Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 8/17/16
NEW BRUNSWICK – Throughout New Jersey, those with a penchant for the fresh are currently chasing after the Jersey tomato, which is at the height of its season from now until about mid-September.
However, there’s a much sweeter produce which gets much less attention that’s also budding at local farms right now until early September – the fuzzy, fruitful peach.
To celebrate the colorful favorite, The Frog and the Peach, at 29 Dennis St. in New Brunswick, launched its annual peach-themed tasting menu – the Festival of Peaches – on July 28. The menu will be available until mid- to late-September.
“I think there’s a lot of versatility in peaches – it’s a fruit that lends itself not only to sweet dishes, but also to those that are savory,” said Jim Mullen, general manager and wine director at The Frog and the Peach. “It’s a lot of fun to use the brightness, sweetness and acidity in our tasting menu.”
For the past 11 years, The Frog and the Peach has spotlighted its peach-themed tasting menu at this point in the season. But each year, the menu changes with only the first course, the peach carpaccio – crispy duck confit, spiced almonds, arugula and prosecco vinaigrette – as its constant.
Mullen said that the dish has always been a “star” on the annual five-course tasting menu, which costs $64 and an additional $45 for the rose wine pairings, since it’s “beautiful and delicious.” It’s always available on the summer main menu.
The dishes following the peach carpaccio, paired with the Alice Prosecco Rosato ‘Osé’ of Italy, are the grilled shrimp with curry yogurt marinade, basmati rice and ginger peach vinaigrette paired with the Domaine de la Prébende, Beaujolais Rosé of Burgundy, France (2015) as the second course and the pan roasted squab with pancetta wrapped grilled peaches, Anson Mills polenta and zinfandel reduction paired with the Bruno Clair Marsannay Rosé of Burgundy, France (2014) as the main course.
The tasting menu finishes off with peaches and burrata with roasted peppers, lemon and black pepper honey paired with the Château Gassier ‘Le Pas du Moine’ Côtes de Provence Rosé of France (2015) as the cheese course and the baked Alaska with raspberry meringue, peach ice cream and basil paired with Falesco Pomele Rosso Dolce of Lazio, Italy (2014) for dessert.
These items are also available upon request and subject to current supply.
Every Friday, the tasting menu and wine pairing can be enjoyed at $158 for two people.
All of the peaches used are locally sourced from Phillips Farms in Milford and Circle M Farms in the Mullica Hill section of Harrison Township in Gloucester County.
“This is the Garden State and peaches here have an excellent reputation,” Mullen said. “There’s a great quality in having something right from our neighborhood that hasn’t traveled 500 miles and sat in a store.”
The Frog and the Peach, which can serve 130 people in a 1876 historic building that formerly housed the printing presses for the Home News Tribune, became what it is today when the restaurant was founded in 1983.
Bruce Lefebvre, executive chef and owner since 2012, is known for his modern take on American cuisine and for staying true to the authenticity of The Garden State’s world-class agriculture and fisheries.
The restaurant has received critical praise for its fine food, extensive and approachable selection of wines, genuine hospitality and ambiance. It was named New Jersey’s Best “All Around” restaurant, has been selected for inclusion in “America’s Top Tables” and was selected as one of New Jersey Monthly’s “Top 25 Restaurants.”
In addition, The Frog is repeatedly chosen as among the most popular restaurants in the state by the Zagat Survey.
The Frog and The Peach’s Festival of Peaches Tasting
Where: 29 Dennis St., New Brunswick
Cost: $64 and an additional $45 for the rose wine pairings, however, costs $158 for two people on a Friday night ($60 total discount).
Contact: frogandpeach.com, 732-846-3216