I went to the AVENUE in Long Branch..review :(
Well, I finally went here Thursday night with a girlfrind of mine for dinner. We arrived around 7 pm and the place really was not busy, just tables out side were crowded. The hostess stold us she had to see if there were any tables available?? (the place was empty inside.) We told her we did not want to sit outside, but she insisted that they were very busy. (still, tables were empty inside) After about 10 minutes of this moron looking around at empty tables, she sat us. We were dissappointed at this and then about 3 different waiters came up to us and said they would be right with us. OK...WHEN was someone at least going to take our cocktail order? Finally, a waitress appeared and took the cocktail order. She must have gotten lost because it took her quite some time to come back to us.
After a horrible beginning, we both thought, it can't get much worse than this? Well, it did. We had our cocktails at the table and decided after 45 minutes, we would just sit at the bar and order our food. (We were out for dinner, not a Broadway play) So we went and sat at the bar. Well, the bartender was SO OFFENDED...we do not know why...he kept repeating, "You can't just move from a table to a bar stool. That is not how it works!" (RUDE, RUDE, RUDE)
After this, we decided just to order appetizers. First of all the place is WAY over priced! As, I beleive, SEAL said in one of her posts, about the lobster brioche, well ours was on a bricohe, but for (I beleive) $22.00 as an appetizer? It was sooo small, and maybe 3 - 4 bites. We also ordered oysters....get this..$ 5.50 per oyster! Then we also shared an order of the Gulf Shrimp..this was about $ 17 or $ 18. We received a HUGE plate with 2 shrimp!!!
Then, the bar started to bustle, and there is a nightclub upstairs. The bar scene looked was 40 -60 year old men and women..looking for 21 year olds. :) This did not bother us as far as how wxpensive and little portions the place gives you.
I am only posting this so whoever reads it, I hope you know what you are getting into before you go. The bartender even told us the restaurant is trying to be something like a South Beach. (oh please)
I would not even go back for a cocktail. (Why would I pay $ 15.00 for a martini in Long Branch, NJ??? I MUST be CRAZY! It was'nt Mahattan...thats for sure!)
Just beware..thanks for reading my super LONG post!
There is just no excuse for not having top notch
service in a restaurant at this price level. Until
I hear otherwise from a number of sources that I
trust Avenue will not get another dime of my money.
As an example, in las vegas last week we dined at
several of the finest places and our needs and desires
always came first. If Avenue wants to survive, they had
best adopt that same policy.
Please check the southwest board sometime tomorrow for
my trip report about vegas - some truly outstanding
Seal, I agree with you 150% and have taken Avenue off my go-to list. Sadly, however, I fear it will probably survive and, maybe even thrive, because (a) it received 3-1/2 stars in the "Star-Ledger" with no mention of service issues, (b) too many diners don't care enough about fine service or just ignore problems, and (c) the club upstairs will bring people in. Also, it is located at the shore, and during the summer, restaurants of all stripes there tend to be packed.
The cold weather months may tell a different story. At that point, I think a restaurant like Avenue needs to become a "destination" restaurant. If food forums like this one start alerting people to the kinds of problems you and Angelina have encountered, and Avenue doesn't shape up, they might face a disastrous decline in their patronage. Only time will tell.
Glad to hear that your meals in Las Vegas were excellent, i.e., met your expectations re: quality of cuisine and service. Look forward to reading your reports.
I posted on the earlier thread about the poor service. I called a couple of days later to complain about the service and another issue (they were nasty when we tried to pay in part with a gift card which has been purchased as a present).
When we called, the management could not have been nastier or more dismissive. I told them that they were going to lose customers with this type of service and attitude and the person answering the phone sighed and didn't say anything. Eventually, I hung up. I am never going back there.
Sorry to hear the BIG MAN, I thought at firt it was me, but the place really is awful. Service is obviously something they do not look into. My sister went there just last night, and I told her to post here and share her horrrible experience with all of us. She went to management also, and they looked at her as if she she be "honored to dine in the place."
I cannot tell you how many people dislike this place. As RGR said, let's see in the winter months. Maybe the prices will be more realistic and service will MATTER!
I also wish food critics would read these posts and see for themselves, and write it in a paper!
Avenue is reviewed in the NJ Section of tomorrow's (7/30) "NY Times." Rated "Very Good."
As I understand it, Karla Cook's "territory" is supposed to be the southern half of NJ. I've seen comments that she rarely, if ever, reviews white tablecloth/upscale restaurants, and that she sticks mainly to ethnic spots. So, the fact that Corcoran, whose territory is supposed to be northern NJ, is doing this review appears to bear that out.
Corcoran's criticisms: occasional confusion at the reception desk (the term he uses is "scrum") and "pounding" noise which makes conversation difficult. He doesn't say whether the noise results from the vast architecture of the room, the club upstairs, or both. More importantly, not one word about the service, which Angelina and others felt was a huge problem.
Despite the fact that Corcoran liked most of the food he tried, I don't think a rating of "Very Good" is very good for a restaurant of this caliber. I'll be willing to bet that the owners are not particularly happy about it. Referring back to my comment upthread about a possible fall off of patronage after the summer season, I don't think this review will help Avenue to become a "destination" restaurant during the cold winter months.
We went to Pier Village Saturday to go listen to some music at McLoone's. We stopped at Sirena's and Avenue & both had a 1-2 hour wait. We ended up having a gourmet chili dog & onion rings & root beer at Stewart's. That wasn't so great either. Next time we go, we're going to make a reservation at Sirena's. The reviews of Avenue we've read here & elsewhere have really turned us off. This was our first visit to Pier Village & there were way too many bennies for me, so we're going to wait until after Labor Day to go back.