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May 17, 2005 02:45 PM

Bayshore area of Monmouth County - anything good?

  • b

Hi all, just moved to the area, and my wife and I can't seem to find anything very good at all. I know Red Bank is happening, but we were looking for something a little more laid back. Any type of food or style of restaurant recomendation would be read whole-heartedly! Thanks all!

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  1. Welcome to the Bayshore!

    By laid-back you mean casual dress and moderate price?

    My favorite place right near the Bayshore is Navesink Fishery, on Rt 36, (732) 291-8017
    I recommend going on a week night. Weekends are crowded. It's a family-owned place. Fish market up front, dinaing room in the back. Service is slow. Order plain classic dishes like broiled or fried fish. The creative sauces and rubs are not so good. Crab-corn bisque is very good. Good manhattan clam chowder.

    I like Memphis Pig-out in Atlantic Highlands. This is not transcendant chow, but it's decent ribs and pulled pork. They have a nice salad bar. They have a mid-week movie ticket deal with the theater across the street. Fun, cute, casual little place.

    In Rumson, try What's Your Beef.

    Also, Far East Taste in Eatontown. Looks like a typical Chinese take-out, but the owner is creative and passionate about flavors. Tell Richard it's ou first visit and ask for advice on ordering.

    In Red Bank, my favorite is Gaetanos. Expect to wait for a table. I also like Down to Earth - vegan food, really nice fresh salads. For non-vegan, I like the hot dogs at Windmill.

    Interested to hear what others think... What else is there??

    7 Replies
    1. re: Val Ann C

      Nice list, Val, as always, although I must quibble with Gaetano’s. I have friends who like it very much (and I trust their taste), but my mate and I had a perfectly lousy meal (two apps, same entrée) there a couple of weeks ago and will never risk another. Damn.

      A friend has recommended Piero’s on Hwy 36 in Union Beach, but I can’t give it a personal rec. Casual red sauce Italian.

      In Rumson, I also like Barnacle Bill’s at the foot of First Street, good seafood and really good burgers and as laid back as you can get.

      We have enjoyed both Rice and Orleans in Highlands, although quite different experiences. Orleans is more expensive, very good food, live music, but with some service issues. Rice is fusion-y, pretty darned good, nice bar.

      Basil T’s in Red Bank, near the bridge, can be expensive for what it is, but we have liked their panini, pastas and pizza (sorry to alliterate).

      Charley’s Ocean Grill on Ocean Avenue in North Long Branch has resurfaced after some downhill years, with good fish, great soft shell crabs (just now), and decent burgers. Getting out of the Bayshore Area here. While I am traveling in that direction, very casual Oaxacan, very, very good, can be found at Acapulquenos on Broadway in Long Branch.

      Hope you have great luck.

      1. re: Deb Van D

        Now that you mention it... I have not been happy with every entree I've ordered at Gaetanos. I love the beef bracciolle. And the lamb osso bucco (they will substitute the side of pasta with jullienned vegetables). The cannolis are good. I have also had entrees I find just so-so. The brick-oven pizza is just decent. But overall, it's my preferred place in Red Bank -- for the sum of its parts, and not being too expensive.

        Someone I trust recently recommended Piero's. I think they have live music some evenings.

        Thanks for your list. I especially want to try Acapulquenos. Any dishes that you recommend?


        1. re: Val Ann C

          Hi, Val,

          We both love the chicken tostadas at Acapulquenos and seem to order them again and again. I have really enjoyed a combination plate of fish filet with octopus and shrimp in chipotle sauce. The fish was so fresh tasting and sweet. There is another dish called Shrimp and Octopus in Love that I have been meaning to try--I'm a sucker for sucker meat.

          One night the food was quite salty and while it didn't spoil the meal it was noticeable. And the last time we went there (at about 7:30 on a Saturday night) there was only one other table occupied. I hope this is not a sign that they may not survive. I like these folks a lot.

          We, too, had the brick oven pizza at Gaetano's on an earlier visit and thought it was okay, and that it boded well for a return visit. But, no. My partner had the cannellini bean soup and struggled to find it adequate. I had octopus (see?) salad, virtually tasteless, the octopus rubbery and ice cold. We both had Chicken Scarpariello, really a lousy rendition. The sausage was tasty, but the chicken was tough and chalky, just cooked to death, and the pappardelle was thick, grainy-textured and seemed water-soaked, as if it had been badly held over. It was pretty expensive, too, for what it was.

          If I have to be held up at these prices, we think that we have done better at Buona Sera. It is not inexpensive but the portions are huge and the food is quite good. I wish they would serve half the amount and charge likewise. You sort of have to be in the mood for the vibe, though.

          And not that anyone has asked, but I wouldn’t go to McLoone’s if a gun were pointed at my head.

          1. re: Deb Van D

            Thanks for all of the great suggestions, I loved the Memphis Pig-Out!!!

          2. re: Val Ann C

            The chicken in green sauce is also outstanding at Acapulquenos.

        2. re: Val Ann C

          About Acapulquenos- my husband and I went and we were not impressed. I had the chicken tostadas and while fresh, I thought they were nothing special. Before we found the restaurant, we mistakenly went to another place down the street- towards the water- called La Sierra Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant. The place is a little rough but we thought the food was great and much more interesting than Acapulquenos. My husband, as always, ordered a chicken burrito. I usually find burritos boring but it had a great smoky flavor and some interesting cheeses- I kept asking for bites. The first time we went I had delicious tacos- goat, carne asada and carnitas/pork- that came with pickled peppers and onion on the side. The green sauce for chips was fresh and really good. The second time I got the poblano mole. Another table had ordered a whole fried red snapper that I coveted. I will definitely go back and would be interested to hear if anyone else likes this place

          1. re: Val Ann C

            Navesink Fishery is THE BEST seafood at the most reasonable prices ... one of my all time favorites!! Blackened Grilled Fish is Great combo of Tuna, Salmon and Swordfish.

          2. Indigo moon is good (French)

            Hofbrau Haus is pricey but worth it.

            Concur with Navesink Fishery, disagree with Memphis Pig out. Memphis portion sizes are probably right for dietary guidelines but not the place to go if you're really hungry. If your not that hungry Memphis is okay if you want the movie ticket deal. Prefer Big Eds BBQ but that is over near Matawan.

            Bahrs vs McLoones... I like McLoones better.

            Pieros is great.