WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SOBA SALAD IN THE GROVE

010916d'jeet1A pretty, noodle-based salad from the jam-packed D’jeet in The Grove.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

010916d'jeet6The apres-holiday crowd at the Grove in Shrewsbury must have been putting their gift cards to use, because the parking lot was crazy-busy.

It’s nice to treat yourself to a relaxing, sit-down lunch every now and then, especially on the weekend. And apparently, many other people in the area had the same idea shortly after New Year’s, because D’jeet was packed with diners fueling up for an afternoon of serious shopping.

Our hostess handed us a buzzer and suggested we do a little shopping while we wait for the next available table.
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RECIPE: A “FAMOUS” THANKSGIVING SIDE

casey pesceChef Casey Pesce tells PieHole that his family celebrates Thanksgiving with a surprisingly throwback menu. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels medium

When a top area chef’s restaurant menu features such sensational and creative combos as goat cheese fritters with apricot preserves and truffle honey and butternut squash pizza with Brussels sprouts, carmelized fennel and ricotta, you’d imagine that his Thanksgiving table would feature at least a few dishes that push the boundaries of traditional American turkey day fare.

But if we’re talking about Casey Pesce, the masterful culinary mind behind d’jeet in Shrewbury, you would be mistaken. Pesce celebrates with a Thanksgiving dinner right that could have come right out of a 1950’s Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH: MUNCHING AT MUMFORD’S

mumfordsChicken bruschetta sandwich served on a croissant at Mumford’s Culinary Center.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumTucked away down a side street off of Shrewsbury Avenue in Tinton Falls, Mumford’s Culinary Center is not a lunch destination that you would be likely to accidentally stumble across. But it’s absolutely worth seeking out.

As usual, the parking lot at lunchtime Thursday was jammed. We parked on a side street and strolled past the restaurant’s backyard garden beds, bulging with greens and veggie seedlings.

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SHREWSBURY: SLOW FOOD FOR WINTER

 casey pesce d'jeetCasey Pesce, in the d’jeet? kitchen, tells PieHole that winter is a time to slow things down a bit. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PieHole reveres the home cook. We know that the most important food is the food you eat everyday, not the occasional expensive plate of vertical food approved by a Michelin Guide.

And so it goes with home cooking in December that we sit here and look at our barren garden, the summer’s herbs buried under a blanket of white, and try to conjure an answer to that daily question: “What’s good to eat?”

PieHole checked in at d’jeet? in Shrewsbury’s Grove shopping center to see if with chef/owner Casey Pesce had any inspiration to offer home cooks around the Green.

“That’s what I love,” says Pesce. “I love eating something that someone has made at home.”

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SHREWSBURY: D’JEET HARVESTS THE GROVE

djeet 5Chef/owner of d’jeet Casey Pesce harvesting greens at the Grove. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

When Casey Pesce, chef/owner of d’jeet in the Grove was studying in Italy, he learned about the harmony that eating local brings to food.

“The air you breathe, the water you drink – there’s a harmony with the local food,” he says. “If you drink a Chianti in Chianti, you’re getting everything– you’re breathing the air that the grapes were breathing, the climate. You have a harmony.”

Pesce wants his customers to experience that same harmony when they dine on the kale and herbs that he serves from the gardens at the Grove.

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