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Apr 13, 2009 08:50 AM

Trinity - Remarkable Dinner

Back in Feb 2009, I read a post by MGZ in this board, narrating his birthday dinner in Trinity, the piece was very well written. My husband grew up in Middletown NJ and he was a bit skeptical about a great restaurant in Keyport but after checking out their website, he thought that the restaurant was previously a church kind aroused his interest and we also thought that it would be a great place to have our anniversary dinner.

We made a reservation for an early dinner yesterday at 5:00pm since we were there a bit early, thus we decided to have a little refreshment at the bar. My husband is staying away from alcohol and he got the non alcoholic beverage; while I got a very refreshing cocktail with strawberry, mint, gin…actually I really did not know what was in there, only that it tasted really great! We were kind of shooting the breeze with the very outgoing bartender….telling him how we found out the place through Chowhound and little did we know that were talking to ChefMD at the time!(He was taking over the bar since there were some problems with the schedule for Easter and nobody was there for dinner yet since it was before 5:00pm at the time!)

As we are trying to be a bit healthier with our diet, ChefMD advised us some of the dishes and he shared us that he tries to get fresh local produce…The recommendation of soft shelf crab surely won me over! I got the soft shelf crab as my appetizer, it was very well seasoned, despite it was fried, it was not greasy at all, actually, quite light and the taste of the soft shelf crab came through. The mushroom and the greens that went with the crab was perfect choice. The lemon grass foam, added a different level of texture to the dish and I really enjoyed it. My husband had the spinach salad with apple, candied walnuts, goat cheese and the blackberry champagne vinaigrette; it was a simple dish but the ingredients complimented each other and he liked the dressing a lot. After our appetizers, our server placed a really nicely decorated plate, with "Happy Anniversary" written with chocolate(that was really thoughtful!) and on it were two shooter glasses with the palate cleansers, I can surely take that as a dessert. It was refreshing and prepared as for our main course. I had the prime 14 oz pork chop(served with a special BBQ butter) with macaroni and cheese, sautéed vegetables…the serving was very generous and the pork was so tender and juicy, the BBQ butter enhanced the favor of the pork, it was just hard to describe with words. The macaroni was perfectly baked, crunchy on the top and so much cheesy goodness in the middle! I am surely not as healthy as my husband since he ordered the Tuna. The presentation of the Tuna looked great, my husband loved it raw, he chose to have the tuna just seared, there were two different sauces with the tuna, one was a red sauce the other was green, the green one seemed to be a wasabi sauce which there was a bit of a smokey favor for the red sauce, I just had a bite and it was very fresh! I was able to only finish half of my plate since the portion was so generous and I had some bread before the appetizer too.(Besides, I wanted to leave space for dessert!) One thing I have to say about my experience with restaurants, if the bread is good, it is usually a great indicator for quality of the food. The bread was tasty and warm in Trinity! We topped off our meal, sharing a dessert called Chocolate Anonymous, it came with a warm chocolate mint cake, chocolate mousse and there were barks of chocolates…the presentation was very nice and they tasted even better! (actually, I had taken picture of them and I will try and put them on the site later! I do not have the camera with me right now since I am at work, taking my lunch break!)

Prior to our visit to Trinity, I had read very positive reviews about the food but not so great feedback on the service but I have to say that we had a wonderful experience. The food is really delicious, our server Michael(I was joking that one has to be name Michael to be working in Trinity since the chef has the same first name!) was very attentive, friendly and truly professional. I have been to places in Central Jersey where the food is not bad but the servers were just not professional, just very loud but definitely not Michael!

After we finished our dinner, we checked out the whole place, the second level of the restaurant was nice, overlooking the main floor, and the basement of the place was very roomy with big screen TV….we were told that the restaurant is serving lunch now in the basement during weekdays.

We had a great time yesterday, the food was really divine(great visual and taste), the service was wonderful and ChefMD was a great guy! It surely was one of the best dining experiences I had in Central Jersey! By the way, I got up earlier to get on the treadmill to burn off my dessert but it is totally worth while….We will surely come back!

84 Broad St, Keyport, NJ 07735

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  1. Helen, great report, well done and happy anniversary!

    2 Replies
    1. re: tom246

      Thanks Tom! There are so many different things I like on the menu and it will take me a long time to try all of them...hope that some of the other chowhounders are going to try them out and I can live through their experiences prior to our next visit!

      1. re: HelenB

        My husband and I had dinner at Trinity Friday usual, it was great!
        TY for this great review...


    2. Sounds like you really got to enjoy Trinity - I'm glad! We have never had anything but great fun and food when we visit.

      (If only they could keep that pesky chef in the basement!)

      1. I went there for dinner in January - th food was just terrific. The service was a bit shaky that night, and I'm hoping that has resolved itself (the place was a bit busy but in no way were they slammed) since. And I don't mean to be snarky here, but didn't you mean soft SHELL crab and not soft shelf? Unless this is something new in the seafood meanness implied, by the way.

        2 Replies
        1. re: radiogrl1

          Radiogrl, you are great in pointing that out! I did not mean to confuse are absolutely correct, it is soft shell crab and not is not a new seafood item for sure! I do not know what I was thinking as I was typing....thanks for clarifying! Or else, people may go there and ask for this particular "SHELF CRAB".... lol!

          1. re: radiogrl1

            Is anyone else reminded of the immortal words of Gradpa Fred? "Well, you don't spell it, Son, you eat it."

            (My hardcore 80's pop culture upbringing made me!)

          2. This post sounds almost as well written as the original! Sounds like you two had an enjoyable time and the chocolate plate was a classy touch.

            1. I have read many glowing reviews of this restaurant but our experience in late February was just average. The breads they served intially were very good, but my clam appy had several sandy clams in it, and when I mentioned it to the waiter, he just shrugged his shoulders helplessly. I got the short ribs and it was just a plate of mush: mushy ribs, mushy sweet potatoes, and mushy greens. A better dinner selection was the flank steak and the seafood over pasta. The bill for 4 was quite expensive, and I don't feel that the quality of the meal warranted the price. My two favorite restaurants are El Meson and Nicholas which vary widely in price but are very consistent. I have a feeling that Trinity might not be so consistent. I don't mean to sound complaining but after reading the rave reviews, we were a bit disappointed.