This area seems to have a number of restaurants (many of them new) that I want to try.
I've been to:
Inlet Cafe (great recent meal)
Windansea (like the place, but find the food average)
Clam Hut (haven't been in years before change in ownership)
Bobo's 33 (one of my most enjoyable meals this summer)
Memphis Pigout (also haven't been in years)
Indigo Moon (gets good reviews, but my one meal was so-so)
I'm interested in:
Bay Ave Trattoria (former owners of Joe & Maggies)
Julia's (I think MLB player John Valentin is an owner)
Copper Canyon (?)
Any thoughts on the places I haven't been too yet. Are there other *gems* I haven't mentioned?
Here is my post from egullet:
Just got back from Market in the Middle in Asbury and I left completely satisfied. This place rocks. While the space and service was in a word "unconventional" the food was fantastic. We arrived a few minutes late for our 8:30 reservation to find the place packed. The evening didn't start out to well having to wait about 25min at the bar for our table to open up. However, once seated, the night got better in a hurry. The menu is very interesting in its composition. A mixture of Asian and American items. We started with an order of edamame and steamed vegetable gyoza, the "amazing" Mediterranean platter (with homemade hummus, tabouleh, pita chips, and olives), the tuna entree and the baby back ribs. Everything was spot on and I mean perfect. Trust me, it wasn't the wine talking even though we had a great Fess Parker Riesling. Look - even the edamame - a most common dish was exemplary. The soybeans were fresh, warm, and coated with a fantastic sea salt and lime juice. The ribs were perfectly charred with a great barbecue sauce (tasted very similar to the old southern house in pt. pleasant). We decided to trust our waitress who recommended the kamikaze desert which was a chocolate torte in a strawberry sauce with vanilla ice cream delivered flambéed. A perfect meal all around and best yet, the meal with wine, 3 apps, entrees and a shared dessert was under a $100 for the two of us. I can't recommend this place enough. Go people.
The parking can be a little tricky in the summer when things are busier, but there is a municipal lot parallel to First Avenue on the south side. It's actually harder to park during the day, but the evenings are pretty good. And in decent weather there is plenty of parking in the commuter ferry lot near the harbor after about 5:00. It's not a big town, so an easy enough walk.
We ate at Julia’s once, rather awhile ago, and we liked it very much. Yes, John Valentin is an owner. We tried to go again in May (without a reservation) and were told it would be a 20 minute wait. We waited for a bit, but it became clear that things were somehow out of control. Parties WITH reservations were marching out, so I suspect that the kitchen had had a problem and become terribly backed up. We will go back, but not until the high season has passed. Since this was only May, it didn't bode well for the summer.
We nosed into Gianna’s (tiny, but it looks promising, another time) and were able to get into Copper Canyon with a modest wait.
Copper Canyon is a favorite of mine, but it is not everybody’s thing. The dining room is pretty, but it can be pretty noisy. If you find a voice annoying, an annoying voice in this room will make you gouge your eyes out. But I’ve had some really terrific food there, one being a grilled shrimp and avocado salad that really speaks my language. We have enjoyed the chorizo quesadillas and the pork “tacos” (that are really enchiladas). I haven’t had the pasilla and hickory-encrusted strip steak, but I’ve got my eye on it—someone was eating it at the bar and it looked wonderful.
We have had three or four meals at Indigo Moon and have found them either good or very, very good. We are rather overdo for a visit.
I don’t know if I would call it a “gem,” but gem-ish: we had a very good experience at the rather unprepossessing Navesink Fishery (Rte 36 and Valley Drive, aka the A&P shopping center) in Navesink. It seems an unpromising storefront, but if you walk through the fish market in front, there is a pleasant, attractive dining room in the back with a really very good, nicely prepared selection of fish dishes. Byo.
I am interested in Bay Avenue Trattoria, too, although I was not much a fan of Joe & Maggie’s in LB. There is a promising new panini place, too, in Fair Haven called Tavolo Presto. And I sure would like to find a decent bucket of steamers.
re: Deb Van D
Hey Deb Van D,
Although I think the woman who runs the front of Copper Canyon is a cold wrethed witch, who lacks any true hospitalable spirit-I love Copper Canyon for the Panko crusted Jumbo lump crab and the Pasilla coated NY strip! The strip is so tender and juicy and the coating compliments the natural beef flavor so well-Oops I am actively salivating. Hah . Also, I concurr about the dining room being loud-definately make reservations and fo early or during the week!
P.S Try BOBO on the corner-the ambience, food, drink and owner are pure delight!
"I think the woman who runs the front of Copper Canyon is a cold wretched witch, who lacks any true hospitalable spirit"
Well, that made me laugh. I find her brisk and efficient but can understand how that could translate to cold and wretched. It's kind of a wicked job, though, and she is much better at it than I would be.
We've been meaning to try Bobo and maybe your nudge will get us there.
Lmao. I log into chowhound to find some inspiration
for dinner tonight and the first post I see leads me
to make reservations at Bobo's 33 ;o) Tyvm j.
As for my take on the area, I found Memphis Pig Out to
be decent, but overrated as a bbq joint. If I am on rt
36 and crave que I'd rather head over to Keyport and go
to Bad Bob's.
We have had four meals at Indigo Moon, two were very good
and two were more average, but overall, I still like the
place and will eat there again.
I found Copper Canyon to be fair to middling the one time
we ate there, and since we have very good mexican food right
in our own backyard ...
Windandsea is another overhyped shore spot that serves the
usual food with a nice atmosphere. I prefer the semi-jamaican
and much more casual Sugar Shack right down Bay Ave.
In the same vein as Copper Canyon, I like Hofbrauhaus ( in
fact I like it a lot more than Copper Canyon ) but Fritzy's
is just as good and a lot closer to home.
I still think the best meal in the entire area there is to
be had at Doris & Ed's. Over the years we have been there
many times and have yet to have anything but a good to great
meal. I enjoy both the old favorites and the new tastes and
I am glad they didn't just do away with those excellent fried
shrimp, etc, when they "updated".