I was treated to a fantastic dining experience during my recent lunch at FireCreek Restaurant and Bar which opened in early November 2011 at Voorhees Town Center, South Jersey’s all new shopping and dining destination. FireCreek brings an option for fine dining featuring New American cuisine to this Voorhees neighborhood and surrounding communities.
My first visit to FireCreek was at a very well-attended grand opening celebration that afforded me an initial peek at the the restaurant’s decor which pairs unrefined stucco and stone walls and exotic wood ceilings with a warm color palette and contemporary accents. The design is meant to echo the interior of the historic Bicking Paper Mill which houses the original FireCreek location in Downingtown, PA.
Since I wasn’t able to stay for dinner that night, my guests and I were graciously invited to return as guests of the restaurant. The ambience at FireCreek is thoroughly enjoyable. We were seated in a side dining room partially concealed behind a floating wall embedded with a huge, antique, wooden-spoked wheel, a motif that is repeated from the restaurant’s entry alcove. The room also had a gas fire-feature, unlit on this warm autumn day, flanked by two wine-storage ‘closets’ behind doors of wood and paned-glass. Our waiter for the meal was very attentive and personable but didn’t hover.
The menu offered an array of tempting choices. I opted to indulge in a glass of Zonin pinot grigio, a crisp and simple Italian white wine. For my meal I chose the “Coca-Cola BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich”, slow-braised pulled pork with white cheddar cheese served on a brioche roll with creamy pineapple cole slaw and yam fries. The pork was perfectly cooked to the tender falling-apart stage and seasoned with the classic combo of smoky spices balanced with sweetness. The accompanying side-dishes were delicious mates to the BBQ, the coolness of the cole slaw was a welcome foil to the spicy sweetness of the thin-cut yam fries which looked charming served wrapped in paper in a cone-shaped metal basket. The fries were served with each of our meals and were a big hit at this table of three.
My husband chose the “Griddle-Seared Salmon Burger” which was served between thick slices of multi-grain bread, sporting grill-marks from being toasted, and accompanied by condiments of fresh ginger and scallion, wasabi aioli, sprouts and avocado spread. The flavor of fresh salmon was present in this burger. He raved about the wasabi and we both found it to be a delectable sandwich.
My daughter ordered the “FireCreek Crab Cake Sandwich” and received a wonderful griddle-seared jumbo lump-crab cake on a brioche roll. Arugula, tomato and lemon-caper tartar sauce were the accompaniments. I wasn’t able to sample this because of a shell-fish allergy but it was a nice presentation and she said it was very good and ‘crabby.’ For dessert, we all shared a serving of “Chocolate Stoudt Cake” a rich, dark chocolate cake the texture of gingerbread but without the spices. Whipped ganache frosting studded with crushed nuts and a dollop of Bailey’s whipped cream added to the decadence. Smooth, chocolatey and delicious it was the perfect ending to a delightful meal.
The wine-list at FireCreek is impressive and offers all varietals – many choices from California and Argentina rounded out by a select few from Washington, Oregon, Chile, France and Italy, among others. The bar offers four special ‘Elemental Martinis’ – fire, earth, air and water- that, to me, mean at least that many return trips to sample all four, possibly on Thursday nights when live music is offered in the lounge.
The focal point of the main dining room at FireCreek is the grand chef’s table which is placed right in front of the centrally-located open kitchen. The cozy bar/lounge area is off to one side where a silvery metallic wall balances all the warmer colors. The entire space is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows lending a slightly urban feel in this suburban locale. The square wooden tables and table linens are black, the stoneware dishes are white. A small, stained-glass candle holder on each table echoes the warm pumpkin, red chile pepper and sunflower-colored walls. Carpet on some areas of the floor helps with the acoustics. The overall ambiance evokes a modern, rustic elegance. Outdoor dining will be available, weather permitting.
The kitchen is under the leadership of Executive Chef Joel Schafer and the seasonally-inspired menu includes some of the original FireCreek’s most popular dishes such as Blackened Salmon, Mushroom Ravioli, Grilled Filet Mignon and Slow Roasted Prime Rib. General Manager, Frank Muratore, was very pleasant and cordial when he took the time to introduce himself and even posed for a photo.
FireCreek Restaurant & Bar,
13109 Town Center Blvd.,
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Facebook: FireCreek Restaurant – Voorhees
Kerry Brown loves casual meals from the grill and cocktails featuring fresh ingredients, especially when shared with family and friends in the backyard of her Medford, NJ home where she lives with her husband, two children, and a little gray cat named Tiki.