Elements is an average restaurant trying to be something much more. From start to finish, things were fine, not fine dining. If I were grading them on effort they would get an A but that makes things worse, because I believe the outcome was as good as they could muster. There were a few highlights of the night starting with the steak tartare. It lacked an egg and pickles which always disappoints me, but the meat was excellent, moist and flavorful. The amuse bouche was outstanding, a kolerhabe soup with garlic croutons.
Other things were not as good. The shrimp appetizer had only one shrimp and was served differently then when another guest ordered it one course earlier. It seems like I got short shifted there. The pork was good but the accompaniments were bland and I didn’t see the harmony in the dish. In fact for both dishes I left food on my plate which is a very bad sign. Dessert was also average a bland gingerbread cake accompanied by cumin, think taco, ice cream. They needed each other desperately, because either one by itself was bad. Together they we average.
The service was also lacking. At one point, a dish was played and described but a follow up question about the ingredients was met with a confused stare and fumbled misinformation. There was also a problem because I ordered three appetizers clearly saying how I would like them served, only to find the final two brought out together. When I mentioned it, they were kindly placed under a warmer with minimal acknowledgement.
In the end, I just can’t recommend Elements. If it were a new restaurant I would say they have some bugs to work out, but I think the problems are there to stay. Too bad.
163 Bayard Lane
Princeton, NJ 08540