Just over two years old now, Josh Lawler and Todd Fuller's Farm & Fisherman + Tavern has settled comfortably into is mission to create a neighborhood standby serving sustainably sourced seasonal food in Cherry Hill.
It hasn't always been easy in a landscape ruled by less-expensive, more generic chains. But on a recent visit, the personable staff and solid kitchen seemed more in the groove than ever. I washed down one of the area's best burgers (the Industrial) with excellent Jersey brews (Kane Head High IPA; Forgotten Boardwalk's Morro Castle smoked porter).
A chicken cutlet ciabatta with kale pesto and a melty slab of local halumi was irresistible. But it is the bountiful embrace of rustic vegetable cookery where F&F+T's seasonal colors really shine through. A spice-roasted cauliflower with creamy mushroom sauce feels at once healthy and indulgent. The must-order starter, though, is the "breads & spreads," a lazy Susan bountifully laden with a pinwheel of scoopable delights: smoky orange hummus, tangy romesco, fried rails of creamy-centered chickpea fries, a creamy kale and mustard green update to the old spinach dip, and mixed-grain "falafel" fritters scented with curry.
And for the scooping? A fresh-baked balloon of puffed pita. When ripped open, it sends up steam like a smoke signal, cueing the table to dive in.
Breads & Spreads, $16, Farm & Fisherman + Tavern, 1442 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill 08034, 856-356-2282; fandftavern.com