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Jun 7, 2007 11:35 AM

Point Pleasant~recs

o.k. I have officially given up on Belmar. So please tell me your pics in P.P.

All cuisines are fine. Thank you all!

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  1. Well there's Surf Taco which we know you now like (there's also one in Belmar). For seafood, I tend to go to Red's and Spike's. RGR recently favorably reported on Thompson's Fish & Chips. There was also a report (on this board?) of a new BBQ place about to open from one of the former chefs of the Southern House (which served pretty good 'cue). These are all pretty casual places. I can't speak from experience regarding anything more upscale (except for Europa South which I don't like), but reports of the more upscale places tend to be mixed.

    19 Replies
    1. re: jsfein

      Muuuuahhhh. (That's a kiss :) )

      yum yum...Surf Taco ..ha ha! Thanks for remembering I like it! I have to try Red's. I always hear about it, but never go. I will try.

      1. re: jsfein

        Has Foy's Bay Pointe Prime reopened? That may be another option.

        1. re: bgut1

          What about the Shrimp Box, any good? I went there many years ago and it was "ok" nothing great.

          1. re: nyebaby37

            the shrimp box probably has the same tired menu it had when you went years ago. we gave it up several years ago and at that time it was still one of those places that charged $1.00 extra for bleu cheese dressing!
            try the ark in pt. pleasant - no view, but good fish

            1. re: shoregirl

              any additional thoughts on the Ark? The place has been around forever. their website suggests that they deal only in fresh fish (not frozen). i've never been all that impressed with the place, but maybe i ordered wrong.

              worth another visit?

        2. re: jsfein

          The new BBQ place is called Hungry Hog - Rt 88 - saw a posting on these boards the other day

          1. re: tuxedo

            I finally made it to the Hog on Saturday for lunch. First things first. While the portions are huge, the prices are pretty high. My cost for a full rack sampler (half st. louis and half dry rub) 2 sides (coleslaw and baked beans) and an soda was $28 excluding tip. While I recognize that ribs are expensive at other establishments, that is quite a lot to pay for dinner let alone lunch. They need a couple of lower cost alternative items. Now onto the food. Very very good. My rack sampler was incredible two huge half slabs hanging over the plate with two nice side dishes of baked beans and coleslaw and a corn bread muffin. While the St. Louis style was good (especially with the bottle of what seemed to be southern house bbq sauce on the table) but the dry rub was euphoric. The rub was almost cramelized on the ribs (think bruleed) providing a kiss of sweetness at every bite. No bbq sauce dare touch those ribs. I could only finish half the meal and brought the rest home for my wife and kids to try (which they loved). Price aside, this place is a keeper. Too bad its not closer to home. I no longer miss my beloved Southern House. :)

            1. re: bgut1

              Thanks for the report. I am moving from Wall to Madison in three weeks. Gotta try this place before I go.

              1. re: bgut1

                Thanks for the report. I miss Southern House so very much, that I am willing to pay big bucks to have my memory come to life!! Do they have the onion loaf?
                Can't wait to try this place...will go early!

                1. re: tuxedo

                  Tuxedo - Enjoy. I don't recall whether they have the onion loaf. Do understand however that this and the Southern House are two completely different types of restaurants. The Hog is more of a counter operation then sit down establishment. I think the only thing they have in common are the BBQ sauce, the cook, the ribs (better here I think) and table service.

                  1. re: bgut1

                    But, it is the same in the things I need it to be - the sauce, the cook and the ribs! Thanks.

                    1. re: tuxedo

                      I agree. Enough for me too. Just wanted to make sure what your priorities where.

            2. re: jsfein

              Red's has great lobster salad sandwiches. I think it's a little pricey but it is good quality fresh seafood.

              The lobster shanty is my favorite. it's recently renovated and they did a great job. It's nice if you get a window seat at night. good lobster bisque- all their dinners are good imo. and they have flaming desserts made tableside which is fun- watch your eyebrows though.

              i've been to the shrimp box, the wharfside and they haven't wowed me. not sure if rockefella's is still open but they had good food. also europa south and spano's are good. denise foy used to have a place on arnold but i think it closed.

              1. re: natpep13

                Heres my picks...Good ones Reds,Spikes,Spano's In my opinion Europa South is horrible and the shrimp box is no where need the quality of Reds or Spikes

                1. re: timmy

                  You mentioned Spano's The one in town has great dishes and some very disapointing ones ..Their Red sauce is weak ..You really have to know the menue ..OH yes, they put anchovie in there garlic and oil dishes !! Look out ..

                2. re: natpep13

                  where is the lobster shanty now, is it on the water, and do u know if they have a license and/or website? thanks!

                  1. re: nyebaby37


                    LS is on the water. You have to drive to the one in point pleasant but you can boat to the one in toms river. I think the pp one has a nice atmosphere. not sure if the toms river one is renovated but it's been years since i've been to that one.

                    1. re: natpep13

                      There's also the Hightstown/Monroe location where, if you don't mind eating at 4:00, you can take advantage of the early bird specials.

                  2. re: natpep13

                    I was very disappointed the last time I ate at Red's and vowed never to return. The food was mediocre, service was fair at best / someone unattentive, and overpriced for their qualtiy and style of the food. It's really more or less somewhat of a tourist trap for those craving the "near the water" experience. As a local, I've learned that it pays to travel inland just a little bit for much better food.

                3. Captain Ed's on Arnold Avenue has great food...Ed's crabcakes with remoulade are to DIE for! Nice, casual atmosphere...just get there early. BYO :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MartiniQueen

                    At a recent visit to Captain Ed's the food was fair. Best to stick with the special of the day. I was in the mood for a decent classic fish fry which has become strangely enough, difficult to find in the Point Pleasant area. The meal was rather humdrum and very very average. and the fish that was served was definitely the frozen variety, served with somewhat anemic fries. Overall, somewhat lackluster and the service was the same as well. Best to stick to the daily special dish. Some folk admire the "stoned" entrees, which seemed a bit labor intensive for me. I just wasn't up for the dinner that needed my cooking assistance. It's a gimmick that many might gravitate to, but it's nust not for me. Also, for an off-summer-season visit, the service was somewhat rushed and inattentive. It wasn't a BAD dinner, but as a local, I certainly would not rush back by any means. There are other places that do way better with the food and service.

                  2. We just had a second lunch today at Stewart's Fish 'n' Chips. Still delicious! My review is here:

                    When we took a stroll around PP last time, we noticed a Spanish restaurant, Europa South, on the corner of 35 & Arnold. Has anyone tried it?

                    Note: I found this ancient "NJ Monthly" on-line.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: RGR

                      I forgot about Capt. Ed's the steak on the stone is also a great meal

                      1. re: timmy

                        LOVE the steak on the stone...they also make excellent broiled scallops.

                      2. re: RGR

                        We had dinner there a few months ago...fabulous sangria and excellent food.

                        1. re: MartiniQueen

                          We had another blah dinner at the Squan Tavern (in Msquan) last night. I love the well-scrubbed old-timey atmosphere, but the food is almost always disappointing. Unfortunately I discovered that the chef is clueless when it comes to pesto, which I was told is made in-house. I ordered a dish of whole-wheat penne with pesto, no toasted pine nuts and shrimp. After placing my order, the waitress came back to tell me that there are pine nuts in the pesto itself, which cannot be removed from the dish. Good, at least the expediter was awake at the wheel. So what I get is a bowl of semolina farfalle (whatever, I'm too hungry at this point to send it back) in a slushy basil broth with hacked chunks of pine nuts. The pesto was under-processed. The pine nuts looked like the baby teeth that I remove from under my kids' pillows when I play tooth fairy, and the basil looked like the consistency of spinach in creamed spinach--like green fish food. Still, it could taste good, right? I mean, it's house-made! WRONG. The only flavor that I could discern in the sauce was institutional chicken base. Also, the shrimp were old and overcooked. They had that skanky jeddy-at-low-tide smell. At least the pasta was a pleasant texture and our waitress was adorable. I was starving so I doused the dish with Parmasean and devoured the whole thing.

                          My wife ordered chicken picatta which was perfectly edible but would only be deemed delicious by the most pedestrian of palates. The sauce was gloppy, as if thickened with cornstarch, and there was just a dearth of capers and no caper flavor. Piping hot and plentiful portion were the best qualities of this entree.

                          That said, the Budweiser is always ice cold, you always run into someone you know there, the young staff is fun to watch, the kitchen is open till midnight and it's five minutes from home. I'll be back (even if it drives me crazy that the staff and management actually think they serve "really good" food).

                          1. re: soigne

                            I grew up in Manasquan and never cared for the place. We would just go there in the old days for a few cheap drinks before heading to the Headliner. An establishment that has been around as long as that one has, should rethink the menu and do better.

                            1. re: soigne

                              I will take out pizzas from the Squan Tavern, but will only dine there for an emergency late late dinner. All of my dinner time experieces there have been disasterous and I would never subject my friends or family to the chaos there. The reward was average food amidst the chaos, often wrong orders and bad service. That's not for me. Their pizza however, often pleases—takeout for that is the trick.

                              1. re: soigne

                                My dining experiences (other than very late dining or eating at the bar) we subjected to VERY long waits to get a table and/or be served. There always seemed to be some sort of chaos attached to the dining experience. The food quality was ok, but who need the chaos?

                          2. The original comment has been removed
                            1. Sorry you've given up on Belmar. Have you tried either Vivas or Casa Solare there? For PP area, I think Shipwreck Grill is the tops for great fish.

                              20 Replies
                              1. re: bnemes3343

                                Go down to Seaside Park and go to Atlantic Bar and Grill..... Excellent food

                                1. re: timmy

                                  I agree with timmy. AB&G is a very good restaurant.

                                2. re: bnemes3343

                                  I have always liked Shipwreck, until last Saturday night that is. We had an unusually long wait (1/2 hour). Three of us had the pasta with mustard and petite lobster tails. No one liked it, it was innundated with mustard. Two had the grouper on the menu with I think horseradish sauce and it was just not up to par. Something was really off that night. I think it will be some time before we return.

                                  1. re: Barbarella

                                    Well, given how much I like Shipwreck Grill, that is distressing to hear. On the wait - did you have a reservation? Without one, I would expect at least a 30 min wait. If you waited despite a reservation... As for the food, I hope it was just an off night. I have been in a few months, but will be going soon and provide a review.

                                    1. re: bnemes3343

                                      Yes we did have a reservation. Would not even attempt to go without.Yes let me know how your night goes--

                                    2. re: Barbarella

                                      Went last night. Here's my review;

                                      In the interest of full disclosure, Shipwreck Grill in Point Pleasant has been one of my favorite restaurants for a couple of years now, especially for fish, so this is definitely not a first-time or completely unbiased review. On the other hand, our last dining experience was a few nights ago at Nicholas, so our standards were still slightly elevated. But a fellow poster (barbarella) had an unpleasant experience at SWG recently and we went back last night hoping we wouldn’t suffer the same fate. Barbarella’s first problem was that they waited 30 minutes for a table despite having a reservation (this was a Saturday night). We showed up at 6:30 on a Tuesday for our reservation, so clearly we weren’t going to push the envelope. We were seated right away (the dining room and bar were fairly busy, maybe 2/3). I might expect to wait a bit on a busy weekend, but 30 minutes seems excessive.

                                      For starters my wife had the Lobster Bisque and I had the Tuna Sushi Tempura with Japanese Dipping Sauce. I was hoping she would go for the soup special, a Wild Mushroom Soup, but at least the LB gave us a point of reference. We’ve had really great and really not so great. This was somewhere in the middle. It did have some lobster flavor (and little pieces of lobster floating on the top), and my wife found it ‘ok’. I thought it had a slightly off, almost burnt flavor. Certainly not bad enough to preclude a return visit, just not something we would order there again. The Tuna app was exactly as I remember from the first time I had it (ok, I wasn’t going to be THAT adventurous) – wonderful. Raw tuna in sushi rice with a tempura coating served in a nice presentation with some soy/sesame dipping sauce and a little wasabi mayo. Very good.

                                      On to the mains. My wife was set to order the Butter Poached Lobster with Leeks and a Creamy Grain Mustard Sauce over Fettuccini. It sounded pretty appealing to me too. But, this was the dish that three out of four diners in Barbarella’s party had ordered and universally felt was overwhelmed by the mustard (I don’t know if they’d had it before and liked it but, if not, it was certainly a daring move to put so many eggs in one basket. My wife and I generally hedge our bet and never order the same thing, so in the event one is a loser, we can at least share one good dish.) Anyway, I mentioned this to her so she switched to one of the “Shore Favorites” – Stuffed Lemon Sole with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat. I find it a bit humorous that the ‘shore’ favorites, are relegated to the lower right corner of the 2nd page of the menu, so as not to be confused with their more upscale ‘Shipwreck’ favorites. The ‘shore’ favorites are, for sure, dishes that you would find in any fish place (scampi, broiled sole), as opposed to a ‘pistachio encrusted grouper with….). I guess they want to make sure you understand that they are clearly an upscale place but that they still cater to those whose tastes are more pedestrian. I had the Dry Jumbo Sea Scallops with Lobster Ravioli and Black American Caviar in a Beurre Blanc Sauce (definitely not a ‘shore’ favorite).

                                      My wife’s dish was very good. The sole was cooked nicely (moist and with good flavor). The crab stuffing was also good and did not overwhelm the dish. It came with a side of garlic mashed potatoes that were divine. So creamy, buttery, garlicky, well seasoned. The veggies included a pearl onion and the whole thing served on a nice white plate, in what I can only guess was their homage to the coming winter. Presentation aside, the dish was very good and she was quite happy with it.

                                      The scallops and ravioli’s were also very good. Scallops had a nice sear top and bottom and were soft and sweet, yet not undercooked, inside. The ravioli’s were also up to snuff, nice al dente pasta and a tasty filling. The butter sauce added nice flavor without drowning everything.

                                      Finally on to dessert. We don’t always do dessert and probably wouldn’t have last night, but they actually had biegnets on the menu and, having been to New Orleans recently, it seemed like the time to take one for the team. Specifically the dish was Cinnamon Biegnets dusted with Coconut Sugar served with Godiva liquor Hot Chocoloate. Now, biegnets are probably not my favorite dessert anyway. I think much of the appeal of Café Du Monde is the atmosphere, the crowds, the surly waitstaff, the fact that you are in New Orleans, as much as anything really great about the sugary biegnets. But the dish at SG was actually so funny that we had a good laugh. The biegnets were like, well sort of similar to… Ok, there were EXACTLY like Cinnamon Munchkins at DD. When I bit into one I fully expected RR to come out from the kitchen saying ‘Yum’. Anyway, as munchkins go, these were pretty good. And the Godiva Hot Chocolate was actually delicious. The presentation, that included some dabs of whipped cream, a few fresh strawberries and a dusting of Coconut Sugar was very eye appealing. So the $8 price was worth it and we both had a good laugh.

                                      By the way, and certainly not an afterthought, the service was absolutely fine, friendly, timely; no issues. So on whole, it was really good to find that SWG is alive and well (at least for us) and will remain on our short list.

                                    3. re: bnemes3343

                                      I agree Vivas & Casa Solar are th only 2 places worth dining in Belmar( the tuna ceviche at Casa Solar is out of this world! -very spicy though) ...oh wait I do love the pizza at Don's Pizza King....

                                      1. re: stack_c

                                        I would agree that they are the only two 'upscale' (well, sort of) places to dine in Belmar that are worth the money (Brandls has wonderful food, but the prices are just plain silly and not worth it, whereas Matisse just has bad food regardless of price).

                                        However, there is some really great 'bar' food in Belmar too. If you ever try the crab and shrimp bisque at 507 main, you will be hooked forever. This is one of the best soups I have ever had. Actually, most everything at 507 is very good and dirt cheap (their brick oven pizzas, that they gladly 'customize' for you are terrific). Boathouse (same owners, different menu) is also good, but always seems too crowed for me.

                                        And yes, Don's is great. My wife and I could probably live off of their chicken cheesesteaks.

                                      2. re: bnemes3343

                                        In PP, I really enjoyed Latitude 40. A small BYO with good food.

                                        1. re: princessgirl

                                          Never tried it, menu looks boring, the one time we were considering it the chef came outside and tried to convince us to come in, too zelous, also why would the chef be outside at 6:45 in the summer trying to get people to come in? Scary. Used to love the place years back when it was a very busy seafood house, can't remember the name:(

                                            1. re: shorebilly

                                              shorebilly - I too have hesitated to dine there having peeked in and glanced at that "not too exciting menu." That being said, My interest has been piqued by the occasional good review on this board as well as the 3 star review from Cody Kendall
                                              No offense to princessgril, but I am waiting for a review from someone I know and trust (i.e RGR, seal, val ann c, etc.) before I venture in. Good Luck.

                                              1. re: bgut1

                                                Heh! Forget waiting for me, bgut. For one thing, Pt. Pleasant is not a usual dining destination for us. And secondly, I'd not be inclined to try a place with a boring menu and where the chef has to stand outside to encourange people to eat there.

                                                  1. re: bgut1

                                                    I take the kids to pp a lot, but since it is usually just the kids and me we don't eat high end. Our go to spots are more the fish and chips/bbq/ice cream variety and I have posted about them before.

                                                    I think if the wife and I were to drive down that way for dinner we would just head to Shipwreck.

                                                1. re: bgut1

                                                  Have been to Latitude 40 many times. I guess the last time was maybe about a year ago. The food had been really good up to that point. I think we had a party of 7. I was so suprised with the quality and taste of the food that I actually asked our waitress if they had a new chef. I emailed the resto and explained to them our concerns and was told to let him know when we were coming back and he would take care of us, But we did not go back. Cannot remember what we all had but was not of the same top quality. One thing though, I had called the resto many times before coming in to check on the day's specials. Each time the owner/chef has spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with me explaining in detail what went into each special and how it would be presented that evening. I found that to be a nice touch and real concern for the food he was preparing. Perhaps he is just a friendly guy and was making conversation with potential customers? My daughter has been there recently and liked it alot. We will try once more in the future and before the Bennies arrive. .

                                                  1. re: Barbarella

                                                    Thanks Barb - Now you are a poster I trust. :)

                                                2. re: shorebilly

                                                  We tried Latitude 40 this weekend. Overall it was decent --- some high points and some low.

                                                  Went on Sunday evening. Almost decide not to go in since it was empty/quiet (2-3 other tables aside from us) but we had a bottle of wine and wanted to try something different and were already there. Seating was a bit strange. As I said the place was empty but they stuck us in the back towards the kitchen at a big table (just the 2 of us). The seating along the wall (booth attached to the wall) was MUCH higher than the regular chairs so my fiance felt like she was in a high chair looking down at me. Not the end of the world, but it was a little weird.

                                                  Started with the bread and they asked if we wanted rosemary-infused oil with it (of course). Since they brought out a bottle of it and poured some onto our plates then took it way I figured it would be some tasty stuff, but it was pretty unmemorable (as was the bread). We both were also given a piece of bruschetta as an amuse-bouce. Fairly standard, maybe a little acidic for my taste..

                                                  For the apps I had a handful of raspberry point oysters. Came out as expected w/ some lemon and cocktail sauce on ice (the server said the chef recommends just to use a some lemon on them since the sauce could overpower the delicate flavor but it was there in case you wanted it). I thought they were very good. We also had an order of alaskan king crab legs. Served out of the shell (though I did get a pretty big piece of cartilage -- not sure if that is supposed to be removed with the shell) in a citrus butter sauce. Also quite tasty though there was a lot of butter.

                                                  Being the high-roller that I am, I decided to "upgrade" my salad and get the Baby Spinach w/ Applewood Smoked Bacon,Gorgonzola Cheese and a Walnut Pear Vinaigrette. Aside from also being a tiny bit acidic (I admit that I don't like super strong acid tastes most of the time) it was delicious. Pear was cooked nice and you can't go wrong with bacon and Gorgonzola. Didn't taste the house salad, but from as far as I can tell she thought it was perfectly fine.

                                                  Her dinner was the Pan Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with a Summer Tomato, Caper, Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette. I had a few bites and it was solid. She seemed to enjoy it. I got the Tempura Tuna with Honey Ginger Soy Demi-Glace and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes (which I was told was their specialty). I received a massive portion (nice presentation as well on both plates). Beautifully cooked (ordered rare). Super crispy tempura on the outside and succulent on the inside. Only problem was that by the time I got to the second half of it it had cooked through a bit more than I would have liked (I imagine they had to use a very high heat to prepare it the way they do so there is a lot of carryover heat -- eat fast if you like it rare!). The potatoes had a nice kick to them, but they were a little on the dry side. The honey glaze was very sweet, but still had a nice flavor. Came with some mini asparagus that were great (kind of light on the portion size for them though).

                                                  I was stuffed by the time I was done so no dessert. I think the total (before tip) was just under $90. I wouldn't rush back, but I wouldn't object to it either. Lack of ambiance was what we liked least (well... maybe the bread too!), but in their defense it was a Sunday night in the winter.

                                                  Looks like they remodeled some since it was reddington's. The fireplace that was on the east wall is gone (if my memory serves correct). There is a wine store directly next store in case you underestimate.


                                                3. re: princessgirl

                                                  I have heard some good about Latitude 40 .What good and not so good ?