HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >


Ocean Avenue Grill - Sea Bright, NJ

Anyone else been? We were there tonight and found great service, a great location, but terrible food. The fish didn't taste fresh and the crab cakes were overly seasoned. They seemed to be serving the one time tourist, rather than a repeat customer. As locals we want to try the new places (found the same situation at Ross's Dockside down the street), but it seems like it's a better option to stick to tried and true favorites - especially when these new places aren't exactly cheap.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Serving "one-time tourists" in a town like Sea Bright is a death sentence. In order to have staying power a restaurant in this town must appeal to the locals as well as the tourists. So many restaurants have come and gone in Sea Bright, with very few making it successfully over the long haul of the last 20 years.

    1. I haven't tried it, If you want really good fish, head over the bridge to Navesink Fishery. There is no atmosphere to speak of, but the food and service are excellent and the fish is really fresh. We were there two weeks ago and had wonderful sauteed soft shells and Chilean sea bass with fresh asparagus on the side. Delish. Don't bother with the desserts. They import them from a bakery in Atlantic Highlands and they are mediocre at best. I'm surprised that they haven't switched over to the Flaky Tart since it is practically walking distance from the Fishery and has absolutely the best baked goods in the area.

      1. I'm a local, and I was excited for the new opening of The Ocean Ave Gill because the location is just so wonderful. First time there I just had a glass of wine and some raw bar shrimp at the side bar. The atmosphere was perfect. Great singer, right on the water, boaters having cocktails on their decks. Reminded me of the keys. But I was very disappointed in the slimy, over priced raw bar shrimp. My boyfriend and I gave it another chance last Friday night and sat down for a full dinner. I was much happier with our seafood specials. Not the quality of The Inlet Cafe or Bay Ave, but we felt the fish was fresh and simply prepared. We'll definitely be visiting again this summer.

        1. I'm not sure if there are newer posts on this place since their new chef started. We were there once with the other chef and weren't impressed, but my in-laws went for NYE and loved it so we went back. We had a great experience. Granted, we went on Thursday when it was ridiculously windy and the place was empty.
          We sat at a high-top in the bar and had excellent, attentive service from the bartender as our server. My husband loved his roasted tomato and fennel soup with croutons. I had the Ocean's salad which was delicious. Then my husband had the bacon-wrapped meatloaf. He said it was good, but not great. It was presented nicely, but he prefers a more flavorful meatloaf and lumpier potatoes. I had the roasted chicken which was lovely. The portion was huge - not sure if that's because the place was empty. But, the chicken was tasty, the roasted potatoes and broccoli were delicious too. We split the cheesecake for dessert - my husband's choice, since I'm not a huge fan. But, it was amazing!! I'm no cheesecake expert since I rarely eat it, but this was light and creamy with a buttery, sugary graham cracker crust. We will definitely go back.

          1. I was very excited to check this place out on a recent sunny Sunday. I had heard about the child friendly magician night and I knew the location was beautiful. My husband and I took our two young kids. The restaurant was about half full, early evening with great live music and a perfect breeze. We were nicely greeted and happily sipped our fresh beers and actually discussed what other families we should bring back with us. Then, the food arrived. My son exclaimed that the fried chicken tenders was the best chicken he had ever eaten. My sweet potato fries and my husband's regular fries were also delicious. My crab cakes were edible. They were not the advertised jumbo lump and not worth the $24 we paid. Evidently the kitchen was rushed on my husband's medium burger. It came out as a black hockey puck and had clearly been in the fryer. He asked for a turkey club instead and that arrived with either microwaved or deep fat fried bacon-we couldn't agree on what caused its petrified texture. The bread fell apart as he picked up the sandwich. Such a great start for a disappointing meal. The waitress begrudgingly took my husband's meal off the bill. I don't see us ever going back unless it was just for a beer and the view.

            1. Passed by last night & the sign said opening May 1st. Don't know if its the same or new operators.

              6 Replies
              1. re: wizard2

                I just received an email from the Sea Bright Business Alliance promoting the Taste of Sea Bright trolley tour on May 1. The list of restaurants included The Cove so I gather that they're reopening under that name.

                1. re: fershore

                  Isn't the Cove a long time Sea Bright restaurant? Or did that restaurant reopen with a new name and is now re-reopening with the old one?

                  1. re: cantkick

                    The Cove is re-opening under new management. The long-time manager of Ichabods is opening her own restaurant at the Cove this summer.

                    1. re: hotfoodhot

                      So the Ocean Avenue Grill (that was in the long time housed restaurant location called The Cove) is being re-opened May 1st (per the sign on Ocean Ave) as The Cove by the long time manager of Ichabod's (Patty?)

                      Talk about a branding mess, wow

                      Ocean Avenue Grill
                      1250 Ocean Ave, Sea Bright, NJ 07760

                      1. re: carlylecat

                        I actually think it's a smart move as the locals continued to refer to it as The Cove. As she has worked in Sea Bright for a long time, I'm sure Patty realized that.