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Seagrass Restaurant- Anyone?

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Has anyone been to Seagrass Restaurant in Ocean Grove? I think it is in the spot that used to house Captain Jacks. The website is www.seagrassnj.com. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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  1. Well, since no one replied...I decided I would give it a whirl anyway and I was very glad I did. Two couples went there last night and the restaurant was absolutely charming. Beautiful decor and very NYC like in choice of decor. We had a wonderful waiter Matt who was both knowledgeable about the menu, giving us fine recommendations and also familiar with the history of the restaurant. It seems that the restaurant was bought from Captain Jack's original owners in 2005 and the name was kept for a few years until the new owners got their feet wet in this business. June 2008, they decided to "make it their own" and remodeled ,changed up some of the menu and gave it the name Seagrass. The restaurant's atmosphere was very warm, chic and relaxing. There were many tables full and the noise level was not noticeable. We tried the "specials" menu which is a price fixed dinner at $25 per person and there were many other choices on it that shown on line.The price fixed includes soup, salad and an entree. I think they change the specials ($25) menu all the time. Matt recommended that we start with the NE clam chowder. He explained that one of the owners was from Boston and that the chowder was one of her personal specialties. He was right....it was amazing...so fresh...just the right texture....I would order it again in a heartbeat. The salad was a mixed greens with shaved parmesan and a champagne dressing....also so wonderfully fresh and just right on the dressing. Two of us had the ahi tuna, done perfectly with mashed sweet potatoes,avocado salsa and fresh steamed asparagus.The other couple had prime rib and salmon. The husband said the prime rib was excellent and that he would order it again without doubt. It came with red bliss mashed potatoes, frizzled onion rings and also the asparagus. The salmon was also top notch. For dessert we tried (I forget the exact name) ice cream and chocolate won tons. It was banana ice cream with 4 small square egg roll looking rectangles. Each "won ton" was filled with like a chocolate ganache. Wonderful and very innovative.
    All in all a very relaxing, delicious meal and we all voted to return very soon. There are so many things to try on the menu that we can't wait to sample some other dishes. In the nice weather it will be nice to sit at the outside tables. We would ask for Matt again as our waiter. He was just delightful and very attentive. One drawback.....the name of the restaurant is not very visible...just a small emblem on the glass door. Although lit very attractively, if we were not already familiar with the area we would have been uncertain as to if it were the right place. I'm am very pleased that I gave it a try. Anyone else, please let me know your thoughts. I always am curious if I have the same palate as others here on the board.

    10 Replies
    1. re: charmel

      On your recommendation, I am going to make a reservation for 6 for my son's birthday dinner. I will keep the hounds posted.

      1. re: Babs16

        Hope you enjoy as we did.

        1. re: charmel

          Sounds good! Will have to give it a try.

          I did notice that they mention on the website that they are BYOB, which is illegal (advertising it, that is...). They also invite folks to bring in "Spirits," which is also against the law. Beer & wine only...

      2. re: charmel

        I agree with all you said charmel - to add a bit - we have been to Seagrass for New Year's Eve dinner as well as Valentine's dinner. I must say that not a step was missed on either holiday. Many places seem to drop the ball on holidays or offer a menu scaled back from the usual.
        In fact we are going agin for my partner's birthday in 2 weeks -

        1. re: tuxedo

          charmel, I made a reservation for 3-14 and on I requested Matt as our waiter on your recommendation.

          Can't wait to report back

          1. re: Babs16

            I'll be there on 3-14 as well!!!

            1. re: tuxedo

              We have plans with friends for 3-14 and were just trying to figure out where to go. Our friends were talking steak at Ruth Chris, but maybe I can convince them to come to Seagrass. How funny would that be? Can we all meet????

              1. re: tuxedo

                We have a 7:30 reservation party of 6. Would be great to meet.

                1. re: Babs16

                  2 of us - 5:30!

                  1. re: tuxedo

                    Couldn't change our plans for Ruth Chris. Please all post your feedback.

        2. Just had dinner with my husband at Seagrass. It was our first time there. Bread, soup, salad were all excellent. Both of us had the pref-ixe special menu for $25.00. We had the red snapper. That too was excellent. Our waiter was attentive and helpful. He filled our water glasses before they were empty, and he offered us more bread when our dinners arrived. I give this BYOB restaurant an A. My husband and I eat out several times a month, and we are very discerning when it comes to food and service. Seagrass earned high marks on all counts. We highly recommend it.

          1. The wife and I went to Seagrass last Saturday and we will give it a passing grade, however they are nothing special or noteworthy. They simple miss the mark by a bit. Both the service and food were lacking. The $25 price fix does not include coffee or desert which will bring the bill up to a normal level anyway. My wife made a remark that she thought it was Captain Jack's simply reinventing themselves. Sure enough when I got the credit card receipt it still had Captain Jack's printed on top. Nuff said ...

            21 Replies
            1. re: JerzeyShore

              I'd love to know where you can have quality seafood with soup, salad, dessert and coffee (including tip) for $70 a couple. This is what we paid at Seagrass. Please enlighten me. I would love to know where these other restaurants are. Most of the seafood places I have been to, and some of which were absolutely nothing to write home about, were $25-$35 just for the main dish....no soup, no salad....nada. And most had a bar, so that pumped up the bill even more. I am open to suggestions if you have some, but sometimes I find the foodies here on the forum just a bit harsh on some restaurants. Anyway, we are all entitled to our opinions and I certainly respect yours...no harm intended. I will definitely return to Seagrass to see if we enjoy it consistently and if you ever do try it again...our waiter was Matt and he was a joy. He didnt stop fawning over us, constantly filling our water glasses, asking if we needed anything else, bringing more bread, etc. We tipped him very generously because we felt that he really deserved it. A good waiter can definitely add to the experience.

              1. re: charmel

                If your idea of a great restaurant is a waiter fawning over you then so be it. Your right we are each entitled to our opinions and my opinion of Seagrass is "it is just OK" nothing more. Sorry if this offends you but they are not even in the same league as other establishments mentioned on this boaed such as Trinity, Drews, Belford, Bay Avenue and the like...

                1. re: JerzeyShore

                  Wow...chill Jerzey......my idea of a great restaurant is not just a waiter fawning over me...that is offensive. Of course it is a combination of everything...the food, the ambiance, the service and the price. What I am saying is overall Seagrass was enjoyable to us. Trinity is a fabulous restaurant....if you can afford to pay $150+ per couple to dine there all the time. We enjoy it immensely, but have only been there a couple of times. I know, for us it is more of a special occasion type of place. Belford Bistro has very good food also, but on a Saturday night the noise level can be deafening. My spouse puts in very long days in the retail gourmet industry and does not find a noisy restaurant relaxing at all. We are also tremendous fans of Drews and dine there often, but we are not always in the mood for the cajun flair. Yes, Seagrass may not be in the same culinary league as some of these others, but I think the overall restaurant (food, decor and service) was definitely more than just "OK" for us. It worked for us and we thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Oh well, if we all liked the same things.....the world would be a boring place.

                  1. re: charmel

                    I have to agree with you that eating at top level places can cost a lot of money and there is a need for places such as Seagrass. I'm actually gald that you like it and are promoting it. In this day and age every establishment needs all the help that they can get.

                    1. re: JerzeyShore

                      At last we agree and yes, I think we do need room for restaurants in the next tier, particularly in this economy. I will be curious to see what others think as they give it a try this weekend.

                      1. re: charmel

                        Ray's Seafood - Little Silver
                        Navesink Fishery - Atlantic Highlands

                        1. re: charmel

                          Charmel, everything that you said about Seagrass was right on the mark. We dined there Sat night and everyone raved about the food. When I made the reservation I requested Matt as our server as per your posting. He was a great waiter. He answered all of our questions and made wonderful suggestions.

                          The New England Chowder I think it could have been salted a little bit more, but overall it was good. We all ordered off of the pre-fixed menu which comes with soup, salad and entree. I had salmon ( cooked perfectly) with raviolis stuffed with squash and babies carrots. My son ordered the steak which was cooked exactly as he likes it. Two of the diners ordered fluke (which we were told was delivered fresh that day). The fish was done perfectly. I tasted that also.

                          Coffee and dessert are not included in the prefix but we ordered 5 different types of yummy treats. I had the warm apple galette, pastry crust, warm apples cooked just to tender and vanilla ice cream. My husband tried the Key Lime Pie( almost as good as the Blonde Giraffe in Key West). The carrot cake was so moist with a cream cheese frosting. The chocolate flourless cake ( I missed tasting this) but I was told it was delicous. And lastly my future daughter in-law ordered a slice of peanut butter pie that had chunks of reeses and oreos in it. She said that the pie was light and airy and tasted as if it whipped.

                          We all agreed that we would come back and dine there again, just not during the summer.

                          1. re: Babs16

                            So glad you enjoyed Babs. Always glad to pass along a place that I enjoyed. I am curious to see if Tuxedo liked it too.

                            1. re: charmel

                              Enjoyed our meal very much! We started with the scallops app and also had the ahi tuna salad which I advised was going to be split between us - the kitchen was kind enough to portion it out so we did not have to.
                              I had monkfish over mashed sweet potatoes and spinach, my girlfriend had the filet mignon ( cooked PERFECTLY ) ( well done - yuck ) and it did not come out like a hockey puck. Desert was lattes and the banana and chocolate wontons.
                              We even made a reservation for our next visit -

                              1. re: tuxedo

                                Glad to report to you all that Seagrass was consistently delicious. We went back for our second visit this past Saturday night and we were just as delighted as on our first visit. We requested Matt who was so great as our waiter before. What really impressed us was that although we were not able to be seated in his section, he still waited on us because of the request we made(and it’s not like he knew who we were at all). We got a little nervous when we arrived because the place was jumping. Ocean Grove is a great little town and once the warm weather breaks, everyone is out and about. Seagrass, however, was very true to keeping with our 8:15 reservation, which I was glad to see. We still stuck to the $25 price fixed special as it is truly a phenomenal deal. I don’t think they will be keeping this deal through the summer season (I think it will end at the end of April), but I would definitely go back even for their full priced menu. We did however add a few of our own appetizers this time. We tried the Coconut Shrimp and the Fried Calamari. Both were unbelievable, but I particularly loved the raspberry sauce that came with the coconut shrimp. It had a slight kick to it and I even used it on the calamari (I wasn’t wild about the soy based dipping sauce for the calamari- nothing was wrong with it- my personal taste just doesn’t care for the pairing). We also had our soups and salad, both consistently fresh as on our last visit and we tried a couple of new entrees. Our waiter Matt recommended the Seared Red Snapper with fresh tomatoes, basil and a delicious pesto oil flavor. The fish is so perfectly cooked, so light, fresh and flavorful. It was accompanied by the sweetest baby carrots I have ever eaten and perfectly cooked asparagus. Our friends also had the Snapper and were extremely pleased. My spouse had a Strip Steak, which was cooked just as he ordered, medium rare. For primarily a seafood restaurant, the meat is very good according to my spouse. His steak was accompanied by sweet potato fries. We had some cappuccinos and shared just one dessert since we were stuffed. Definitely a new favorite of mine….just hope that I can get a reservation with the crowds of summer. The owners made a very smart economic move by offering the $25 price fixed menu during the off season months. I think it has definitely paid off for them. Kudos to you!

                                1. re: charmel

                                  When we were there in March charmel, I thought that Matt said that the pre-fix was on until May. I hope it is because I would go back in heart beat.

                                  1. re: Babs16

                                    I will have to find out for sure when it ends, but even the full price menu looks well worth it......the prices are pretty on par with other restaurants and the food has been wonderful the two times we have gone.

                                    1. re: charmel

                                      charmel, when you find out please post. We will be dining there again just not during the summer months.

                                      1. re: Babs16

                                        Will find out the details for sure...we love to walk the boardwalk after dinner in Ocean Grove. Years ago we used to have dinner at The Manchester Inn down there. It was a bed and breakfast that served dinner on the porch, but they stopped doing it maybe 5 years ago. Our friends go every weekend to Nagel's for breakfast.

                                        1. re: charmel

                                          Just checked the web site and no mention of the pre-fixed menu anymore.

                                          1. re: Babs16

                                            No, they are not running it for the summer since it is their peak season down there. I think the prices are still fair for the fresh delicious seafood they serve. We just love the town of Ocean Grove. Last weekend we went down there about 8:30 for coffee and dessert and sat outside at one of the coffee houses down there on Main Avenue. They had a guitarist performing and it was delightful. Hopefully, when the season is over, Seagrass will bring back the prix fixe for the Fall/Winter.

                                            1. re: charmel

                                              Going there tonight for dinner. Party of 8 Will report back

                                              1. re: Babs16

                                                Babs16....Just checked Seagrass website and they are running the $25 prix fixe special dinner again, but this season it is only on Wed, Thurs and Friday night......not Saturday. I hope that I can manage to get there during the week. It is a little harder since we are a half hour away, but I'm sure we'll get there somehow. It was a great deal for the price!

                                                -----
                                                Seagrass
                                                68 Main Ave, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

                                                1. re: charmel

                                                  Was there for dinner Friday night - Prix Frixe dinner every night

                                                  1. re: tuxedo

                                                    Thanks for the update Tuxedo. Now the website was updated to say all night, every night! I'm so glad since I want to bring a big group there on a Saturday night. I think they will love it. Can't beat the price for what they give you. They do a great job and they are smart to attract winter business that way. It's a great promo for people to try the restaurant.

                                                    1. re: charmel

                                                      I agree with you - wish more places would include "special pricing" on the weekends

              2. Took my husband and my father here for dinner last night, and overall it was a great meal solid meal. For the $25 we were all very happy with what we got. I had the clam chowder which was little thick for my tastes, I like a more milkier version, but my husband and father both had the mushroom and artichoke soup which they enjoyed. I had a the almond crusted grouper served with sweet potato mash and roasted beets, while the presentation was nothing to holler about all the flavor points were there. My husband had the berkshire pork belly served with tomato risotto, he really enjoyed this dish especially the risotto. My father had the duck which was a very big portion. The desserts were good, nothing great, but a nice way to end the meal. The carrot cake was definitely the best.
                I am happy that they are offering this meal on weekends and it is a great deal when you are looking to go for a meal out, not spend a fortune, and have quality ingredients. Will return!!!

                10 Replies
                1. re: emilyb27

                  Love this restaurant!!!!!!!!!!! Hoping to go this Friday night with a party of eight who have never been there. Their pre-fixe menu has something for every taste and I love the fact that they are a BYOB.

                  -----
                  Seagrass
                  68 Main Ave, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

                  1. re: Babs16

                    We went Saturday night with friends who have never been and they raved about it. This too is one of our favorites. My spouse and I both love the ambiance....very relaxing and definitely has a cosmopolitan feel...can get a bit noisy when full, but what restaurant doesn't. We sat in a booth for the first time and it was soooo comfortable. The booth can probably hold eight and for the four of us it was delightfully roomy. The food was outstanding as always. The owners really know their game and their fish is of the most superior quality. We think the presentations are done very professionally with just the right drizzle, just the right plating....very aesthetically pleasing. We started with the coconut shrimp...crisp outside...succulent inside and wonderfully paired raspberry dipping sauce. Then onto salads which are always so crisp and fresh. This time the mixed field greens included sliced apple, gorgonzola and dried cranberries in a refreshing champagne vinagrette.Two of us had the Ahi Tuna, sesame crusted. Cooked to perfection and served with wasabi potatoes, a very interesting seaweed slaw and accompanied by a ginger soy glaze on the plate for dipping if you choose. We loved it! My spouse had the steak and scallops, which was a 10 oz. strip steak accompanied by about five nice size scallops in their own small baking dish topped with seasoned bread crumbs which had a nice kick. He was a happy camper. Our other friend had Curried Shrimp with vegetable rice. She said that the curry flavor was just right.....not too overpowering and the sauce had fresh diced tomato which added an interesting contrast. Dessert followed with my favorite...chocolate and banana wontons with vanilla ice cream for us three and warm apple struedel with of course vanilla ice cream for my husband. I had cappucino and in alot of restaurants my complaint is that it is never hot. Not so at Seagrass......HOT cappucino, just the way I like it! We have been to Seagrass several times over the past year and have always had a meal that never disappoints. Additionally, the wait staff that we have had are so attentive, knowledgeable about the preparations, polite and friendly. The last two visits we have had Michelle, who served us in top notch style. Our friends were thrilled that we recommended Seagrass and can't wait to return when their kids are in for Thanksgiving break. Except for the coconut shrimp and the cappucino, everything else is part of the $25 per peron special menu. What is also great about this menu is that they offer over a dozen entree selections, which vary all the time.

                    -----
                    Seagrass
                    68 Main Ave, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

                    Ahi
                    103 Foulk Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803

                    1. re: charmel

                      We went to Seagrass as planned on Friday night. Everyone but my husband and myself had been there before. We knew how good the food was before hand. As usual we were not disappointed. Five of us ordered off the pre-fixed menu and had more than enough to eat.
                      I won't bore everyone with the details but as good as the food was the service was not up to par. Drinks orders were forgotten,( sodas, water), one soup order also, the wine was not placed in buckets when opened and It took a very long time to get our coffees and desserts. ,

                      Normally, I let to let the establishment know about my concerns but when we were leaving there was no one around to at the hostess station to tell.

                      I will go back but never to be served by that waitress again.

                      1. re: Babs16

                        Sorry to hear that Babs. We just went back over Valentine's Day weekend and we experienced just the opposite. First of all, the restaurant was very busy and any possible doubt about service on such a busy Saturday night was quickly laid to rest. Claudia was our waitress and what I love about the Seagrass wait staff is that they are not young kids (no offense intended to young kids, but I would rather that they start their training at Friday's or Applebee's). Too many restaurants offer great fare but have totally inexperienced wait staff and that ruins the experience. We see Claudia at Seagrass all the time, but this was our first time at her table. Whatever we needed appeared in a flash. She was attentive and totally familiar with all the cuisine. We have had Michelle, who is also a gem, as our waitress several other visits. In addition, whenever we arrive and leave, the hostess is always up front. Maybe you just hit an off night Babs, hopefully so. Anyway, it's been awhile since my last report and I am glad to say that Seagrass still scores consistently high scores with me. Although the $25 prix fixe menu ( a truly great deal) was not offered on Valentine's Day weekend, Seagrass prices from their regular a la carte menu are still very fair. The food was wonderful as always. I had Swordfish drizzled with basil oil over edamame and tomato risotto. They also hit it right on with their meats. My husband is a "meat" guy, and always gravitates there even in a seafood restaurant. He raved about the Prime Rib that he ordered. He has also previously had the Strip Steak and the Korean Baby Back Ribs (which have a definite kick). I am glad to see that Seagrass has quite a bit of action over the winter months.( We have been in on a few different weekends and all the tables have been filled) It has to be tough for these shore restaurants, particularly with this winter's weather.

                        1. re: charmel

                          We were there on Valentine's day and the meal was outstanding - Prime Rib for me and Filet for her -
                          Apps were scallops and lamb pops - both very very good
                          Peggy our waitress was right on top of everything -
                          Owner/Chef greeted us at the door -
                          Our "go to" place!

                          1. re: tuxedo

                            Ours too!

                            1. re: charmel

                              Just an update report since I haven't posted since earlier in the year. Still love Seagrass. We went a couple of times over the summer, but it is hard because Ocean Grove is so busy with The Great Auditorium concerts and Seagrass doesn't take Sat nite reservations in the summer. The Fall and Winter are great for us because my spouse hates to wait at restaurants with no reservations. The $25 fixed price complete appetizer, entree and dessert meals are back again for the Fall/Winter, but only on Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sunday. No more Sat night $25 specials because Saturday nights are packed with patrons. I guess word has quickly spread and Seagrass seems to have developed a steady group of regulars. We were there recently on a Saturday night and the place was hopping. I had the most wonderful Swordfish special with a tomato basil topping and so many wonderful infused flavors. It was over a vegetable risotto. I savored every bite. I also tried the chicken tortilla soup of which I sopped up every ounce. They were out of the roasted eggplant soup which according to our favorite and very attentive waitress Michelle is also a winner. To be fair, all of the wait staff there is really on the ball. Anyone else been back recently? I just love restaurants that keep up the same consistent quality.

                              -----
                              Seagrass
                              68 Main Ave, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

                              1. re: charmel

                                I know it took me a while to get there but a report by a friend as well as the recent NYT review pushed me to try the restaurant this past Saturday evening. Although there were a few road bumps during the meal, I thought the restaurant exhibited a bit of promise and I’m sure to return again. Due to the warm weather that evening, our group decided to dine indoors. Regrettably however the inside was not that much cooler than the outside. Either the a/c system was being overtaxed by the combination of the kitchen and outdoor heat or was inoperable. Either way, with the aid of the ceiling fans, the temperature was mostly tolerable. As for the service, but for a small faux pas at the end of the evening (“do you folks want anything else” as opposed to showing us or describing the desserts) our waiter Ryan was personable and very attentive. The décor of the restaurant was also nice; a little on the modern side but comfortable nonetheless.

                                As for the food, our group ordered the following appetizers: crispy fried calamari with tempura soy dipping sauce, the harvest salad with mixed field greens, gorgonzola, candied walnuts, craisins and apples mixed with a raspberry vinaigrette, and a special of mussels in a broth of tomatoes, garlic and white wine. Both the calamari and the salad were excellent. The calamari was just right (crispy on the outside and soft on the inside) while the dipping sauce was a perfect salty/sweet compliment to fried coating. As for the salad, the greens were fresh and nicely dressed with the sweet vinaigrette which worked with the cheese and the added textures of the nuts and fruits. On the other hand the mussels were a bit of a disappointment. Although cooked perfectly, the broth was woefully under seasoned. The best part of that appetizer is sopping up the broth with bread. This however was remedied by the use of butter and salt on the bread prior to dipping. Sadly, the lack of seasoning followed through on some of the entrees.

                                I ordered the grilled swordfish which was served over tomatoes and arugula while my DW ordered the ahi tuna with soba noodles (the wining dish of the evening). Again, my swordfish was cooked perfectly and had nice flavor, but in this case was an unusually small portion (I almost sent it back) and was served over a very uninspiring and under seasoned salad. On the other hand, my wife’s tuna was exceptional. The portion was more than adequate, expertly prepared, and served with a nice soba noodle salad and wasabi crème. Our tablemates ordered the crab cakes with sweet potato mash (cakes were good although the mash tasted of nothing but sweet potato) and orecchiette pasta with seafood (a pleasurable dish of well cooked pasta and seafood with a light but again somewhat under seasoned sauce). All in all, the meal and service was good. Notwithstanding our server’s mistake, I’m not sure if we would have stayed for dessert. Instead, we made it over to Hoffman’s for some excellent ice cream sundaes which was a nice way to cap our evening. I look forward to trying Seagrass again real soon.

                                -----
                                Seagrass
                                68 Main Ave, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

                                1. re: bgut1

                                  Nice report B. As you know, I've dined here a half dozen times over the past couple of years (especially taking advantage of the off season price-fixe menu).

                                  You're spot on with the appy's (haven't seen the mussels on the menu - and that I would definitely try - must be a summer thing and we're typically not there during peak season). The Asian calamari is excellent, harvest salad as well. We especially love their hummus platter as well.

                                  The Ahi Tuna/Soba noodle salad is one of my favorites. I really like the room decor. Our servers have always been vg - my youngest son has tried to get a position there the past couple of years to no avail. He's definitely funky, off the wall and most definitely a bit more articulate. Annnnnnd.....he would've asked and suggested some of their desserts ;- )

                                  1. re: JustJake

                                    You all know that Seagrass was and still is a favorite of mine. We also eat lunch there alot in the summer (I love their Sea Scallop Salad). We sit outside and then stroll the boardwalk!

                                    -----
                                    Seagrass
                                    68 Main Ave, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

                2. Still my all time favorite all these years! Was there last night and had the most delicious special- Spicy Ahi Tuna over soba noodles with asian slaw. Loved, Loved, Loved it Kim and Janine! You two surely know your craft! My friends both had the Cod on the menu and were both all smiles too! PEI Mussels appetizer in fennel tomato broth with lots of bread for dunking and our usual favorite salad of Pears, arugula and ricotta salata. Don't miss it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: charmel

                    Thanks for an updated review here as it's been a couple of years since we last visited this fine restaurant.

                    Going to see Amos Lee in a few weeks at the Basie, and while it's always nice to dine (in RB) and then walk to the show, maybe, just maybe we'll try Sg.