Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fiddleheads - Jamesburg, NJ

So tonight we are celebrating our 3rd anniversary a few days early, and two weeks ago I made a reservation at Fiddleheads in Jamesburg, NJ, as it was a place that we wanted to try. Jamesburg is just a mere 30 minutes away, and after having lunch there last Saturday, I was really looking forward to our dinner celebration there. As with many local restaurants that we like to try, Fiddleheads is BYOB. We walked in and were promptly seated, and the owner, Brian, knew exactly who we were, and knew the last name. I am on their Facebook fan page, so he must have recognized the picture, and I think that that is just a bit of great customer service. Needless to say, we had a great two top in the front window, which we didn’t ask for, but I love tables like this, being able to look outside at the scenery, and to see the passerby’s. Upon sitting I pulled out our Riedel stems, and immediately popped the 2000 Opus one that I had selected from the cellar for our anniversary. Just a few moments later the busboy came over and filled our water glasses, and took their stems. And for the record, there is nothing wrong with the stems they have, we just like to bring out own. There really are not that many BYO’s we visit where we don’t bring our own stems. When drinking fine wine, we like to drink from our own glasses, and yes, the glass does make a difference, so we make sure that we enjoy the wine to the fullest. Brian then came over with the menu’s and specials, and it was decision making time. There were probably 5-6 dinner entrée specials, and a few that looked very good. After just a few minutes, our server Nick came over with a basket of bread and took our order. For our appetizer, we started off with the cheese plate for $11.50, followed by salads with a shallot dressing, and Zelda opted for the walnut penne with asparagus and cherry tomatoes, and I ordered the rack of lamb. First out was the cheese plate, which consisted of several pieces of 3 different cheeses. There was a New York cheddar, Dubliner, and a smoked gouda, served with a toasted baguette that was sliced, spiced pecans, and a smoked-fig jam. The cheeses themselves were delicious, and for the price, we received a nicely sized portion. You just cannot go wrong with a cheese plate in my opinion, and it was fabulous. The smoked-fig jam was tasty, and complimented the cheeses nicely. The baguette was nice and fresh, soft on the inside, with a great toasted crust on the outside. I really liked these! Next out were the green salads, with nice fresh greens, and a shallot dressing. The lettuce was nice and fresh, with fancy greens, and the shallot dressing had a very nice lite flavor of subdued shallot. There was nothing overpowering about the dressing, and it was very tasty. I could eat this often, although it did need a bit of salt and pepper to really bring out the flavors. Out came our entrees, and Zelda’s pasta came out and the portion was monster. The pasta was nice and light, with a gorgeous presentation. There was a ton of asparagus, and what she really liked was the fact that the tomatoes were fresh, vibrant, and not overcooked. I think the tomatoes were actually tossed into the pasta after it had been cooked, and allowed to warm up in the bowl. It was a winner. My rack of lamb came out, and it was huge, basted in a honey mustard, and topped with a nut crust. I am not sure what kind of nuts they were as they we ground, but I am guessing it was pistachio. The racks were cut in pairs, with a lot of the meat left on the bone, opposed to just the lollipops on the end. I ordered these medium rare, and they were cooked very nicely. What I really like is the fact that when I cut into these, they were smoking hot in the center. I have no idea how they get the center so hot, but it was perfect, and they were nice and juicy. The sauce, which was a tiny bit on the sweet side, complimented the lamb very nicely! This was served with a nice French cut green beans that were nice and fresh, with some good fresh crisp to them. There was also a nice heaping helping of no frills mashed potatoes, which may be the best I have ever had. They were nice and fluffy, with a gorgeous texture, hints of white pepper, and some good butter flavor. They were just how I like them, and not runny in the least. It was almost as though they use the smallest amount of cream or milk, and they are delicious! Chef Dan came out during our meal and asked how everything was, and of course we gave him our praise. He is doing a great job in his kitchen, and I think that they are turning out some great dishes! Unfortunately, our stomachs were filled beyond belief, and we had to pass on dessert, but we know for next time to save room. The cranberry bread pudding looked to die for, and hopefully we can make it back soon to give it a try before it goes out of season. The décor at Fiddlehead is nice and comfortable. I like their sage color scheme and dim lighting, and the place is just cozy. Faux brick adorns the walls in many places, as well as ferns and other plants on that were painted on the walls. The window seats have nice décor that changes seasonally, and they have a nice fall scheme in them right now. The staff is extremely attentive, and very professional, and the service was as good as it could be. Kudos to our waiter Nick for giving us such great service! All in all, I was much more impressed with their dinner menu than their lunch. I guess it is almost an unfair comparison as the lunch fare that we ordered, sandwiches, cannot really be compared to their dinner menu on the same scale, and at $61, I couldn’t be happier, and I could not eat anymore. We skipped coffee as well, and enjoyed our evening and the rest of the Opus One before heading home. In short, kudos to Fiddleheads, and we look forward to returning in the future. Cheers! 27 East Railroad Avenue (Rte. 522) Jamesburg, NJ 08831 Phone: 732.521.0878

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