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Stella Marina Asbury Park

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We went to Stella Marina on the boardwalk in Asbury Park on saturday night. We have been there before, including new year's eve and always enjoy the food.

We arrived at 9 p.m. and we sat on the lovely rooftop deck, what a spectacular view from there, it will be just fabulous sitting up there this summer.

With all these extra seats on the deck the kitchen was very backed up, the table near us had been waiting for thier entrees for 2 hours.

Our Apps arrived an hour after ordering them and then our entrees arrived 5 minutes after that. I can understand being backed up, but a nice gesture from management would have been to buy us a couple of rounds of drinks while we waited the hour. The staff seemed confused, food runners kept coming up without a clue as to where to drop food, going from table to table asking if this was their order.

You should try stella marina, with a bit of fine tuning, this will be a gem of a place in asbury park.

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      1. The table next to us waited 2 hours for their entrees and they asked to see the manager. He came over and had a nice chat with them. Next thing I saw was the entrees brought back to them in a doggy bag and I assume given to them gratis which was a nice gesture. Yes, they should stop seating tables when they know they are backed up OR at the very least advise you that there will be a long wait from the kitchen. I called the owner yesterday and asked him why at least did the server not even offer us a round of drinks gratis, she kept apologizing for the wait. He told me they are not allowed to do that, we would have had to ask to see the manager like the other table did. I think that's an awful policy, a restaurant should trust the staff enough to comp drinks when there is a problem. You need to trust your staff to do the right thing, if you don't, then you have no business having them work for you.
        Bottom line, stella marina is a great place. Great food and a fabulous view. I'm sure the kitchen will work out the kinks, in the meantime, just comp some drinks and have your customers leave happy.

        1. We decided to try Stella Marina this past weekend and while not awful, I can't say that I would return. The space is nice but nothing exceptional especially in comparison to its sister restaurant Serena. I had the Shrimp Arrabiata as an app...it was tasty but nothing I couldn't have made myself. The same could be said about both the branzino and the chicken dish that we ordered respectively. A friend of mine ordered the sea bass and received the scallops only to be told that they had "run out of the sea bass over 2 hrs before" apparently there was a lapse in communciation between the wait staff and the kitchen. They offered to substistue the branzino, unfortunately my friend wasn't interested. The waiter was extremely apologetic and the owner did come out in person to apologize. He then proceeded to comp a round of drinks, dessert, the appetizers and the substituted branzino which we ended up taking home with us. I think the management/owner did an exceptional job in their attempt to ammend on honest mistake, and although I wasn't overly impressed with the restaurant as a whole I would give them an A on accepting accountability.

          1. re: michelinaO

            I'm glad they made it up to you or at least tried. We didn't complain, just accepted the server's 3 apologies and let it go. So sad that the owners do not give their servers the empowerment to take care of their patrons.

        2. Sounds like my experience during the first week they opened in November. Thankfully, I've never experienced any such difficulties on subsequent visits. I'm sure this is just growing pains and agree that they could have handled it better.

          4 Replies
          1. re: bgut1

            We went there last Saturday night. We sat at the downstairs bar waiting for a table. My wine glass was dirty, the wine was too warm, the bartender was tossing lemons and limes right in my face, he broke a glass and was totally frazzled and the noise level was unbearable. We left and probably won't go back .

            1. re: karins

              Wow. Not good. Sorry Karins. I hope you give them another chance as I think the food is excellent. Good Luck.

              1. re: karins

                Yes, that was the very busy night, the first night that they had the roof open for dinner service and they were completely overwhelmed. The food however, is excellent. The service needs improvement and the kitchen timing is awful. The owners also need to empower their servers, if people are waiting an hour for apps and 2 hours for entrees, the waitstaff should be able to comp some cocktails without the table asking to speak to the owners, after all, booze is cheap.

                1. re: FrankieT945

                  We decided to try Stella Marina this past weekend and while not awful, I can't say that I would return. The space is nice but nothing exceptional especially in comparison to its sister restaurant Serena. I had the Shrimp Arrabiata as an app...it was tasty but nothing I couldn't have made myself. The same could be said about both the branzino and the chicken dish that we ordered respectively. A friend of mine ordered the sea bass and received the scallops only to be told that they had "run out of the sea bass over 2 hrs before" apparently there was a lapse in communciation between the wait staff and the kitchen. They offered to substistue the branzino, unfortunately my friend wasn't interested. The waiter was extremely apologetic and the owner did come out in person to apologize. He then proceeded to comp a round of drinks, dessert, the appetizers and the substituted branzino which we ended up taking home with us. I think the management/owner did an exceptional job in their attempt to ammend on honest mistake, and although I wasn't overly impressed with the restaurant as a whole I would give them an A on accepting accountability