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Trinity in Keyport

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I've been reading about this place coming and it looks like it is finally open:

TRINITY RESTAURANT
Address: 84 Broad St., Keyport
Phone: (732) 888-1998
Cuisine: Mix of Asian, Latin American and Mediterranean.
Setting: Three levels seat 120 people inside a converted church.
Appetizers: $9 to $14.
Entrees: $18 to $24.
Alcohol: Two full bars, an indoor and outdoor lounge, and table service.
Hours: 11 a.m. to closing, seven days a week.

It is in a converted church.....I couldn't find a menu link yet....

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  1. I just read about the new place in the APP today. I hope Trinity does well.

    Wanted to add there is free parking to the side of the restaurant which could be a hot commodity busy nights given the proximity to Drew's Bistro & the corner 'pub' but hopefully not a big issue. However, Keyport's recently published summer events calendar will more than likely affect parking.

    7 Replies
    1. re: bobd019

      I've also been twice. Enjoyed the shredded flank steak very much the first visit but was disappointed in the chef's paella my 2nd visit. I'm still going to give this place time and I was told by friends from that area the chef was re-working the menu.

      1. re: HillJ

        I was on my way to try drew's last night ( Haloween ) but it was closed.happened by chance to see this place.Beautifully lit from the outside with perfectly manicured gardens it looked like a very inviting church !It was only the fact that the doors were open that I peeked in and saw diners.
        For me the interior,with what seemed like a stage overlooking the dining area wasn't too appealing.The dimly lit space semed cavernous and hollow with only four diners seated.I glanced at the Menu which should have been posted outside IMO,and it looked very appealing though it looked as though it could be heavy on the wallet.It was due to this that I decided to check the reviews on here before I return ? Sadly not too much to read.I wonder if it will survive?
        I thought it amusing / disturbing that the brightest, biggest thriving looking buildings in this rejuvenated block are a tatoo parlor and Dunkin Donuts.C'est la Vie.

        1. re: xny556cip

          Ah the charm of Keyport IS its eclectic mix.

          As you know, only a few doors up, Drew's hasn't suffered for location. Trinity needs to improve but has the potential to be one of only a handful of "cuisine" offerings in a town better known for catching fish than preparing them. ('Cept Keyport Fishery-which totally rocks.)

          But, don't count Keyport out YET. Folks are hitting the town for finer dining-a long overdue happening.

          1. re: xny556cip

            http://www.jerseymenus.com/menus.php?...

            looks like menu not updated on this site-summer plates?

            1. re: vtt7

              The Trinity menu has been updated on JerseyMenus.com.

              http://www.jerseymenus.com/menus.php?...

              1. re: jerseymenus

                thanks for the info on the updated menu.

                1. re: jerseymenus

                  Big changes in the Trinity menu. I'm going back next weekend, we'll see :)

        2. This menu looks pretty good. Is it as good as it looks?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Angelina

            Appears to be an older menu. Some dishes remain/some changed.

          2. I am taking my family, including kids and grandparents this Thursday night and will make a full report afterwards.

            The menu looks good and I am looking forward to it.

            1. Fairly detailed review from Thursday night, 11/8/07.

              The restaurant is certainly both beautiful and comfortable. The old converted church has two floors of seating, and a lounge area downstairs, and looks like it can accomodate over 100 diners. There is a long, well stocked bar on the main floor and also a smaller bar in the lounge area. My overall impression of the space was very high.

              On to the food ;o)

              To start we were given a chinese soup spoon loaded with a citrus-sy fish ceviche. I loved it as did my wife, but the real shocker was that my usually fish shy son not only ate it, but asked for more.

              We were six for dinner with two children and the waiter was quick to placate my young daughter's hunger and lack of patience by bringing her some bread and butter right away. With her happily munching on what I later found to be some really excellent breadsticks and rolls, we ordered drinks. My cane rum mojito was good and our waiter was again very helpful in offering a taste of his suggested Reisling for later on.

              My family (except for me) are not huge eaters so my wife and parents shared an asparagus soup and a caeser salad (called "brutus" salad on the menu) while I had the wild boar arepas to start. Simply put - get the arepas! That boar was as good as the pork I drive to Momofuku in NYC for. And the three small corn arepas and accompanying salsas were delicious as well. Easily the best thing I ate and as good a dish as any I have had in any restaurant.

              The asparagus soup was also very good, creamy, but not too heavy and full of fresh flavor. The brutus salad was the only mediocre starter and that was due to the overly tart and thin dressing. I prefer my caeser with a more traditional creamy dressing. My wife, who ordered the salad, found it perfectly fine and liked the big pieces of freshly shaved parmesean. She thinks I am too picky, but I know what I like.

              For mains we had (and I tasted and shared them all ;o) veal, filet mignon, rib eye, chicken, and short ribs. The mashed potatoes and steamed vegetable sides for the steaks were very good and a big hit with our 8-year-old mashed potato expert. All the meats were cooked as ordered and it was easy to tell that they use top qulaity meat.

              My short ribs came in a sweetish sauce with a side of forbidden rice and korean-style cabbage and veggies. Even though I usually prefer short ribs in a more savory style, I liked this dish very much as did all who tried it. But perhaps the best dish was the veal chop with a marsala/demi glace reduction and mushrooms. From the thick chop to the plate-scrapingly good sauce, this was terrific.

              The kids each ended with a good sized dish of gelato, graciously served to them downstairs in the lounge in front of the big screen tv. The adults were mostly full, as the mains were very generously sized (in fact, we have enough for a dinner or two left over), but we did share a "chocoholic" something. It had three different things on it. I remember the flourless cake disappearing far too quickly, and their dark chocolate gelato was very intense, but I forget the third thing on it.

              With our (very good - I am a big coffee snob) coffee we were given some really good cookies that tasted of nuts. I wish I had some of them this morning.

              The total bill for the six of us came to $330, so my thought is that a couple having drinks, a glass of wine, appetizers, mains and dessert will spend about $150. But my parents, having only a glass of wine and the mains would have spent less than $40 per person. And with the complimentary amuse, salad, and cookies still likely had leftovers from the huge mains to bring home.

              Me, I will be back soon and happily spend in the top end to enjoy more of the very interesting menu. In fact, I would be very interested in having a chowhound gathering here and seeing about a tasting menu.

              If there is any interest in that, don't post here, as per the board rules, email me at:

              pokerseal@verizon.net

              1. We had an amazing meal at Trinity on Friday night.

                The place is beautiful. Check out the lounge downstairs. Very cozy.

                We shared the Catalan Clam appetizer. Our server brought us bread (usually served with the salad course) to sop up the amazing sauce. The chorizo was of high quality and went perfectly with the sweet clams. A nice plain salad of fresh greens and red wine vinaigrette comes with each entree.

                Mr. fershore had the duo of spring lamb. He raved about it. I was allowed one taste of the merguez sausage which he dredged in the pistachio-mint pesto for me. Divine. I had the harissa-spiced local monk fish. The fish was cooked perfectly. (Our server told us that the chef has a way with fish.) I even loved the bean puree. I'm not a big fan of beans but I'm trying. I cleaned my plate. Both entrees combined an array of ingredients that came together perfectly.

                Our server convinced us to have the dark chocolate gelato and we were glad we did.

                We loved this place. We were concerned about how quiet it was for a Friday night.

                Here's a link: http://www.trinitykeyport.com/

                6 Replies
                1. re: fershore

                  We enjoy Trinity very much as well fershore...altho the dark sepia choice for the website photo evokes an eerie not at all inviting tone to the building. The owners did such a marvelous job of renovating the church...why not use COLOR and show the stunning refurbished interior??!!

                  Edited to add: The lamb and fish are both prepared well there. Not time I'm in, I'll speak up about the site.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    fershore - Thank you for the excellent review. Trinity is on my current "short list."
                    HillJ - I agree about the website. Another problem they have is that it's not easily found via Google or other search engines.

                    1. re: bgut1

                      Have to agreeHillJ.The paint by numbers website is nothing short of depressing,and the menu typeface better suited to west coast tattoo parlor. Having said that,the menu is one of the most interesting i've seen locally and now look forward to trying it,well balanced,priced right and inviting.In contrast I was just looking at a restaurant in Bath,England than I believe is housed in an old church that has managed to combine eclesiastical charm (?) with a bright modern feel to it that really works well IMO.If I can find it again i'll post a link.

                      1. re: xny556cip

                        You don't need to go as far as Bath, England (which, by the way, is a most interesting town) to find a church that has been converted into a restaurant. There is one in Matawan. It started out aptly named The Church and served Italian food. It was sold, the name was changed to Bartholomew's, and eventually to Bart's Modern Cuisine. Not sure I get the "modern" part because the menu is very old-style -- some might call it classic -- American Italian.

                        http://www.bartscuisine.com

                        1. re: RGR

                          Thanks RGR,I haven't been there but just had a look at the website gallery and it too suffers from the same promlems as Trinity IMO.Both places seem to continue to predominantly look like poorly illuminated churches with a few tables and chairs thrown in.Ambience / design plays an enormous role in the overall dining experience of restaurants I beleive.It's a bit like living in 20,000 sq ft on the tenth floor of an old textile mill,great when thoughtfully converted, divided and designed,but cold empty and industrial when not.The comment about Trinity and its seemingly emptiness on a Friday night only exemplifies my first impressions some time ago.The "Bones" of the structure are more than enough to offer some architectural details and interest,and IMO everything that can be, should be done to erase any connection to it's former use,hence my previous comments on the typeface and website.I mean no offence,merely an opinion that I hope is taken as constructive criticism.

                          1. re: xny556cip

                            Hey, xny556cip,

                            Sounds as though you may have some background in architectural design?

                            We did dine at both The Church and Bart's (when it was Bartholomew's), and you are absolutely correct that there was no escaping the fact of the location's prior usage. My guess is that the restaurant owners never *meant* for the design to obliterate it. Personally, I found it a bit discomforting, but in the end, it didn't matter because the food never measured up.

                            It just hit me that we've been to another restaurant that is located in a converted church, in Stratford, Canada. Again, aptly, it's called The Church Restaurant. We've been there a few times over the years. The space is beautiful, and I never for one minute felt uncomfortable sitting in it. I think it exemplifies your comment regarding the "Bones" of the structure and needing to erase its former usage. Best of all, the food is superb! Truly a fine dining experience. They also have a more casual, less expensive venue in the building called The Belfry. We've never tried it, so I've never seen it in person. You might want to take a look at the videos on the website.

                            http://www.churchrestaurant.com

                2. Believe it or not the green salad at Trinity is very good. Not a piece of iceberg lettuce to be found. Very tasty.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: FoodDoc

                    I don't mind spending good money on good food at all, but ...

                    Why quibble over complimentary amuse, salad, and cookies?

                    This reminds me that I must head back to Trinity soon :o)

                    1. re: seal

                      I think the amuse and mignardises -- tiny bites -- are in an entirely different category, complimentary though they all may be. The amuse, in particular, is often quite interesting.

                      As I said, I was just stating my view that no matter how good Trinity's green salad may be, to me, it's still boring and unnecessary. Obviously, there are others who feel differently. As the expression goes, "Chacun a son gout." :-)

                  2. note: the hours on the website are now listed as "Open Daily at 5PM" as of 04-08-2008

                    http://www.trinitykeyport.com/

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jrd303

                      forgive the error on site. 5pm tue-sat, 4 pm sun

                      1. re: chefMD

                        forgive my error AGAIN !!! 5pm WED - SAT

                    2. After sampling the beers at Harvest Moon in New Brunswick and stocking up on pork products from European Provisions in South River, my wife and I detoured into Keyport for dinner. A couple of minutes before 5, ChefMD opened the doors to Trinity and let us in. Very cool place.

                      First off, Trinity is Gin drinker friendly! Not only was there a nice selection of premium gins, but the bartender is a professional. He understood that vermouth is essential to a martini, didn't blink an eye when I asked for a dash of bitters, and swirled the shaker. Excellent!

                      We were alone in the restaurant and had the chance to speak with the Chef at length. In fact, he was kind enough to indulge us and prepared several dishes featuring a twice smoked bacon we brought in. Particularly worthy of mentioning was the haddock which the Chef wrapped with our bacon and cooked perfectly. I never really even looked at the menu, simply trusting the Chef to feed us what he felt like preparing.

                      All in all, the food was wonderful and we had a blast! Definitely a Chowhound worthy experience. Thanks!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: MGZ

                        I can't seem to get in to edit my post. I had hoped to correct the fish. We ate halibut not haddock.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          "He understood that vermouth is essential to a martini, didn't blink an eye when I asked for a dash of bitters, and swirled the shaker."

                          Shouldn't he have asked you?Isn't this basic standard.....in or out?

                          1. re: chefMD

                            It's almost easier to find a good chef than a good bartender. The art of the cocktail has been lost upon a generation of drink pourers weaned on drinks that are ungodly sweet and created to maximize alcohol intake while tasting like candy. A martini is a mixture of gin and vermouth, simple. If I wanted to drink pure gin, I would ask for it. If I wanted to drink vodka, I would ask for it.

                            I'll stop ranting, because at bottom, my point is this - the folks at Trinity do an excellent job across the board.

                          2. re: MGZ

                            I didn't know Trinity was BYOB -- bring your own bacon. :) Sounds like a good time.

                          3. Although I haven't been to Trinity when the dance floor is open, friends have been raving about the opportunity to enjoy great food, excellent wines and dancing!

                            1. I have it booked for tomorrow night. Hope I'm making a good choice. The only word of mouth has been on this board. We're going with another couple. That's 4 people to please.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Pink Pepper

                                Haven't been to Trinity yet (it's on my short list), but be not afraid of only hearing word of mouth from this board - they have NEVER steered me wrong! I have tried Drew's Bayshore Bistro, Nicholas and others based only on the recommendations of this board and haven't been disappointed yet. The folks of Chowhound know their food and are better sources of info than anyone in your neighborhood. (You know, those who think "cuisine" is the latest addition to the TGIF menu!

                                1. re: jlorz

                                  We went and had a great time. We loved the ambience of the place. It was quaint even though it wasn't small. Our server was a delight. The food was delicious! We had the poppers, spring rolls, crab cakes and the famous clams...and plenty of bread to dip into the big bowl of sauce. We had to make them take the bowl away...didn't want to fill up on that alone.
                                  I had the monk fish with a nice eggplant ratatouille-type on the side. The others had the gaucho steak, filet mignon with the bleu cheese, and the veal chop. Everything was perfectly done.
                                  Found a lot of other things we want to try for next time.
                                  Oh and the pear martini was the best!

                                  Now for the "but". This beautiful place was empty on a Saturday night. We sat upstairs with one other table. Once they left, we were up there alone. Downstairs, there was another table or two of diners. The bar area had the most activity.
                                  Our group decided it must be due to the fact that it's a church. Maybe people find it gimmicky. It doesn't have that welcoming look from the outside. I don't think too many people will just pop in casually from the street. I do wish him the best and I hope this place catches on, though. We will definitely be going back.

                                  1. re: Pink Pepper

                                    Pink, Dh & I couldn't agree more. Excellent food, only gets better and better. We enjoyed dinner & dancing at Trinity one night and remain hooked but we have a big BUT as well.

                                    http://trinitykeyport.com/
                                    Does this look like a scene out of the Wiz of Oz to you? A church location is a challenging choice and to create a menacing visual on the website only plays to that vibe. We say, interesting but curious choice. Nor does the visual equate w/the incredible menu.

                                    We'd like to see Trinity last but whoever handles their PR is doing them a disservice.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I have to agree with the assessment offered by Pink Pepper. My wife and I recently had dinner there with friends and we were pleased by the food. "Re-Constructed Veal Parmigiana" was imaginative: a thick juicy veal chop served with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar. Very tasty and fun. A grilled Flat Iron Steak was also well received as was Wild Alaska Salmon. The Hukilau Pot ( asian influenced seafood dish) was also a winner.
                                      Drinks were well made and the atmosphere was cool, but the place was very empty on a Saturday night last week. It seemed very odd and off-putting in such a large space. Add to that the fact that we had to wait more than 45 minutes between our appetizers and entrees in a nearly empty restaurant. Something strange is going on here.

                                      At 9:30, they turned on recorded Latin music and a handful of people began to dance in the first floor bar area. Again, it seemed like a weird thing to do, we hadn't finished our dinners. It seems like they are struggling to fill dinner seats and are trying to make up by pushing the place as a bar. Neither effort seems successful, they should focus on one or the other.

                                      As for service, the staff was uniformly warm and friendly, if a little unpolished. I hope that they can get their act together, the food is pretty good and I'd like to see another place succeed in Keyport.
                                      I'd love to hear other reactions.

                                      1. re: BernieMSY

                                        BernieMSY, I'm sorry to hear you found dinner & dancing weird. We found it charming.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          HillJ,
                                          Because of the peculiarities of the space, the dancing, in a fully lit church nave, led by two "instructors" leading 4 other people in time with music that was played through what was essentially a home stereo, seemed a bit off. The atmosphere didn't quite work for our party. I would suggest that they leave some music on during dinner service, so that it didn't seem as though diners were being sent a signal to finish up. Also, they shouldn't seat patrons upstairs unless they are expecting a larger crowd. It was eerily empty up there.

                                          As it was, the food was good and I'd like to see it succeed, but it almost seemd like the dinner service was an afterthought. Turning on music downstairs and leaving us essentially alone while a dance class was being conducted in the open nave beneath left us feeling that the place had cesed being a restaurant and was now a bar. They should find a better way of integrating the two.

                                          1. re: BernieMSY

                                            Point taken. When dh & I, along w/another couple, were there we danced for about 20 mins after dinner. We didn't think about the upstairs customers but everyone was encouraged to join in if they wanted to.

                              2. We were presented with the chance to have dinner with my brother and his wife on Sunday night. Being that the two of them don't get out very often (read - 2 month old baby), I insisted that we head to Trinity. My thought was that the overall experience to be found there was exactly what they needed. I was right.

                                Ingredients alone can make a great meal. Trinity's chef knows this and fills both the kitchen and the bar with excellent ingredients. Not just the obvious main ingredients, but little things - sea salts and oils for example. Coupled with the fact that ChefMD can really cook, eating at Trinity is a treat.

                                We started with cocktails and a desire to pace our meal slowly. The drinks were wonderful - made with fresh juices and featuring the great selection of liquors in the bar. With a martini in one hand and a menu in the other, I watched as our guests took in the scene around them.

                                Trinity is a cool place to sit in and absorb. It's very well lit and decorated. The iron work on the railings is an amazing touch. We, however, had not come to stare or pray, we had come to eat.

                                To start, we ordered squash blossom poppers, heirloom tomato salad, and carpaccio. The “poppers” were a brilliant parody of the ubiquitous bar snack - stuffed with goat cheese and roasted vegetables and fried perfectly crisp. The tomatoes were dressed with oil, basil, salt, etc. as to be expected, fresh and delicious. The fresh mozzarella was formed in small pieces, similar in size to miniature marshmallows, that basically melted on the tongue. The carpaccio was similarly excellent – a well-balanced array of simple flavors.

                                In my experience, everything that comes up the stairs from the kitchen at Trinity tastes great. I fear boring anyone still reading this post by continuing with too much detail. Simply put, our entrees were fantastic. Of particular note was my Trinity burger - wagyu beef cooked to that thin line between rare and medium rare, topped with rich, decadent fois gras and sweet carmelized onions. It was served not only with a homemade ketchup, but also with a homemade pickle. Good God it was all so good!

                                After dinner, we savoured a selection of cheeses and a glass of port. During which time our conversation often returned to the food we had just eaten. The word "wow" was used often. That conversation would seem to continue all night - during the drive home, sitting outside upon return.

                                All told, we spent over three hours at Trinity. Somehow, the place sort of coddles its guests. Some may have their reasons that they have not been to the restaurant, but I assure you, those people have not tried the food. ChefMD's attention to ingredients (he makes his own pickles!) and ability to employ them so well makes Trinity a special place.

                                Thanks, Mike.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: MGZ

                                  My wife and I tried Trinity for the first time this evening and the food was wonderful. We started with the foie gras and an heirloom tomato salad which were both excellent. As entrees we had the Gaucho steak and a salmon dish. The steak was of excellent quality, perfectly cooked, seasoned with a chimchurri sauce and potatoes mixed with chorizo and spices that were fantastic. The salmon was done over a watermelon and vegetable medley and was very tasty. For dessert we had a "special" of peaches and rum soaked raisins over phyllo dough described as a peach pizza which was out of this world.

                                  The only negative for us was the server who was clumsy, awkward and inept. She was not knowledgable about the menu, didn't know how anything was prepared and just seemed lost. Soup was served without a spoon. Dessert without forks. Steak without a steak knife etc.

                                  We will certainly return as the food was excellent and the ambience pleasant.

                                2. I hope they do well too. Although I really did not care for the overall experience I had at this restaurant, Keyport needs a bunch of nice places to choose from to keep the traffic flowing. I do love Drew's however. His food is so ambitious.

                                  1. OK. I make no pretense about it. I preach the gospel of the Trinity. We had yet another ungodly great meal last night. Food, drink, friends we make along the way . . .

                                    I am, however, not the only soul to see the light. It seems the Star Ledger agrees. Congratulations, Trinity!

                                    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dinin...

                                    One standout I must mention - a plate of ingredients: marinated anchovy fillets, radishes, goat's milk butter, and two, distinct types of sea salt. You should have been at our table last night!

                                    Thanks, Michael for bringing a little Berkeley to the Bayshore!

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      What a well written review. Thank you for sharing in MGZ. My birthday is around the corner...

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        Happy Birthday, Hillj.

                                        Trinity is undoubtedly our special occasion restaurant. Our celebration there this past Sunday night was magnificent. This, even though I elected to have my least favorite protein (salmon) for my entree. The salmon is served with watermelon and cucumbers and the overall dish is a treat -- I ate every last bite. (Seriously, I pretty much can't stand salmon and I have never before in my life ordered it!)

                                        We have never tasted anything at Trinity that we didn't like. Our pefectly paced meal also included an outstanding roasted, yellow gaspacho, an other worldly crab cake, and a pork chop served with a barbecue sauce that my wife and I almost fought over.

                                        As an aside, I forwent my typical pre-dinner martini for a Johnny Gold rob roy. A terrific cocktail!

                                        Each time we have ventured to Trinity we have been greatly rewarded. We try new things. We learn new things. We meet new people. We enjoy ourselves immensely!

                                        Do yourself a favor. Dine at Trinity. Arrive early, sit back, and relax. You too will feel rewarded. Oh, and make sure you tip the bartender well.

                                        1. re: MGZ

                                          Thanks MGZ, you've sold me! I love salmon and the entire appetizer section of the menu. J & I might have to do a sampler !

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            Is Trinity open on a Tuesday night?

                                            1. re: mbw1024

                                              No they aren't mbw. Trinity is open Wed-Sunday.
                                              Hope you make it there!

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                thank you. their website says "open daily" on the first page but elsewhere it looked like W-Sunday so I wanted to be sure. Was hoping to go for our anniv. this year which is a Tuesday. we will get there so though. thanks.

                                                1. re: mbw1024

                                                  my apologies for website, many inaccuracies. having issues and hope to resolve them within a couple of weeks.

                                                  1. re: chefMD

                                                    I'm going to call tomorrow and make a reservation. We all really liked it there and are in the mood to go back. It's been awhile.

                                                    1. re: Pink Pepper

                                                      The new, Autumn menu looks outstanding!

                                                      http://trinitykeyport.com/menus/menu.pdf

                                    2. After reading the wonderful reviews on this board, my husband insisted that we try Trinity Friday night. I checked the menu on their website to make sure that there would be something that I would be comfortable eating---not too rich, very little oil, butter or cream, and probably fish, and there seemed to be a few good choices. Walking into Trinity was a visual treat! The church setting, wrought iron & burgundy drape everywhere, and the upstairs/downstairs action was lots of fun. Even though the space is roomy & open, we felt cozy & very comfortable--the dining chairs were even comfortable! I was a little taken back with the monogram on the menu, but when I read the food categories on the menu, I shook it off & got into the theme. Our server brought out bread, loaded with seeds & fennel---oh--there is nothing like good bread! Why can't I buy that in my local specialty store?? And, if anyone knows where, please post a reply. Anyway, my husband ordered the poppers appetizer--deep fried peppers stuffed with chicken & cheese. The thought of a greasy fried pepper turned my stomach, but it was his choice, not mine. When they came & he tasted them, he assured me that they were light & didn't even seem like they were fried. I tried a bite----delicious! Ethereal, if you can believe a popper could be ethereal! The salads, which were included, were a nice mix of lettuces. For our entree, my husband ordered a dish of shrimp, clams & monk fish in a spicy (not too spicy) light tomato sauce---delicious! Sometimes, in these one-bowl dish, flavors & seem to get lost & muddled, but each ingredient stood out on it's own, complemented by the others. Really good. I decided on the evening special-- a sautéed "red fish"(?)with garlic mashed, asparagus & a wonderful combination of capers, raisins & pistachios on the side. Who would have thought of that combo? Sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy and very very delicious. I think I was humming while I ate. And the menu states they use local & organic ingredients, and you really could taste the difference and see the attention to detail. We were really enjoying our relaxing dinner, and when our server brought out the dessert menu, I abandoned my plans for the not too rich, little butter/cream idea because there was a crème brulee on the menu, & after discovering how perfect the dinner had been, I knew I couldn't pass it up. Actually, that was the only teeny tiny thing that I could possibly criticize at Trinity. The caramelized crust on my dessert was so thin & delicious & not too sweet & perfect, that I wished it would have been made in a shallower, wider dish so I could have had more of that crust. Oh, and it came with a trinity of shortbread cookies---ya think they made them with any butter??? We left Trinity so relaxed & happy with plans to come back soon, eager to try the rest of the menu.

                                      1. I hosted a party at Trinity this past weekend that was just fantastic. Chef Michael d'Ennery made the planning for this party as effortless as possible and was accommodating in every respect. I really can't say enough good things about the experience. Here are some of the details:

                                        As many Central Jersey Hounds have already visited Trinity, I won't say much about the very attractive space other than to comment that it was perfect for my event. My party of 35+ people were seated in a long banquet table on one side of the second floor. The second floor is divided into two sides and although the space was not "private" (i.e., its own room), the party was totally contained to our area of the second floor and felt as if it was completely private. Although other diners occupied tables on the other side of the floor, we really did not notice or hear them.

                                        We started off with cheese plates that were generously filled with lots of interesting cheeses. I'm not a cheese guy, so I couldn't tell you what was on the plate - but it was all delicious. I know there were fruit and nut garnishes on the plate that were equally tasty. As this was a surprise party with my wife and I arriving after the other guests, Chef Michael was kind enough to make a separate cheese plate for the two of us to ensure that we had a chance to enjoy before our guests devoured the cheese before we arrived.

                                        I put myself in Chef Michael's hands for plates of family style appetizers and he did not disappoint. We started with catalan style clams with chorizo. The white wine sauce in which the clams were prepared was perfect for sopping up with the delicious rolls that were on the table. If not in the company of so many others, I would have asked for more rolls and devoured all of the delicious sauce. Also served were wild boar arepas that were as good as they sound. I must have eaten 4 of these myself. At this point, I had a few glasses of wine in me in a short period of time and am not certain as to the other appetizers, but I know they included shrimp (scampi?) and I think springrolls or poppers. I do know that everything that was served was consumed. Unfortunately for me, there were no leftovers.

                                        Appetizers were followed by a perfectly portioned salad with a red wine vinaigrette.

                                        Chef Michael generously surprised me when the waitstaff took our entree orders by adding two additional entrees to the list of options, including a veal porterhouse marsala (I believe the most expensive entree item on the menu) and a duck breast. The other entrees included filet mignon with bleu cheese walnut butter, pan roasted halibut, and roasted chicken. I had the filet which was fork tender. I didn't get to taste any of the other entrees but saw only emptied plates.

                                        As for dessert, the restaurant graciously permitted us to bring our own cake and provided a credit on the per person price for the meal (which included dessert). There was no charge for the waitstaff to plate and serve the cake. Speaking of the waitstaff, the main server turned out to be someone we knew from another restaurant and he (and the rest of the waitstaff) really took good care of us all evening.

                                        As a final touch, Chef Michael sent me home with an order of his short ribs for lunch the next day ... they were amazing.

                                        I can now say with first hand knowledge that the praise Trinity receives is well deserved. I can't wait to return to eat my way through more of the menu.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: jsfein

                                          I'm going here with a group this Saturday for my belated birthday celebration. Really looking forward to it,
                                          Question, one of my party is my Mom age 85. Is there any alternate route upstairs? How many stairs would you guess? I'm wondering if we shouldn't call and request first floor seating if possible.
                                          Your party sounds wonderful!
                                          Thanks for the report.

                                          1. re: mbw1024

                                            mbw -- the stairs to the second floor were an issue for one in my party who is handicapped with a walker. My guest assured me he could handle the stairs (about 8 then a landing and another 8) and had no problem. Also, there is a handicap entrance on the side of the building by the municipal lot (don't walk around to the front entrance). If its a concern, I would definitely call ahead and request a first floor table where there is ample seating. Happy birthday.

                                            1. re: jsfein

                                              thanks. I think I will call tomorrow!

                                              1. re: mbw1024

                                                my party of 7 went to Trinity last night and unfortunately I'd have to say the overall reviews were lukewarm. Our reservation was for 7pm and for a Saturday night the place was not busy. You could have easily walked in with no reservation without a problem. When that is the case I would think a restaurant would want to be firing on all cylinders to make sure the customers they do have are overwhelmed.

                                                We were seated right away but never given menus until our waitress approached us, which took several minutes. More than 5 I'd say. There were some diners on the first floor but I believe only one waitress. It wasn't enough.

                                                She took our drink orders and then brought us menus. Drinks also took a very long time which the server recogonized and apologized for. A pet peeve of ine is a server who takes and order and then comes to the table not knowing who gets what. Other than the diet coke for our one teen she didn't know who had what drink. Then she poured my cosmo in to my sister's Manhattan glass with a cherry. Not a big deal, we swtiched glasses and get some additional cherries. However, later when pouring from our shakers we still had the wrong drinks so my sister poured Cosmo in to her Manhattan cocktail! The server ended up bringing us 2 full new drinks which was fine. But a little hard to enjoy your cocktails when you keep getting the wrong thing!

                                                The rolls were excellent.

                                                Overall the food was well enjoyed by all but several things we tried to order, they were out of. Several of the wines by the glass were unavailable. I wanted a Sancerre which they were out of, others wanted a certain Cab, same thing.

                                                My group is not big on desserts so several ordered coffees and B&B which is on their menu. Server brought coffee only to say out of B&B. Also out of chocolate gelato. Dessert menu was underwhelming so to be out of gelato comes across as odd.

                                                I would try this place again but really they need to get their act together. The other instances made the overall experience disappointing on a Saturday night.

                                        2. I am so excited by the great reviews. My daughter has chosen Trinity to celebrate her high school graduation. I will post my review following our Wednesday evening dinner! Thanks for the recommendation!

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: shoremom

                                            My SO and I had dinner last night at Trinity. It was our first time and was a great experience from beginning to end...a perfect evening.

                                            We started with a cocktail at the bar...what a pleasure to find a professional bartender. Our drinks (a Stoli Elit martini and a Bombay Sapphire and tonic) were expertly prepared.

                                            We were seated up in the steeple (thanks, Danielle!) and started off with appetizers....I had the prime beef carpaccio and my SO had the pork empanada. Both were excellent.

                                            My main course was a special of Copper River salmon with a side of apricot and date couscous and a cheese-stuffed piquillo pepper....absolutely stellar. I'd love to see that pepper on the menu as an appetizer! :-) My SO had the root beer glazed pork sirloin accompanied by an unbelievable mac and cheese.

                                            We split a dessert....pineapple upside down cake with rum raisin compote, vanilla gelato, and mango sauce....heaven on a plate. I'm still thinking about it! :-)

                                            Christian, our server, was excellent....thorough knowledge of the menu and attentive without being intrusive.

                                            Chef Michael is a true artist....we were both totally impressed with the quality of the food, the creative menu, and flawless execution. We'll be returning again soon!

                                            1. re: MartiniQueen

                                              Also ate at Trinity last nite and had an equally enjoyable meal. Pork empanadas, shrimp cocktail and serrano ham small offerings, and a crab cake to start. Rib eye special and casino royale .. both excellent. Panna cotta to share. Loved the sea salt on the chocolate.

                                              1. re: MartiniQueen

                                                I think the Mrs. and I were at the bar when you came in.

                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                  We came in about 5:45...was that you and your wife seated on the left side of the bar? :-)

                                                  1. re: MartiniQueen

                                                    Yep - the super handsome middle aged guy in need of a haircut!

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      I remember you...had I known, we'd have come over to say hello. :-) I often wonder how many times we hounds have all been at a restaurant and not known that fellow hounds were there at the same time!

                                            2. It would appear the site is launched: www.trinitykeyport.com

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: websterwoman

                                                Launched?

                                                1. re: equal_Mark

                                                  Should I have said "the site is actually informative" now? Their old (?) site was pretty basic, at least this one is updated and provides information. Sorry about terminology.

                                              2. Based on the recommendations here I selected Trinity for dinner last night. I have been following the comments on this restaurant and wanted to try it for a long time. We were a party of four and had a reservation. There were about 7 other tables all on the first floor. There was one waiter and one bartender.

                                                We decided to start with several small offering for the table. When we inquired what chicharrones were, the waiter told us that they were anchovies which we opted not to order. I later found out that they are actually fried pork rinds.... We did have the Jersey Corn Fritters (excellent) and the Fresh French Fries with a Trio of dips (okay).

                                                For entrees we had the Fennel Dusted Halibut, Crab Cakes, Corn and Tomato Risotto, and the Hukaliu Pot. I tried them all and they were all very good. I especially enjoyed the Hukaliu Pot. The spicy shrimp broth was fabulous.

                                                The disappointment was the service. We were conversing and wanted a lesuirely paced meal, however, the waiter was overwhelmed. There were uncomfortable gaps in the service. Wine and water both went empty for long periods of time. No one checked to see if our meals were satisfactory until we were almost finished.

                                                I promised to take my husband to Trinity for our anniversary at the end of August when they have music. I am now debating if I will return or choose another restaurant. Overall, very good food with spotty and inexperienced service.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: dawnj

                                                  Wow - that is exactly the experience that my family and I had recently - I too, looked very forward to dinner at Trinity. First impressions - well the atmosphere was wonderful - relaxing and romantic. But... we were not so much as given a glass of water or a bread basket for at least 20 minutes. The waiter was unpolished and sort of harried. I unfortunately took his advice on what to order and was the only one in the party disappointed. Wine glasses were left empty as well as water glasses. The bartender left her post and was helping here and there but it did not even seem busy. I worked in the restaurant business for years and always give the benefit of the doubt - maybe there were tables that were not within our sight, etc. By the time the waiter came back to check on our table, everyone was mostly finished. I would say the food ranged from very good to stellar. Sadly, mine was not to my liking. The waiter brought back my dish, barely touched. They graciously removed my entree from the check and offered desserts. Very nice but not necessary. At this point it was late so we declined the dessert. I would definitely give Trinity another try since generally the food was excellent, the chef was gracious and the atmosphere was special. The service really put a damper on our overall experience.

                                                  1. re: shoremom

                                                    dawnj and shoremom - As you may know, the chef of Trinity is an active participant on this board and I sure he will take the constructive criticism back to the restaurant's management. Notwithstanding the service issues, I am happy to read however that you both generally enjoyed the food.

                                                    1. re: bgut1

                                                      I am disturbed to hear these experiences.....so I have put Trinity on hold for
                                                      6 months on my list as I have done with Daniel's until they get their acts together......managment really needs to step in and remedy these service & staff problems. Or sometimes management is the problem also. I hope they get it all together asap.

                                                      1. re: Tapas52

                                                        It's disappointing that you had a bad experience! Let me say that they are far and few at Trinity! I was there the other night to have a quick bite with friends. We each had a few drinks, and I had the Broad Street Baby Spinach Salad while my friend had the cheese plate. The salad had so many different flavors and textures in it. It was possibly the best salad I've ever had!! The bartending staff is so knowledgeable and provides great recommendations for drinks!!

                                                        I was also there about a month ago for the Gas House Gorillas, a band that plays there every few months. The place was PACKED!!! There were people dancing, drinking, and enjoying the music! Definitely a hit!!

                                                        For those who didn't have the best first experiences, I definitely suggest trying it again. It will be worth it and I'm sure you will have a great time the second time around!

                                                        1. re: Tapas52

                                                          I have not been to either Trinity or Daniel's. Since Daniel's has been open a very short time, the glitches can be ascribed to its newness -- though, frankly, if a restaurant is charging full price, they should have their entire act together. However, Trinity has been open for quite some time, so there is absolutely no excuse whatsover for the serious service problems described by dawnj and shoremom. Obviously, whoever is in charge of foh is doing a horrible job. Not only do patrons suffer, but it also does a disservice to the chef.

                                                  2. Our friends from North Jersey have been with us to Drews, Belford Bistro and Bay Avenue Trattoria so we decided to give Trinity a go. Overall the dinner was good with some highlights and a few hiccups.
                                                    As several people have noted, the room(s) are attractive, tables are spaced nicely. A nice ambience.
                                                    We had an early reservation and a small band started playing music soon after we were seated. A nice touch but can they play a bit lower?
                                                    A nice bread basket consisted of two types of rolls. One contained raisins and some fennel, the other was more typical crusty roll. Both were very good and served with a nice olive oil.
                                                    Starters were Roasted Corn Bisque with Applewood bacon and mini corn fritters.
                                                    Pork Empanadas served with a small side of pickled red onion, jalapeno and guacamole.
                                                    Baby Spinach salad with Asian pears, candied walnuts, Vermont chevre and blackberry champagne vinaigrette.
                                                    5 cheese Macaroni and cheese which was ordered as an app from the sides menu.
                                                    All the apps were tasty, the standouts were the bisque, salad and mac and cheese. The empanadas were small with a bit too much crust instead of filling.

                                                    Entrees were Gaucho Steak which was a grilled sliced flat iron served with chorizo-tomato smothered yukon gold potatoes and served with chimmichurri sauce. This was the hit of the entrees. Everything about it was perfect.
                                                    Not so with the "Surf and Turf" which was a roasted chicken breast and jumbo lump crab cake. Both were a bit overdone and dry. Came with mashed potatoes which were pasty and veggies which were good.
                                                    Broiled halibut with fresh citrus and olive oil. Had a small taste and was good.
                                                    This also came with seasonal veggies.
                                                    A special of Ahi tuna came out a bit past the ordered rare but was given a thumbs up.

                                                    We were pretty full but decided to get a dessert to taste. Duet of local fruit cobblers were two baby cast iron skillets, one with blackberry cobbler, the other with peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla bean gelato between them. The blackberry was delicious. The peaches were hard and nearly impossible to cut.

                                                    Overall our dinner was good. We weren't blown away but I would like to go back and give some other items a try.
                                                    Service from our server and staff was good.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: tom246

                                                      tom246,

                                                      The 5 cheese mac is really great! We were in Trinity on Labor Day Weekend and it was wonderful! Posted the comment on another place!(see the link below!)

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/611616

                                                    2. My friends and I ate at Trinity last week, and while we all enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, we were troubled that a very loud blues band kicked in around 10 PM and rendered it nearly impossible to converse. Mind you, I love music in general and the Blues in particular (the band was good), but the change in ambience ruined the end of what had been a very good meal.

                                                      I recognize that the owner is probably trying to keep his bar revenue going, but perhaps the band can be instructed to play a bit more quietly until the diners have finished. Either that, or clearly warn those making reservations for 8PM or later that they will be unable to converse towards the end of the meal should they decide to linger over dessert.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: BernieMSY

                                                        First it's in Keyport, at this point you should turn the page....Ok so it's in a church- I've eaten at a few weird locations but this wasn't bad except for the live music! I felt that I was walking into a bad wedding! Some of the music wasn't bad but out of place and much too loud! Now about the food- it was terrible but the place was busy....I don't understand but back to what I first said it's Keyport! Chef has no idea of combining flavors-justbad. Started with the wedge salad- typical blue cheese dressing with fried onions that were not bad but the wedge was covered with a spicysauce - I love spice but on a wedge salad? The also had some bacon bits but they were so tough that my teeth were hurting from chewing. My wife had the spinach salad and she didn't like the dressing along with the walnuts- strange taste and again spicy! Main- she had a fish dish of cod, clams and shrimp made with a pearl pasta and again a ton of spice along with sausage- Oh my God, where is this chef from? I had a flat iron steak with a chimmchurri sauce- the sauce was terrible so i didnt use it but the steak had so much black pepper that it overpowered the taste. It was served with potatoes cooked with tomatoes and chriozo! Not good..... The waiter was a nice guy but clueless and I asked another patron what they thought of their meal and they said it was ok? Again I chalk it up to the neighborhood- drive the extra distance and just avoid this place!

                                                        -----
                                                        Trinity
                                                        84 Broad St, Keyport, NJ 07735

                                                        1. re: eagertoseetheworld

                                                          Yep - only in Keyport would they try such an unheard of flavor combo as a spicy chile sauce with blue cheese dressing . . . crazy folk, indeed!

                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            lol I just had that salad last week and thought it was yummy...those lardons were really tasty too!

                                                            Next he's going to tell us buffalo wings are stupid.

                                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                                              I've had the salad a few times and thought it was great. My husband orders the spinach salad and really enjoys it.....I've been to Trinity many times and have enjoyed every meal....

                                                          2. re: eagertoseetheworld

                                                            Wow, sounds like you really don't like Keyport.

                                                            1. re: Roombo

                                                              I agree with your assessment.
                                                              Too bad. I find Keyport to be fine

                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                I went on Saturday @ 7:30 for the first time, the place was dead. Very good all around, will be back.