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Very Good to Great Shore Restaurants that are BYO's

eatinman May 16, 2009 05:27 AM

from Keyport to and including Ocean County
Not looking for any particular style of cooking or price range - just interested in what everyone feels are the best restaurants at the shore.
Can you tell me your favs? Please include price range!

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    tom246 RE: eatinman May 16, 2009 06:15 AM

    My list looks like this, YMMV.

    Drews Bayshore Bistro, Keyport

    Belford Bistro, Belford (going tonight

    Bay Avenue Trattoria, Highlands

    Boom Burgers, Belmar

    Island Palm Grill, Spring Lake (Have not been in about a year

    Bistro 44, Toms River

    Thats my very good to great list. There are also many "good" restaurants from Keyport to Ocean County.
    Enjoy wherever you go!

    7 Replies
    1. re: tom246
      bgut1 RE: tom246 May 16, 2009 07:54 AM

      I agree completely with tom246's selections and would only add Dish in Red Bank to that list.

      1. re: bgut1
        JerzeyShore RE: bgut1 May 16, 2009 05:41 PM

        We went to Dish tonight and had an exceptional dinner with my wife having the Rosemary chicken and myself the talapia and shrimp both sharing a citrus salad and PEI mussels but no room for dessert. She enjoyed it so much that we are going back again next week for her birthday dinner and one of their special desserts.
        Thanks bgut1 for mentioning Dish in this thread - great recommendation.

        1. re: JerzeyShore
          bgut1 RE: JerzeyShore May 16, 2009 08:27 PM

          Your welcome Jerzey. Make sure to save room for the chocolate bread pudding next time.

      2. re: tom246
        HillJ RE: tom246 May 17, 2009 10:59 AM

        I would add Trinity in Keyport to this fine list.
        Only a few doors from Drew's Bayshore Bistro.

        Sample menu for selection & price

        1. re: HillJ
          tom246 RE: HillJ May 17, 2009 11:05 AM

          HillJ, Trinity is a great choice but the criteria from eatinman was BYO.

          1. re: tom246
            HillJ RE: tom246 May 17, 2009 01:03 PM

            True tom246, but I still thought it was worth mentioning given the Keyport location. I know myself "plans" can change with information. Trinity is a wonderful place, nice price point and cocktails can be enjoyed elsewhere.


        2. re: tom246
          yankeefan RE: tom246 May 18, 2009 07:37 AM

          100% agree on Boom.

          If willing to make the road inland a bit, I add El Meson.
          People love Drew's, I don't, but everyone else raves so it will surely be on this list.

        3. s
          SusieQQ RE: eatinman May 16, 2009 09:56 AM

          Bella Sogno in Bradley Beach and Eurasian Eatery in Red Bank are two of my favorites.

          1. e
            Ellen RE: eatinman May 16, 2009 03:34 PM

            The best fish and chips and other fried (I mean really great) seafood platters can be had a Stewarts of Kearneys in Point Pleasant Beach. Don't go here worrying about calories, just fresh fish and incredible cole slaw.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ellen
              seal RE: Ellen May 17, 2009 12:13 PM

              Just ate at Niko's Trapezi on Ocean ave in Long Branch and would def add this place to the list. Liquor store nearby in case you forget to bring you own.

            2. a
              aklein RE: eatinman May 17, 2009 12:21 PM

              must add Kanji in Tinton Falls (sushi,japanese) to the mix here, since it's arguably the best sushi from Keyport to Ocean County (again, I said, arguably)... if you don't know the place, Kanji is MUCH more than sushi, thus the reason I added it to the list... Kazu, Fuji, Sawa, Asahi -- all good, too... but I think Kanji falls into the good-to-great category more than any of the others

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                OGguy RE: eatinman May 18, 2009 07:30 AM

                I'd add Taka in Asbury Park

                1 Reply
                1. re: OGguy
                  aklein RE: OGguy May 18, 2009 09:35 AM

                  was about to add that but couldn't remember if Taka was BYO or not... thanks for the reminder

                2. e
                  eatinman RE: eatinman May 21, 2009 10:36 AM

                  Thanks for all your replies on BYO restaurants! We've dined at many of the resto's that you all have listed, one of our fav's is Drew's.
                  one restaurant I would add to this list is the Bistro in Red Bank.
                  and one we don't care for is Dish in Red Bank
                  Thanks again!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: eatinman
                    Freeholdtwsp88 RE: eatinman May 22, 2009 04:28 AM

                    Hands down favorite Matisse in Belmar, ocean views and your own bottle of wine ...this place still rocks, and the original chef is back cooking...I am just not that big a fan of BYOB...or I would be there all the time,

                    great place for a romantic meal but I am past that stage of life...oh the dating years they were fun ..and expensive...now its out with the kids and i need a stiff drink

                    1. re: Freeholdtwsp88
                      Barbarella RE: Freeholdtwsp88 May 22, 2009 06:30 AM


                      What exactly did you have at Matisse? I walk the boards and noticed last Monday that the menu had changed(finally) I did not see my favorite app on it though, the shrimp in radish and some sauce.

                  2. MGZ RE: eatinman May 22, 2009 07:59 AM

                    Thanks to tom246, we stopped in Island Palm in Spring Lake last night for a quick bite. A salad, an app, and an entrée set us back $49. The entree was quite tasty – housemade lobster ravioli with a sauce featuring crabmeat. I don’t know if the restaurant is great, but I plan on going back to see. A much appreciated tip!

                    In the OC, I think that Labrador Lounge is worth a mention. I confess that we have never (and I doubt ever will) dined there during the summer season, but we have had a few very good dinners there. It’s undoubtedly better than any other BYO south of the Manasquan River.

                    Finally, as an honorable mention – Mi Mexico in Point Pleasant. No it’s not fine dining, but any self-respecting ‘hound owes it to themselves to grab a six-pack and sit down to several plates of tacos. Just order them two at a time until either your stomach or your beer gives out!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MGZ
                      tom246 RE: MGZ May 22, 2009 04:41 PM

                      MGZ, glad you liked Island Palm. I would not call any of my choices "great" as in the very best possible but IMO were much better than other comparable BYO's.
                      We hope to get back there soon. We have friends in Brick that love Mexican but they never mention Mi Mexico. Will suggest we go there six-packs in hand :)

                    2. s
                      sockster RE: eatinman May 24, 2009 06:43 AM

                      Here's three more not listed on this post: AMA in Atlantic HIghlands- It's new serving amazing FRESH Italian, Yumi in Sea Bright for amazing sushi, and Casa Solar for Latin fusion in Belmar!!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: sockster
                        livingloving RE: sockster May 26, 2009 08:34 PM

                        Giannas Ciao Bella Navesink Fishery

                        1. re: livingloving
                          sockster RE: livingloving May 27, 2009 04:15 AM

                          No offense, and to each their own, but mediocre at best!

                        2. re: sockster
                          scrappyone RE: sockster May 27, 2009 07:46 AM

                          We went to Aligado in Hazlet the other nite and the sushi and sashimi were excellent. Great service as well. We'll be back.

                          Got to try Kanji in Tinto Falls since so many people seem to love it.

                          1. re: scrappyone
                            sockster RE: scrappyone May 27, 2009 11:36 AM

                            Try the Sandy Hook roll at Yumi in Sea Bright....yummy and AMAZING!

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                          sockster RE: eatinman May 29, 2009 03:23 PM

                          Went to Bay Ave Trotteria last night...Soft Shell Crabs..to die and go to heaven..served with Spare Ribs on the side....Still one of the best restaurants around!!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: sockster
                            tom246 RE: sockster May 29, 2009 04:07 PM

                            Soft Shell Crabs and Spare Ribs, is this a great country or what :)
                            Add a portion of Mrs Micchelli's Mac & Cheese and I'm in paradise.

                            1. re: tom246
                              sockster RE: tom246 May 30, 2009 11:17 AM

                              Now you're talking my language....not bad, right??!!!! Have you tried Ama in Atlantic?

                              1. re: sockster
                                tom246 RE: sockster May 31, 2009 04:15 AM

                                Not yet but it is on my list of "to try" places. Looks like the Bayshore area, Keyport to Highlands, now have an assortment of nice dining destinations.

                                1. re: tom246
                                  sockster RE: tom246 Jun 16, 2009 03:44 PM

                                  Took my good city friends and foodies to Ama this past Friday night...Again, Chef Pat continues to amaze. His crab cake with truffles.........heaven on earth!!

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                            metalrat RE: eatinman Jun 18, 2009 10:40 PM

                            Manow in Lincroft is great, and Siam Garden in Red Bank. Manow is really good, and is about an entree less expensive than Siam, but they both are really goo Thai food. Bradley Beach and Ocean Grove are really nice places, especially the boardwalk dinner walk off after!

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                              vvl RE: eatinman Jul 23, 2009 04:15 PM

                              I seem to like Sockster's dining choices - must try the crabcake with truffles at Ama's - have been there over a dozen times and never saw the dish! Will report back.

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