2009 Romantic Restaurant
It’s on the other side of sad-sack Trenton, in a not-so-romantic warehouse wasteland. But this tiny Claude Monet-inspired French village and 35-acre sculpture park, the formal whimsy of Johnson and Johnson heir J. Seward Johnson (and named for Wind in the Willows character Ratty, the quintessential host), boasts a decor that’s Frida Kahlo meets Swiss chalet, with bright colors, arched wood beams and fireplaces. The food is beautifully done eclectic French, but the sell here is the sculpture park and its moodily lighted paths. Its goofiness (dancing twigs!) strikes just the right note of postprandial surprise and how-did-this-place-get-here? delight exactly the stuff, in fact, of romance.
18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, NJ 08619; 609-584-7800; ratsrestaurant.org/