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Sep 10, 2007 02:42 PM

David Burke Fromagerie

Booked here for this weekend, heard lots of great things about the place. Anyone been since Burke took over? Got a "very good" from the NYTimes, although the pricing is way above NJ average. Is it worth the price? Thanks for any input.

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  1. menton1 - Mixed reviews on this board. Try the search feature. I understand that the menu is similar to DB and Donatella in NYC which I've been and loved. Good luck and please report back.

    1. The short answer is No, it is not worth the money.

      For the long answer you will have to search this board for
      my and other's earlier posts about it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: seal

        So if one had to choose a nice night out between Nicolas and Fromagerie, which one would you choose?

        1. re: menton1

          Not even close!! Nicholas, of course!

          1. re: menton1

            Spend the little bit extra and go to Nicholas. My wife and I were at the Fromagerie on Saturday night. I used to enjoy the old Fromagerie but I realize that in time things get tired and must change. Still it was a constant around here and it felt comfortable and cozy. I love David Burke's food and was eager to try the reincarnation of the Fromagerie. The first thing I was a little disappointed in was the decor. We were seated in the bar area, which used to be quite a cozy spot to be in, but now everything is a bit "harder" and quite loud. We were shown a table for 2 in the bar and immediately I asked for it to be changed. Honestly it felt like I was sitting in a bistro rather than a fine dining establishment. To their credit, the staff changed our table without question. I ordered the classic DB menu choices (Angry lobster cocktail and braised short ribs) which were excellent accompanied by a La Spinosa Barberesco. This is where it kind of went south for us. My wife had the market salad (very ordinary) followed by the seared scallops and prawns in English pea sauce. The scallops and especially the sauce were very good, but the shrimp were mealy. Totally inedible. We mentioned this to 2 waiters and got an offer of a replacement dish but honestly my wife was not going to order another dish and sit while I ate and then eat alone so we declined. The cheese course was quite good and good value as well considering the iffy reviews I have read about this offering. A selection of 5 cheese accompanied by walnut raisin toast rounds, champagne grapes, quince jelly and candied walnuts made for excellent picking. We finished with the cheesecake lollipops which I have always thought were the perfect shared dessert.
            David Burke came out of the kitchen to several tables including ours and my wife who couldn't care less if he was the Pope himself, when asked how we enjoyed the food replied "my shrimp were bad". Obviously this was not relayed to the kitchen as he was quite taken aback and offered expected apology and complimentary drinks. When the bill came however, I found the charge for $32 for the scallop/shrimp dish still there. Removing this from my bill should not have even been in question.
            Anyway I guess that kind of capped off a very mixed evening. The service and whole vibe of the place is very "busy". Lots of people running around without the
            commensurate service that should accompany such activity, coupled with pretty good but not excellent food left me a little disappointed. Yeah disappointed knowing that for probably $75 more in total I could have gone to Nicholas and had an evening that I would expect when I am dropping nearly $400 on dinner for 2 (incl. 1 1/2 bot wine and tip)

            1. re: taboni


              I just mentioned this on another thread, but since it fits your situation, I'll repeat it here. When either my husband or I have to send back a dish for whatever reason, we always send both back. That avoids the one-is-eating-while-the-other-is-watching syndrone. In your particular case, since you were having short ribs, they could easily have been kept warm while your wife's new dish was prepared. Frankly, this kind of thing should not happen at a top-notch restaurant, but especially if it does happen there, we don't care if it means they have to re-cook *both* dishes from scratch.

              I agree that they should not have charged you for your wife's dish. Not a very smart customer relations move on their part. While many restaurants think an apology and complimentary drinks cover these kinds of situations, it never does anything for me because I don't drink.

        2. Great choice! I love it there. It's a special occasion place so it's worth the price. Nice atmosphere, pleasant service and delicious food.
          We were a party of 12 at the end of June. My guests were thrilled with all of their choices. We had the best time!

          1. I ate there last weekend, and while things were good, it seemed to be lacking a little "something". Many of Burke's creations (Angry Lobster Cocktail, Cheescake Lollipops, etc.)seemed better when last sampled at David Burke and Donatella. I'll admit that memory is an imperfect thing, so I won't hold that against them. The room is comfortable, and an improvement over the tired Fromagerie of old, but it was far from dazzling and too brightly lit by half.
            Overall, a decent, but somewhat expensive night. For my money, I'd say that Nicholas is by far the better restaurant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BernieMSY

              Thanks Bernie - The fact that I've already tried David Burke and Donatella keeps me from trying the Fromagerie. The menus seem to similar for me to want to shell out that type of money. Thanks again for the advice.

            2. My wife and I went to The Fromagerie last night (Saturday). Minus a few small server "errors in judgement" we found it to be a great evening. We had an 8 PM reservation and although we arrived a bit late, we were promptly led to our table in the very full and bustling main downstairs dining room. There was absolutely no sign of a recession at this eatery. My wife and I enjoy dining at The Fromagerie and DB and Donatella because of the "up" vibe in the rooms ...(one that is absent at Nicholas). Making a long story shot, our dinner consisted of a peanut butter and foie gras amuse, two special appitizers, two mains, 2 glasses of wine each, dessert and coffee. At no time were we rushed or made to feel our table of two was less important to the server than the table for six next to us with two bottles of wine. My only problem with the meal was that although I was finished with my amuse, my wife (one who savors her food more than I) wasn't and the server removed both plates without noticing that she wasn't finished. My wife decided not to say anything, being that she felt she would be full anyway by meals end. Secondly, I ordered the duck, which was GREAT but I didn't read that it came with the chefs special rice. Before we were served our mains, I ordered an order of the rice for the table and my server neglected to tell me that I was already going to have it with the duck. A small error in judgement that I can live with being that we finished all of it! We found the quality of the food to be exactly on par with his New York City restauant and will not only return again, but look forward to doing so soon. Finally, our tab including tax and tip was below $200 which I feel was acceptable for the wonderful prepared and bountious food, a beautiful and spacious restaurant and two and a half hours of relaxed dining. I highly recommend The Fromagrie for a special occasion or just a great fun upscale eating experience.