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Elements Restaurant, Princeton, NJ:
A Restaurant Review

Elements Restaurant, Princeton, NJ

Elements pushes the envelope with trend setting food creation and  a non-traditional service model


Elements Restaurant
66 Witherspoon St
Princeton, NJ 08542
609.924.0078
Website
Best Rated 2019 New Jersey Restaurants




Elements: Restaurant Highlights

Fare: Interpretive New American

Price: Very Expensive

Food Quality: Extraordinary, their seasonal menu features the freshest ingredients that are mostly sourced from local farms and producers. These ingredients are prepared using progressive, modern techniques to draw out the purest flavors.

Service: Nontraditional wait staff, professional & attentive. Traditional wait staff have been eliminated and replaced by the kitchen staff who cook the meals and deliver them to your tables where they explain the preparation and ingredients.

Ambiance/Decor: Luxurious and trendy with open, exposed, beamed ceilings. Walls are earth toned and adorned with a large mural in the main dining area.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars - One of the Best restaurants in New Jersey. Classified as an upscale Chef-Inspired Casual Dining restaurant (* Note - See below restaurant classification for details)

Note: Four-star Rating System from 1/2 Star = poor to 4 stars = Best in Class

Noise Level: Moderate

Dress: Upscale Casual

Recommended For: Diners who are open to a new non-traditional dining experience with a creative, inspired menu using fresh farm to table ingredients in an upscale, trendy setting.

Not Recommended For: Budget conscious diners who prefer traditional fine dining amenities in a more formal, old world atmosphere.

Recommended dishes: When available, The Wagyu Beef with grilled, brown enoki mushrooms, and buckwheat; The Kasuzuke Ocean Trout smoked, roe, and broth; and The Pheasant potato gratin, hazelnut, sauce albufera.

Liquor: Full-service bar service shared with Mistrals restaurant on the lower level.





Restaurant Review

Elements is one of the best restaurants in New Jersey, located atop Mistral restaurant. Both Mistral restaurant and Elements are the creations of co-owners Steve Distler and famed chef Scott Anderson.

Elements is a small restaurant with the dining area having seating at nine tables for 28 with every seat having a view of the open kitchen. The decor is luxurious and trendy with open, exposed, beamed ceilings. Walls are earth toned and adorned with a large mural in the main dining area. Tables in the main dining area are spaced comfortably apart with seating for two or four. Parties of four or more are seated into one of two private dining rooms, creating an intimate dining experience.

The dining experience at Elements is unique and not likely to be found in other New Jersey restaurants.

It begins with the entrance to Elements. As you approach the entrance, you are escorted into the elevator by a hostess who accompanies you to the second floor restaurant where you are turned over to another hostess that guides you to your table.

The service model used at Elements has been adopted from many California restaurants and is unique to New Jersey. Traditional wait staff have been eliminated and replaced by the kitchen staff who cook the meals and deliver them to your tables where they explain the preparation and ingredients.

Note: Under Federal law, tip credits may not be applied to cooks, dishwashers, or runners. Instead the restaurant will add a 20 percent guest service charge.

Executive Chef Scott Anderson is an acclaimed chef having four years in the running for James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region and has been acclaimed a vanguard of modern Global-American cuisine.

Chef Anderson is an industry trend setter and innovator. In working with his kitchen staff and fellow chefs, Chef Anderson emphasizes the importance of collaboration amongst fellow chefs and local purveyors to go beyond traditional boundaries to be open to unconventional culinary ideas to surface.

The seasonally driven, new American menu with Japanese/Asian influences changes daily to feature the freshest ingredients that are mostly sourced from local farms and producers. These ingredients are prepared using progressive, modern techniques to draw out the purest flavors. Most of the fresh farm produce is sourced from Dave Zaback’ s organic Z food farm in Lawrenceville.

The menu changes daily to incorporate the freshest local ingredients the Princeton-area has to offer that day.

On weeknights, there is a choice of the four-course prix-fixe menu or the a la carte menu, On weekends, the choices are a five-course tasting, the chef's tasting or grand tasting menus are exclusively offered. Each course – presented on earthenware plates and bowls commissioned by local artisans and potters – is delivered tableside by a member of our kitchen team, accompanied by a brief explanation of the dish's components.

In addition to the main dining room, Elements’ features two private dining rooms, which can accommodate a combined total of 40 individuals.

Limited street metered parking. A private parking garage is within walking distance at Chambers Street and Hulfish Street.

Elements is open five days/week; Tuesday through Thursday: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00 pm to 10:00pm
They are also open all weekend during Princeton University Reunions & Graduations, and open Sundays for Easter & Mother's Day.

*Description of Restaurant Classification - Chef-Inspired Casual Dining:

  • The current trend of upscale, high quality food focused restaurants.
  • They are chef driven by chefs with impressive credentials including formal culinary education and skills honed at award winning restaurants.
  • Serves an approachable, more casual menu with creative food preparation.
  • Uses higher quality food ingredients such as imported items not available in the supermarket, with emphasis on local seasonal farm-to-table produce, wild caught seafood, & meats without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.
  • Chic, trendy ambiance with a casual atmosphere and a casual dress code.
  • The wait staff is professional, knowledgeable, and attentive.
  • Can be BYOB or have an alcohol menu with a variety of wines, specialty cocktails, and beers.
  • Patrons are of all generations with medium to high incomes.


The most popular upscale restaurants in New Jersey are classified into three categories: Chef-Inspired Fine Dining, Chef-Inspired Casual Dining, and Contemporary Casual.
learn more about the three types of upscale restaurants and how reviews are created.

(updated; November 2020)