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Jul 29, 2009 04:04 AM

D'Jeet - The Grove in Shrewsbury

My wife and I ate here for their opening night dinner. Nice space, pleasant staff- an overall positive experience. Bread basket came with lightly toasted airy bread and olive oil. Food highlights:

Grilled Peach Salad- a slab of honey goat cheese paired with a huge grilled peach slice atop a bed of baby arugula. Perfectly dressed and utterly delicious. The salad just screams "summer". Many times when you order a salad with goat cheese, you get a couple of small medallions that last maybe 4 bites. The goat cheese and peach included in the salad were more than enough to last through the entire round of greens. Highly recommend, especially for goat cheese lovers.

Spaghetti Pesto- Topped with red and yellow cherry tomatoes and shaved parm. Pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, pesto was delicious, cherry tomatoes a nice touch.

Linguine and Clams- Again, pasta was cooked perfectly. Some small, chopped chilis added slight heat to the dish. Clams were large and delicious. May have been the best linguine with clams I've ever had. I usually add a lot of grated cheese to this dish (die hard italians are groaning right now), but didnt in this case. There was no need!

Leg of Lamb Braciole- Slices of rolled lamb, tender and juicy, served over a mound of goat cheese polenta, broccoli rabe, and white canellini bean broth. Interesting combination of flavors, enough broth and polenta to couple with each bite of lamb. Excellent.

Other menu items that interested me (for next time!):

Heirloom Tomato Salad with arugula, fennel, olives, fresh mozz

Grilled Octopus Panzanella salad

Orecchiette with eggplant, zucchini ragout, olives, and baby spinach

Home made ricotta gnocci

Seared sea scallops with spinach artichoke risotto

Braised short ribs with cauliflower mashed potatoes and swiss chard

There were also several mini-pizzas on the menu as appetizers

Definitely worth checking out. BYO for dinner, they also do lunch and takeout (and i think they still do catering).

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  1. See reviews of its Middletown location, as well as a couple reviews (HelenB inside and me for t.o.) of lunch the day you went. Dinner there sounds great, too.

    3 Replies
      1. re: xny556cip

        amv says so at the bottom of his post.

        1. re: RGR

          Oops!Sorry...just having a senior moment.

    1. Their website has been updated with the Summer menu:

      17 Replies
      1. re: equal_Mark

        My advice is to go with your instinct. As is usually the case, I don’t often follow my own advice. Last night my wife had surprised me with the news that she found a babysitter and was interested in doing dinner and movie. To fit both in one night we would have to go some place local and dine a little earlier than normal. My first reaction was to go to our old reliable standby Belford Bistro. As we had just dined there last week, my wife recommended that we try someplace new. As many of you know, I’ve hated trying new places as of late due to many disappointing meals. Having enjoyed a nice lunch at D’Jeet before they moved into their new digs at the Grove, I decided to give them a try. It was a big mistake, as the food was nothing like I experienced in my prior meal.

        We arrived at around 7:30 and found the restaurant to be pretty full. Notwithstanding the fact that we didn’t have a reservation, we were given a nice two top without any wait. The design and decoration of the dining room was very nice and a marked improvement over the prior tenant, Pasta Fresca. The most notable feature about the room was the exposed kitchen. So far so good; full restaurant, no wait, and nice room. Now to the menu. I had reviewed the menu online and knew pretty much what I was going to order before arriving. The menu was somewhat unconventional as it tries to cover a lot of bases. It offers a number of salads, soup, some pasta dishes, pizzas, and five or six entrees. We decided to order the crab beignets and the heirloom tomato salad for appetizers and entrees of the scallops with risotto and short ribs over cauliflower mashed potatoes. I normally wouldn’t order the short ribs during the summer but the weather last night was wet and cool and I couldn’t find anything else on the menu that grabbed my attention. My general criticism about the food was that it was under seasoned. Case in point was the salad. In that dish, I was expecting summer on a plate, juicy and sweet tomatoes with greens dressed in a nice vinaigrette. Instead, the tomatoes lacked flavor and the salad was underdressed. I attempted to salvage the dish by feeling around on the table for the salt shaker. None was found. Looking across the room at tables revealed that the absence of salt was not an oversight but an intentional act by the kitchen. Instead of asking for a shaker, I decided to eat the salad as is. The crab beignets were okay but nothing special. My DW said it best when she characterized them as hush puppies (although the flavor of crab was not discernable). The entrees were even more disappointing. My DW’s scallops although cooked nicely also lacked flavor while the risotto was gluey and mushy. My short ribs (or rib as it consisted of one decent sized piece) rested on the cauliflower mashed potatoes, topped by sautéed spinach and surrounded by a “moat” of braising gravy. None of the above would have been bad except for the fact that the gravy was not strained and as such consisted mostly of fat. I ate half the dish and decided to bag the rest to take home with hopes that it might taste better the next day while the DW made a valiant attempt to eat her entrée. Not having much luck with our meal, we decided to pass on dessert and make a trek to Tasti D-Lite in Long Branch. This however didn’t stop our server from making an extremely pushy and hard sell for the three desserts they had available that evening (one being a bananas foster). We both left the restaurant vowing not to return and regretting not going to Belford Bistro. The evening wasn’t a complete waste as we discovered a new flavor of Tasti D-Lite (Honey Nut Oatmeal) as well as really enjoying the movie Julie and Julia. Good Luck.

            1. re: equal_Mark

              I loved "Chef". I wonder if it's still playing on some obscure cable channel.

              Bgut1, aren't you glad you didn't ask for the salt? :-))

              1. re: ambrose

                Well, ambrose, at least bgut tasted his tomatoes *before* searching for the salt. *big grin*


                As I've mentioned to you, I hate the name! That, alone, has been enough to keep me away from both the original location and this new one. Of course, I'm sorry you and Mrs. bgut had such a miserable experience. It's such a bummer wasting calories on poor food.

                1. re: RGR

                  For what it's worth, I'm not sure I'd want to judge the offerings of any local establishment on their fresh tomatoes this year. The crop on the midatlantic area has been uniformly awful.

                  1. re: equal_Mark

                    Based on my experience, I disagree that the crop has been "uniformly awful." I've been buying reds, yellows, and heirlooms in supermarkets, at farm stands, and at Delicious Orchards, and with very few exceptions, they have been excellent.

                    1. re: equal_Mark

                      The heirlooms from The Farm in Manalapan this year have been as good as ever. Either one of us stops there every other day and picks up a couple of days worth.
                      Have had them literally every day for the past 5 weeks. Cut them up, add some aged balsamic, drizzle some olive oil, chopped FRESH basil, grate some fresh parm and we have a feast.

                      1. re: tom246

                        Where, exactly, is that farm in Manalapan located, Tom? The farm stand closest to us does no offer heirlooms.

                        In addition to straight tomatoes as you've described (sans the parm), I've been doing lots of caprese salads. And the other day, I did a tomato, watermelon, and feta combo that was seriously delicious.

                        1. re: RGR

                          On the corner of Gully Road and Wemrock. A tiny sign and you pull up the driveway to an oasis of tomatoes. Very easy to miss.
                          Never knew about this place until the APP did an article about them a few years ago. Now its like we're part of their family :)
                          We have also done several different combinations but always come back to "old reliable"

                          1. re: tom246

                            Thanks, Tom. I'll check it out when we're back in NJ on Tuesday. We're in NYC today and tomorrow. Some seriously pleasurable dining out on our agenda. :)

                              1. re: jrd303

                                I'll keep this in mind the next time I want to eat at the Gully Road Pump Station...

                        2. re: equal_Mark

                          Mark - If the Chef didn't think the product was up to snuff then he shouldn't have offered it for sale. That being said, as other posters have reported, I too have enjoyed some wonderful tomatoes this summer.

                          1. re: bgut1

                            Agree completely, b., that at the height of the tomato season, no restaurant should be putting anything but the highest quality on the plate. It truly amazes me how many restaurants somehow do *not* manage to accomplish that.

                  2. re: bgut1

                    Bgut, sounds disappointing, seems first instincts would have served you well. We also enjoyed the movie.

                    1. re: tom246

                      We had dinner ther last week. We ate the skirt steak and the salmon and both were very good. In my ongoing quest for excellent pizza in the area we shared a pizzette first and it was decent for a non-pizza place. Ironicallyh, the best thing about the pizza was the tomato sauce ;o)

                      I had just made a peach cobbler and vanilla and pecan ice cream and also a caramel whiskey sauce at home that we were eager to tear into, so we skipped dessert as well.

                      I'm surprised that my esteemed friend bgut had such a bad meal as we thought the biggest problem was that things were a tad overpriced.

                2. I went here last week just to take a tuna wrap for take out. I had never been there, so I aksed the girl setting up the tables outside if D'Jeet does take out. She never once looked up to address me, just said, "Go inside."

                  I should have left, but I was starving and wanted some tuna!! I must say, the wrap was ok. Nothing extra special, the girl working the rigister could not figure out how to enter it. She entered 2 chicken salad wraps first and told me I owe $ 19.00...Obviously, I knew it was a mistake.

                  Like I said, I only had tuna, and it seemed fresh, but how can you go wrong with tuna? Unless it some dirty place. I agree with RGR about the name. That kept me away from the other place as well.

                  I would like to try dinner, but I think now I will wait and see.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Angelina

                    While I like D'jeet, for lunch I prefer the Cypress Cafe, which is only about a half mile away from it. See the thread referenced below. As good or better, larger portions, smaller prices.


                    1. re: Angelina

                      I had the tuna wrap there too! The girl behind the register was ok but the wrap was nothing special. I mean the tuna was ok, but I was so surprise that the tomato was really "paper thin" and the avocado was close to non existence….If you can looking for a good wrap or sandwich for lunch, go to Ocean Café further down on 35N or visit Cypress Café on Shrewsbury Ave, you will be happier if you do!

                      1. re: HelenB

                        Thanks Helen! You mean, there was avacado and tomato on the wrap??? haa haa!! I know what you mean, one big scoop of tuna and I slightly tasted the cheese.

                        Also, did you find anything special about that "homemade tortilla wrap"? Just as it said on the menu, I found it to be nothing special at all.

                        I have yet to try that Cypress Cafe. I am in that area at least once a week and am always looking for something good to try!

                        1. re: Angelina

                          Angelina, there was cheese in that wrap? I did not even get a hint of that. To be fair, the tuna salad was not bad but I think that it should be more than good if they are charging $9. The wrap was home made? Just tasted like something I get from the supermarket!

                          The tuna salad wrap in Cypress Café is not bad, it is just the basic salad with lettuce and tomato but the price tag is $6.95. The Hummus vegetable wrap in Cypress Café is really good, if you do not mind a vegetarian meal. The grilled tofu combined with the warm hummus and the steamed vegetables is really tasty. I think it is also $6.95. The other place I mentioned, Ocean Café is great for a healthy lunch too. The shrimp salad sandwich is wonderful. The shrimps are quite large and the French bread is crispy outside and soft in the middle; you can surely taste the avocado, this will also set you off for $6.95. Ocean Café also have other wraps and sandwiches, their summer rolls are great too, very light and refreshing. By the way, the ladies in these two places are very helpful and nice! Not sure if I will ever go back to D’jeet for a lunch, actually after reading some of the posts, I doubt if I will go for dinner!

                          1. re: HelenB

                            Thanks, Helen! I have often wondered about that Ocean Cafe, just never went. Cypress Cafe sounds up my alley. I often wondered how the food is also in Red Bank at No'Joe's Cafe?


                            I have gone in here for coffee so many times, but never had anything to eat. Have you been? I also love Edie's in Little Silver for the lobster salad wrap!!yum

                            1. re: Angelina

                              Angelina, never been to No'Joe's Cafe...let me know if it is good if you ever ventured there. Hmmm...lobster salad Little Silver? I have to try that now...sounds really good. Thanks for the heads up!

                              1. re: HelenB

                                No Joe's shines in the soup department. Save a first visit for a cold day when a cup of his cream potatoe soup just calls your name. The menu at No Joe's is nothing mind blowing or unique but has a loyal R/B customer base.

                                1. re: HillJ


                                  Will definitely take your advice....thanks!

                    2. D'Jeet has a very limited choices for lunch take out.
                      From the entire lunch menu only the following Sandwiches/Wraps were available to go:
                      Roasted Pepper Hummus Pita 8.00
                      Chicken Salad Pita Wrap 9.00
                      Cob Club 10.00
                      They Joey 9.00
                      Grandpa's 9.00
                      Tuna Salad Pita Wrap 9.00

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: bgut1

                          That should certainly help increase their business.

                          Considering the conversation upthread, interesting that the owner says he's getting heirloom tomatoes from a local farm.

                          b., Would you describe the space as "elegant"?

                          1. re: RGR

                            I thought the same thing about the heirloom tomatoes. As far as the room, while it's nice, it is far from being "elegant".

                      1. Got a sandwich on to go last Friday. I previously got lunch here but was not particularly impressed, yet I was picking up some cards right next door, so I figured that I would give it another try. Glad I did! The girls behind the counter were very helpful and fun....the choices were quite limited and I picked something that they said was new on the menu. It was a ham sandwich top with fried eggs. The ham was very tasty and the pieces of white bread(not sure if they are really plain white bread or that they could be brioche), they were thick and delicious. The girls behind the counter were all checking out my sandwich since they said that it is a new item and they had not seen it before. BTW, they are also open for brunch on Sundays!