Farm and the Fisherman Tavern + Market – A Review

by artfuldiner on October 2, 2020

in Artful Diner Review, New Jersey, Opinion, Review, Wining and Dining

Farm and the Fisherman Tavern + Market

1442 Marlton Pike East

Cherry Hill, New Jersey

(856) 356-2282

The Farm and the Fisherman began in March 2011 with Josh & Colleen Lawler’s tiny (32-seat) restaurant on Pine Street in Philadelphia. Both were distinguished chefs: he, the former chef de cuisine of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York; she, the sous chef of Picholine in Manhattan. Together their diminutive BYOB set the standard – often imitated, but never quite duplicated – for all the farm-to-table establishments that were to follow.

Far & Fisherman - ExteriorIn November 2014, the Lawlers teamed with chef Todd Fuller and his wife, Leigh, to open the Farm and the Fisherman Tavern in a Route 70 strip mall in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Like the original Philadelphia establishment, which closed in 2016, the Jersey outpost utilizes local meat and produce; however, since the new restaurant also possesses a liquor license, it also pairs its locally-sourced culinary creations with selected wine, spirits, and local drafts in a more spacious (150-seats) and comfortable tavern-like environment.

Since the Cherry Hill F-and-F had garnered decidedly mixed reviews from a variety of sources, my dining partner and I were not quite sure what to expect. Fortunately, ours turned out to be a completely satisfying experience on all counts.

However, just one thing to keep in mind… The food here is quite different from Mr. Lawler’s original Philadelphia establishment. It is more simply prepared and presented; perhaps best described as innovative comfort fare.

Farm & Fisherman - Caramelized Cauliflower w mushroom cream sauceWe started things off by sharing the Caramelized Cauliflower with Mushroom Cream Sauce (pictured). Although cauliflower – in various and sundry appetizer incarnations – has been making a remarkable comeback on restaurant menus of late, this was still a rather unusual dish. One does not usually think of cauliflower as pairing very well with a rich mushroom sauce – but the two proved to be perfect traveling companions. The sauce just rich enough… the cauliflower just crunchy enough. Add a sprinkle of cheese and some herbs, and you have the perfect starter to any meal.

Farm & Fisherman - Squash LasagnaAs you move on to the entrées, you can really see the interesting direction the kitchen has taken. The main courses demonstrate a good deal more comfortable simplicity than those that were offered in the Philadelphia restaurant… and yet, they still show a degree of innovation that is downright captivating without becoming annoyingly convoluted. Take my dining partner’s fascinating Squash Lasagna, for example. The idea certainly isn’t earth-shatteringly new by any stretch of the imagination… but the careful integration of ingredients adds just the proper beguiling touch to a comfortingly familiar recipe.

Ribbons of butternut squash, of course, stand in for the usual lasagna noodles while the cheese, tomato sauce, and seasonings remain in prominent supporting roles – with delicious results. But as my dining partner was quick to note, the tomato sauce – while it at first seemed to need more flavor – had been purposely toned down to allow the squash’s natural attributes to shine through. An excellent presentation.

Farm & Fisherman - Cheesesteak Tacos… Ditto my Cheesesteak Tacos (pictured). The presentation is the soul of simplicity, but beautifully executed. Just looking at the photo is enough to make your mouth water. Photogenic, to be sure. But more than this, the steak is perfectly prepared and irresistibly seasoned.  I’d gladly return here just to have another go.

Farm & Fisherman - Jersey Peach PieDessert (pictured) was a down-home winner: Jersey Peach Pie topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and garnished with ribbons of caramel sauce.

At the time we visited, indoor dining in New Jersey was still verboten. But that was fine with us, as we were (and are still) a bit leery about dining inside. At Cherry Hill F-and-F, a nice chunk of strip mall parking had been turned into a partially covered patio for a surprisingly comfortable al fresco dining experience.

Definitely worth a visit.

Bon Appétit!

Be Safe


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rooster Run Cafe October 20, 2020 at 12:47 am

Yum, looks like a destination worth visiting. I wouldn’t mind a good Cheesesteak Taco right about now.

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