Rating: Very Good
Janine: The Fromagerie is a Rumson institution. I remember dining there with my parents twenty years ago. It was a good but stuffy and too fancy of a French restaurant back then. It has become a tad more causal but still fine dining experience now that David Burke is running it.
Chris: I really enjoy this restaurant. We have dined there several times and have yet to be disappointed. It’s the perfect local choice when you crave a little refinement on your plate.
Janine: It does not have a huge menu which is always a major plus for us. In our opinion, a big menu indicates the restaurant is trying to do too much in the kitchen. Quality often suffers. The Fromagerie has a balanced selection of entres and dinner specials. The menu showcases seasonal and local ingredients. The wait staff is polite, friendly, and knowledgeable. We are fans of the beet salad snack with endive, pistachios and goat cheese. Check out the daily special to see if something appeals to you. Chris likes the short rib with cavatelli and mushrooms.
Chris: It took three bites to figure out this dish. It consisted of a delicately braised short rib resting on top of a wild mushroom ragout and cavatelli. Oven dried button (or cremini) mushrooms were set on the side of the rib and a dollop of Truffle Creme Fraiche was placed on top.
The oven dried mushrooms were the fist bite. They seemed dry and bland. I was surprised and a little concerned. Then, I dug into the short rib. The truffle Creme Fraiche had begun to melt and run down the sides. It was tender and moist but still not cohesive as a whole. The epiphany came on the third bite. My fork collected a lttle bit of each component and presented my palate with a combined flavor profile. It was brilliant. Mushrooms prepared three ways. Not overpowering or muting each other but combining to form subtle layers of tastes and textures.
Janine: I had the pork chop with serrano ham and little neck clams. Usually, I do not eat pork chops when we eat out. I wanted to try something different this time . The Pork chop was moist and flavorful (I ordered medium-well) and I was surprised how much I liked the serrano ham and little neck clams with it.
I barely had room for dessert but ordered the hot kicking donuts provided with chocolate, caramel and raspberry sauce. It was great. My only suggestion would be to skip the granulated sugar and serve the donuts plain. The sugar was a little overpowering. It could be served on the side for dipping.
Chris: I had the cheese platter. The actual selection of cheeses was left up to our waiter. He chose wisely. The plate consisted of a soft cow’s milk cheese, a semi-soft cheese from Sheep’s milk and a hard pecorino cheese. Honeycomb, red grapes and toasted baguette slices completed the dish.
Janine: Reservation required. Though if it is a slow night you can grab a table in the bar area or eat at the bar but when it gets crowded it does get loud. Also, if you check out the calendar, sometimes they have a $35 prix fixe night for 3 courses. If you can, request a table on the main floor in the small alcove room to the left. . Note: the ladies’ room upstairs need updating.
Chris: Dinner (without wine) is about $130 for two people. This is very reasonable considering the caliber of food being served. The wine list too large and pricey in our opinion. It’s great to have a showcase cellar filled with first growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundies, but don’t forget to include some selections in the $40-$50 price range for those of use who just want to enjoy a decent bottle with our meal.
Janine: The valet bought my Nissan to the front as we were leaving and parked it next to a sleek sports car. I said, “Must be a big disappointment after parking that one…” as I point to the fancy car. He laughed and said, “Oh no, ma’am. This is perfectly fine. But I have to admit, it was fun to drive the Aston Martin.”
As Cindy Adams would say, “Only in Rumson kids, only in Rumson.”
David Burke’s Fromagerie
26 Ridge Road
Rumson, NJ 07760