d'jeet? - Shrewsbury, NJ
For the longest time, I was told over and over to visit d'jeet? in The Grove in Shrewsbury. For the longest time, I kept putting it off and I have no idea why. Since my very first visit a month or so ago, I've been back at least two more times. What was once just a foreign name with an added punctuation mark, is now a familiar and must-eat spot for me. From the decor to the welcoming entrance to the consistent dishes to the specials, d'jeet? hits on all cylinders in every single visit. And if you're wondering, d'jeet is not actually a foreign word, it's a colloquialism for "did you eat?"
As soon as you walk in, the restaurant itself is very detailed and inviting. You want to sit there, you want to have a meal there. The wall looking outside is all a big window divided into smaller sections which welcomes in light even on the cloudiest of days giving the restaurant a sense of warmth. For you people watchers out there, grab a table by the window and enjoy the view of The Grove while you drink your favorite beer/wine.
d'jeet? is BYO, so make sure to select very carefully what you want to bring in order to pair it up with the deliciousness of what this restaurant has to offer. Now, I have gone on Yelp and scoured a few of the reviews. I could do the thing where I go on and on about the Joey and the Grandpa - we've had both - but for this particular visit, I decided to go for some of the things people normally wouldn't go for or not the norm for a meal here. Trust me, once you go, you'll want to go again, so don't worry about trying to get your order right the first time.
My first piece of advice, ALWAYS listen to the specials. I know this gets annoying at a lot of restaurants because their "specials" end up being half of a menu and by the time they're done with the last dish, you can't even remember what the first one is. But at d'jeet? they're specials are worth listening to. Twice, we've ordered off of the specials and both times we were more than delighted with the result. Needless to say, if you get offered a pulled pork sandwich here, you say "YES". But this time we had the Blue Crab Toast with avocado, creme remoulade, and brioche crouton. It looks even better in person and it was amazing. It was on the specials within the appetizers but if you are looking for a lighter meal, definitely try this out. Everything on this plate serves a purpose and it comes together beautifully.
We made sure to also order the applewood grilled chicken wings. These are glazed in a tamarind BBQ sauce with pickled carrots and some ranch on the side. I definitely loved these. They are charred on the outside to perfection and the sweet heat from the sauce is phenomenal. And if you're feeling adventurous like I was, just leave a shaving or two of the carrots on each bite of wing and take in all of that flavor, it's a party of savory sweetness with a hint of sour going on in your mouth. The fact that they are grilled versus fried was a real hit for me. The tastiness of the wings was perfect and went well with my beer of choice.
As far as the beer is concerned, do yourself a favor and find a good amber ale or brown ale to pair with most of the things in this menu. I'd normally bring a 32oz growler of Carton's B.D.G. but this time I was able to find a bottle of Zoe from Maine Beer Co. Usually the amber ales can bring out the subtle spices and flavors within the food. Zoe definitely added an extra dimension of complexity to the applewood grilled chicken wings. If you can't find Zoe or can't visit up Carton for a fill of BDG, a Fat Tire from New Belgium is pretty serviceable.
Of course, no visit to d'jeet? is complete without truffle fries. Just order them. They might be on the menu, they might not, but if you're wondering about which side to get, you get the truffle fries. Seriously, just look at how good they look with that beautiful beer.
Just for the sake of those reading this who were wondering, "What's in the display case?" near the entrance, well there you go: an assortment of baked delicious goodies ready for the plundering. I wish I could tell you what these all are, but the one in the middle (picture above) definitely has coconut. They all look good, to be honest, even those cupcakes below. I took two pictures after my meal was done and the beer was gone and quickly ran away - I fear my lack of impulse control.
If you haven't been to d'jeet? make that a priority going forward. If you've been to d'jeet? and you keep having the same two things in the menu, I salute you - but it might be time to change it up and see what else this beautiful eatery has in store for you. Your taste buds will appreciate the difference in what you've chosen to eat for the day. d'jeet? only accepts reservations for dinner, so keep that in mind. Do NOT forget to bring your own alcohol and if you're having trouble thinking of which wine to bring, I can't help you, I just know good beer. The specials are always a safe gamble and the employees are always willing to suggest based on their own choices and have never led me wrong. So now I have to ask you, the reader, "d'jeet?", because if you didn't, now you know where to go to solve that problem.