Since January 27, 2012, Hot From The Kettle has been following Mike Carrino, compiling pictures and video footage of Lackawana Station as it was restored and resurrected as Pig & Prince Restaurant & Gastro-Lounge.
Now, the awning is up, the blade signs are hung, and Pig & Prince has confirmed their soft opening date for Friday, August 24.
There is much to look forward to at Pig & Prince! Upon entering from Lackawanna Plaza, guests are greeted with warms hues, the soft flicker of candlelight, and the natural beauty of wood grain.
Turn to the left and encounter an original wooden bench from the terminal’s waiting room that was recently recovered from the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center in Phillipsburg in 2010.
"Discovery moments" like this are present throughout Pig & Prince. Delicate and insightful touches pay homage to the history of the station, and speak to the great respect with which Carrino and his business partner, Serge Hunkins, conducted this restoration.
The station was designed in 1912 by Wiliam Hull Botsford, a twenty-five year old architect who was killed on the Titantic before construction of the station was complete. This sense of legacy was not lost with Carrino and Hunkins.
The space is decidedly masculine, wielding industrial flair, while maintaining a sense of elegance and austere refinement. As the evening wears on, the room begins to radiate a sexy, golden glow.
I can't wait to cozy up to the bar and rest my feet on the authentic rail, stamped Lackawanna, while I enjoy a dark Otter Creek Steam Porter. By the way, when you make it to the bar, check out the hand blown glass taps!
I won't give away all the inconspicuous meaningful designs that are worked into Pig & Prince, but if you're waiting in the gastro-lounge area make sure to notice to tiny, inlaid, symbols of the passage of time. Also, when you visit the bathrooms, make sure to look up at the modern lighting in the ante-room. What do you see?
But this is a restaurant. So how about the kitchen? The kitchen at Pig & Prince is, in a word: imposing. It's not so much the salvaged visage of Jack Nicholson's Shining moment, or the framed photo of the infallibly cool, cigarette-dangling Marco Pierre-White. What impresses an observer is sheer size, presence, power, and mass culinary capabilities of the kitchen.
The 22 foot range hood, and the pizza oven are nearly enough to make any kitchen enthusiast drool. But, the coup de gras is undoubtedly the curing room, which is filled with enough cured meat to satisfy even the most decadent of porkophile fantasies! Staffing the kitchen, Carrino loyalists will happy to see familiar faces from Passionne, including Christopher Arturo and Kenneth West.
According to Carrino, the cuisine at Pig & Prince will be "modern American with an emphasis on local." Carrino is careful to stress, "this is not Passionne. It's not a white table cloth, fine dining restaurant."
To understand what that means, and what Pig & Prince represents, it's essential to dine there. I've already booked two reservations for Mr. Hot and myself at Pig & Prince, the restaurant and gastro-lounge where, according to Carrino, "the casual and the elegant co-exist."
Visit the gallery for more pics.
For reservations, call: 973-233-1006