eat & drink
Born Again, Brashly
Famous but ill fated, the former hot spot in one of Jersey’s toniest
towns is revived in a style both neo and retro. By Jill P. Capuzzo
Soon after taking our seats at a white- clothed table at the venerable Fromagerie in Rumson—with its signature curved bank of windows giving the dining room a
rotunda e;ect both grand and intimate—we were
greeted by a server o;ering a selection of warm
rolls. Then another server delivered our perfectly
fashioned Old Fashioneds, while yet another vividly described the night’s specials and the preparation of signature dishes. Were we in for a bevy of
pleasures, or just a bevy of servers?
Three hours later, we pushed back our chairs feeling not just sated, but elated—an impression repeated
at a second three-hour dinner a month later. It seemed
clear, the storied Fromagerie—refurbished and redesigned after being closed nearly a year—is back.
Longtime fans will ask, which Fromagerie is back?
There were two, serially occupying the same
circa-;;;; Victorian mansion that houses the latest
incarnation under its new owners, Rumson resi-
dents Paul and Enilda Sansone, owners of Sansone
Auto Mall in Woodbridge.
The backstory in brief: In ;;;;, brothers Markus
and Peter Huber, German immigrants with restaurant experience, bought the mansion, which at some
point had become a casual eatery called the Colony.
They turned it into a bistro serving mainly fondues,
crêpes and cheese boards, and called it, naturally
enough, the Fromagerie. They soon added steaks,
fish, French cuisine and a distinguished wine list.
The Fromagerie became a destination restaurant. One of its line cooks, a Hazlet teen named
David Burke, adored the place and dreamed of one
day owning it. In ;;;;, now a celebrity chef, Burke
bought the Fromagerie and imbued it with his irreverent, haute-with-a-wink culinary style. For a
short while it was great. But it faded and, drowning
in business woes, Burke finally had to close in ;;;;.
FOOD American with
French and Italian
DRINKS Full bar; about
500 wines by the bottle
$5-$19; salads, $12-$14;
entrées and steaks,
$34-$65; desserts, $12
OPEN Dinner, daily ;
F26 Ridge Road
FROMAGERIE ● RUMSON
EDITED BY ERIC LEVIN