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rehearsal dinner site in Monmouth County, New Jersey

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I am seeking a rehearsal dinner location for about 20 people in Monmouth County, especially around Red Bank/Middletown New Jersey area. We are willing to travel if the price is right. We do not want to go over $25 per person as weddings are expensive enough.

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  1. Not gonna get anything too fancy for $25 a head, especially if that includes booze. Try Rosinas in Shrewsbury maybe? Its more a pizza place with a restaurant attached. How about Casa Comida in Long Branch- it might be fun with the mexican theme. If you're adventurous you can try Siam Garden - Thai in Red Bank- wasn't too expensive.

    1. I had my rehearsal dinner in Red Bank at this Italian deli by the train station. Sorry, I can't remember the name but it's around the corner from the Little Kraut. $62.00 for choice of soup or 3 salads, choice of 3 entree's, passed H'ors dourves and dessert platters. BYOB. They have an attractive large banquet room in the back. They did a wonderful job for our 25 guests.

      1. Juanito's, Red Bank has a main dining room and an enclosed, air-conditioned porch if you enjoy Mexican food. We've been able to reserve the entire porch area for small parties by calling the Manager in advance.

        159 Monmouth Street
        Red Bank, NJ. 07704
        (732) 747-9118

        Parking on all sides of the resto, BYOB

        1. I think Far East Taste, on Route 35 North, in Eatontown, would be a good option. Chef Richard Wang does delicious versions of Chinese, Thai and Malaysian cuisines. Though the space is pretty much decor-deficient, the food is the star, and you should be able to meet your budget. Tel.: 732-389-9866

          Gaetano's, in Red Bank, is a pleasant trattoria-style Italian restaurant. Good thin-crust pizzas and pastas. Prices for those are within your budget.

          http://www.gaetanosredbank.com

          18 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            RGR - Do you know whether Mr. Wang is still around? In the half dozen or more times I've been there over the past year, I've never actually seen him. Thanks.

            1. re: bgut1

              We haven't been to Far East Taste since last summer when we dropped in for lunch one day but decided against eating there because it was beastly hot outside and there was scant, if any, air conditioning inside. Just a lonely floor fan pushing around warm air.

              1. re: bgut1

                He was probably fishing. He supplies the fish for the specials. Yum.

                1. re: bgut1

                  Richard is gone - has been for a while now (maybe a year?). The new owners will tell you he's "on vacation" but the guy's retired and I hear he's got a nice new place in Florida. He deserves it!

                  Far East Taste isn't quite the same place without his character, but the food is still excellent and the new owners are nice and friendly.

                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Hey joon - Thanks for confirming what I had thought. Is it still advisable to order the special whole fish dish in his absence? Thanks again.

                    1. re: bgut1

                      Forget the fish! *The* question is, "Do the new owners have a.c.?"

                      1. re: RGR

                        Come on RGR. You can tough it out. :)

                        1. re: bgut1

                          Decor deficiencies or so-so service would not be enough to drive me away from great cuisine. But no a.c. -- I'm outta there! lol

                          Coincidentally, we were in NYC today and decided to have dinner at Urena, one of our favorites. When we arrived, the place seemed unusually warm. Alex's wife, Martine, informed us that their a.c. had broken down. As much as I adore Alex's food, I thanked her for letting us know and said we'd come back another time.

                          1. re: RGR

                            RGR - You made the right call. No a/c is also a deal breaker for me. BTW, what did people do before a/c? Sometimes I think we are too spoiled. :)

                            1. re: bgut1

                              I think the word is "sweat!" lol

                              We actually love to dine al fresco on warm summer evenings. But a stuffy, un-air-conditioned restaurant -- blech!

                              1. re: RGR

                                RGR - Its funny you brought up al fresco dining. I rarely if ever sit outside. Reasons include: too sunny, too hot, bugs, wind, street noise, car exhaust, etc. I never saw the charm of it. I also never understood the draw of waterside dining as the quality of the food is usually horrible (the atlantic bar and grill in Seaside Park is the sole exception).

                                1. re: bgut1

                                  Well, bgut1, you've got to do it in the right places and under the proper circumstance. No surprise, I'm sure, that I'm very particular about his.

                                  First off, we generally do it at restaurants with back garden settings. Ergo, no street noise, no pedestrians passing by, and definitely no vehicle exhaust fumes. Usually, these gardens are shaded in some fashion. And the ones we like are charming and romantic.

                                  I'm sometimes willing to eat on an outdoor patio on the street, but it depends entirely on exactly how the patio is situated -- set back from the street, on a side or corner, protected overhead, landscaped.

                                  We rarely eat at tables just set out on the sidewalk.

                                  For whatever reason, I've never found bugs to be a problem. Maybe the places we go to use insect spray?

                                  Of course, if it's beastly hot, I go for interior a.c. But on a lovely summer's day or evening, al fresco dining is wonderful.

                                  1. re: RGR

                                    RGR - You make it sound like I'm missing something here. Care to identify these outdoor gems?

                                    1. re: bgut1

                                      I figured I'd get your curiosity up! lol

                                      Not many in NJ. We've always liked the patio at El Meson. But I'm sure you are familiar with that. They've done a really nice job this year decorating with lots of plants and colorful flowers.

                                      The Garden Room at The Frog and the Peach isn't a garden. It's a semi-enclosed space -- more like a patio -- which they convert to entirely closed during the cold weather months. We only sit out there during warm weather. Attractive decor with lots of greenery. We usually go for the prix-fixe lunch.

                                      Actually, we do most of our al fresco dining in NYC. There are a few places we like, but since this is a NJ board, I'll just mention our favorite. That would be the oh, so charming and romantic garden at Gascogne, a small French bistro on 8th Av., b/t 17th & 18th Sts. It also helps that the food just happens to be delicious!

                                      http://www.gascognenyc.com

                                      1. re: RGR

                                        Thanks RGR - I had a feeling you were going to bring up NYC. I thought I heard of most of the restaurants in the City but Gascogne is a new one for me. It looks divine. I will definitely add it to my list. Oh and BTW I have dined in the garden room at the Peach. Not really outdoors but nice anyway. :)

                                        1. re: bgut1

                                          Gascogne has been around for at least 20 years.

                                          1. re: RGR

                                            Wow! I love what you guys did with the thread. ;)

                                            I went to Far East Taste a few nights ago - honestly I don't remember ever thinking it was too hot in there. The food was great as usual - actually even better than usual! Wasn't too hot, and the crispy fish is still excellent. I don't know what kind of sauce you guys are used to having it with, but Richard used to give us the runny fish sauce with chiles and cilantro - the new people give you some weird gloppy sauce and I always have to ask for the other sauce. No big deal though.

                                            Going back to sweating while eating, you haven't lived until you've had some really spicy Korean food on a hot summer day while deleriously sweating bullets. Am I sweating cuz of the heat? Or is it cuz my mouth is burning? Or both?

                                            There's an old Korean/Chinese saying that goes something like..."Beat heat with heat". You should try it some time. ;)

                                            1. re: RGR

                                              Funny right? How could I miss it?

                2. In case erin is still looking for a rehearsal dinner location 3 years later, my wife threw a birthday lunch party at Windansea in the Highlands a couple of years ago for about $20/person. They may be able to work within a $25/person budget for dinner.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jsfein

                    Oooh... Good catch, jsfein! I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't notice the date of the o.p.

                    1. re: RGR

                      I think the name of th Italian Deli is Raciopi's.

                      1. re: RGR

                        I almost replied with all these options as well. Three years later! how did kcuscaden find the op?

                        1. re: aacharya

                          Perhaps kcuscaden put "Monmouth County" in the Search box, and that long-ago thread showed up?