In viewing the rooms on line, they looked very serene and elegant. The inn was purchased by Barry and Elaine Sussman back in 2006. After a 3-year top to bottom renovation, the hotel reopened in 2010. Unfortunately, in 2018 the Peacock Inn Restaurant closed and the inn was sold to Genesis Hospitality. The new owners gave the inn another renovation and reopened the fine dining restaurant.
Our interaction with the staff of the Peacock Inn was with the General Manager Mike Rohrbach and Julie Gray, Events Coordinator. Both of these people displayed warmth and a genuine hospitality.
When making the reservation over the phone with Michael, I mentioned we were celebrating our anniversary. Michael Rohrbach is the general manager and graciously upgraded our room to a Preferred King. The well-appointed room was very comfortable with flat screen TV, wonderful rain shower in the bathroom and sumptuous linens. To help us celebrate our anniversary the hotel gave us flowers and champagne upon arrival.
We wandered around town and found it busy on Saturday afternoon. We had lunch at the Witherspoon Grill and then stopped in at Chez Alice for a cup of coffee and an almond and plain croissant. Chez Alice had a brisk walk-in business. Their cases were filled with French macarons and beautiful pastries. They also offer La Goûter, French Tea Time. For $25 per person, you get a classic and blueberry scone, assorted macarons petite fours and a chocolate truffle. Although it sounded delightful, it sounded a bit too rich for me.
The Perch Restaurant at the Peacock Inn also offers afternoon tea by reservation from 2-4 PM. Their offerings include both sweet pastries and savory tea sandwiches. A variety of seven different sweets, plain and blueberry scones with home made lemon curd and savories (Johnny cake with preserved peach and local ricotta, heirloom tomato toast, chicken roulade, cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwich and also egg salad with pickled ramps finger sandwich) come with the tea. With dinner reservations at 7 PM, also at The Perch, we passed on tea.
We did visit Morven Museum and Garden. Morven was built in the 1750’s and was the residence of Richard Stockton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Over two centuries the home housed eleven families, enslaved people and migrant servants. Of the eleven families that lived at Morven, it included five generations of the Stockton family, Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. and five New Jersey governors. The self-guided tour was interesting and gave an interesting history on Morven and its inhabitants.
In our previous visit to Princeton, we walked through the college campus, the now closed Landau Clothing Store and Grounds for Sculpture.
Dinner on Saturday night was at the inn in The Perch. It was quiet for a Saturday night. I felt like we were in a private home having a quiet dinner for two. Our server was Julie, the events coordinator, who was filling in for the evening. We started off in the bar area seeking a glass of wine. Julie congratulated us on anniversary and started us off with a complimentary glass of champagne. Later, we were seated in a small dining room with three other tables and a small fireplace. Over the fireplace was cartoon that was found in the basement. It’s believed that it used to be a speakeasy. The drawing was done by John Held, Jr. who lived the last years of his life on Old Schuyler Farm in Belmar, NJ.
Dinner began with amuse bouche sent from the kitchen. We had broccoli rabe with marcona almonds, assorted olives and fried green tomatoes, crusty bread and butter with sea salt. For a first course my husband selected Norwich Meadow Farms Kyoto Carrot Soup (caraway, rye bread crumbs, gingered cultured cream) and I selected Jersey Clam Chowder (fresh Jersey clams, warm roots & herbs, smoked pork jowl, crispy clam fritter). We both thoroughly enjoyed our soups. The carrot soup had a hint a ginger and my chowder was rich and the clam fritter was light and crisp.
For entrees I went with caramelized sunchoke agnolotti (heirloom tomato butter, swiss chard, kite’s country ham). The agnolotti was feather light in a rich, creamy sauce, it was heavenly. My husband chose Heritage Pork Chop (hakurei turnips, crunch brown butter groats, apple blossom, bee pollen mustard). The kitchen sliced the around the bone and then sliced the meat into slices. It was a nice presentation. The pork was fork tender and delicious.
Although I was comfortable satisfied after my dinner, my husband insisted that we share dessert. We chose Fig Chiboust Tart (roasted fig & almond layer cake caramelized fig chiboust, honey, yogurt sauce) accompanied by a cup of decaf coffee. The cake was light, a hint of sweetness and tasty.
Although it was just a 24-hour vacation, the change in scenery, the hospitality from Michael and Julie and the Peacock Inn made for a wonderful time. We anxiously await the reopening of the McCarter theatre and a chance to visit again.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.