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Pizza in Monmouth County

Aleo pizzeria in lincroft serves up some tasty pies. Their grandma and margherita are excellent. Even the plain slice brings you back to Brooklyn where the crust cracks down the middle when you fold it, not because it is too thin, but because it's that perfect combo of the right dough ingredients and a super hot oven. I can't get out if that place without downing at least 4 slices. Worth a try.

Feb 25, 2012
amv in New Jersey

New Restaurant Tinton Falls/Shrewsbury?

There's something new being built in the A&P / Work out world shopping center. Looks like it could be a drive-in maybe, as there are covered parking bays surrounding it. Anyone have details?

Dec 12, 2011
amv in New Jersey

Anyone know where I can get burrata cheese in New Jersey?

Trader Joe's in Shrewsbury has it. Half the price of anywhere else in the area, and it's pretty good with a sprinkle of salt, coarse pepper,and olive oil.

Mar 29, 2011
amv in New Jersey

Trader Joe's to open in Monmouth Co

Was definitely mayhem there today- was hard to find a parking spot during the day, and it was still pretty crowded when I went back at 7:30pm. Was worth the trip tho. TJ's burrata - 8oz for $5!! And it's good! I'm pretty sure that's half the price of Wholefoods, Sickles, and the Cheese Cave! Paired it with some toasted ciabatta, arugula, salami, and olive oil- what an unexpected treat for dinner.

Mar 12, 2011
amv in New Jersey

Pazzo's Red Bank

Jun 30, 2010
amv in New Jersey

Best-Kept (Breakfast) Secret in Monmouth County

Great! I'll definitely give it a shot. As an aside, I've taken some cooking classes/tastings there, which I've always enjoyed. A few run by Chris Mumford himself, plus others run by other local chefs- Toni Froio (various), Brian Gualtieri (Piccola Italia), and Chris Brandl. Great way to spend an evening.

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Brandl Restaurant
703 9th Ave, Belmar, NJ 07719

May 18, 2010
amv in New Jersey

Best-Kept (Breakfast) Secret in Monmouth County

Jerzey, if you are going to throw down the breakfast gauntlet, can you back it up with a review? What are the best dishes? Would love to know what I am missing, I've never gone to Mumfords for breakfast.

May 16, 2010
amv in New Jersey

Best-Kept (Breakfast) Secret in Monmouth County

I have been going to the Inbetween Cafe religiously for about 3 months now. The breakfast menu is typical NJ diner fare- eggs, pancakes, etc., and everything is good.

But this restaurant has another thing going for it- Weekly Specials. Every Saturday, the specials change for the week. And just about every Saturday, my family and I are there to partake in what i consider the best breakfast in NJ. The specials usually include various omellettes, egg dishes, pancakes, and french toast.

Two specials this week that caught my eye are:

1) Fresh baked popover, split down the middle, stuffed with scrambled eggs, spinach and goat cheese

2) Ham and Cheese Strata- layers of ham, cheddar and swiss cheese, bread, mushroom, and onion.

I ordered both because I couldnt decide between the two. Alas, we arrived a bit too early- the strata was still baking. That's ok, I'll be back tomorrow for it.

I did get my popover tho. What a treat! Who in Monmouth county bakes fresh popovers for breakfast?? Absolutely delicious- the eggs perfectly cooked, still a bit wet, mixed with fresh spinach, and the oozy, just-starting-to-melt goat cheese dolloped on top. Out of this world.

A few weeks back, I had the Scotch Bonnet and eggs special. Fiery peppers, mixed with peppers, onions, potatoes, cheese and chorizo, topped with 3 eggs over easy. Habaneros for breakfast!! What an adventure! I was sweating with delight...

You can also look forward to french toast and pancakes served with various seasonal fruits anh home made syrups. Out-of-control good. Not sure if it's dessert or breakfast.

I can't say enough good things about this place. Chef-owner Bob Koehler is not a short-order breakfast cook. He's an artist, and his creativity is showcased every Saturday. Don't miss it!

The place is also open for lunch, but I have not tried it yet.

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Inbetween
56 English Plz, Red Bank, NJ 07701

May 15, 2010
amv in New Jersey

Trinity - Remarkable Dinner

I had my first Trinity experience on Friday:

Strawberry Lemonade - same as MishyPoo describes above. Probably the best summer cocktail I've ever had. Didnt taste like there was ANY added sugar. Totally refreshing, the kind of drink you can have too many of if you're not careful..

Burrata (special)- a double-fist size ball of burrata cheese seasoned with salt and pepper, coupled with lightly toasted olive bread slices, all resting in a shallow pool of olive oil. For anyone who hasnt had burrata, it is essentially fresh mozzerella wrapped around a creamy ricotta-like interior. It was AMAZING - a must have.

7 Sins Plate - my wife ordered this charcuterie plate. Would not have been a choice of mine, with so many other interesting things on the menu. Fairly standard, could have been lighter on the accompaniments and heavier on the meats/cheeses.

Chili- pork chili with black eyed peas. Excellent chili, a bit on the sweeter side, but certainly worth tasting.

PEI Mussels (Tom Yum)- ordered this as a "small offering". Large mussels in a spicy and delicious broth. Soaked up the broth with bread when mussels and veggies were gone. Another stellar dish.

Chiccarines- pork rinds. Ordered these when I was informed they ran our of the empanadas. Wasnt all that impressed, but I'm not a pork rind guy I suppose. Better stuff on menu.

Tuna Tartare- Fresh tasting, what tuna tartar should be. I've only had better at one spot- Bayard's in NYC. They just get the whole dish right there, with table side prep and a cracked egg on top.

Hukilau Pot- Tasty pac rim seafood stew. Was good, but probably should have branched out to something a bit more different considering I got the mussels as an app.

5 cheese mac and cheese- 5 cheeses with ditalini pasta. Need I say more?

Will be back- again and again...

Aug 03, 2009
amv in New Jersey

D'Jeet - The Grove in Shrewsbury

My wife and I ate here for their opening night dinner. Nice space, pleasant staff- an overall positive experience. Bread basket came with lightly toasted airy bread and olive oil. Food highlights:

Grilled Peach Salad- a slab of honey goat cheese paired with a huge grilled peach slice atop a bed of baby arugula. Perfectly dressed and utterly delicious. The salad just screams "summer". Many times when you order a salad with goat cheese, you get a couple of small medallions that last maybe 4 bites. The goat cheese and peach included in the salad were more than enough to last through the entire round of greens. Highly recommend, especially for goat cheese lovers.

Spaghetti Pesto- Topped with red and yellow cherry tomatoes and shaved parm. Pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, pesto was delicious, cherry tomatoes a nice touch.

Linguine and Clams- Again, pasta was cooked perfectly. Some small, chopped chilis added slight heat to the dish. Clams were large and delicious. May have been the best linguine with clams I've ever had. I usually add a lot of grated cheese to this dish (die hard italians are groaning right now), but didnt in this case. There was no need!

Leg of Lamb Braciole- Slices of rolled lamb, tender and juicy, served over a mound of goat cheese polenta, broccoli rabe, and white canellini bean broth. Interesting combination of flavors, enough broth and polenta to couple with each bite of lamb. Excellent.

Other menu items that interested me (for next time!):

Heirloom Tomato Salad with arugula, fennel, olives, fresh mozz

Grilled Octopus Panzanella salad

Orecchiette with eggplant, zucchini ragout, olives, and baby spinach

Home made ricotta gnocci

Seared sea scallops with spinach artichoke risotto

Braised short ribs with cauliflower mashed potatoes and swiss chard

There were also several mini-pizzas on the menu as appetizers

Definitely worth checking out. BYO for dinner, they also do lunch and takeout (and i think they still do catering).

Jul 29, 2009
amv in New Jersey

Thai Chilies in Eatontown

Went last night. The menu is extensive, and the food was excellent. 4 apps- mixed meat dumplings, curry puffs, spring rolls, and summer rolls. All served with complementing sauces/condiments. Everything was flavorful, and not greasy. Curry puffs can tend to be dry, but the filling in these kept them the right consistency. Also had a Tom Ka Gai- curry coconut chicken soup- spicy, but with excellent flavor. Entrees were red curry/mixed seafood (got this one Thai spicy), and pineapple seafood fried rice. Total came to about $70 before tip. Best thai in the area.

May 24, 2009
amv in New Jersey

The Falls tinton falls

Went last night and ate at the bar. Pretzel bites with cheddar sauce were a great snack to start with drinks. Moved on to fried calamari - the aoli it was served with had a great chili-pepper bite to it, and the calamari itself was fried perfectly, not to heavy. Wife had butternut squash soup with some nice winter spices - tasted like Christmas. I had the french onion soup which was excellent (and served with a mini grilled cheese sandwich), but could have been served a bit hotter. Note to self: order an extra grilled cheese with it next time, and ask for melted gruyere on top of the soup). Finished the meal with a lobster salad sandwich, served on brioche. I think it was pretty good, but i was 3 martinis deep at that point. All of this with 6 drinks (4 martinis from an extensive menu- Creamsicle, Thin Mint, Pomegranate, Macaroon, 2 glasses of wine) came to about $100.

Dec 28, 2008
amv in New Jersey

Le Peep - Shrewsbury?

I wanted Le Peep to be good. After 3 attempts, I've given up. The coffee is always too strong, and the food is always delivered to the table too cold. How can dishes finished in a skillet in the oven be cold? The cheese melts, but the place somehow defies the laws of physics. Even the pancakes are a mess. Its a shame, but Le Peep will not last in 2009.

Dec 20, 2008
amv in New Jersey

Rigoletto Trattoria, Middletown

I think its a solid choice. I have some great pastas and salads here, along with interesting appetizers like sausage with polenta and a surprisingly good fish salad. Reasonably priced too.

Nov 06, 2008
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Has anyone ever been to this: http://www.italianamericanfestival.com/ ?

Wondering if it's worth an hour trip...

Sep 25, 2008
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Best Breakfast in Monmouth County

I've found it. Tavolo Pronto (an Italian deli) in Fair Haven. There are about 5 items on the menu, and that is all that's needed. Asparagus Milanese is grilled asparagus spears topped with a couple of over easy eggs, grated cheese and a touch of olive oil, served with a few slices of toasted ciabatta- amazing! Also go for the egg sandwiches- the one i had was egg, cheese, and bacon, served on a toasted ciabatta roll. Best breakfast sandwich ever! There are also omellettes, bagels, muffins, and of course the incredible ciabatta (and other breads). The prepared foods look good also.

Go!!

http://www.tavolopronto.com/

Sep 20, 2008
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Looking for Good Butcher in Central Jersey

Sal's bacon-wrapped boneless ribeye grilled up med rare is one of my favorite summertime treats

May 31, 2008
amv in New Jersey

Far East Taste - Eatontown.

I have noticed a slip recently (got take out). Lo Mein was yellow instead of the normal brown color, broke when pulled from the carton, and was completely missing the signature long-cut scallions. Everything fried rice was missing the everything - it was basically pea and carrot fried rice- gone were the formerly plentiful roast pork, shrimp, chicken, and egg bits. Basil Fish was not as good as I had remembered - a bit overcooked and light on the fish.

Maybe it was an off night, I wont give up on them after just one average meal. Does anyone know if Richard is coming back?

May 29, 2008
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Freehold Jury Duty

Just spent two days on jury duty in Freehold which equated to two lunches on Main St.:

El Meson (mexican)- Chips were fresh and warm, salsa was also really good. Had the spicy seafood soup, loaded with fish and shellfish, including an enormous delicious mussel. Definitely a tasty starter. Got a taco/burrito combo platter, with pork/lamb. The meats were marinated and served in a garlicky, spicy sauce. Everything on the plate was fresh. Great place.

Los Duenos del sabor (peruvian)- Waitress spoke little english. I pointed to a soup dish being eaten by 4 locals at the table behind me (not on the menu), and also ordered the Arroz chaufa de pollo (chicken fried rice peruvian style). The soup turned out to be a beef noodle soup, loaded with bits of meat, onion, garlic, in a really good broth. It was served with white rice and a mix of vegetables and what i thought might be tripe in a yellow sauce. I asked the waitress and the best i could figure thru sign language was some kind of (pork) skin? Tasty, but i'm not a huge fan of limp, tripey-like meat. Dumped the rice in the remaining broth to finish. The fried rice dish was average, nothing great to report, but it was served with an orange pepper sauce that gave it some heat and good flavor.

Cafe 360- Peanut Butter gelato. Good, but too stuffed from the peruvian to really enjoy it.

Didnt get chosen for trial, so that's it. Might have tried one of the local italians or Metropolitan cafe if i went another day or so.

Mar 25, 2008
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Don Chuchos in Ocean Township

I was here twice recently, and the food was great. Tacos were excellent. I also had a spicy seafood stew filled with clams, mussels, shrimp, lobster, etc. The broth was so good, i took it home even though all the seafood was gone. My wife had salmon-pineapple fajitas (a special), which were also very good (even tho it may sound like an odd combination). Guac and chorizo-cheese dip for chips were solid. They also have a kids menu, and the price ranges from free to 4.99 (kids spin a wheel after dinner to get their price). This place is definitely worth a shot, prices overall are pretty reasonable.

Dec 22, 2007
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Piccola Italia - Summer Menu

Not sure when it happened, but Piccola Italia changed its menu. If you haven't been recently, GO! The Insalata con Pomodoro alla Burrata di Puglia (House Made Fresh Ricotta Burrata, Marinated White Bean Salad, Arugula, Marinated Tomatoes, Grilled Crostini, Balsamic Glaze) was OUTSTANDING. I've never had Burrata cheese before (http://www.thewinenews.com/octnov06/cuisine.asp), but what a great surprise. The cheese is essentially a fresh buffalo mozzarella with a softer, slightly oozy inside. In this dish the cheese is smeared over a huge hunk of thick, grilled tuscan bread, which in turn tops a delicious arugula and plum tomato salad with white canellinis. The trip was worth it for this dish alone.

Also notable was the fresh herbed gnocci - Gnocchi di Erbe con Fiori di Zucca
Hand Made Herb Gnocchi, Ricotta and Fresh Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Flowers, Tomato Coulis, Zucchini Puree (so light and flavorful!). I've never had a dish of gnocci and still had room for more. The only disappointment was the missing zucchini flowers (apparently the chef's shipment was sub-par). They were replaced by a light eggplant rollatini (don't think of your typical pizza joint type mess), a solid substitute.

There was also a pasta special - Homemade perciatelli with lump crab, roasted zucchini, chanterelles, spring onions, and corn freshly sliced off the cob. The dish seemed to celebrate all thats great of summer- I thought the combination a bit odd when I heard it, but it really worked.

The dessert menu also changed a bit, and I would highly recommend the molten brownie with dulce de leche ice cream and johnnie walker black chocolate sauce. I'm not typically a dessert eater, but my wife had to try this- when I saw it, I had to pile on. It was fantastic.

This place is probably my top pick in monmouth county. I've never had a bad meal here, the service is attentive, you can feel comfortable dressed up or down. There is a reasonable priced wine list with a wide range of selections. If you've never been, make sure give it a shot this summer! Link with menus:

http://www.piccolaitalianj.com/index....

Jun 26, 2007
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Piccola Italia in Ocean, NJ.

My wife and I went last night and were blown away by how good it was. We over-ordered (the portions were quite large) and got the following:
0) Bread, olives, bruscetta, butternut squash soup amuse bouche
1) Butternut squash, mushroom, and goat cheese torte
2) Polenta with tomato, spicy sausage, cheese, and toasted garlic
3) Sweet potato soup with shredded pork and pumpkin seed oil
4) Goat cheese salad
5) Seared scallops with mashed potato and some kind of reduction sauce
6) Rigatoni with sausage, shrimp, broccoli rabe, tomato
7) Biscotti and gelato

Everything was excellent, and we had plenty left over to take home. Definitely one of the best restaurants in the area- don't miss out!

Nov 22, 2006
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Good lobster dinner in Monmouth County?

Harry's in Sea Bright has an excellent baked stuffed lobster. It's stuffed with a mix of grated cheese and croissant bread crumbs!

Nov 08, 2006
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Gaetano's Red Bank

Oops - forgot one dish. We also tried the beef braciole, which was pull-apart tender. The meat itself was really tasty, and the wine-reduction sauce was good (though I thought it could have used a little bit more for dipping the meat in the center of the roll). It was served over green pea risotto which was a touch overcooked and somewhat bland. Again, more sauce would have masked the lack of flavor.

Oct 01, 2006
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Gaetano's Red Bank

I went to Gaetano's last night based on some recs on this site. We had a 7:00 reservation for 4 and were not seated until after 8:00. I do realize that running a restaurant reservation book can be a tricky thing, you need to maximize your tables and need to account for possible cancelled reservations, but an hour wait is ridiculous. There were at least 4 other parties that were in the same boat- 7:00 reservation, and still waiting outside at 8:00. Clientele was definitely frustrated, and I overheard numerous complaints. We got a mild apology when seated, and nothing was offered to make amends (cheap bottle of wine, complementary dessert, whatever. It would have been an appropriate gesture in my opinion).

Anyway, on to the food. I do have to say it was pretty good. Crusty bread was brought to the table warm and served with extra virgin olive oil. The grilled calamari appetizer was about 10 baby squid cones, tender as could be, served in a spicy broth with roasted peppers. Fresh mozz and green tomato salad was solid. The eggplant rollatini was sliced thin and was a good combination of cheese and sauce. Particularly good were the artichoke hearts stuffed with breadcrumb and chopped lobster, shrimp, and crab. It was served in a garlic cream sauce that made for good bread dunking.

Entrees were 3 seafood pastas, 2 spicy, one with shrimp and scungilli, the other with a little more variety. Linguine with clams looked good (looked like more than a dozen to me), though i did not taste it. Pasta was cooked al dente which is always a plus. My wife had a baby greens salad, which was good, not outstanding, and the grilled asparagus which was excellent- thin spears with just a bit of crunch served in a balsamic sauce with melted fontina. \

We had biscotti for dessert, which were just ok. They were soft, not the hard crunchy kind good for dipping in your espresso.

I would want to go back for the chow, but that wait situation really made me angry, and I just might cut off my nose to spite my face. Has anyone else had a similar experience with reservations here or was it just an off night?

Oct 01, 2006
amv in Mid-Atlantic

Peacock in Long Branch?

I saw a post regarding this Indian restaurant, but I'm not able to find any info on it anywhere. Is it still open? Is it good? There's really not much Indian in the shore area part of monmouth.

Sep 30, 2006
amv in Mid-Atlantic