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Matawan Restaurants?

Looking for a halfway point to meet another couple for dinner. Only places I've heard of are Buttonwood Manor and Poet's Inn. Any reviews on these two places....or any other suggestions? Liquor or BYO...just good food. Thanks!

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  1. We haven't been to either restaurant in ages and ages. Buttonwood Manor's food: Yuck! As for Poet's Inn, the food was just o.k. At that time, the cuisine was basic, no-frills American. However, about a year or two ago, they changed their signage to indicate they had turned themselves into a steakhouse. Even though we live close by, that would not be an enticement for us to go there again.

    I recommend that you meet your friends at The Pine Tavern, which has very good food and pleasant atmospherics. It's in Old Bridge, not far from the Matawan border (on Route 34, which is where Buttonwood is located).


    1. I agree with RGR about Buttonwood Manor. (Think 1970's menu..YUCK! I do not htink that menu has changed in years! That is why it is senior citizen galore!)

      I have never dined at Poet's Inn, but my sister went to a bridal shower there and she said it was not good at all. She said she would never actually pay for a meal there.

      If you like Mexican food, there is a great place on Main Street in Matawan. www.abysrestaurant.com
      It is BYOB. It is really pretty good. Matawan is a hard town to find something. If I think of anything else, I will post.

      I know I have been hoping to try Drew's Bayshore Bistro in Keyport. RGR has highly recommended this place.

      1. I second the recommendation for Drew's Bayshore Bistro. We went once and look forward to returning. Really good food. The Dining room is charming, though a bit small. The nice thing about Keyport is that you can stroll along Front St and the waterfront after you eat. Keyport is a u-shaped cove and has lovely sunsets.
        You'll need reservations. Drew's web site: http://bayshorebistro.com/menu.html

        1 Reply
        1. re: val ann c

          I should have thought of suggesting Drew's.

          The good news is that Drew has expanded into the space next door. He has removed the tables in the entry way, so altogether, he now has 50 seats. More room to enjoy his delicious food! :-)

          We've been there quite a few times (I guess you could call us "regulars") and everything -- and I do mean *everything* -- we've had has been first rate.

          We always go mid-week, after 8 p.m., and have never had a problem getting a table. (Reservations are generally only needed on weekends.) In fact, we were just there this past Thursday. We've spent a lot of time talking with Drew, who is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

        2. I like the Mulberry St. Foccacaria on Rt. 34 in Matawan. It's a byo and has really good Italian food but it's not that cozy inside. I think it was an old gas station. I also agree with the other posters that Drew's Bayshore Bistro in Keyport would be an excellent choice.

          1 Reply
          1. re: debbie173nj

            You may be right about Mulberry St.'s space having been a gas station at some point. However, the previous occupant was Peter's Fishery, which was there for many years before moving into their current location diagonally across the road.

          2. I completely agree with RGR about the Buttonwood, Poet's Inn & Pine Tavern. We go to the Pine Tavern at least every other week because it is so close to home. The food & service is always excellent & they have blues bands on Friday & Saturday night. If you do go, I'd suggest you make a reservation.

            1. What about the restaurant that is located inside an old church off Main St. Is that any good?

              6 Replies
              1. re: HillJ

                That would be Bart's. It's been ages since we've eaten there. Very interesting interior, to be sure. I recall the food (it was mostly Italian) being just o.k. Of course, since it was years ago, that could have changed for the better (or worse).


                1. re: RGR

                  Thanks RGR, I was drawing a blank.
                  Only time we've dined there was when it was called The Church on Main St. it was Italian then. Appreciate the link!

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Hey, HillJ, Yes, of course, I remember it when it was The Church. We also ate there a couple of times.

                    If you decide to try Bart's, I hope you will post about your experience.

                    1. re: RGR

                      Hello RGR and HillJ. I do hope HillJ you post as RGR has asked. I have never tried the place only because, this may sound silly, but since it looks like a Church, I feel like I am back in grade school and that a nun will come up to my table and grab my glass of wine away from me! (Silly, I know.)

                      I suppose if it did'nt look like a Church or if someone wrote a fantastic review about the place, maybe then I would venture in.

                      I have had the Mexican at Aby's restaurant, though. It was pretty good. I do prefer El Meson over Aby's.

                      1. re: Angelina

                        Will do re: Barts
                        Any thoughts on the Matawan Fishery at the corner of 34 & Main...or the Italian restaurant behind Friendly's off Rt. 34? I didn't realize Matawan had so many spots until this thread.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          The correct name is Peter's Fishery. We've been there many times. It's one of those places where we go occasionally for exactly the same dishes. We start with their very good Manhattan clam chowder. Then, my husand has the "Mediterranean Morsels" (seafood) over linguini, and I have fried shrimp with fries. Portions are extremely generous, and I always have enough shrimp and fries left over for lunch the next day. Service is generally pretty efficient. The interior had been decor deficient, but a few years ago, they completely re-did everything, and it now has quite pleasant and comfortable diner-style ambiance. Definitely family-friendly. Costs: inexpensive to the low end of moderate.

                          Note: Peter's Fishery opened many years ago in the space diagonally across the road and was owned and operated by a Greek family. Very low budget, i.e., paper plates and plastic utensils. After about two years, they sold to the current owners, who improved things by using real plates and proper silverware. They remained in that location until they acquired the current property and built the building from scratch.

              2. I like a lot of things about West Lake Chinese
                near there on 34 too. Get the casserole dishes,
                the fish specials, and the salt and pepper pork