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.