Restaurant Plan B - Asbury
Went to Dinner at Plan B a couple nights ago and had a thoroughly enjoyable meal. It is a narrow, well lit space reminiscent of some Manhattan eateries, There are plaster and brick walls that are hung with original art.
When I was seated I was given an unusual "Amuse" of a small box of "S'mores" Popcorn. The combination of sweet and salty was pretty tasty...
I opted for the Prixfix menu, which is $25 for four courses.
I started with Cream of tomato soup, drizzled with fennel oil The soup contained a dollop of Coriander flan (Which retained it's texture and was a nice accompaniment) . This was followed by a Field Green Salad with Honey roasted pear, a hearty sprinkling of blue cheese & toasted pine nut vinaigrette.
Having participated in the recent burger threads here I decided to try the Black Angus Burger which is usually topped with pickled shallots, baby lettuce, roasted tomato, & cheddar cheese. As is my usual practice I substituted blue cheese for the cheddar. The burger is served with house made pomme frites. The burger was very good, and was just fine eaten as is, no other condiments needed. The frites were good, but as they were made with several types of potatoes (fingerling, sweet, etc) they were not evenly cooked as some types of potato cook differently than others. These also did not need any catsup. One unusual note was that the Burger was served as it is listed on the regular entrée menu, which includes a side salad. This resulted in my Salad Course being followed by an entrée with another salad (this one in a Caesar style dressing). I like salad, so this was no biggie.
For dessert there was a choice of tres leche cake or coconut brownie bars with vanilla ice cream. I'm afraid I don't have a sweet tooth so I decided to pass.
All in all it was very good. A nice addition to the recent quantity of seemingly constantly changing establishments in Asbury, especially in the current economic situation. The menu changes every month to reflect the seasonal variations in ingredients. They are also now offering a monthly Shabbat dinner, which has become very popular and reservations are suggeted. Generally it is the last Friday of the month at 7:30 pm... 3 course dinner with prayers for $21 per person.
Ate this afternoon at Plan B...the sunday brunch menu is great...they also serve on saturdays...come between 10 and 4...the food is of the best quality and cooked right in front of you....reasonable (you could call it cheap) pricing and super service makes this place a must-go-to when
in the AP area. Try the pancakes with either berries, chocolate chips or pecans...recommend the pecans if you are crazy for nuts)...Decor is striking black and white modern (very design within reach, if you get the catalog) with nice lighting. ...could be quite romantic in the PM....can't wait to try the PrixFixe dinner and remember to BYOB!
Ate here last nite (Sat) and I beg to differ. The general consensus is that Plan B isn't worth a return visit. Room descriptions aside, the food was very uneven and not even close to being memorable.
My wife's beet and goat cheese appy was good (I did sample a taste and it was good; we make a very similar dish at the house because of a love of freshly roasted beets). The bangers and mash appy that I shared with our host was pedestrian; make that subpar. This was nothing more than cubed home fries and a piece of grilled sausage.
The chicken breast (with bone in) that was ordered by my wife and friend were miniscule portions (as it resembled but one rib bone off of a rack of lamb) with the pureed squash it sat in on the plate being devoid of seasoning and/or taste (this per both of their comments). I had the angus burger (which I rarely order any beef when dining out, unless it's a notable steak house) and while tasty (with shallots and roasted tomatoes) note the following: The micro greens that accompanied the dish had NO, I repeat NO vignarette on the greens. While it was not mentioned as being part of the meal, as our server delivered the plates, I inquired as to what dressing was used. The comment which I didn't fully hear was some sort of vignarette. Fair enough as I like a light dressing (balsalmic or EVO/balsamic). Folks, It WAS DRY. After two forkfulls, I left it uneaten (and I do love micro greens, mesculin lettuces, etc). It was fresh, a nice mound of greens, but it was DRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Plan B will be Plan Z on my list of restaurants to consider should we be reviewing dining out. I really wanted to like this place but I cannot recommend same to anyone who may ask me about the place. My wife and friend would state same. As my wife and I were guests of a dear friend who took me out for my birthday of earlier in the week, I feel just a tad better as it wasn't my dime on such an uneven and pedestrian meal. That young chef has got a way to go. Just sorry we couldn't get into Joe Romanowski's place till 9pm which was too late to have dinner.
Nice review, and at $25 for the prixfix, that's quite a deal, even though you have to be kind of an early bird. We may give this a try next time we're down that way. This idea of offering a heavily discounted prixfix deal for early hours is something that a very nice place here in Hoboken does as well (although at $14 per person for 3 courses, it is an incredible deal). It works because it gets you hooked and you come back for a more elaborate meal later.
It was my first try, but I had come across the owner a few weeks ago while fiddling with my Facebook account. He is also "Friends" with some other Chowhound folks here.
For those with a FB account, here is video of him griping on the Oprah show about some home finance expert advising folks to cut back on eating out: