Lambertville Station Restaurant (and Wine Cellar) [Lambertville, NJ]

A recent visit and review from my blog:

My friend and co-worker Nick and I had been wanting to take a trip somewhere for a while. A place far enough that it feels like we’re getting away from the normal grind and routine, but close enough to do it in a day. I suggested the New Hope/Lambertville area, and he agreed since he had not been there in years. As I have been to both towns many times, I wanted to try some place new. We wanted to grab dinner in New Hope, but while walking around, stopped at Lambertville Station. This was a beautiful old train station that had been turned into a bar, restaurant, and inn. I had passed it more times than I can count. We figured why not give it a shot for a couple of drinks and a snack before walking around some more. I’m really glad we did.


It was just after 5 PM. We walked downstairs to the pub/bar area, which was already packed. There was not a stool left. Lambertville must come alive early. The crowd was loud, but in a fun way. Most appeared to lean towards cocktails rather than wine or beer. But since it was crowded, we headed deeper into the basement of the restaurant towards the Wine Cellar. This was an actual cellar, with beautiful stone walls, a fireplace (which was lit), tables with chairs, and couches with coffee tables. I asked our server, who was so very kind, if we could order any type of drinks or had to be confined to just wine. She informed us that drinks could be anything, but the food menu was limited to tapas and their oyster bar. That was fine with us.


I grabbed a Maker’s Mark Manhattan while Nick went with a glass of Riesling. I had to bust my friend’s chops, for being so strapping and tough-looking, yet ordering wine. My drink was outstanding, served up and perfectly chilled. The martini glass was brought down filled only a quarter of the way, but accompanied by a small carafe containing the rest of the cocktail. This was because the main bar is upstairs and she did not want to spill anything. She then filled my glass to the top upon setting it down on the table. The carafe contained a bit more, which I added later on. So it was really a drink-plus. Nick’s wine, meanwhile, came from a separate bar near our table, devoted to just the wine. He did not know what Riesling he wanted (the wine list was extensive), so our server guided him through and they settled on one. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the label.

Our “snack” was the seafood trio for two. This was elegantly presented in three glassess: one with lump crab, another with four jumbo shrimp, and the last with lobster claw meat. It was indeed claw meat—they managed to extract the chunks whole. Each part of the trio had its own accompanying sauce: melted butter for the lobster, cocktail sauce for the shrimp, and a delightful tartar for the crab. Everything was fresh and cold. If I appreciated oysters enough, I feel like this would be the place to sample them, as there was a separate oyster menu with six or seven different options, which could be ordered individually.


Drink prices, I felt, were more than fair. Especially the wine. The Wine Cellar managed to give a more affordable glass than some chain restaurants I have been to, and the quality here was obviously superior. As for the seafood combo, it was $32 but worth every penny. Simple delectable.

It is hard to give an actual score based on such a limited experience. But it is also hard to not go ahead and say I’m really feeling 4.5 out of 5 stars here. The experience was perfect. Our server was friendly and attentive, and patient as we gazed through the enormous listings of wine and tapas. The atmosphere and history of the building and cellar area alone could save the day, not that anything about this visit needed saving. I would definitely come back, and as much as I want to try dinner upstairs, I feel like I would end up right back down in the cellar. I can see myself with a Scotch by the fire in the winter. But can I wait until winter?

Original review and additional pictures posted here.


Nice to see that side of NJ getting some attention. I grew up a couple minutes outside of Frenchtown so New Hope/Lambertville was my regular hang out area.

I never went to that bar but some of my favorite bars in that area are Zoubi’s (New Hope side - love the outdoor garden) and The Boat House (Lambertville side - I love that they haven’t changed a thing ever. No food except pretzels).

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Zoubi was pretty good. Ate there two years ago. Menu changes daily and some pretty inventive cocktails. Made all the better by their beautiful outdoor garden.

Since I misquoted the name of the place to @gcaggiano (on Instagram), I want to make sure I have it right…next time ANY OF YOU get to Lambertville, a visit to OWOWCOW for ice cream is a must, imo. Weird name, amazing ice cream. Have a look at their flavors:

I thought you were referring to MOO HOPE, which is across the river. New Hope has two ice cream shops. Didn’t realize Lambertville had one as well. Plus there are additional bakeries and cafes.

Now, THAT is a fun name for an ice cream spot! :joy:

But nope–in Lambertville, and worth every calorie. Sez the one who prefers to drink dessert unless there’s a savory option, say, ice cream with cardamom or bourbon in it…

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I will check it out next time I am there.

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Reviewed another place in Lambertville last week. Drinks only so will post here rather than create a new thread. Places are right across the street from each other.

Lambertville House

Ever since I started to review places based solely on drinking experiences with no food and going in-depth with it, I have come to develop a deeper appreciation for different bars I have been to. A quick visit to the Lambertville House for drinks the other day did nothing but make me crave a dark, dingy, neighborhood dive bar, the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Ironically, our next stop after this place across the river ended up with us unintentionally finding the dive bar in the New Hope area. When putting the two places side-by-side, it was quite profound how one makes up for what the other one lacks.

You have seen on this blog that I’ll do a little bit of everything. There are fine dining restaurants and classy bars right next to diners, sandwich shops, and yes, the dive. Walking into the bar at Lambertville House is impressive. The working-hotel dates back to the 1800’s and offers a dining room along with porch seating. Their bar itself is a tiny one. It could maybe seat six or seven people. There were then tables, large and small, with comfortable leather-bound chairs to sit at. Fireplaces flanked the seating area. It seemed like the absolute perfect place to relax for a few minutes after walking probably four or five miles at nearby Bowman’s Nature Preserve and the towns of New Hope and Lambertville themselves.

Now, this is just speculation. I thought we were given “the eye” when we walked in. Our attire was far from spectacular (but neither was it dirty or unkempt). We literally got back from a hike. We both had jeans and t-shirts on—mine black, his gray. Immediately, I felt the beam of light being seared into us as we walked in. But maybe that’s just me. Only two other people were in the place: an older man regaling the bartender with loud, egotistical stories of self-importance and an elderly lady tucked away in the corner staring out the window probably wishing she was somewhere else.

The sign outside offered some minuscule Happy Hour specials. There were martinis for $8, wines for $5, and something about oysters. Surprisingly, there were no beer specials and for $6 a bottle, a dollar off would have been nice. They had no beers on tap at all, and this may actually be the first bar I’ve been to in my life that did not offer Budweiser (Justin’s go-to) in some form.

So, he ordered a $6 Corona while I went with a classic gin martini. Mine was perfectly ice-cold but that’s all it had to offer. The actual flavor was a bit off. I’m thinking whatever vermouth they used was a little funky. I have nothing against bottom shelf gins (I’m a fan of Gilbey’s or Gordon’s when I’m not splurging) so that’s why I am leaning toward the vermouth being the cause. It was just a little too medicinal for me.

You’re probably wondering how I can give a rating based on one cocktail and a bottled beer. Well, when the bill came, my martini was on there for the normal price of $12. We questioned her saying the sign outside read “$8 house martinis”. The first thing she said was, “Oh, that special only applies to our $11 martinis”. I chimed in that the sign did not note that. She asked again what the sign said and I repeated the wording. She then said in a rather snarky voice, “Well, we don’t have $8 martinis” . As she turned to walk away, she stopped herself and asked where the sign was. I told her it was right out front. She disappeared for a few minutes. When she came back she said she would charge us the $8 because I was correct and then offered up some kind of explanation along the lines of, “We’ve never had $8 martinis so I don’t know why the sign says that”. Problem solved, but it made me think.

The sign out front was designed and printed. It was not hand-written where maybe someone in the back wrote the wrong price. Come to think of it, I remember it being there the last time I was in Lambertville a few months ago. So…you mean to tell me 1) no one has ever come in and ordered a Happy Hour martini or 2) if they did, you charged them all full price, and no one ever complained or brought it to your attention? Something is fishy about that. I left there feeling somewhat disappointed that this beautiful bar in a historic building was being wasted with this bartender, lackluster cocktails, and overpriced beers. It was not until visiting John & Peter’s (a dive in New Hope) later that day that made me even more skeptical of this high-class establishment. For all of this noted above, Lambertville House gets a 2 out of 5 stars .

Originally posted here on my blog.

Another excellent experience at Lambertville Station the other day:

This was my third time to the Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn, however, the first two visits were downstairs in their wine cellar/bar area which I previously reviewed separately. I must say, if there is an upscale place in the Lambertville-New Hope area which continues to impress with genuinely good food and drinks amidst a sea of pretentiousness, this would be it. Can you believe that between work, lecturing, and the museum, that yesterday was my first complete day off in a month? On top of that, Justin managed to get a few days off in a row. We headed over for the day and tried to make a mini-vacation out of it. We arrived shortly after 2 PM, and following a walk across the bridge decided that we would head to the Station since we had a great experience in the other section of their restaurant already.

It was the perfect fall day. The air was crisp with the sun adding a gentle warmth. We opted to sit outside because of this, and were joined by a rather large crowd eating and imbibing despite this being a Tuesday afternoon. This restaurant was formerly a train station, and they embrace that. “Rail-fans”, as they are called, would probably enjoy this even more than I. The outdoor bar has some neat woodwork and gives off train station vibes. Heading to your seating area is akin to walking the platform to wait for your train. The tracks, now unused, are still there and abut the historic D & R Canal. So when you eat outside, you are literally dining track-side.

We were not looking to stuff ourselves because of what else we had planned for the day, so we settled on getting drinks and an appetizer. I admit, a martini at 2:30 PM put me into a mode of existential contemplation, but then I realized that we were on “vacation”, and that meant not only should I enjoy it, but probably have a second one as well. I had ordered it with house gin, which I later found was Aviation. I had always wanted to try this gin, so that was a win for me. The martini was extremely well-executed—not too much Vermouth. I have always preferred my martinis in the vein of Noel Coward: “Fill a glass with gin and wave it in the general direction of Italy”. This was close enough. Three large, high-quality olives accompanied it.

Also making this drink unique was them bringing over the glass half full (or half empty) and then pouring the rest via a tiny carafe into the glass at the table. Even when full, there was more left, making this $13 cocktail essentially a drink-and-a-half . Such a notion, of serving a drink with the shaker or carafe is rarely done anymore. Anywhere. You’d have to go to a high-end bar in your nearest city most likely. If I recall correctly, this is only the second time I have received such a presentation.

Justin ordered a Yuengling before switching over to a glass of Riesling once our food came. We were sharing the rustic flatbread which came as a decent-sized portion topped with bacon, caramelized onions, arugula, dried cranberries, and melted mozzarella. It was delicious. The bread was crispy, had grill-flavor, while the contents on top perfectly melded together. I ordered another one.

Lambertville Station Restaurant is enhanced by the scenery. The railroad ambiance, canal, and gardens and flowers everywhere. It was such a relaxing afternoon. My martinis were excellent, Justin’s wine perfectly chilled, service top-notch, and food (though limited in today’s adventure) was outstanding. I really want to try this place for dinner rather than just drinks and a snack—I think it will be worth it. For now, I would like to award 4 out of 5 stars . Thank you for a lovely afternoon!

Originally posted here on my food blog.


Always love to see a write-up from my ‘hometown’. Glad you two enjoyed!


Altho it’s been a couple if years since our last stay, we used to use Lambertville Station INN as our last night of a visit to that area before flying out of Philly. We always found a good spot for dinner, like DeAnna’s, or “dined in” at one of the dining rooms at LS. Lovely in-room breakfasts too.


Justin and I went to the bar at Lambertville Station on Sunday for his birthday. It is the downstairs bar, just above the wine cellar. This was probably our sixth time at this location and second or third at the bar. Once again, a perfect experience. The more I think about it, the more this may be my favorite bar anywhere. Obviously not for regular visiting due to distance, but this place is a true cocktail bar. Not many beers and wines could be seen.

I had their version of a Sazerac (called a “Sazerac-ish”), which was rye and cognac along with the usual bitters and Absinthe. I also believe it had a splash of Carpano Antica. Justin had a gin martini, extra dirty. Their house gin is Aviation and he was fine with that. He said they made it better than I do! For the price, I was glad to hear it!

The place is classy, both in ambiance and service. The bartenders I remember before Covid, a bit on the older side, but obviously experienced and having a real attention to detail. However, there is no air of snootiness and they are not pushy. We enjoyed a leisurely two cocktails each along with a bread basket (three different breads including a foccacia with a whipped herb butter), since we were not hungry enough for “real” food but also wanted to sop up the booze on an empty stomach as to not get too drunk, as this was the first of several stops!

The fact alone that they carry Absinthe and Chartreuse speaks volumes. They can literally make anything.

Four cocktails and the bread basket was over $80, so $100 with tip. To put this into comparison, John & Peter’s across the river where we ended up later where his friend met us, we had two cocktails, four beers, and two appetizers and I remember it being $45. Not a complaint, just a comparison. It was worth it for the experience.

Tagging @mariacarmen to show how we do cocktails in Joisey!


doin’ it up right!

those are some San Francisco prices, but if you love the place, all worth it. i love me a good cocktail.


Does Jersey mandate that they have to serve food in all bars, as they do in Portland? They don’t here in CA, but I love it when bars have food. Some dive places here you can get a bag of chips maybe, and our favorite bartender (back in the olden days - aka 2019) used to make her famous grilled cheese sandwiches on a Foreman Grill, and they were free.


It’s like a once or twice a year place mainly due to the distance. I think mine were $18 and his were $16. But it was all top shelf stuff. To be expected when the “rail”/house gin is Aviation! New Jersey dining/drinking prices are up there (maybe not as high as Cali) but this is still high. For any cocktail straight-up in a martini glass, I’m usually expecting to pay $15 if the booze used is at least middle tier. Any cheaper than that and its a bonus.

New Jersey does not mandate food be sold but I cannot recall ever being in a bar here that did not have a semi-decent sized menu. Then again, most bars are not standalone but attached to a restaurant. I’m in the suburbs but I suppose the cities like Newark, Hoboken, Jersey City, etc, probably have standalone bars. Neighboring Pennsylvania is the same. Even the diviest of dives (such as the above mentioned John and Peter’s) have a full menu of at least fried appetizers and burgers/sandwiches. There was only one bar in my many travels in PA that did not have food-- it was a dump aspiring to be a dive. Total nastiness. It was called The Shamrock and was literally the most terrifying establishment I had ever been to!

However, when indoor dining first resumed in PA during Covid, early on you were required to purchase a food item in order to drink alcohol. It didn’t matter if you drank yourself to death all night, as long as one food item was ordered for the evening and it remained on the bar/table in front of you, it was okay. We learned this at a trendy clubby bar in Lancaster City (where food is an afterthought) when the bartender told us about it and then said most patrons would order the cheapest menu item (plain fries) and just let them sit there untouched. But for $5 or whatever it was, if you wanted to drink, it was worth it.

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Ain’t I a terrible influence?

Don’t tell me that you can’t taste a LAST WORD right now!!


@gcaggiano is a very bad influence when it comes to buying alcohol. I’ve bought green chartreuse, absinthe, and sweet vermouth all based on his posts.


i already had the absinthe and sweet vermouths (they’re huge in Spain!) but he made me buy Cointreau, of all things - not even all that exotic!


I had sweet vermouth too but tended to buy the cheap stuff. It was the chartreuse that did me in. I needed a $50+ bottle like a hole in the head. Especially now that it has become a favorite cocktail component.

@gcaggiano is such a troublemaker…


@MsBean @mariacarmen

The one saving grace about Chartreuse is that a bottle usually lasts me a year, at least.


I usually keep 3 sweet vermouths on hand at all times depending on the drink …(Martini, Cocchi, Carpano Antica…sometimes Starlino as well) plus Dolin Blanc and Dry. Cocktails can be a huge rabbit hole to go down…sometimes it kills me to lay out for a bottle that only gets used for a single drink (looking at you Grapefruit liqueur to make a Mae Rose!)