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Sunday Brunch in Monmouth County NJ

Looking for a place for Sunday Brunch with family in Monmouth County....Looking for a place with a view or at least some ambiance

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    1. re: bgut1

      Molly Pitcher!

      Everythig from pate to carving sations!

      1. re: AC Captain

        Funny: My first thought when I saw this was, "They have Pate at the Molly Pitcher Service Area on the NJ Turnpike?" (Sorry, it's early).

        1. re: cranrob

          That's too, too funny! lolol!

          1. re: Tay

            you really have to live in Jersey to appreciate that!

    2. I have a thread here about my recent brunch at David Burke's Fromagerie, but the cliff notes are:

      Mixed reviews on the food from bleh to good.
      Nice, albeit loud, one man entertainment.
      Very expensive.
      Overall not worth it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: seal

        ok thank you...we have to make this special it is for relatives who have come to celebrate my friends Daughter's Bat Mitzvah.

      2. I just read that The Mill in Spring Lake Hgts., although closed for regular dining, is still doing a Sunday Brunch. Also, Matisse on the Belmar Boardwalk. I have not been to either for brunch so these are just suggestions to check out.

        5 Replies
          1. re: lori529

            Stay away from Matisse. Although I've never tried the brunch, the dinner there was pretty bad.

              1. re: bgut1

                I have to disagree with you on Matisse, B. IMO it's one of the few restaurants in the area where the menu is consistently different and interesting. Never tried their brunch though.

                1. re: joonjoon

                  joon - As I noted, my one dinner there years ago was disappointing. I have never had any interest in returning as many subsequent reviews continued to evidence no improvement in food or service. I would therefore be interested in reading your review of a recent meal at Matisse.

          2. lori
            I'll have to second the esteemed bgut1. The Molly Pitcher Inn is perfect for the out of towner relatives. The setting is quite lovely. It overlooks the Navesink (sp?) River and the different seasons bring diferent activities. Right now, it's ice boating. Reservations are a must. Ask for a table overlooking the water. They do a very nice buffet brunch. The food is fine. The set up is a little narrow, so the whole plate-in-hand thing can be a little challenging for elderly people and youngsters. Just a note: This is not inexpensive, but perfect for a special occasion.:-} Here's their site:
            http://www.mollypitcher-oysterpoint.c...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tay

              Indeed the view from Molly Pitcher is lovely. However, there is no ice-boating because we have not had enough freezing weather. We had ice-boating last year and it was wonderful to watch.

              1. re: val ann c

                val ann
                That's too bad. Although I have been there a couple of times since, last Feb we had such a great time watching the people ice skate and zoom around on those little boats. It's just such a tranquil scene At least from the comfort of the Inn ! :-}

            2. Although I know there have been some polarizing reviews..you really should check out Avenue's brunch in Pier Village. The room and the view are really spectacular; a roaring fire (yeah, I know it's gas) in a room with 25 foot ceilings looking out over breaking waves. They offer a good combo of breakfast and lunch choices at very reasonable prices for the setting (about $9 to $18) The cocktails are a little pricey... I would recommend the crabcake benedict, the pancakes and the burgers. We have been twice in the past month; they handled our group of 15 ably on our first visit. The service can be a little spotty (I keep my eyes open), but we have fared well.

              The Molly Pitcher is very nice and I do like the woody men's club feel. I just think it's a little tired and I'm not a big fan of buffets... (Understatement alert- I think buffets are kinda disgusting- gesundheit)

              11 Replies
              1. re: mac827

                mac
                As far as the decor goes, I can understand that what I see as in keeping with the general theme/decor of the Inn you may think of as "a little tired."
                As for their buffet: Please don't lump this establishment in with the tired, picked over buffets found at numerous other restaurants
                The Molly Pitcher Inn 's buffet is about as far from "disgusting" as you can get.
                I thought the Avenue was nice for lunch,and the setting very nice but it's more or a bar/restaurant kind of place. I wouldn't recc it for a special occasion brunch but maybe the OP's definitions are not what I had thought from her postings. We thought the food was ok but referring to the service as "a little spotty" is being kind. I think both times our Servers were previewing the Happy Hour specials , :-}

                1. re: Tay

                  actually I am sorry I wouldn't use the avenue as one of my brunch picks I was thinking of a date place for myself...oops if I mislead anyone :)

                  1. re: lori529

                    lori... lol! I was wondering if I missed a posting...
                    I'm thinking: Molly Pitcher.Vs Avenue. Completely different vibe.

                    If you want a nice date/drink place, you might like the Salt Creek Grille. It's the east coast branch of a small Cali restaurant chain.
                    Before RGR and bgut1 pound me into the floor for this recc, I'll say up front, you're not going to be bowled over by the food, but when you're out on a date, especially if it's someone you don't know well, sometimes, the atmosphere can trump the food, :-}. It's got a nice, clubby lodge-like vibe and everyone' looks good in that lighting. Even sitting outside waiting for a table can be a nice place to talk (If there are not a lot of annoying kids milling around.) :-}

                    http://www.saltcreekgrille.com/menus/...

                    1. re: Tay

                      Don't worry Tay. RGR and I "tolerate" many opinions - especially ones different then ours. To make matters worse, on occasion we even disagree. Anyway - while I've never been to Salt Creek, people that I know have confirmed what you have noted - a very nice space with mediocre/decent at times food. I agree that in certain instances, the "vibe" can kick the overall experience up a notch. A prime example is the Highlawn Pavilion a number of years back before the food matched the view.

                      1. re: Tay

                        LOL! Tay, Hold than hammer! I've never been to Salt Creek either. As for bgut's statement regarding differing opinions, that's easy: I.A.W.B.! :-))

                        1. re: Tay

                          Tay,
                          I haven't been to Salt Creek Grille in a couple years. I agree with your description. Even though the food is not impressive, I would consider taking certain people there for special occasions -- because it it such an attractive, comfortable place, inside and out. Especially if you can reserve a riverside window table at sunset.

                          1. re: val ann c

                            Whew!
                            I thought for sure I was in for it, :-} I've been there a couple of times, just b/c we have friends who love it there. When I arrive, I always think that the grounds/decor lend themselves to a relaxing evening with friends or a date. The service has always been friendly and professional. We always have a good time and it seems those around us do as well. When I depart I always think it's too bad the food isn't better. They've opted for one of those, "All things to all people" kind of menu's and those never offer great food.

                    2. re: mac827

                      I agree on Buffets.. I had a Mother's Day Brunch at McLoone's Pier house for $50 per person and it was attrocious! The desserts were all bought, and if they werent, they had that Cheap Bakery feel and taste. The food was horrible. I ate Shrimp cocktail because the French Toast was rock hard and the waffles were soft. The whipped cream was all curdled and separated from sitting out a while. The view of the Ocean was great, but not worth the 50 bucks. Avenue in Long Branch is my next stop. A french Bistro style restaurant that cost 12million to build there on the water. Look at the website online.. the place is GORGEOUS!! leclubavenue.com

                      1. re: ChefBri30

                        Wow, not only that, you were ripped off! The brunch at the PierHouse is $29.95, not $50. I'd say you are due a serious refund! I've eaten brunch there and had better luck than you. Avenue's brunch is limited, just a few items a la carte.

                        1. re: hotfoodhot

                          While i've never been to either, ChefBri30 did use those two magic little words 'Mothers Day'. I'm sure that added a little to the check.

                          1. re: hotfoodhot

                            Yes hot food.. Larry is right. It was Mother's Day Brunch. A little more elaborate and definitely a way for them to stick it to ya just a little more... since you dont really mind spending the money on mom.

                      2. PS... I forgot my favorite thing about Avenue. Although this probably won't apply to your event, they seat for brunch until 3:30 (!!- yeah, lazy people) and then they start an amazing Happy Hour at 4 at the bar. Get this: $5 full size martinis (every brand of gin and vodka minus two asinine ultra vodkas) and $1.50 freshly shucked malpeques at the free standing raw bar. Nice bartender, pre-frozen glasses, very good oysters and that ocean view. You can't beat it.

                        23 Replies
                        1. re: mac827

                          Mac where is is Pier Village Avenue's sounds wonderful

                          1. re: lori529

                            Avenue, aka Le Club Avenue, is located in Long Branch. Here's the website: http://www.leclubavenue.com/ (Click on the center panel for the restaurant, and try to ignore the music. lol)

                            1. re: RGR

                              To offer a dissenting opinion - I would go to Molly Pitcher over Avenue any day. Avenue left me with the impression that it is one of the worst run restaurants ever. The food was mediocre at best to boot.

                              The only thing worth eating at Pier Village are the deluxe caramel apples at Rocky Mountain chocolates.

                              Molly Pitcher, on the other hand, is perfect for a special occasion. The fish was excellent, the eggs were fluffy, and the breads and pastries were good enough to make me forget my diet. If you can sit by the window then it is about as good as brunch gets around here.

                              1. re: seal

                                seal...
                                Lol! So much for me trying to be 'tactful' about Avenue! It really struck me as being poorly managed as well. Aside from a very nice location, it really doesn't have much going for it. As for the drink 'specials'... How does that,''Get what you pay for" line go?

                                1. re: seal

                                  I think that Avenue got off to a horrible start with their attempt to establish an "attitude" and turned lots of people off. What I have found is that it can be a good off season pick because the attitude thing just ain't happening, no matter how hard the girl at the desk tries to go "blue steel." I mean, why would you even pay attention to that? Our first winter visit (2/10) included a beach view with bright sun, a 15 minute blizzard of flurries, and then more sun with big dark clouds on the horizon. The place was empty and our server was really friendly. No, he was not a pro by a long shot, but as a former NYC bartender/waiter, I always seem to get along with servers regardless of their skill. It might not be for you, even in Winter, but I think some folks should give it another try.

                                  My best brunches for real quality..

                                  1) Lacroix at the Rittenhouse in Philly before Mr. Lacroix retired in 2006. An insane spread in the main room and then each table was invited into the kitchen with the chef to sample 4-5 home style dishes that he was working on. He would chat and demonstrate technique. Unbelievable experience. Haven't been since he retired..but I'd give the new chef a shot.

                                  2) Four Seasons Georgetown. Amazing spread and the people watching is fascinating. Not so much the famous, although they are certainly there, but the ambassadors and such with their families. Great service, of course.

                                  The Molly Pitcher is nice. But it's in Jersey. Poached farmed salmon. A warm oyster, already opened (When I was there..) A crowd that seems to be 92% white folks from Rumson

                                  1. re: mac827

                                    mac
                                    Your reccs are very interesting, but the OP stated Monmouth County, so they wouldn't really help her.
                                    Due to the logistics of stocking a buffet, Unless there is someone shucking oysters to order, I would not recc eating raw oysters/clams in that sort setting. I'd also state that a platter of chilled oysters is not necessarily an indication of freshly shucked oyster. :-}.
                                    As for Molly Pitcher being in NJ.... Yup, That's where Monmouth County is located, and that's where the OP requested, hence the reccs.
                                    I don't know where or why you came up with that 92% statistic, but last time I checked, the folks in Rumson were allowed to enjoy Brunch just like everyone else...

                                    1. re: Tay

                                      My favorite brunch stories were just a tangent...not recs for OP.

                                      I don't think anyone will be preventing the investment bankers from enjoying brunch....anytime soon. It's just an observation that Monmouth County is a little more segregated and homogenous than is ideal in my view.

                                      We're in total agreement on oysters. Sitting about 3 feet away from the always expect shucker at the Aquagrill bar is my preferred oyster eating spot. The late great Alonso at Blue Ribbon was the only better option. His oysters looked happy to be opened.

                                      1. re: mac827

                                        OK...OK.. I didn't realize you were a 'closet' gourmand....
                                        Mea culpa.
                                        With all the 'drink specials' talk, I was thinking more like....
                                        Well, nevermind. .:-}..
                                        And stop picking on the good folks of Momnouth. If they're living there and paying those killer taxes, they deserve to have a nice brunch...While they still can pay for it.
                                        As for the oysters: Trust me, they were NOT happy

                                        1. re: Tay

                                          jeez all I wanted was a couple of suggestions for a bloody brunch not a civil war and lets knock the people of Monmouth County......LOL

                                          1. re: lori529

                                            lori...
                                            See?...
                                            Look what you started! lol!
                                            I'm just joking wiith mac. It's interesting. With the exception of Nicholas, he finds no quality restaurants in the area. I find all sorts of enjoyable places to eat. Of course, I have very low standards, RGR will attest to that lol!... Maybe in this case, I'm better off :Go figure! :-}
                                            And you better report back on where you went to Brunch!

                                            1. re: Tay

                                              of course I will after I return to my McMansion in my Ranger Rover LMAO

                                              1. re: lori529

                                                Tooo funny!
                                                BTW... If you want to mortgage that McMansion, you can take your visitors to Brunch in Short Hills. I haven't been recently, but it's very lavish. I've been to $300 a plate dinners that were not as good, lol!

                                                http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/hotels/ho...

                                                1. re: Tay

                                                  oh I can be so bad but I don't want to be kicked off the board ...I actually live in da poor part of Manalapan off the back 9 LOL

                                                  1. re: lori529

                                                    See... If I said I lived off the back 9, I'd be referring to Rte 9 lol! The good thig is even if you are not an Investment banker,
                                                    I guess we won't have to be taking up a collection to pay for Brunch.. :-}
                                                    Gee.... All this brunch talk. Now I'm going have to make a res at the Molly Pitcher :-}

                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                      LOL....Brunch in Monmouth County pershaw I don't think it exists

                                                      1. re: lori529

                                                        It's alive and well and feeding Investment Bankers all over the place :-}
                                                        lori,
                                                        How big a group will you be and what age span are you talking about?
                                                        If you think all these "Brunchy" places are too stuffy,maybe just take your visitiors to Harold's It's not in Mommouth, but it's in NJ, so it's close enough (small state, fast driver ) .:-} Everyone has fun at Harold's

                                                        1. re: Tay

                                                          no the places you described are fine for the people that asked me to get some suggestions. It is for out of town relatives from 13-70 so it is fine.
                                                          I am actually not going to the brunch.
                                                          I am more of a great diner food person
                                                          I had a lot of fun with you all on here.

                                                          Thank you for all your help!

                                                          1. re: lori529

                                                            lori
                                                            If it's great diner food you like, try to catch the episode about NJ Diners on the Food Networks show, "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives".. Great places!
                                                            It was a pleasure :-}

                                                            1. re: Tay

                                                              Tay,
                                                              Guy F is a GOd and the Food network is my bible~L

                                                              1. re: lori529

                                                                Pfffft!... That's nothing...
                                                                WE wrote down all the Diners he visited and we're going to check all of them out this summer.
                                                                OK...Now THAT's scary...lol!

                                                                1. re: Tay

                                                                  okay da you have room in the car for me......

                                                                  1. re: lori529

                                                                    lori
                                                                    We might when we first start out, but from what I saw on TV, by the time we finish the tour......
                                                                    Doubtful .. lol!

                                    2. re: mac827

                                      mac- though your suggestion of lacroix may not help this poster, it's true that it is quite possibly the best brunch ever. last i heard, chef lacroix was still supervising/consulting in the kitchen. we got married at the rittenhouse in oct 06 and had lunch at lacroix one day during planning. the waitress teared up when we asked how it was with him gone. that says something!

                            2. Sunday Brunch in Monmouth county gets hijacked by "NYC throwdown"...in this corner..........you slay me RGR. The NYC crowd is lucky to have you.

                              Back on point, my current fav for Sunday brunch in monmouth county is the Americana Diner, Shrewsbury, around 11:00am. Neither view or standout ambience but wonderful pancakes, coffee and service with a smile. The people watching is up to you. Enjoy!

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ

                                HillJ,

                                bgut asked, mac answered, and I just couldn't resist! lol

                                I would get the thread back on point if I could, but to be honest, we never do brunch in NJ, only in NYC. So.... :-))

                                1. re: RGR

                                  I wouldn't expect anything less! ;o)
                                  and I learn so much in the process.

                                  1. re: RGR

                                    That's your loss RGR. I think the one at the Hilton in Short Hills is excellent.

                                    1. re: bgut1

                                      Hilton Short Hills IS the best brunch in NJ, but sadly NOT in Monmouth Cty! Well worth the trip for the OP tho...

                                      1. re: bgut1

                                        If we ever did do brunch in NJ, Molly Pitcher would be out because it's a buffet, and I abhor buffets. Is the Hilton's a buffet?

                                        One other issue. Mr. R. and I don't go to brunch places that only serve breakfast foods, i.e., eggs, waffles, pancakes. One of the reason we go to Eleven Madison so often for brunch is that while one side of the menu has breakfast foods, the other side of the menu is entirely dedicated to Chef Humm's lunch cuisine.

                                        So, I guess you could say that we actually do lunch for brunch.

                                        1. re: RGR

                                          RGR...
                                          The Hilton is a buffet as well. I always find it so interesting when the specific reason someone chooses a restaurant is the very same reason someone else avoids it. I enjoy the Molly Pitcher and the Hilton specifically becuase they offer a buffet brunch. :-}.
                                          It's not gluttony: I just like the variety, and in the case of the Molly Pitcher, I really enjoy the view of the river.

                                          1. re: RGR

                                            RGR - Although I haven't been in a while I recall that the Hilton Brunch offered quite a bit of non-breakfast items. I'm sorry that I can't remember the specifics.

                                    2. I'd be happy to add that the Hilton offers brunch serving both breakfast & lunch selections.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        The fact that there are lunch selections would be a plus. But since it's a buffet, it's out!

                                        I guess I should explain. Because I cook a lot at home, when I go out, I want *total* service, i.e., I don't want to have to get up and/or stand in line to get my food.

                                        1. re: RGR

                                          The Hilton offers table service as well RGR.
                                          You really should try it.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            HillJ,

                                            In our travels, there have been times when I've had no choice but to accept a buffet brunch. In those instance, there was table service for things like coffee and clearing plates. But in order to get my food, I had to go to the buffet. So, when you say that the Hilton offers table service, does that mean there is a full menu from which to order so I don't have to bother with the buffet? And if so, what's on the menu?

                                            1. re: RGR

                                              http://www.hiltonshorthills.com/dinin...
                                              RGR, this link provides every detail except their table service accommodations, so I just called The Terrace to inquire. Since I enjoy a high quality buffet, I do not have sit/stand preference. What I have observed while enjoying my brunch at The Hilton Short Hills is in fact coffee and clearing plates only per the reply of The Terrace staff a few moments ago. Too bad, this brunch is worth the trip and every morsel. Edit to add: lunch and dinner, which are also note worthy, may interest you.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                Thank you, HillJ. for going out of your way to get that info for me. :-)

                                                With regard to eating there at other times, we did celebrate an anniversary once in The Dining Room. The meal was superb, and we loved the upscale, clubby atmospherics. For whatever reason, we never managed to go back and, of course, now it has closed. :-(

                                                Perhaps one of these days, we'll try The Terrace for lunch or dinner. And who knows? Given how you and bgut have extolled its virtues, I might even break down sometime and give the brunch a try. Mr. R. doesn't have the antipathy to buffets that I do, so after I peruse the offerings and decide what I'd like, I'll sit down and have him become my "server." lol

                                                1. re: RGR

                                                  RGR
                                                  My friend gave the exact explanation as you did, above, for not wanting to deal with a buffet. I can understand it.. No matter how lavish, standing in line to obtain food is not going to be everyone's. 'thing.'
                                                  Several years ago, a group of us went to The Manor Restaurant
                                                  in West Orange. There was a choice of buffet dining or regular menu full service dining. About 2/3's of our group had made reservations for the buffet, while the other 1/3, had chosen to dine in the full service Dining Room. To each his/her own. :-}

                                                  http://www.themanorrestaurant.com/

                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                    Tay,

                                                    I won't go into the details, but many years ago, The Manor totally destroyed our 10th Anniversary celebration. You couldn't pay me to go there....

                                                    1. re: RGR

                                                      RGR...
                                                      That's really a shame. I've only been there twice for the Sunday Brunch, which was fine. My friends, who preferred the full service didn't have any complaints about the service, but all it takes is a bad experience on an important day to ruin a landmark event. Sorry that happened to you and Mr R.
                                                      The event may have been a disaster, but fortunately, the union wasn't :-} .

                                                      1. re: Tay

                                                        Tay,

                                                        I don't want to leave you with the impression that the bad experience had anything to do with actually dining at The Manor because, though we showed up, that never happened!

                                                        But you are correct. We overcame that disaster and have since had many, many, many wonderful anniversary celebrations! :-)

                                                        1. re: RGR

                                                          RGR... Of that I have no doubt.
                                                          Next weekend, I am going to brunch at the Hilton on SI.
                                                          I'vve been there before. Nothing as lavish as Short Hills or The Manor, but it's also $20-$22 less :-} I I'm only mentioning it because, the Servers ask you what you would like in terms of breakfast foods, and they bring directly to the table, platters of waffles/.pancakes/.bacon./sausage/ eggs done any style, including omlets to order/breakfast potatoes.along with one mimosa/bloody Mary PP and carafes of OJ and Cranberry juice. You may request as much as you want as many times as you wish (Think: Land locked cruise) Everything else, is buffet style.Not that I'm sugggesting you journey over to SI , but I wonder if that iservice is specific to this Hilton, or if it's done elsewhere? It's a very interesting place. After eating, Diners can retire to a very large lounge area off the Lobby, that is somewhat divided into sitting/conversation areas via very comfortable, well placed couches, chairs and coffee tables.
                                                          . Perfect for continuing to visit with friends. Last time we were there, somone at the Front Desk must have noticed we were there awhile and sent over a pitcher of lemon infused iced water and some cookies/mints. Very thoughtful. They also have some pleasant outdoor garden areas for roaming/sitting.
                                                          The Owner/Mgr and his wife are very 'Hands on.' Her name is Lois. When they created the street upon which the Hotel is situated, he named it in honor of her. What else? Lois Lane lol! I'm looking forward to a nice meal with good friends. :-}

                                      2. After reading the good reviews, I decided to have Mother's Day Brunch at The Molly Pitcher Inn with my family(4 of us.) I must say the place is pretty with a good view of the river if they don't seat you between the wall and door with a plant blocking it, so you can't see, as we were. The staff is friendly. However, the food was mediocre. It wasn't hot and nothing special. They ran out of the two desserts I wanted to try, crepes and key lime pie. We had only been there an hour when this happened. The breakfast items were the tastiest things on the menu but not worth the cost. The service is also not up to Parr. Plates plied up on our table, no new utensil setup was given in between servings. It certainly is not worth the $49.95 it cost us.$234.00 & tip, total) Considering how hard it is to get the reservation, and that this is one of their signature events, it was very disappointing. I will now add it to my "been there, done that list and never do it again!"

                                        2 Replies
                                          1. re: jerzshoregirl

                                            jerzshoregirl - I'm sorry about your disappointing meal at the Molly Pitcher. Although I've recommended it in the past for brunch, I will stop doing so based on your negative review. If you're ever in the Short Hills area, I suggest you stop in at the HIlton for Sunday Brunch. I'm pretty confident that one will not disappoint. Good Luck.