodeling

by elements

bar for web

elements Fall 2013 remodeling: a new larger bar and new menus launch 9/5/13

elements opened five years ago this Autumn, and soon after started to win acclaim from the New York Times, Esquire Magazine, NJ Monthly and Wine Spectator. Now, elements has some exciting news about relaunching for the new season.

The restaurant will close August 30 through September 5 to enlarge our bar area. Famous and well-loved for its natural juice and craft liquor cocktails,  the bar will now allow more diners to enjoy their meal right there for a more casual dining experience. Or, they can use the enlarged bar for a drink and try the new  intriguing bar bites menu, then move into the dining room for dinner.

Sample items from the Bar Bites Menu

Foie Gras Cookies  |  kumquat & parmesan  11.

Garden Green Beignets  |  malt vinegar, squid ink  6.

Pork Rinds “Popcorn”  |  paprika aioli  6.

Vichyssoise  |  vegetable & herb brandade  8.

Pickled Vegetables  |  garden herbs  8.

Mushroom Tempura  |  tonkatsu sauce  8.

Salt roasted Chicken “oyster”  |  Lime Pickle   10.

elements burger   | *only 8 available daily  16.


Jun 28 2013

Summer classics: dark N stormy

by Mark John

In my most recent World Tour post, I said that the sidecar was the ultimate cocktail. I stand behind those words but have to pay my respects to several other warm weather classics. Today I find myself daydreaming while at work that I’m on the beach somewhere drinking an all so familiar cure all. With such a bright and sunny day at hand I’d hate for the skies to become “Dark n’ Stormy”.

That’s right, the good old goslings and gingerbeer. House made gingerbeer in fact, the kind that cures all that ails you. Some old sailors would probably share similar feelings about dark rum. However today I find the appreciation for both of them together. Cheers to summer classics! Cheers to refreshment!

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Dark n stormy
2oz goslings dark rum
1oz house made ginger beer
Splash of club soda

Pour all ingredients over ice starting with the ginger beer, then the rum, and finally the club top. Garnish with candied ginger and a lime wedge.


Jun 27 2013

World Tour: Pimms Cup

by Mark John

Once again we are visiting another stop on our world tour and with all the talk about summer drinks it seems most appropriate to talk about the Pimm’s Cup. At this time of every year one of the oldest running sporting tournaments, Wimbledon, acts as reason to consume copious amounts of the always enjoyable Pimm’s cup. And why not. This very well may be one of the most refreshing and quaffable cocktails I’ve ever had. Pimm’s is known for making fruit cups, the most common being the No 1 based with gin. Other productions have been based with rum, scotch, brandy, vodka and rye. All of which we have thanks to a lone British bartender back in the 1860′s and his house made fruit cups.

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Today the Pimm’s Cup seems to act like a chameleon. With every bar program comes a different variation but of course what lies beneath remains the always delicious and familiar classic cocktail that we so love.


Jun 27 2013

Product knowledge: herbs

by Mark John

Behind the bar at elements we use a variety of ingredients to produce great seasonally focused drinks for our guests. So it’s only natural for us to be most creative within the spring and summer months when our gardens here at elements are in full operation.

We are truly blessed for such a vast diversity of ingredients in such a close location. With that comes an influx of creativity and diversity to our bar program. we produce everything from special spirit infusion like our most recent lavender gin, to our house mad syrups like our thyme and pink peppercorn simple syrup.

let me now introduce you to familiar yet different herbs we use often.

first of which typically takes a role in the kitchen more often then behind the bar, and that is our thyme. when we approach the thyme plot on our garden we have a few options but we typically reach for one variety in particular, lemon thyme. this is great to add to many familar drinks, i personally enjoy it shaken into my tom collins base , or muddled into a margirita to give it a more herbaous familiar flavor.

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next notable herb would be bronze fennel this is great to add just a hint of licorice flavor to many different dirnks. my favorite preperation is typically prepared with a brown spirit like rye or brandy in a most obvious summer cocktail like the sour, or even more recently i added the bronze fennel to my standard julep recipe.

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finnaly speaking of julep the last familiar herb i like to mention is probably the most recognizable behind the bar and the mint. however when i pick the mint i reach for the chocolate mint, this gives your average mojoito just a little extra unique finish that is great with the addition of fresh muddled berries. my most recent creation was prompted by a guest to create a choclate covered strawberry in a glass. it was a great success.

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i hope you found this ejoyable learning about a few exrta herbs to help diverify your beverage experience here at elements. next time your in elements challange your bartender to craft you a drink around a particular herb. get more deeply involded in your cocktails creation by touring our garden and bringing back some herbs.


May 12 2013

Glassware post.

by Mark John

At elements we put a lot of thought into our cocktails. Just as a chef would choose the appropriate plate for each dish, our bartenders also choose the proper vessel for your beverage.

Fortunately, the collaboration between technology and old world craftsmanship is allowing bartenders everywhere to create and serve with more confidence knowing their drink will be well received in the suitable glass.

This post is going to provide you with a crash course on our glassware so that the next time you are at elements you can see a little deeper into your drink.

glassware

First there is the Collins glass – tall with a heavy base and a familiar shape. Classically used for single mixers (i.e. gin & tonic), we also love it for our non-alcoholic beverages. I believe the Collins glass is one of the most unappreciated glasses we use, and that in most restaurants it becomes the workhorse due to the familiarity factor.

Second is our rocks glass – typically familiar to all, and can be found in most households. Here at elements we serve a variety of drinks out of these hard-working vessels. We have three sizes of rocks glasses:
Small – primarily used for any spirit on the rocks. It provides us just the right space for our large rock and the appropriate pour, perfect for the old-school scotch drinker.
Standard – great for serving cocktails and single mixers.
Over-sized – used for a variety of applications, but primarily is showcased for its ability to house a cocktail plus our large rock.

flutes

Next up is our stemmed selection. We have everything from a over-sided cordial bowl to a standard sparkling wine flute. Our sparkling flutes are just over the standard size. This is important when we are crafting sparkling cocktails such as the French 75. We also have a tall narrow grappa glass which clearly is great for grappa and sambucca. The next size down would be our cognac glass which is perfectly sized for a pour of fine cognac with a tulip-shaped rim to allow the spirit to open up. Finally we have our single malt glass – a short, stout, thin glass great for neat poured brown spirits. This glass has an exaggerated tulip rim with an extra inch of space to allow exposure to air, while also providing room for our small single-malt ice cube.

cocktail glass

Finally are our cocktail or “martini” glasses. We have both the standard-styled cocktail glass and a stout coupe. Here at elements we divide our cocktail program into two parts – our classic section and our house-invented section. The house-made creations go into our standard all-purpose cocktail glass, whereas our classics are displayed in the coupe.

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I hope you found this informative, and that you look a little deeper into your glass the next time you get a drink from elements.

Cheers to fine glassware! Cheers to innovation! Cheers to creativity!


Apr 19 2013

Muddy Water

by Mark John

Spring has sprung here at elements and so have the fresh ideas and beverages.

The lastest to hit our non-alcoholic page is the the light but ugly spritzer we are calling Muddy water (due to it appearance). It is a specialty mocktail consisting of our house made cucumber “water”, red plum roobios Kombucha, a thyme and pink peppercorn simple syrup, and house grenadine. This drink is light, crisp and refreshing – promising a thirst-quenching experience. The only thing it won’t promise is to look good.

Come on down while the offering is fresh, and just like the early spring vegetables popping around everywhere – if you wait to long you just might miss out!

As always cheers to great drinks, & cheers to Spring!


Apr 17 2013

In the press: Hardies Perfection

by Mark John

Our latest piece of press is from New York Magazine’s Grub Street. They sought out to find one new amazing, creative cocktail from each state. Can you guess who represented New Jersey? That’s right – elements Princeton. It was the quality of ingredients and the creative inspiration of our head bartender Jamie Dodge that made the cocktail “Hardies Perfection” truly representative.
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Most bartenders do their homework on new products they are trying to showcase. Jamie Dodge did his homework on a field trip to Caledonia County in the great northeast kingdom of Vermont. He went to better his understanding and appreciation of the humble people behind the great products of Tod Hardie & Caledonia spirits. In speaking with Jamie, his main inspiration was to be able to integrate as much of their hard work as possible into the cocktail – from the raw honey of Todd’s bees to the elderberry cordial.

New york Magazine’s Grub Street has a ton of cool arictles but how about starting with this one..
http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2013/04/best-cocktails-in-america.html


Mar 25 2013

World Tour: the Sidecar

by Mark John

The sidecar. Now that summer has arrived in New Jersey, the motorcycle is once again a commonplace sight our roads. Although it is quite rare to pass one with a sidecar, there is one sure place you CAN find a sidecar – here at elements.

The World Tour posts have been focused on cocktails that originated in various places around the world. The Sidecar has a bit of mystery behind it. Some say that this brilliant cocktail was born in the land of cognac itself, France. Others believe it was created as a common “pregame” drink for young Brits traveling around in their sidecars from pub to pub. I believe it was created in a bar at the Ritz hotel in Paris back in the day.
sidecar

Today, we care about the destination (your mouth). The sidecar to me is the ultimate refreshing summertime cocktail, with a fine cognac base balanced with orange liquor and lemon juice. Whether it is to be enjoyed by one person, or split with good friends as a round of shooters, the sidecar typically pleases all.

Come down to elements – perhaps on your motorcycle or even in a sidecar, and escape the summer heat with a delicious round of Sidecar cocktails.

Cheers to mystery! Cheers to destinations! Cheers to the Sidecar!


Mar 18 2013

In the press: Nomad

by Mark John

It is our pleasure to share with you another write-up about the elements bar in the news.

In a recent FirstWeFeast.com article about fashionable trends behind the bar (“10 Cocktail Trends You Need to Know”), the “Nomad” cocktail and a quote about the drink are featured.

The Nomad is a non-alcoholic mocktail made with aloe juice, vadouvan simple syrup and citrus juices.

We served this drink to help complement our chefs’ creative use of vadouvan in their dishes.

We hope you enjoy the article, we enjoyed being in it!

http://firstwefeast.com/drink/10-cocktail-trends-you-need-to-know/s/7-the-rise-of-the-mocktail/


Mar 13 2013

World Tour: Black Russian

by Mark John

On this stop of the world tour, I felt it was appropriate to finally go international. Our visit today is to Belgium where a commonly-known drink drink was born – the Black Russian.

In 1940, an American ambassador by the name of Perle Mesta was lounging in the bar of the Hotel Metropole in Brussels. It was there on an eerily calm evening the the hotel’s bartender, that Gustave Tops (being a true mixologist) decided to make her a cocktail. With the Cold War just starting, he seemed perfectly inspired to craft this combination of Russian vodka and Kalhua. The Black Russian swirled in its glass as a mysterious dark-colored concoction, foreshadowing the unsettled times to come.

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Fortunately for us the Cold War is over, so I feel we have to look back and be thankful that those times inspired the Black Russian.

Come down to elements and ask your bartender to make you this mysterious classic cocktail.

Cheers to Black Russian, and cheers to the free world!