Blooming Grove Inn

Bucks County Courier Times – 2/1/18

A visit with the Blooming Grove Inn
Blooming Grove Inn, Steve Jordan, Trentonian Blooming Grove Inn will be serving it’s full dinner menu along with Chef Specials from 4:00 – 9:00 PM on Valentine’s Day, and is now taking reservations.
We recently sat down with owner Steve Jordan, formerly of Bensalem, PA, to taste a few things and talk about what’s been done and what is to come. “It’s come a long way since I first bought it,” (in February, 2014) Jordan said.

“We quickly renovated the back room first, then did a major renovation to the front room. We’re going to update the back room this summer, when most seating will be shifted to the front room and the outside.” There are almost a hundred seats outside, on three different tiers, which offer a beautiful view of a quiet road. The restaurant is located amongst neighborhood housing on West Upper Ferry Road, so the scenery is nice and the traffic not disturbing.

Jordan speaks excitedly as he looks to the future. “Valentine’s Day is going to be great,” he says. “We have many reservations already but we’re able to take more. It’s always a fun night.” Jordan is looking forward to Groundhog’s Day and hopes there’s some encouraging news. “I can’t wait for winter to be over,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, I try to think positively about everything. I love to ski and all of that in the winter, but the threat of snow just makes it so hard to plan things. We’re always trying to keep things interesting with events like whiskey tastings and wine dinners, and I hate to cancel something because of a looming snow storm. It’s much less nerve wracking to plan fun events when the threat of snow subsides”. With the end of winter and the opening of Jordan’s fifth outdoor season, there are two surprises in store. “There’s two pretty big things that we’ve been working on, but it’s still a little early to place a definite date on them. Some time in the next two months or so we will come out with what we’ve been planning.”

Jordan suggests that people sign up for his email list, a database that he emails twice per week, with the lunch specials that start Monday and the weekend dinner specials that begin Thursday. It is here, in addition to the website and other social media, that customers can find information on events. It’s easy to sign up by visiting the website or by texting the word Blooming to 42828.

The restaurant, which Jordan describes as casual fine dining American, is open seven days a week, offering lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday and dinner only on Saturday and Sunday, although many Saturday and Sunday afternoons the restaurant will open to host private parties such as a bridal showers, baby showers or bereavement luncheons. Jordan says that anyone planning a private event of any kind should call the restaurant’s banquet director, Chas Edinger, to go over options. We asked to view both menus as we sat for dinner.

The lunch menu, offered Monday to Friday beginning at 11:30 AM, has a nice variety of sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes, ranging from about $7.00 to $14.50. The dinner menu, offered beginning at 4 PM Monday to Friday and 5 PM Saturday and Sunday, has many options of meat, pasta and seafood. Appetizers range from $8.00 to $14.00 dollars and include such options as a Caramelized Apple Goat Cheese Bruschetta, charred brussel sprouts and fried calamari. We tried their Beef Carpacccio, which is a thinly pounded tenderloin of beef topped with chopped capers, fresh parmigiano reggiano, mixed greens, truffle oil and reduced balsamic. We loved the way the oil and the capers accented the beef. Delicious. We also couldn’t pass on an order of their home made meatballs, which are served over sautéed broccoli rabe, long hot pepper, marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. We understand that the meatballs are a mixture of beef, veal and pork, but that’s all that Cook Adalberto Osorio would let us in on. He’s been making the meatballs at this location since 1985, and the master recipe stays with him. The Homemade Meatballs are a holdover from the days of Lieggi’s Ewing Manor, and are better than ever now at Blooming Grove Inn.

We dined on a Monday, known around here as Mule Monday, where Moscow Mule drinks are $5 all day. This is followed by Tini Tuesday, featuring $5 Stoli martinis all day, and Whiskey Wednesday, when flights of four are 20% off. Four shelves behind the bar boast about 60 different kinds of scotch, bourbon and whiskey. We also noticed a new winter cocktail list, featuring some interesting looking Prohibition era cocktails such as a Ward 8, made with Rittenhouse Rye, sour mix, orange juice and cherry juice, and a Southern take on the Bees Knees, made with lemon, honey and Nuestra Soledad Mezcal.

The dinner entrees range from $18.00 for Penne ala Vodka and Grilled Chicken Aglio, up to $35.00 for 14 oz of mouth watering, grilled bone-in strip steak, served with whipped Yukon gold potatoes, sriracha spiced broccoli rabe and roasted garlic espagnole sauce. One entree we chose was the Sautéed Striped Bass, which paired really well with the whipped sweet potatoes, baby spinach and vanilla bean beurre blanc, but the showstopper of the night were the short ribs. These Maple Brown Sugar Braised Beef Short Ribs, served with pumpkin pie spiced sweet potatoes, asparagus and vegetable ragout, were some of the most tender meat either of us have ever tried. If you’re a fan of meat that requires no knife to eat, you should check out this dish.

We finished off dinner with a piece of their signature Banana Cream Pie. Our courteous server smiled wryly as she handed it to us, saying “We take all the calories out.” We wouldn’t have cared either way. It was outstanding.

Blooming Grove Inn, Steve Jordan, Ewing NJ restaurant, Mike SujanskyExecutive Chef Mike Sujansky

Blooming Grove Inn is a must try if you haven’t yet been there. From the cozy feel of dining in a Civil War era farmhouse, to the interesting cocktails, 60 something scotches and bourbons, rather well rounded wine list, delightful service and delicious menu, it seems to have something for everyone. The menu in fact, with perhaps the exception of Bert’s meatballs, has been put together by Executive Chef Mike Sujansky, who came in with Jordan in February, 2014. “Mike and I worked together previously in Pennsylvania,” Jordan says, “and when this opportunity came up I knew he was my guy. He’s as passionate about this business as I am, and never stops. We run a Fall/Winter Menu and then a Spring/Summer menu, different each year, so dishes always stay fresh and exciting. He’s always coming up with something.” Jordan said he could talk forever about the evolution of the business and the dedication of his staff, but then smiled as the short ribs and striped bass arrived, and we knew the food would speak for itself. Let’s eat!