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Late Night Sea Bright / Highlands

Sea Bright Pizza was closed up tight at 11 as I drove past - Barnacles seems like the answer -what abuo0t dive in sea bright? - windmill closes at 9 PM

Nov 18, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Late Night Sea Bright / Highlands

Was driving home late from the airport and was starving - passed through Sea Bright and Highlands on the way to Monmouth Beach - I noticed Dive looked open - does anyone know if they serve food after 11 PM? Web site infers they do and no one picks up the phone...

Ended up at 7/11 and got a banana and some chips - does anyone know if anyone serves food after 11 on weeknights around there?

Nov 14, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen

anyone been?

Oct 20, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Jersey City suggestions

Great sushi just a few steps away at Honshu

Sep 29, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Sea Bright Fish Co.

Stopped in last night at 7:45 – never tried before and was a bit taken back by how unbelievably poor the décor was, cement flooring and odd wall fixtures, hard metal chairs and tables. Big blackboards on the wall and an unlit dismal looking deli case dominated the room.

As we stood agape, not really sure we were going to stay, we were greeted by an incredibly cheery and very good looking young woman who told us to make ourselves comfortable wherever we would like. She said she would take our order in just a minute or two as she was about to run some orders out from the kitchen.

My wife and I looked at each other and nodded, silently agreeing that wow, was that refreshing and candid. It was so well done that despite the impossible directive to become comfortable in this clean but stark environment we sat down and strained our necks at the menu boards. One board was full of standard fried seafood on one side (clams, oysters, shrimp, flounder, combo) offered as a platter or sandwich ($12 to $22) and then side and other dishes to the right including fries, onion rings, clams, shrimp cocktail and a lobster roll.

The other board was really hard to see so we had to stand up and stand by the counter to review the salmon, mahi mahi, soft shell crabs, swordfish and scallops. Most were listed as broiled with summer vegetables.

We watched as food was served in baskets to the three other tables. Once they were settled, our new favorite server came by with plastic cups of tap water and ice and took our order of a fried shrimp platter and a broiled mahi-mahi.

I popped out to the liquor store next store and grabbed a bottle of wine and was back before my spouse finished up her post work email on her iPhone. I returned to find a chilled wine sleeve and two very acceptable wine glasses on the table and poured two glasses while we watched the enterprise at work.

The kitchen is hidden behind a wall with the only glimpse from the dining room showing shelving holding pantry items. A gentleman behind the table was constantly working on writing things down on pads and a notebook. He answered the phone and took a phone order or two and constantly asked the server questions about what she had logged on pads that he stared at. A small lcd TV on the back wall showed the pre-season Eagles-Steelers game and we actually relaxed and enjoyed ourselves for a few minutes before our food baskets arrived.

The food looked great – the mahi-mahi was glistening with seasoning and the mix of onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, green beans and asparagus that surrounded the fish created a bright and colorful palate. The fried basket was divided into a heaping stack of deep brown 16 count shrimp on one side and a bunch of golden brown French fries.

The food tasted even better than it looked. The mahi was surprisingly cooked perfectly, moist and tasty, no fishy taste or odor, and the vegetables seemed “Flash sautéed” and seasoned just right so they snapped in your mouth and had just enough salt to produce a little smile on my face. The shrimp were expertly fried, just enough to make the batter crunchy, but still leaving the shrimp moist and seemingly fresh.

While we ate a slow stream of 3 or 4 take out patrons came through as our server stopped by often asking if we needed more tartar sauce or lemon while bringing us replacement glasses of iced tap water. We ate quickly, sharing a taste of each to more how much we enjoyed both dishes. As our plates were taken away we sat back and watched the TV, chatted and finished up our wine - kindly declining a pass at desert when offered.

The total bill before tip was $33 and we loved the food and the service. The interior design is horrendous though and not being a big fan of take away seafood we will really have to be in the mood to come back. But we will be back; the food was good enough and the server was nice enough to make us follow that play.

Aug 22, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Restaurant / Hall for 100-125 headcount for a 1 year old birthday

Aug 20, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

North Beach grille in Long Branch

Agree with fershore - been eating here for years, very functional, when Gary owned it we liked it better - but the outside tables for a sunday brunch when the weather is fine is a great alternative to pier village - the weekday early morning (6;30 am) crowd is extremely interesting - former local mayor and food service owner and crew of about 6 guys talking daily events - very entertaining if you want to listen in on some local color - would be my third call in the area after My Kitchen Witch in Monmouth Beach and Alice's Kitchen in Sea Bright

Aug 19, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

mccloones rum runner was just leveled

Zero percent interest loan for 2 years to support improvements plus "working capital needs"....this was done under the Stronger NJ Business grant from the EDA...specifically designated for small business (defined as restaurant companies having less than $7.5 million in annual revenue ) to promote job growth...how Mr. McCloone's 10 restaurants qualify as a small business seems confounding - they would have to average less than $2,000 a day in gross revenue ... just makes it harder for smaller restaurants to compete when the taxpayers are funding the big guys, especially when we lend them free money for working capital...

mccloones rum runner was just leveled

McLoone’s Given OK To Rebuild Sea Bright Restaurant

By: Chris Sheldon Published: April 14, 2014

"A loan from the Economic Development Authority will allow the restaurant to be rebuilt at a cost of between $3 million and $4 million" to rebuild Tim McCloone's

Your tax dollars at work

YUMI in SEA BRIGHT

was $100 tax and tip included for 2 people, brought our own wine

Jul 23, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

YUMI in SEA BRIGHT

Did a Yumi stint last night - place was packed - on a Monday - Crazy Tuna roll was almost perfect - spicy tuna outside of rice with cucumber and seared tuna inside, had the miso black cod that was brilliant and finished with a large plate of sushi - yellow tail, shrimp and tuna.

Jul 22, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Friday night dinner @ My Kitchen Witch in Monmouth Beach

We had dinner at My Kitchen Witch on Friday night - the place was packed and we were thankful we had a reservation as a large group of people were waiting outside when we arrived - we were seated right away, inside the restaurant as we thought it was too clod to sit out, but those tables were all occupied... - Dinner menu included an appetizer, entrée and dessert - choice of Carrot Ginger Soup or Beefsteak Tomato w/ Mozzarella for a starter, Flank Steak or Crab cakes for a main and Strawberry Shortcake or Chocolate Brownie for desert.

The Soup was amazing, served cold it was full of flavor and was really refreshing. The Tomatoes were big and ripe and the salad large from a portion perspective.

Both the flank steak and the crab cakes were served with sides of asparagus, brown rice as well as sweet potato "fries" that were no fried but baked, long thick strips of potato were flavorful and a top discussion point around dinner. Two of us had the crab cakes which again were not fried, very healthy they had a seed type crust with huge chunks of fresh lump meat inside. The flank steak was served medium as ordered and had a hint of a tangy citrus and tomato glaze.

The deserts were nice and freshly made, but nothing outrageous. Coffee was hot and STRONG, finished off the meal nicely.

The ambience was exciting and fun, not a romantic eatery but certainly a good night out after the work week. mostly couples in their 40's and some families.

Dinner was $25 per person and we brought a special magnum of cabernet that we all enjoyed! Tax, tip and all in at $130 for a dinner for four, really good!

Jul 14, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Private party for 50-60 people in Monmouth County

Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands, big outdoor deck with views of NYC Skyline www.beaconhillcc.org

Jun 30, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Delicious Hot-Dog's, Southside Johnny & Charity for the Food Bank....a great day at the Jersey Shore !!!!

No idea on the tech stuff - looking forward to stopping by on Friday and see if a crowd draws here

May 21, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Woody's In Sea Bright

It was a special - came with two legs cut up into sections and was $17.95

May 12, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Woody's In Sea Bright

Went out Saturday night and was expecting the usual there - good drinks, fun atmosphere, a few fish tacos... but was taken aback by an appetizer they served

I forget what they called it but it was king crab legs that were served dusted with a paprika/cayenne pepper rub and served with drawn butter that had scotch bonnet peppers soaked in it.

I had never had king crab legs like this before and the four of us fought over the legs until we finally relented and placed another order. The sweetness of the crab held up well to the heat and the richness of the butter brought it all together.

All in all a fun Saturday night - the wait was not too bad - 20 minutes at 6:30, the bar area was comfortably busy - all the stools taken but plenty of "reach in" room to get drinks and the three bartenders were really attentive and helpful.

May 12, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Fromagerie Burger Night

No doubt he is a polarizing figure, but the place has its following and I was hoping to give some folks who may not have had a chance to the "Peter's Fromagerie experience" a view of what they could expect....like jsfeinb said it was a nice night out, that we had a $25 burger instead of a $36 piece of fish or $45 steak, ended up not really mattering to us...the burger "deal" is what drew us in but it was a more enjoyable experience than we expected and as such opened the wallet up a bit more on the salad supplement and high end drinks.

I can understand your feeling but also I am kind of glad he did not rename it, it is an institution and I remember so many times from the Peter's days (my sister's HS graduation dinner, our wedding rehearsal dinner, etc.) and when we bring our parents or friends there is fun to reminisce

May 09, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Fromagerie Burger Night

Stopped in last night on a whim - looking for something different and remembered the $25 burger menu - sat in the very packed and fun bar area - a two top in the middle of the room - large groups of 30-40 year old ladies out together all around us at the high top table of 8 and to our right at a round 8 top as well.

Musician playing Beatles tunes all night contributed to the noise level being high, but we could hear each other talk and the mood was really upbeat. Servers moved as quick as they could and while it took a bit to get started once we did everything "flowed" very smoothly.

The menu consisted of what seemed like the regular menu of apps, and entrees on the left with handwritten specials on the right side outlining the $25 burgers. We focused on the burger menu which included a house salad and the choice of a traditional burger on an English muffin or a Quinoa Veggie burger on a Toasted Brioche.

Two add'l starters were offered with a $6 and $12 supplement - one a stack of smoked salmon and seared tuna and the other a lobster salad. Another special on the menu was a two pound lobster for $50.

We opted for the lobster salads and we had one regular and one veggie burger.

The Lobster salads were quite impressive, what looked like a half of a tail and one claw of a 1.5 lb chilled lobster was presented in a large shallow bowl surrounded by field greens, cherry tomatoes, fennel with sliced avocado on the side. All were tossed in a citrus vinaigrette that really balanced the fat of the lobster and avocado. I would happily eat this as a main course, it was that rich, filling and delicious and any quandary I had of paying a 50% supplement to the $25 menu went away quickly.

The burgers were good and served with a wire basket full of well done French fries, medium sized fries that seemed to be fresh cut potatoes.

Small jars of ketchup and mayo were served with the burgers.

The Quinoa burger was presented by the server as a house made patty and it had a strong texture and a bit of barley flavor to it. The brioche was large and easy to cut, the burger was topped with tomatoes, red onion, lettuce and for some reason an arugula salad as well.

I moved the salad off to the side next to the crunchy dill pickle and tried to eat the first half "burger style" I quickly retreated and went "Bill DeBlasio style" and completed my meal with fork and knife. I loved the burger and restrained myself by simply sampling the fries, they tasted as good as they looked.

My wife enjoyed her beef burger, topped with melted cheddar and topped by an over sized English muffin - it was all good and none of it went to waste.

All in all a fun night but rather expensive for two burgers - total bill with a glass of wine and cocktail, tax and tip was $134. Could have gotten a couple of great burgers and some drinks down the street at Barnacle's for $60 but the "scene" with live music, that incredible lobster salad and top notch service made us feel like we would be coming back on another Tuesday night.

.

the Lobster salad

May 07, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Tre Amici Long Branch NJ

Stopped by on Saturday night for a drink and a nibble at the bar - the place was pretty full - there was room at the bar for two of us - and most folks seemed to be having a good time - place is much smaller than I thought - and very dark - bartender was less than friendly - and actually the hostess with the print leopard top was almost surly - drinks were good and the eggplant rollatini was very good/exceptional.

The bar next door though was having some type of punk band and by 8:30 there were dozens of very odd looking people (leather, chains, Goth makeup) hanging out smoking and being loud in front of the restaurant - not sure how conducive that will be for upscale diners

Not sure we will go back - my wife did not like the scene outside the restaurant - I am sure that doesn't happen every night and hopefully I can talk her back to give it a full try

Apr 28, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Hi -Going to be in Morris county tonight and tomorrow night,

It was last night - I did run up there and it was great - the highlight was a ramp infused and encrusted halibut with pistachio cream along its side

Apr 23, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Ramps are $36 a pound at Fairway.

I had a ramp infused and encrusted halibut last night at a restaurant that would have me happily paying whatever is necessary for a repeat of that intense flavor -- RAMP it up!

Apr 23, 2014
carlylecat in Manhattan

Hi -Going to be in Morris county tonight and tomorrow night,

There is a very unique dinner going on at the Bernard's Inn (Bernardsville) - Ryan DePersio from Fascino in Montclair is guest chefing and cooking beside Corey Heyer- should be very interesting - if I was close by I would check it out...

Apr 22, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Tre Amici Long Branch NJ

They come..they go...they rarely stay

Apr 22, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

La Grenouille owner Charles Masson splits from restaurant

Yes have been twice since Charles has left and thought I wrote a review - all in all almost all the staff is the same - Bertrand still running the back room - Brian at the Bar - Charles' brother seems a bot out of place bouncing around but he is very pleasant and helpful - the flower arrangements are just as powerful as ever and the food is rock solid.

No discernible changes I can attest to after two meals, one just me and my wife and another with a party of 8

Apr 22, 2014
carlylecat in Manhattan

Worst Restaurants in NJ

The worst restaurant in NJ is the one that has a one hour wait to fulfill your reservation you have been holding for two weeks, is so noisy you cant hear each other speak , is so dark you cant read the menu without your iPhone, the food is delivered and no one is to be found as soon as you take a bite and realize it is not as described or desired and when you leave no one even notices...unfortunately there are too many of these places taking our dining dollars....

Apr 22, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Restaurant in Nicel

I would head up to The Chateau Chevre D'or in Eze for a meal al fresco that is just unbeatable for the view, service, elegance, romance and simply a once in a lifetime experience

Apr 22, 2014
carlylecat in France

Tre Amici Long Branch NJ

Good luck to them - Brighton Avenue has a way of destroying everything it touches - never been a big fan of the old place but if they can make it on Brighton that would surely be something....

Apr 21, 2014
carlylecat in New Jersey

Manhattan restaurants with great bar areas

Triomphe in The Iroquois Hotel on 44th street has a great bar area with big tables you can sit at and have a nice drink and some nibbles

Apr 15, 2014
carlylecat in Manhattan

Keens Steak House, NYC

I eta there once a week for lunch - perfectly reliable, great food, solid service, don't know about the wine list because I don't drink at lunch but impressive bottles seem to be on those tables who do imbibe....really cant go wrong - the mutton chop is HUMUNGOUS

Apr 15, 2014
carlylecat in Manhattan

Wolf & Subzero

They only hire people with the first name of Richard?