the frog and the peach

New Jersey Eats: Top 10 Central Jersey restaurants

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 9/13/17

Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Union counties are known for their incredible mix of countryside, metropolitan living, diversity and vitality, and this is ever-reflected in the cuisine of the region.

Here in Central Jersey, you can find everything from five-star formal American dining to ethnic fare with a modern twist and everything in between.

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6 fall menu items that bring the season right to your plate

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 50 day dry aged beef terrine from Stage Left. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Stage Left)

Shiitake dusted 50 day dry aged beef terrine from Stage Left. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Stage Left)

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Peaches are plentiful at The Frog and the Peach

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.

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Take tantalizing food photos with this NJ photog’s tips

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 6/29/16

Thomas Robert Clarke, freelance photographer who shot the appetite-inducing images for “The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Summer Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond,” is no stranger to leaning in close to a plate to get that perfect entree shot.

However, as any Central Jersey restauranteur can also agree, there is a fine line between snapping a great food shot to make your Instagram followers envious and feeling the need to stand up on a chair to get that perfect photo, which Clarke has actually seen people do.

“The biggest mistake you can make is taking yourself too seriously,” said Clarke. “If you’re passionate about that gooey cheeseburger right in front of you, it’s going to show, even if it’s not perfect.”

Although the average person snapping iPhone photos of their meal is no expert, Clarke certainly is. The Ewing-based photographer, who calls the book of 50 recipes contributed by Shore restaurants and written by Deborah Smith “his baby,” has been doing food photography for 11 years for publications such as Edible Jersey, BucksLife and Princeton Magazine.

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