Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 9/21/16
Although it’s always a bittersweet goodbye to bid farewell to colorful salads, light meats and summery seafood, those ready for the fall season are gearing up for big changes at their favorite local eateries.
Central Jersey restaurants have been busy as they revamp their autumn menus with hearty stews, flavorful meats and fall vegetables.
If you’re ready to embrace all that autumn has to offer the culinary world, check out what these six hotspots have planned for the season.
Shiitake-dusted beef terrine from Stage Left
Stage Left in New Brunswick is debuting a new focus on charcuterie, reflected in a new appetizer, the shiitake-dusted 50-day dry-aged beef terrine, an $18 dish that was added to the menu last week.
“We use a lot of super-premium aged steaks and there is always trim,” said Francis Schott, owner. “We don’t let anything go to waste so we have the terrine from a quality of meat that you rarely see in a terrine.”
The dish is served with with coffee pickled carrots, black garlic mustard, maitake chips and pickled apples.
“We also love mushrooms and coffee flavors in the fall,” Schott said. “Pickled items seemed a natural match with charcuterie and the pickled carrots and apples add that needed zip of acidity.”
Get this dish by visiting Stage Left at 5 Livingston Ave. or by contactingstageleft.com or 732-828-4444.
Sweet potato ravioli from The Bernards Inn
The Bernards Inn’s sweet potato ravioli may not be a menu item that is solely served in the Bernardsville restaurant for the fall season – but that’s only because customers would make their voice heard if it was to disappear.
The fall-fitting dish, which is a $15 appetizer, captures the essence of the season and it’s a signature dish for The Bernards Inn every autumn, said Chef Corey Heyer. “The ingredients marry so well and it’s simply delicious,” Heyer added.
Try with this autumn staple by visiting The Bernards Inn at 27 Mine Brook Road or by contacting bernardsinn.com or 908-766-0002.
Butternut squash soup from Verve Restaurant
Unlike many other typical fall foods, Somerville’s Verve Restaurant is currently featuring a vegetarian and gluten-free dish as its staple fall item – a butternut squash soup, which will be available throughout the season.
The $9 appetizer’s “flavors are a perfect blend of the fall harvest,” Chef Alexander Stoffels said.
Start out with this fall favorite, served with crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin garnish, by heading to Verve Restaurant at 18 E Main St. or by contactingvervestyle.com or 908-707-8655.
Slow-braised venison osso buco from The Frog and the Peach
Starting this week through December, The Frog and the Peach in New Brunswick will be serving a slow-braised venison osso buco, a $39 naturally-raised meat from New Zealand.
Served with braised lentils, root vegetables including celeriac, parsnip, kobacha squash and carrot as well as bacon consommé, the venison ‘osso buco’ – which is Italian for ‘bone with a hole,’ referring to the marrow bone at the center of the cross-cut shank – is slow braised for 18 hours with vegetables, garlic, sage, rosemary and amaro.
“The dish is a super representation of the season visually and to eat,” Chef Du Cuisine Joe Erdely said. “All it’s missing is a fireplace.”
Grab this entree made for the fall season by visiting The Frog and the Peach at 29 Dennis St. or contact frogandpeach.com or 732-846-3216.
Barbecue glazed pork from Just Restaurant
As the air gets chilly, Just Restaurant in Old Bridge wanted to offer a rich, savory meat, said Danielle Maller, marketing director at the eatery. The barbecue glazed pork, a $12 appetizer served with a corn bread waffle, creamed corn and a Memphis barbecue sauce, was the perfect fit.
“Going into the fall season, we wanted to add comfort foods and pork belly is always a hit,” she said. The dish, currently on the fall menu, may also continue onto the winter menu as well.
Start off with this savory appetizer by visiting Just Restaurant at 2280 U.S. 9. or by contacting justrestaurantnj.com or 732-707-4800.
Lamb chops with sizzled garlic from Fiddleheads Restaurant
Served with homemade mashed potatoes and snappy, crunchy al dente green bean as well as a dinner salad, the lamb chops with sizzled garlic at Fiddleheads “are a popular favorite that inspires the great flavors of rich autumn meats,” said Brian Blatz, owner of the Jamesburg-based eatery.
The dish, which Blatz describes as savory and sumptuous, are three T-bone loin chops in a light garlicky gravy with a pinch of crushed red pepper for $25. He said that Fiddleheads chose the entree for its fall menu due to its heartiness, plus, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the rich red wines that customers frequently bring to the BYOB establishment, Blatz added.
Get this autumn dish by visiting Fiddleheads Restaurant at 27 E Railroad Ave. or by contacting fiddleheadsjamesburg.com or 732-521-0878.
How to make Verve’s signature fall cocktail – Roses for Shakey – at home
“It’s a delicious fall cocktail that’s light and smokey from the Mezcal with floral notes from the wine and rose water,” said Bryan Mack, bartender at the Somerville gathering spot. Combine the following ingredients and drink:
- 1.5 oz Mezcal
- 1 oz dry rose wine
- .5 oz fresh lemon juice
- 2 drops rose water