Fromagerie Burger Night
Stopped in last night on a whim - looking for something different and remembered the $25 burger menu - sat in the very packed and fun bar area - a two top in the middle of the room - large groups of 30-40 year old ladies out together all around us at the high top table of 8 and to our right at a round 8 top as well.
Musician playing Beatles tunes all night contributed to the noise level being high, but we could hear each other talk and the mood was really upbeat. Servers moved as quick as they could and while it took a bit to get started once we did everything "flowed" very smoothly.
The menu consisted of what seemed like the regular menu of apps, and entrees on the left with handwritten specials on the right side outlining the $25 burgers. We focused on the burger menu which included a house salad and the choice of a traditional burger on an English muffin or a Quinoa Veggie burger on a Toasted Brioche.
Two add'l starters were offered with a $6 and $12 supplement - one a stack of smoked salmon and seared tuna and the other a lobster salad. Another special on the menu was a two pound lobster for $50.
We opted for the lobster salads and we had one regular and one veggie burger.
The Lobster salads were quite impressive, what looked like a half of a tail and one claw of a 1.5 lb chilled lobster was presented in a large shallow bowl surrounded by field greens, cherry tomatoes, fennel with sliced avocado on the side. All were tossed in a citrus vinaigrette that really balanced the fat of the lobster and avocado. I would happily eat this as a main course, it was that rich, filling and delicious and any quandary I had of paying a 50% supplement to the $25 menu went away quickly.
The burgers were good and served with a wire basket full of well done French fries, medium sized fries that seemed to be fresh cut potatoes.
Small jars of ketchup and mayo were served with the burgers.
The Quinoa burger was presented by the server as a house made patty and it had a strong texture and a bit of barley flavor to it. The brioche was large and easy to cut, the burger was topped with tomatoes, red onion, lettuce and for some reason an arugula salad as well.
I moved the salad off to the side next to the crunchy dill pickle and tried to eat the first half "burger style" I quickly retreated and went "Bill DeBlasio style" and completed my meal with fork and knife. I loved the burger and restrained myself by simply sampling the fries, they tasted as good as they looked.
My wife enjoyed her beef burger, topped with melted cheddar and topped by an over sized English muffin - it was all good and none of it went to waste.
All in all a fun night but rather expensive for two burgers - total bill with a glass of wine and cocktail, tax and tip was $134. Could have gotten a couple of great burgers and some drinks down the street at Barnacle's for $60 but the "scene" with live music, that incredible lobster salad and top notch service made us feel like we would be coming back on another Tuesday night.
the Lobster salad
wow, that is an expensive burger night! LOL
PS, my buddy went to char the other night and claims their burger is awesome. I have to check out that soon.
re: Mr. Bingley
Was thinking the same thing, but when you think about it, CC and his Mrs. enjoyed two very nice sounding lobster salads, two high end burgers and fries, a couple of drinks from the bar, gave a healthy 25% or so tip, enjoyed the live music, and had a "fun night" out. I don't see myself doing the same thing on any regular basis on a Tuesday night, but for a very occasional splurge it sounds like fun to me as well!!
I believe the high price of the burger is because Burke himself sweats a little in each batch of chopped beef. I'm glad you enjoyed cc, but I honestly can't stand the David Burke brand, and I'm old school I just miss Fromagerie....I would have preferred if he just named it something else than try to carry the name and memory on. Sorry...just not a fan.
No doubt he is a polarizing figure, but the place has its following and I was hoping to give some folks who may not have had a chance to the "Peter's Fromagerie experience" a view of what they could expect....like jsfeinb said it was a nice night out, that we had a $25 burger instead of a $36 piece of fish or $45 steak, ended up not really mattering to us...the burger "deal" is what drew us in but it was a more enjoyable experience than we expected and as such opened the wallet up a bit more on the salad supplement and high end drinks.
I can understand your feeling but also I am kind of glad he did not rename it, it is an institution and I remember so many times from the Peter's days (my sister's HS graduation dinner, our wedding rehearsal dinner, etc.) and when we bring our parents or friends there is fun to reminisce
I don't know how my kids looped me into taking them to burger night, but hey I'm a sucker for my kids. As an update to cc's experience burger night is now $29.00 it includes a salad, (or quiche for $6.00 supplement) and a beverage, glass of wine or beer.
If you didn't read my previous contribution to this thread I will reiterate my feelings here; I DO NOT LIKE DAVID BURKE, nuff said.
With that off my chest, I will say the place had a good vibe going on and it was pretty busy. Similar crowd as cc' described, this seems to be the Thurs Girls Night out for the Rumson crowd. The bar area was at least 50/60% middle aged single women. (single as in no date for the night). They had live music, one man playing guitar and piano, mostly doing Bruce songs in honor of the Boss's recent birthday.
My daughter ordered the Ice-Burger with a veggie burger patty, and added bacon to it. (don't ask me she only shares half my genes, obviously the bacon half). My son ordered the David Burke special burger, served on an over sized English muffin. I'm not a burger guy, especially not a $30. burger guy, so I ordered the short ribs with home made cavitelli and a "table side' cesare salad. Interesting note; the cesare salad is $15.00 and white anchovies filet are a $5.00 supplement. I asked if anchovies were used in the dressing, which they confirmed so I didn't feel the need for the filet's as a garnish on top of the salad.
They had a had a 35 day aged NY Sirloin on the menu which was calling my name and I was about to order it ($48.?) but then read the fine print, 10 oz. Not 16, not 12, but 10 oz? That is petite filet mignon territory.....I couldn't bring myself to do that so I passed.
The salad is "table-side" because they bring the salad pre-maade to the table in a bowl, then chop and mix and serve it. Interesting........but honestly if you are paying $15 - $20 for a salad that's called table-side, make the frigging thing table side dammit!
Overall the salad was ok, not to my particular liking for a cesare salad, but not bad either.
Burgers were served, see pics. The Ice-Burger is a cute novelty, not sure why it didn't come with fries.......the Burke Burger looked good, although my son was annoyed with the English Muffin vs. bun. Neither really complained about the burger, neither really loved their burger either. My son did flat out say, he would have been as happy at the Mc Donalds dollar menu.
My short rib & homemade cavatelli was very good. Short rib cut with a fork, the cavatelli was excellent......the sauce topped with truffle oil was delicious. A very good meal, no complaints. (as much as it pains me to give them credit)
$130, for two burgers, 1 salad and an entree', 2 non-alcoholic beverages. So for $160.(including tip) + $5. parking = $165. for the night......I can't in good conscious recommend burger night.
ETA the pictures which I forget and to fix about a dozen typo's.