Raven and The Peach - Fair Haven, NJ


(Junior) #1

Again I can’t believe there hasn’t been a thread dedicated to The Raven and The Peach, however I searched and couldn’t find one so here we go!

This restaurant has been a mainstay in the area for the entire 25 years I have lived here. When we first moved here there was Fromageria and The Raven and The Peach for true fine dining in Monmouth County. (This far pre-dates Nicolas) Fromagerie as well all know is no longer, well no longer the Fromagerie of old, and The Raven and The Peach continues on. I have had a love hate relationship with this place for the last decade, I would be kidding any of you if I said it was as “good as it was”, but it does tickle my memories enough it keeps me coming back.

When Blu Grotto couldn’t accommodate our reservation change on Saturday night for my birthday dinner I called the Raven and they were able to accept so the change of venue was made. Although it remains unchanged for the 25 years I’ve been dining here, I do find the Raven’s dining room to be one of the nicest since La Fontana in New Brunswick. It is the perfect combination of tropical and formal with the palm tree’s and large fans…plush chairs and booths. Live piano player in the background truly gives this my favorite setting for any restaurant(s) in our area.

Over the years the menu’s change, the food goes from excellent to average to rarely sub par (only because of their price points, you expect things to always be EXCELLENT, so an average dish is rated sub-par by me because of price point) Service for how hard they try is also hit or miss, they certainly do not have an adequate training policy for their servers, I’ve had way to many “bad” nights, similar to Saturday to blame it on individual servers rather than a lack of competent management.

Even though “they know me” here, the service still lacks. Few examples, although we were brought butter we never received bread. (until we requested it about 10 mins after our butter arrived) I ordered a steakhouse wedge salad, the menu describes it with bacon which is how much wedge salads are prepared. It came without bacon. The 2 “Raven” salads were served without goat cheese as described in the menu, this wasn’t discovered until after they were half consumed.

The food in general was very good, they have done away with the steakhouse menu and have consolidated everything into one menu again. Overall it was a great night and I do truly love this place, but at this price point it should deliver exceptional service and food every time. Sadly they are hit or miss at best, which is sad for a place that’s been around as long as they have.

I will go back, but not until another special occasion.


#2

We haven’t been to Raven in years, but I totally agree with you. That dining room is my favorite. I feel like I am in the movie Casablanca! Not like the real Casablanca which I went to last year and it was grimy, loud and a bit sketchy.

Was it busy? How was the crowd? We have been the youngest people basically ever time we have been.


(Junior) #3

Believe it or not it was the most crowded I have seen it in recent years. Pretty much full, clientele were the “local old money” crowd which has kept them in business over the years. Well that and Richard the owner owns that building so I’m’ sure it’s probably rent / mortgage free. The average age of the typical Raven customer will remain 60+.


#4

That’s great they were busy but that would be alarming to me if I owned Raven. How can they become relevant to the 30-60 yr old demographic?


(Junior) #5

Knowing what I do of Richard the owner, he doesn’t care! That’s what Nauvoo Grill around the block is for!


#6

I think that is what red rock is for lol. That place has a young crowd…mixed but young.


#7

Ha, Nauvoo Grill. We went there a couple of times and the last one was terrible. I don’t remember the specifics honestly. Is it any good? I remember really liking the interior of this restaurant too.


(Junior) #8

I’ve only been there a handful of times over the years and it never stood out to me. It is however the “younger” crowd than Raven, well also a different price point as well. As you said the building is beautiful Chalet style.


#9

We went to Nauvoo Grill for a birthday party at the end of December. I had had a nonopinion about the place, which is beautiful. (Dined there several times over the years. It’s fine, but never pops in my head as a place to get back to.) I was very impressed by how well they took care of us–a chatty crowd of about 70 that never took our seats. Wine glasses never empty. Servers were highly competent and also not obtrusive. The buffet that they set up was a solid B+. Vegetables super fresh and didn’t have the nutrition cooked out of them.