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Daniel's Bistro, Point Pleasant Beach NJ

t
tom246 Jun 21, 2009 06:06 AM

Thought I would start a new thread with the proper spelling of the restaurant. Our experience here was very good, especially for a place only open a couple of weeks.
Arrived a bit earlier than our 8:00 reservation, no problem, a warm greeting from Karen the hostess and we were seated.

A complimentary amuse of a large toast with sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and herbs was strong on the cheese but tasty.
There was a choice of three different breads, a very nice touch and olive oil was on the table. Water glasses were kept full all evening.
Our server Rachel went through a series of specials and combined with the large menu made for a variety of choices.

Appetizers were Diver Sea Scallops which were nicely grilled with a Tahitian vanilla bean reduction and a side of grilled asparagus. Tasty and a substantial portion.
I had the Ahi Tuna Tower which was sushi grade tuna, avacado, sweet red pepper, tomato, in a tall tower with dabs of wasabi, pickled ginger on the corners of the plate and a ladle of soy sauce to dip into. The combined flavors of this dish were wonderful and the presentation was something to see. A shame to dig in and eat it but I did :)

The apps were substantial portions, I had ordered the Pera salad expecting an individual portion but I received more than enough for two. We shared this which was baby field greens, poached pear, strawberries, honey roasted walnuts goat cheese, lightly dressed in a hazelnut vinaigrette. Very nice summer salad, BTW, our view of the kitchen showed EVERY single salad was hand made.
Entrees were a special of Sauteed Grouper over a bed of garlic broccoli rabe and white beans with some grilled cherry tomatoes. Very "Italian" style preparation, my wife thoroughly enjoyed the flavors.
I had the Berkshire Double Cut Pork Loin which was essentially a large double cut chop prepared as ordered to keep it moist. Came over a creamy risotto, with a small side of oven dried tomatoes and raisins. Tender, juicy and flavorful dish.

Totally stuffed, we passed on dessert but Karen came out with a large fresh fruit plate which contained honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes and sliced oranges. To say this was a wonderful gesture is not saying enough.
Service all evening from Rachel, Karen and the team was warm and friendly.
Our dinner was leisurely paced, our courses were spread out as the kitchen was quite busy on this Saturday evening. Remember they are just two weeks old.
We want to come back and sample more of the menu but based on our first visit, Daniel's is a welcome addition to the Monmouth - Ocean dining scene.

Daniel's Bistro
115 Broadway
Point Pleasant Beach NJ 08742
732-899-5333

  1. h
    HappyCurmudgeon Mar 20, 2012 06:38 PM

    Based on all that I heard about this place here and elsewhere, I was excited for a rare night out with my wife so we got a babysitter and I made a reservation for dinner at Daniel's, a place we had heard good things about. We arrived a few minutes early for our reservation and, while waiting to be seated, we noticed a solitary two-seat table directly in front of the door, a few feet away from the hostess station, near the coat check and the restrooms. I joked to my wife that I hoped they didn't try to seat us at this outlander table. She laughed and said she was sure they didn't actually seat guests there.

    Turns out, the joke was on us when, to our amazement, the owner/host picked up two menus and, ignoring the entire dining room, made her way the short distance to the pariah table. When I told her we did not want to be seated right in front of the door, she told us that it was the only table available (so why take our reservation if you don't have enough proper tables?), and that it was actually a better table because it was a quieter location and we'd have more room. When I expressed my concern at the proximity of the table to the entrance - it was in the mid-30s outside and the table was just feet from the door - she assured us that the exterior heater just outside the door would prevent any cold air from blowing in. Normally, I would have just left, but we accepted the owner's assurances despite our doubts and took the table. After all, we had driven 30 miles to get to the restaurant and the idea of leaving and hunting for another place to eat on a Saturday night seemed an unappealing way to spend our date.

    At first, things were actually okay. Our starters were tasty, although my lobster cocktail came on a half melted bed of ice, leaving the food in a pool of cold water, and the main courses (duck breast and rack of lamb) were very good. But midway through our meal, it all crashed and burned. Because we were seated where we were seated when we were seated there, we suddenly were subject to a continually opening front door, much cold air blowing in, my wife freezing, and as many as two dozen people surrounding us as they waited for their tables!

    Since people were not leaving their tables, the folks arriving for the next seating had nowhere to go but all around us! Add to this the fact that we were also seated right along the path to the restrooms, both of which were now flooding! Imagine a fine dining experience where your table is just outside the restroom at an outdoor train station in December during rush hour. You get the idea.

    After dinner, I waited to speak to the owner to call her out on her assurances about seating us where she did (I believe the saying is "don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" would apply). I told her we had expected to have a romantic dinner out, not to have been made uncomfortable at an expensive restaurant (check with tip was about $175 for two and it's a BYOB establishment). She said, "I'm sorry but I guess you just have bad timing." Then she turned away.

    Really? You put up the pretense of being a top flight, fine dining establishment, charge high prices, then misrepresent what you're giving us, treat us like neglected step children and tell us it was all our own fault? I understand that the locals, many of whom were well into their sunset years, seem to love this place. Indeed, we heard a number of customers ask after the owner's family and daughter (who is apparently applying to Brown early decision and "Tuft" and other colleges - I know this because our dinner conversation was not as loud as the chit chat from the hostess station and waiting area, nor, for that matter, as loud as the horrid smooth jazz piped into the dining room), and I acknowledge that the food was mostly quite good. But when you charge people 200 bucks for a meal, that should include a good experience -- a nice night out.

    Sadly, all we got for our money at this ill-conceived, pretentious excuse for a high-end restaurant was a decently cooked piece of meat and a chill. For my money, Nicholas or Belford Bistro make this place look like - well, a lot like a neglected step child.

    1. h
      HelenB Oct 20, 2010 11:47 AM

      It had been a few months since we were in Daniel's(to avoid all the summer crowd) and we were back a few days ago. Karen is always pleasant and the staff are wonderful. We were served with a small shrimp/lobster soup, something on the house. It was very flavorful and I wish that it was on the menu. My husband had the duck meat balls as a starter and he enjoyed every bite of that; I started with one of their specials, it was grilled shrimp, with cheese and bacon wrapped around them. How can you ever go wrong with cheese and bacon? It was actually smart to have the shrimps, the favors incorporated very well. We went with our personal favorites for the main courses, I had the sea scallops while Mr B went with his beloved lamb chops. I believe I had mentioned about those dishes in an earlier comment, thus I am not going to repeat myself, the dishes are just wonderful. We shared a ricotta cheese cake to top off our meal, lighter than regular cheese cake but very satisfying!

      3 Replies
      1. re: HelenB
        stack_c Feb 11, 2011 03:16 PM

        Has anyone been recently...need to make reservations for a special 30th bday dinner with serious foodies and was thinking may go here....id love a more recent review...seems to be unanimous that the food is fantastic but Id hate for a bday celebration to be ruined by rude service....any help would be much appreciated

        1. re: HelenB
          j
          JerZ Wine Geek Aug 16, 2011 08:39 PM

          I may not have enough time over the next couple of days to write a true report of my experience at DB tonight.... but all I definitely NEED to say was that it was amazing! One of the better meals I've had in recent months, including a couple of meals at Nicholas and other top notch NJ/NY restaurants. It was my first time there and I will definitely be back very soon.

          1. re: JerZ Wine Geek
            j
            Jasper04 Feb 3, 2012 09:58 AM

            Had a great meal here with some friends that live in point, thought it was a good byob for the area

        2. j
          JAF60 Oct 17, 2010 09:15 AM

          Food is very good, service is mediocre at best. Regarding comments here, the hostess, Karen, is the owner's wife. She is the reason we will never return. She is rude with an attitude. Three visits were more than enough. She seems to think she is running Daniel in NYC, not Daniel's Bistro in Point Pleasant. She needs to remember, "the buzz that built you up can just as easily bring you down."

          -----
          Daniel's Bistro
          115 Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

          3 Replies
          1. re: JAF60
            equal_Mark Oct 17, 2010 12:50 PM

            The one thing more suspicious than a "One Hit Wonder" post praising a place as the finest establishment on earth is one aimed at an obvious personal attack.

            1. re: equal_Mark
              h
              heidip732 Oct 18, 2010 09:26 AM

              My DH and I just celebrated our ninth anniversary, and decided to go to Daniel's. Another exceptional meal, service very attentive and personal, and got happy anniversary greetings from Karen. We enjoyed it, yet again!

              1. re: heidip732
                CatLadyJan Oct 18, 2010 03:29 PM

                Love Daniels; but we avoid it in the summer. Time to go back again. Food is delicious; service very good.

          2. m
            missybean Apr 23, 2010 01:15 PM

            Had an "interesting" experience trying to make a reservation at Daniel's. Mr. Bean called Tuesday to try and make a Saturday dinner reservation. He asked for 7/7:30 but was told that they only took reservations for 5:45 and 8:45. Not that that was all that they had left but they did not accept reservations for any other times. Mr. Bean asked if we were to come at any other time, and there were tables available would they seat us? "No, we only seat people at those times". He was told they give people 2.5 hours for their meals and will not seat anyone at other times.

            To me, this seems odd for this type of establishment. I'd have thought they'd prefer to stagger meal times a bit more. We've been to Daniels many times before - always with reservations - and never had this happen. Has anyone else had this type of encounter? I am guessing we will not be eating there any time soon.

            Your thoughts?

            4 Replies
            1. re: missybean
              m
              MrsDaniels Apr 23, 2010 11:12 PM

              Hi All,
              This is Karen from Daniel's Bistro. I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful feedback. I also would like to apologize to Mr. Bean for whoever answered the phone on Tuesday. Correct, in that we rarely take a 7-7:30 on Sat, however, we do stagger the seatings, giving 2.5 hours. This week has been particularly busy and on Tuesday all we had left was the above times, however other times are available in advance, seems like about 1-2 weeks for a preferrred time on Saturday. That said life happens, so calling the day of can usually also accommodate, due to cancellations. We appreciate all of your support.
              Karen

              -----
              Daniel's Bistro
              115 Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

              1. re: MrsDaniels
                m
                missybean Apr 24, 2010 04:20 AM

                Karen -

                I appreciate your comments. As we have been to your restaurant many times - the first time based on a review here and many times thereafter - we were quite surprised by the response we got to our reservation request. I completely understand and greatly appreciate that you give your diners adequate time to enjoy their meals.

                I guess in the past when we asked for a 7ish reservation we were very lucky. Our surprise was not that you didn't have those times left but that we were told you never offered any times but those available.

                Again, thank you for your reply. I am sure we will be back as we do love your food and your service.

                Missy.

                1. re: missybean
                  tommy Apr 25, 2010 01:46 PM

                  You like the place and have gone many times and were going to stop going because you don't agree with their reservation policy? Seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face!

                  1. re: tommy
                    m
                    missybean Apr 25, 2010 04:00 PM

                    Not the itself policy, the manner in which the policy was presented.

                    Since I don't usually enjoy eating before 6 nor at almost 9 and there are other places that could accommodate me, I wasn't sure Daniel's was worth the compromise I felt I had to make.

            2. chefMD Jan 21, 2010 07:00 PM

              there are times when a chef nails a dish. it may be something they have worked on for years or just "came up with it." whatever the case may be, Daniel has hit upon one of those rare complete home run dishes. I believe its on the menu at the moment, Spicy Duck meatball and Foie Gras raviolo. STUPENDOUS!!! hope he doesn't mind if i steal it... just kiddn!

              3 Replies
              1. re: chefMD
                bgut1 Jan 22, 2010 07:29 AM

                chefMD - Sounds like Harold Dieterle's signature dish at Perilla (sans the foie gras raviolo).

                1. re: bgut1
                  chefMD Jan 22, 2010 08:02 AM

                  i have had harold's dish and its a little different. that being said, perilla was fantastic all around. think i had a double order of pork belly that night and every other appetizer on the menu.

                  1. re: chefMD
                    r
                    RGR Jan 22, 2010 12:25 PM

                    No meatballs, but Alto's Duck and Foie Gras Agnolotti are sensational!

                    Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                    When Carmellini was at A Voce, we had his signature duck meatballs, and they were seriously delicious! (Never been to Perilla. Daniel's Bistro is still on my "go to" list.)

              2. t
                tom246 Nov 1, 2009 04:40 AM

                We were here a couple of weeks after opening, had a very enjoyable meal and finally made it back.
                A warm greeting by Karen, who wears many hats as hostess, helping the servers, making tableside desserts etc. Many restaurants could be vastly improved with someone like Karen heading up the front of the house.

                Sat down to our 8:00 reservation and looked over the large menu which has been tweaked recently.
                Our server Patti was helpful, friendly and made for a very pleasant evening.
                A dish of olives and and amuse of complimentary bruschetta started things off right. A choice of three different breads is a nice touch.DW choose the mixed greens salad which had dried cranberries, goat cheese, honey roasted walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette.
                I had a special of duck meatballs with bits of foie gras, spinach, egg with a confit filled agnolotti, all swimming in the natural broth. Came with a soup spoon to savor that broth. Two very nice tasty starters.

                Entrees kept up the pace. The Diver Sea Scallops were nicely seared with a light champagne sauce and came with a creamy risotto with chunks of lump crabmeat on top.
                I had the Osso Buco, tender braised veal shank, vegetables, demi glace over saffron risotto.
                Both entrees were excellent, the only small nit was the scallop dish was a bit too salty. The Osso Buco was comfort food heaven. We also had a side of garlicky broccoli rape which went well with both entrees.
                We split a cannoli for dessert which consisted of two medium cannoli, with extra filling flanked by some whipped cream and a scoop of black cherry gelato. Very nice dessert for what we thought was a simple cannoli. At the conclusion of the meal Karen also delivered two chocolate dipped strawberries, another example of the fine customer service here.
                A 2001 Beaurenard CdP was great with dinner.

                After five months Daniel's Bistro seems to be humming along creating some very nice food and excellent service in a comfortable atmosphere. If you have not been, give it a try.

                -----
                Daniel's Bistro
                115 Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

                2 Replies
                1. re: tom246
                  bgut1 Nov 2, 2009 08:22 AM

                  Tom - Thank you for the excellent review. My last visit to Daniel's was something of a mixed bag and I haven't been back ever since. I think I'll go back soon and give it another try. BTW, we missed you at Belford on Saturday night. :)

                  1. re: bgut1
                    t
                    tom246 Nov 2, 2009 03:14 PM

                    LOL, you never know where we might meet next. Nice meal at Daniel's on Saturday. A few new items and service was excellent. I'm sure Belford was its usual stellar self.

                2. b
                  big1515 Sep 23, 2009 10:49 AM

                  Now that the summer crowd is gone ,Have the hours changed ,has the menue changed .Has anything changed ..? is it still as good as early reports ..thanks

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: big1515
                    c
                    cling0017 Oct 8, 2009 11:06 AM

                    They sent me their menu via email =)

                    Appetizers

                    Ahi Tuna Tower 10

                    Sushi grade tuna, avocado, sweet red pepper, tomato, wasabi, pickled ginger, soy

                    Seafood Salad 8

                    Shrimp, scungilli, calamari, lemon & olive oil marinade, celery, onion, fresh herbs

                    Chef Daniel’s Special Mozzarella 8

                    Home made stuffed mozzarella of the day

                    Blue Point Oysters 9

                    Chilled, on half shell, assorted dipping sauces

                    Meat & Cheese Antipasto 10

                    Prosciutto di Parma, hot & sweet sopressata, Parmagiano Reggiano, fresh mozzarella, fontina, Peccorino Romano, imported aged provolone, roasted Holland red pepper, olives, touch of basil oil

                    Shrimp Cocktail 10

                    Jumbo Gulf shrimp, zesty cocktail sauce

                    Nova Scotia Lobster Cocktail 15

                    Chilled, dipping sauces

                    Hudson Valley Foie Gras 14

                    Pan seared, poached pear, fresh raspberry, raspberry sauce

                    Diver Sea Scallops 11

                    Grilled, Tahitian vanilla bean reduction, grilled asparagus

                    Braised Escargot 9

                    Roast garlic, white wine, butter, fresh herbs

                    Fried Calamari 9

                    Semolina dusted calamari, tomato basil, spicy lemon aioli, pepperoncini

                    Jumbo Lump Crabcakes 10

                    Pan seared, garlic spinach, spicy lemon aioli, grilled grape tomato

                    Zuppa di Clams 9

                    Manilla clams, chorizo, extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic, touch of white wine, plum tomato, fresh basil

                    Baby Field Greens 5

                    Dried cranberries, goat cheese, honey roasted walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette

                    Pera Salad 5

                    Baby field greens, poached pears, strawberries, honey roasted walnuts, goat cheese, hazelnut vinaigrette

                    Caesar Salad 6

                    Hearts of romaine, shaved pecorino romano, garlic croutons

                    Entrees

                    Wild King Salmon 24

                    Trio of wild mushrooms, chardonnay reduction

                    Gulf Shrimp 23

                    Extra virgin olive oil, roast garlic, touch of white wine, fresh herbs, fresh diced tomatoes

                    Diver Sea Scallops 25

                    Pan seared, champagne sauce, jumbo lump crabmeat risotto

                    Day Boat Halibut 25

                    Pan seared, chardonnay, nicoise olives, shiitaki mushrooms, grape tomatoes, fresh basil

                    Zuppa di Pesce 28

                    Half fresh lobster, gulf shrimp, diver sea scallops, calamari, Manilla clams, simmered in a light tomato broth

                    Twin South African Lobster Tails 31

                    Broiled, drawn butter

                    Osso Buco 26

                    Braised veal shank, vegetables, wines, demi glace, saffron risotto

                    Berkshire Double Cut Loin of Pork 22

                    Dusted with cracked peppercorn, grappa, oven dried tomatoes, golden raisins, roasted pignoli nuts

                    Colorado Rack of Lamb 36

                    Pan roasted, black mission figs, goat cheese, port wine reduction

                    Grilled Veal Chop 30

                    Roast garlic, caramelized shallot, crimini mushrooms, sage, touch of white wine

                    Hudson Valley Duck Breast 27

                    Pan roasted, seared foie gras, black currants, Pinot Noir

                    Black Angus Filet Mignon 31

                    Foie gras, grilled portabella mushroom, balsamic port wine syrup

                    Grilled Aged USDA Prime Rib Eye Steak Fiorentina 30

                    Applewood smoked bacon, onion, cremini mushrooms, rosemary, olive oil

                    USDA Prime Porterhouse 35

                    Grilled, dusted with cracked black peppercorn, flamed in cognac, demi glace

                    USDA Prime T-Bone 32

                    Grilled, dusted with cracked black peppercorn, flamed in cognac, demi glace

                    Vegetables

                    Haricot Verts baby French green beans, extra virgin olive oil, roast garlic, diced tomato, pecorino romano 6

                    Broccoli Rabe Extra virgin olive oil, roast garlic 6

                    Asparagus Ammaretto cream, cracked pistachio 6

                    Long Hot Italian Peppers Extra virgin olive oil, roast garlic 6

                  2. h
                    HelenB Aug 31, 2009 05:56 AM

                    We had another wonderful meal in this place. We made an very early reservation at 5:00pm on Saturday and we were happy to get our cheerful server, Elizabeth again. I had the tuna tower for appetizer, the combination of the tuna, red pepper, avocado was well complimented by the oriental taste of soy sauce. My husband had the daily special, soft shelf crab, and he enjoyed it but there was no “wow” factor, it was just nice. As for the main course, I had the king salmon, it was cooked to perfection. The portion was just right with the mushroom and wine reduction…the risotto was good too. As for the hubby, he picked the diver scallops, the entrée I had when we went there last time. He just loved that and I am not going to repeat what I said about that dish. My husband’s comment was one of the nicest scallop dishes with excellent choice of crab meat and risotto to compliment it. For dessert, we had the banana foster…it was quite a show that Karen presented in front of us! It was just fun to watch Karen cooking the banana with alcohol, flaming up in front of us. It was a treat with the ice cream. A great surprise is with the cappuccino I ordered, it came with the rock sugar stick, a very nice touch!

                    1. h
                      HelenB Aug 10, 2009 07:32 AM

                      We made our reservation on Wednesday for Friday night last week, we preferred to eat at around 7:15pm but were advised to have a 7:45pm reservation. I also requested for the menu but as someone already pointed out that their website is not running till later, I did have a prompt response from Karen, here is the link that she sent me. http://www.jerseymenus.com/menus.php?...

                      The exterior of the place is nothing special, there were a few table outside and they were filled when we arrived. The interior of the restaurant is clean and simple, nothing too fancy but comfortable. The place was quite packed at the time but we were seated immediately and Karen came over to greet us. Our server, Elizabeth was very prompt in attending us and she is very cheerful; we brought our own wine but also order the sparkling water. Elizabeth informed us about the daily specials after we have the time to go through the menu(not that we really have to since we kind of went through it at home on the internet). There were quite a number of choices for the daily specials.

                      Complimentary olives and bit size bruschetta were provided right after Elizabeth took our order. So far our experience was pleasing and then another server(I believe he is specialized with the bread basket) came over with the bread basket, but there were only 4 pieces of bread in the big basket and there were only 3 choices(two of them were the same). I got the sourdough while my husband got the wheat and walnut. Cannot remember what the other choice was. Anyway, I think that it would be nicer if the basket was filled with more choices or if they just serve a small basket of bread for each table, instead of having this server bringing over the big bread basket which looked kind of empty with limited choices. There was olive oil on the table but we have to request for the butter. I have no preference between olive oil or butter for my choice of bread, but my husband wanted to have butter with his walnut wheat. Unlike some of the previous post, our bread was great and fresh.

                      For appetizer, I got the King Crab with dipping sauce(which was one of their daily specials) while my husband got the Lobster Cocktail. Both of them came on a bed of ice on square plates, the presentation was not bad. The lobster was a good size and de-shelled; as for the King Crab, it was fresh but of course, I needed to use my hands.

                      My entrée was Diver Sea Scallops, there were 5 decent size scallops, seared nicely and with champagne sauce. Right next to it was the risotto with lump crabmeat on top, while on the right was a few beans. I like the presentation was very clean and symmetric. The portion was good, both the scallops and the crabs were fresh and tasty. The risotto was creamy but not over powering. I do not eat duck, so I have to take my husband’s word for his entrée. He enjoyed it very much and he said that the breast was tender and the foie gras was just melting in his mouth. Not to mention the combination of the currant and pinot noir, which he said that brought out the flavor. We also ordered a side dish of asparagus with amaretto cream and pistachio. My husband loves pistachio and asparagus, when he saw that on the menu, he insisted that we needed to try. It was quite an interesting combination for me, my husband loves it but I think that it was a bit too sweet.

                      We were quite full but cannot resist the temptation of the tartufo. By the way, the online menu does not have the dessert menu. The tartufo was served at just the right temperature, not melted and not rock hard frozen. We finished off our meal with some expresso.

                      I have read some of the comments about this place by other chowhounders, I wonder if Karen and Danny read all the comments, it seemed that the issues that were brought up before have been improved. By the way, the AC is definitely working! I enjoyed the food, and the service was good. Our server Elizabeth is younger, bubbly but yet professional. Karen was very gracious and friendly. The bill came to $108 excluding tips and we had a wonderful time, and will definitely return.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: HelenB
                        r
                        RGR Aug 10, 2009 08:09 AM

                        Thanks for the detailed report, HelenB. Since we've yet to go to Daniel's, continuing to read about good experiences such as yours is very encouraging.

                        It does appear that Karen and Daniel are checking here regularly and have been making every effort to address issues which have been brought up. Happy to hear that the a.c. is working. :)

                        1. re: RGR
                          g
                          Gastronomic Aug 24, 2009 06:52 AM

                          We arrived very early and were seated promptly. Our server Patti was very professional and unobtrusive. We began with crabcakes and zuppa di mussels. The crabcakes were delicious and light and almost all crab. The light pan sear gave a nice crispness which gave way to the meaty goodness of the crabcakes. The zuppa di mussels were done in a broth of white wine, tomato,garlic and chorizo. We chose the "hot" preparation and were pleased we did. I could have asked for a loaf or two of bread for the sauce, but I don't think I would have been able to eat my dinner. For dinner we had the wild salmon over risotto, with a three wild mushroom reduction. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the depth of flavor in the reduction was excellent. My lady had a perfectly cooked Florida grouper over a mix of broccoli rabe and lentils. We finished the evening with a house made tiramisu, coffee and espresso. $88.00 before tip and worth every penny.

                          1. re: Gastronomic
                            h
                            HelenB Aug 25, 2009 05:47 AM

                            Gastronomic,

                            I will need to go back and try what you had! Sounds really good!

                            1. re: Gastronomic
                              JerzeyShore Aug 26, 2009 11:37 AM

                              The wife and I went for an early dinner with a reservation at 5 PM last night and we had the place to ourselves. Started with Jersey tomato and mozzarella which was the best we ever tasted. Me the day boat halibut and her the sword fish special. Bottom line is that they do fish at this bistro about as good as any we have ever tasted, bar none. This is our fourth visit and so far only very few quibbles not worth mentioning considering the overall quality and value f their food. The total for the meal was about $70 before tip.

                        2. a
                          aklein Aug 1, 2009 06:03 AM

                          The choice was Daniel's on Thursday night -- circumstances forced us to reschedule a long-awaited trip to Daryl Wine Bar, but we couldn't have been more happy with the choice.
                          Refreshing to find a restaurant in which ownership has so much love and pride in what they're doing. Karen was wonderful and gracious and helpful (hi, Karen)
                          We started out with appetizers -- roasted figs with a raspberry sauce and prosciutto for me; mussels in an amazingly rich tomato broth for her. Excellent both. I've read on the board about stale bread, but we had no such issues as the three choices (whole wheat, semolina, white) were fresh out of the warmer, or maybe the oven. While I enjoy olive oil with bread, I do admit I missed the butter with the warm rolls (there you go, RGR!). We were also treated with a complimentary bruschetta/tomatoes/basil, as were all the diners I saw. Nothing over the top, but a nice touch just the same.
                          Entrees: 1) Day-boat halibut over risotto with mushrooms and a butter-wine sauce. The fish excellently cooked but maybe the risotto lacked a little bite on the tooth, while the sauce had just enough acid to cut through. 2) T-Bone Veal chop, that included roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach. Luckily for us, we brought both a white (Bourgone Chardonnay and Steele Pinot Noir from Cali.) and each served us well.
                          We did make room for dessert: she had a well-executed, traditional creme brulee that was not ice cold in the center (a pet peeve of mine); I had a scoop each of lemon and pomegranate sorbet. As an added surprise, Karen brought us a small plate of fruit and two chocolate covered strawberries as we had mentioned that it was our anniversary when making the reservations earlier. She also stopped to chat once or twice and we enjoyed the conversation immensely.
                          Our server, Lorrie (I hope I have that right, my apologies if I don't), was top-notch, professional and sharp. Overall, service was excellent. One of my favorite habits in a restaurant is that they replace all flatware between courses. I've been in better-than-average restaurants only to see a server or busser take the fork off the salad plate and put it back in front of me; a big no-no unless I'm out for a burger and beer (even then!).
                          Since Daniel's has been open since June, they seem to have smoothed out the rough spots, though I admit it was a quiet night with a few open tables in this relatively small place. If I had any complaints, I felt that it was a bit warm in there and maybe the AC was being challenged by the heat and humidity we had last week (is it over yet?)
                          Overall, I can't say enough about how happy we were. We will add Daniel's to our list of places where we'd like to be repeat customers. The bill (minus the wine, of course) was about $80 before tip, and considering the food, service, attention and ambiance, we were delighted. Thanks, Karen, and thank Daniel for us as well for a great meal.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: aklein
                            bgut1 Aug 1, 2009 06:42 AM

                            aklein - I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed your meal. It would seem from your review that they have improved the bread service. As far as the A/C, we had experienced the same situation when we last dined. It sounds like they may need to do something about it.

                            1. re: aklein
                              r
                              RGR Aug 1, 2009 09:10 AM

                              "While I enjoy olive oil with bread, I do admit I missed the butter with the warm rolls (there you go, RGR!). "

                              aklein,

                              The operative question: Did you ask for butter? I sincerely hope they wouldn't refuse that request.

                              I love detailed reviews, and you've done a great job with this one. I absolutely agree with you about the silverware replacement thingy. Happy to hear that's not a problem. However, now you and bgut have me worried about insufficient a.c. Just when I was considering bumping Daniel's further up on my "go to" list again, along comes a new reason for me to hesitate. :(

                              1. re: RGR
                                x
                                xny556cip Aug 1, 2009 11:15 AM

                                Nice to see relatively sound reviews coming in and that we were possibly an exception.RGR just jogged my memory regarding flatware,and my request to havethe steak knife replaced by a regular knife when I had my Duck.I guess i'm an exception but I detest the gargantuan Fred Flinstone like "Steak" knifes that are placed for diners regularly .My contention is that if a knife of that caliber is required to eat ANY piece of meat,then the restaurant really shouldn't be serving it.Those tools belong on a fishing boat and should stay there.If a better establishment insists on an alternative knife there is always Laguiole.

                                1. re: xny556cip
                                  r
                                  RGR Aug 1, 2009 11:57 AM

                                  xny,

                                  I'm a fan of the Laguiole knife. Great design and, of course, it does its job admirably. I've found it used only in the very finest/upscale restaurants, although some restaurants in that category don't bother with a special steak knife at all as the quality of the meats they serve is such that they barely need any knife. (One example of the latter is EMP.)

                                2. re: RGR
                                  a
                                  aklein Aug 2, 2009 06:54 AM

                                  R-

                                  No, I didn't ask for butter, but I guess mostly because I didn't mind the olive oil and we were just talking and drinking wine. In fact, sometimes when drinking wine and enjoying bread, the olive oil makes more sense than butter (just for me, I'm sure). Maybe it just didn't occur to me to ask, but I doubt they would have denied the request, though I guess I can't say that with certainty.

                                  I wouldn't let the A.C. issue stop you from going. However, I may plan my second trip after the heat breaks next month just to be sure. Trust me, it wasn't unbearable as though the A.C. wasn't on, but it didn't seem to be working to my liking (then again, my wife was "comfortable").

                                  1. re: aklein
                                    r
                                    RGR Aug 2, 2009 08:25 AM

                                    aklein,

                                    It's true that when it comes to a.c., one person's "too warm" or "too cold" is another person's "comfortable." When we dine out during the warm weather months, I always bring a light sweater or jacket, so I'd rather it be "too cold" than the uncomfortable "too warm." Having been forewarned of a possible problem, I will definitely not go on a beastly hot day.

                                    JerseyShore,

                                    LOL! Nice to know that my gripe has gotten Karen's attention. Kudos to her for making that change! :)

                                  2. re: RGR
                                    JerzeyShore Aug 2, 2009 07:48 AM

                                    RGR, I think that Karen has gotten the hint - we went there last night and the bread server actually asked us if we also wanted butter with our rolls. I said yes and he promptly brought back a small dish of butter...

                                    1. re: JerzeyShore
                                      bgut1 Aug 2, 2009 10:27 AM

                                      Jerzey - They offered me butter on my first visit over a month back. See my July 6 post above.

                                      1. re: tommy
                                        c
                                        charmel Aug 2, 2009 04:41 PM

                                        Returned for our second visit to Daniels and consistently pleased as on visit number one. We went with a second set of friends and they too were impressed. This time we tried as apps the seafood salad...wonderful, shrimp, calamari, scungilli...the marinade had a lovely slight kick to it and I would definitely order it again. Also tried the ahi tuna tower and although it was a very tasty blend of flavors, I like my tuna better slightly seared and in whole slices vs. raw and sort of chopped in with the avocado and peppers as in this dish. The delicious concoction is sort of rolled into a 4 inch high cylinder shape about 2 inches in diameter. Definitely an interesting presentation and tasty although not my own personal choice for an appetizer again. My friends liked it very much. Mains were zuppa di pesce which I thoroughly loved, loved, loved. I had trouble deciding between the day boat halibut that I had last time which was so scrumptious that I was tempted to order it again and the zuppa. My friend and I shared the two....she got the halibut and I got the zuppa di pesce. I would order the zuppa again in a heartbeat. The half lobster was a decent weight, moist, succulent. The sea scallops were perfect, the shrimp, the clams...all perfect and served in the most light yet robust flavored broth. The dish is not served over pasta, but the angel hair is served on the side. At first I thought this was not the right presentation, since most zuppa di pesce is over the pasta, but Daniel again, got it right on! Taking some of the mounds of angel hair and floating it in the dish of broth a bit at a time....I died and went to heaven. My friend adored the halibut and the zuppa and we were both happy as clams! Pardon the pun. My spouse had the Gulf Shrimp and he loved them too. I might try them next time. Our friend's spouse also had the zuppa and likewise raved. We had some light dessert since it was our friends anniversary. We had tartufo and cappucino gelato. I loved both. I think the tartufo was served over a bit of chocolate sauce or fudge and it was not frozen solid like some tartufos at the local Italian restaurants. The gelato was a very good quality and had a bit of crunch in it. I couldnt tell if it was chocolate, but whatever it was it tasted great. Karen also brought over a plate of fresh fruit as she knew that it was a special occassion for our friends (22 years of wedded bliss) and she recognized us as repeat customers from a couple of weeks ago. She is an extremely gracious hostess and I truly wish them continued success. Now....the butter.....I didnt wait...when they brought the bread, I asked for butter. We found it a little tough sometimes to find the "bread guy" who comes around with the rolls and although they ran out of rolls at about 9:30, we were given bread. Not a big deal to us! I also spoke to Karen about the A/C situation. My friends and my spouse were comfortable, but I felt a bit warm. She informed me that since they adjusted their kitchen exhaust, it was also pulling out the air conditioning with it. She has two additional A/C units supposed to be added on this Wednesday. Once these units are in the situation should be rectified. Karen and her husband seem right on top of things. They want to get it right and I must say for being open only 2 months, they are pretty darn close to perfecting this little gem. Kudos! P.S. Dinner including tip ran $90 per couple.

                                        1. re: charmel
                                          r
                                          RGR Aug 2, 2009 06:57 PM

                                          An excellent review, charmel. And thanks for the update on the a.c. situation.

                                3. Angelina Jul 31, 2009 03:08 AM

                                  Here is my glowing review of Daniel's! I first want to thank tom246 for the start of this post, because without his suggestions as well as everyone else whom have dined here, I would have never made it to this gem. Thank you all!

                                  I must tell you all, Karen, the host/owner is truely very welcoming and aiming to please. She was such a pleasure to speak to over the phone, and when we arrived even more so. She greeted us and welcomed us to the restaurant. She periodically came to the tables to see how everything was, if we needed anything, more bread, poured more wine, etc.

                                  Our server Ryan was great, too. He made sure we were doing ok, and was not overbearing at all. (I hate those places where the staff is on top of you just waiting to grab a plate..so annoying! Not here, thankfully!)

                                  For appetizers, I had the lobster cocktail thanks to someone who posted it here. You HAVE to get this!! Holy lobster!! 2 claws and 1 med. sized tail. So succulent. Nice and icy cold. It was served with a great dipping sauce, almost like a tarter, but not, and of course, a cocktail sauce. For $ 15.00 this was a complete steal! My husband had a special of mussels in a spicy marianara broth with chorizo in it. I just could not stop dipping my bread in it!! The mussels were very fresh (I make them all the time) and I would definately order both again!

                                  For dinner we both ahd the same, Roasted Halibut. Oh my! We both had lunch for the next day, and it was just as fabulous as the night before! I just love Halibut. It was served over risotto and came with haricot vert and portobello mushrooms. The sauce was so creamy and silky. It did not overpower the fish either. So good!

                                  We had no room for dessert. Our bill came to $ 86.00 without tip. This was the 2 apps, 2 dinners, and 1 bottle of Pellegrino. (It is a BYOB, so we had our own wine, which is great!)

                                  We honestly and truely enjoyed it. We would definately go back. I must say, my husband first questioned a restaurant in PP, because afterall, what really is good there?? He was quite pleased. He actually enjoyed the halibut here more than the Dorado he just loves at Cercle Rouge in Tribeca. (I know 2 different fishes, but he was that enthusiastic about it!)

                                  When we left, Ryan was very kind and courteous. Karen really left a lasting impression. We saw her work her majic throughout the room, and was very gratious when we left. She really was a fabulous host! (Her husband is the chef and as you can tell, the food is divine!)

                                  I wish them much success, and I will be telling many to try this place!

                                  Thanks everyone for the great posts! :)

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Angelina
                                    t
                                    tom246 Jul 31, 2009 04:21 AM

                                    Great report Angelina. Not that I needed an excuse to get back to Daniel's but after reading your experience I need to get back soon!

                                    1. re: tom246
                                      Angelina Jul 31, 2009 06:32 AM

                                      Thanks Tom! If it was not for your fantastic review...I would have never known!

                                      Any other gems you care to reveal :)

                                      1. re: Angelina
                                        t
                                        tom246 Jul 31, 2009 12:43 PM

                                        Hi Angelina, happy to hear you enjoyed Daniel's and Happy Anniversary!
                                        Another very good restaurant that flys a bit "under the radar" is Oliver A Bistro in Bordentown. Here is a Chowhound thread with many positive posts including wife and I and bgut1. Menu is somewhat similar to Daniel's, a good variety
                                        Plus a bonus, Bordentown is even closer than PP.

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580003

                                        http://www.oliverabistro.com/

                                    2. re: Angelina
                                      r
                                      RGR Jul 31, 2009 09:02 AM

                                      Hey, Angelina,

                                      Thanks for the detailed review. So glad your annniversary dinner at Daniel's was a smashing success. It appears the halibut is *the* thing to have, and that lobster sounds wonderful. I may boost Daniel's back up nearer the top of my "go to" list. :)

                                      1. re: Angelina
                                        cookieluvntasha Jul 31, 2009 12:28 PM

                                        Thank you for your wonderful post! I've been tossing the idea of going to DB's for my anniversary on Sept. 8. The one thing I don't think my husband will like is that there is no potato on the menu (He really is a meat and potato guy) I have to keep reminding myselt that it is his anniversary dinner too and without a mashed or oven roasted potato with his meal, he may not be happy. I really want to try this place though bc its so close and I love a reason to go down the shore. Thank you again!

                                        1. re: cookieluvntasha
                                          c
                                          charmel Jul 31, 2009 01:52 PM

                                          I'm headed to DB again tomorrow night with some other friends who are dying to try it. I will report back.

                                          1. re: charmel
                                            bgut1 Jul 31, 2009 10:23 PM

                                            Charmel - Please report back about your dinner. Enjoy and good luck.

                                          2. re: cookieluvntasha
                                            bgut1 Jul 31, 2009 10:23 PM

                                            Cookie - Are you sure about no potatoes being on the menu. I've been twice and I seem to recall someone having mashed potatoes with their meal. I could be wrong however since I eschew the starchy stuff.

                                        2. Angelina Jul 28, 2009 06:28 AM

                                          Is this place opne on Tuesdays? I want to go tonight, fo my anniversary :) It is only 9:30 am right now, so I did not call, but I figured I would ask here first. I re-read everyone's description of dinner and I definately want to try the place.

                                          Plus, thanks to RGR, I emailed Karen and she was quite efficient with responding back to me with the menu.

                                          Looking forward!!

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Angelina
                                            r
                                            RGR Jul 28, 2009 07:11 AM

                                            Hey, Angelina,

                                            I don't recall Karen telling me they'd be closed on Tuesdays. In fact, I think she said they'd be open 7 days a week. But, then, my memory does not always serve me well these days... :(

                                            Happy Anniversary! I hope wherever you go to celebrate that you have a delicious meal. :)

                                            1. re: RGR
                                              Angelina Jul 28, 2009 07:19 AM

                                              oh Fabulous, RGR! Thanks for the well wishes, too!

                                              1. re: Angelina
                                                a
                                                aklein Jul 28, 2009 07:57 AM

                                                we're doing our anniversary this Thursday... I currently have a res. at Daryl Wine Bar, but am more and more tempted to switch over to Daniel's Bistro (especially since we're already in southern Monmouth)... any thoughts from anyone?

                                                1. re: aklein
                                                  bgut1 Jul 28, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                  aklein - It depends what you are in the mood for. Daryl is one of my favorite restaurants and offers more of a "night on the town" new york city vibe. Also, Daryl has an excellent wine list (with tons of offerings by the glass) and is more of a small plates/tapas type of restaurant. On the hand, Daniel's is more relaxed, offers a less complicated menu and is BYOB. Either is a good choice. However, if I had to pick between the two, I would go with Daryl. Either way, have a Happy Anniversary.

                                                  Angelina - Happy Anniversary to you as well.

                                                  1. re: bgut1
                                                    a
                                                    aklein Jul 28, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                    bgut1-
                                                    thanks for the insight... my gut feeling was to stick to Daryl and make a trip to Daniel's another time... you've confirmed that... I shall report back sometime friday.... and thanks for the happy anniversary wishes...

                                                    and hey, while we're at it, happy anniversary to you, angelina

                                            2. re: Angelina
                                              m
                                              missybean Jul 28, 2009 12:33 PM

                                              We have a 7:00 pm reservation for tonight (Tuesday). It will be our second visit, the first just a week or two after they opened. We enjoyed our meal and hope that we won't be disappointed tonight.

                                              Maybe we'll see you there.

                                            3. l
                                              lggfly Jul 26, 2009 08:17 AM

                                              As an avid reader of these boards, I decided it was time to put in my two cents, and a visit to Daniel's Bistro last night gave me the impetus to do so. My wife and I decided to try Daniel's after reading all (or mostly all) of the wonderful reviews. We were not disappointed. My wife is a nut for Oysters on the Half Shell, but after seeing all the other tempting appetizers, she decided on the Ahi Tuna Tower (don't remember the last time she didn't order the oysters). It was presented in a cylindrical form, about 4 inches high and included the tuna, tomatoes, avocado, and was served with soy sauce, ginger and wasabi. I'm not a lover of avocado, but the combination was exceptional. I ordered the seafood salad, which was prepared with calamari, scungilli, shrimp, onion. It was served over just a small amount of greens and an equally small amount of oil. Also exceptional!

                                              For entrees, my wife ordered the Shrimp, while I struggled with my decision and finally ended up with the Double Cut Loin of Pork. Both dishes were beautiful in their presentations and very well prepared. The shrimp was served with a risotto that was out of this world. The pork was ordered medium rare, and came out perfect...moist and tender and very tasty as the cracked peppercorn topping (may also have had grappa - not sure) made it special. We also ordered a side of Haricot Verts, which came out nice and crispy.

                                              We passed on dessert, although that took a great deal of willpower. All in all, a wonderful dining experience and we will definitely be back.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: lggfly
                                                t
                                                tom246 Jul 26, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                lggfly, nice report. Agree on the ahi tuna tower and the double cut loin of pork. Very tasty and nicely presented.

                                                1. re: lggfly
                                                  r
                                                  RGR Jul 26, 2009 10:13 AM

                                                  Welcome, Iggfly! And thanks for the excellent report. The more voices and opinions, the better, so I hope you will continue to post about your restaurant experiences. :)

                                                2. x
                                                  xny556cip Jul 14, 2009 08:58 PM

                                                  I called first to see if reservations were required on a Tuesday and told that they were advised but not required.Karen has an unusually natural and welcoming telephone manner.I was already looking forward to dinner.
                                                  I was prompt and greeted by name,even though we've never met !
                                                  Danny Meyer would be proud.
                                                  We decided to dine outside,so only briefly saw the interior of this recently refurbished restaurant.As previously noted,tastefully done in well balanced tones and comfortable without being stuffy or pretentious.
                                                  The youg waitstaff are decked out in the ubiquitous khaki and chambray attire that has become as tired as a Bennigans,but i'm knit picking.They are attentive,charming and provide a service that i've yet to experience elsewhere at this level of restaurant.I've never had a napkin re-folded as many times during a meal since i was at culinary school 35 years ago!
                                                  I'l be brief and to the point here on in.
                                                  First impressions were great.I chose a Tuesday night as the place is finding it's feet and regarding all the glowing reviews I wanted to hedge my luck on getting a great meal. The choice of breads was nice,covering all the classic bases.Good olives to divert my attention and an overly brittle little bruscheta with a nice shaving of cheese atop.
                                                  My partner had a decent salad and I chose the Foi Gras with pear.This is the first thing i would choose on any menu anywhere if it was available.The liver was what i would consider a somewhat small portion,and though cooked medium (I requested pink) it was what can only be described as charred on the outside.Not pan seared.Charred to the point of having a bitter crust.I was dissapointed.This is a delicate (and expenive ) offal that require a lot of attention by the preparer.
                                                  Our entrees were a Duck breast and Fillet Mignon,both served with a simple risotto.A side of crisp haricot verts was ordered.My Wife asked for her steak to be well done and for the wine reduction and foi gras that came with it to be served on the side.IMO a well done fillet sat next to tablespoon of simple risotto on a white china plate does nothing to get my gastric juices flowing,but that was her choice and I made no comment apart from "That's the way you asked for it !" My intention was to steal her unwanted liver,but when I saw the state of how it had also been crucified,I thought better of it.
                                                  Duck can be great and Duck can be overly fatty,chewy, and dissapointing.This Duck was not great.
                                                  I have just made a promise to myself never to order it again until I go back to Brussels,where i've got much more than a 50/50 chance of being satisfied.
                                                  Karen asked after our entrees how everything was,and I told her I was dissapointed.Without going into any detail she said sorry and comped us a couple of desserts.The flourless chocolate cake and a blood orange sorbet (Nice option there I thought?)My Wife quite enjoyed the cake though it seemed to resemble more a cheesecake.Nevertheless it was enjoyed.
                                                  My Sorbet was playing tricks with my mind as it had a definite strawberry color and was topped with a rasberry.I closed my eyes and was relieved to taste oranges.A little overly gelatinous,but not overly sweet,which was a good thing.
                                                  At this point I usually would lick my wounds and ponder if I would return?It was when i went to take the last biteof sorbet that I saw mold in the rasberry.
                                                  O.K.,I've seen fur on every fruit ,and have been caught off guard when I haven't checked the bottom of a pack at the supernarket,but this is the kind of thing that ( like the liver ),needs attention....close attention.
                                                  The espresso was good and well prepared with a decent crema.No small feat for too many restaurants in this State.
                                                  I made a point of pointing out my dissapointment.
                                                  What's the point in being asked for your opinion if you just shrug,pay the bill and don't return?
                                                  I in no way want to put down this place,just give a truthfull acount of my experience.I hope they get on top of everything and make it through to the next season,It seems that the FOH is in the right direction,but there is a lot of room for improvement and work needed in the kitchen if they are to be ranked with similar and survive IMO.Good luck.

                                                  14 Replies
                                                  1. re: xny556cip
                                                    r
                                                    RGR Jul 14, 2009 09:24 PM

                                                    Thanks for your detailed and very honest report, xny. I agree that there is no point to being asked how things are if they don't want to hear the truth. And diners should be honest and provide constructive criticism when warranted in a courteous manner. Imo, it's the only way restaurants can ever improve things -- provided, of course, that management is interested in doing so.

                                                    There have been so many good report about Daniel's Bistro that I've been very much looking foward to trying it. But frankly, you shot quite a whole in my desire. I'm a foie gras addict and a duck fanatic. So the fact that you had less than positive experiences with both really distresses me. I suppose I could wait a while longer before going there, but let's face it. If the chef doesn't have the skills to cook those items correctly, it's not going to make any difference when we go there.

                                                    I guess when we go, as much as it pains me, I'll probably skip the foie and the duck. Instead, perhaps the day boat halibut, which vokar raved was "the best piece of fish I have ever had in a restaurant" will be on the menu and will prove to be that good. We shall see....

                                                    1. re: xny556cip
                                                      bgut1 Jul 15, 2009 09:48 AM

                                                      xny556cip - I haven't had the opportunity to write up a review of my 2nd dinner at Daniel's this past Saturday, but your post has spurred me to at least add my two cents. I must admit to having my enthusiasm for this place tempered a bit as a result of my last meal. In short, while my other diners professed to loving their meals, I was disappointed with my entree as well as the bread service. As I had previously reported, the bread served during our first meal was on the stale side. This dinner again was no exception as the bread was almost unchewable. As far as the entree, I ordered the Rack of Lamb which was served with an almost too rich demi glace with dollops of goat cheese which pushed this dish over the top (in a bad way) to the point that I had difficulty eating it. This was a shame as the entree was both expensive ($36) and the lamb was cooked properly. Again, I want to point out that my tablemates had no complaints that evening and I believe this restaurant exhibits much promise. As a result, while I intend to return to Daniel's, I doubt I will do so for a while giving them an opportunity to correct some of my perceived shortcomings. P.S. Although we did not order any dessert that evening, I do wish to report that they did add a few more desserts to their menu including a cannoli and tiramisu. Good Luck.

                                                      1. re: bgut1
                                                        JerzeyShore Jul 16, 2009 05:10 AM

                                                        bgut1, sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. The wife and I were there on Saturday as well and she had the salmon and I had the double cut pork chop and both were delicious. This was our second visit and the quality of the food and service were very good. BTW were you the with the table of four by the end of the front room which had the colossal wine glasses and plenty of vino?

                                                        1. re: JerzeyShore
                                                          bgut1 Jul 16, 2009 10:12 AM

                                                          Sorry Jerzey - That wasn't me :)

                                                          1. re: bgut1
                                                            t
                                                            tom246 Jul 16, 2009 12:17 PM

                                                            bgut, when I saw Jerzey say colossal wine glasses, I thought you became a real wine geek like someone else I know :)

                                                            1. re: tom246
                                                              bgut1 Jul 16, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                              That's funny Tom. I thought the exact same thing!! :)

                                                        2. re: bgut1
                                                          Tapas52 Jul 16, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                          bgut1 sorry to hear about your experience at Daniel's...I think I'll step back and put a question mark on my to go list "for now" after reading a few of these reviews....maybe we'll try it later down the road toward the end of the year when they work out some of the flaws hopefully after the beach season which could have overwhelmed them since opening. Thank you for your informative honest review...I hope they are reading these also.

                                                          1. re: RGR
                                                            c
                                                            charmel Jul 23, 2009 06:40 PM

                                                            I don't want to be repetitive and I am not as eloquent as some of you who really give more detailed and elaborate reviews which I love reading. I try to do what I can to contribute to this board since I really enjoy it. I have come to know those of you whose tastes are similar to mine and you have all helped me to find some wonderful restaurants. Thanks to all. I tried Daniels last Saturday night and the experience was very pleasant. Both Karen and our waitress were very gracious, professional and accommodating. We didnt hear any of the "you guys" that others referred to above. We started our meal with an order of fried calamari. While enjoyable and very fresh, I feel that it could have had a little more of an imaginative sauce. The red sauce was good but I somehow expected something a little more gourmet. We then had salad. We had the pera salad- poached pears, strawberries, goat cheese, etc..... very good value...$5.00 and plentiful enough for two. Delish. Between our salad and our mains there was a bit of a lull in service coming out of the kitchen. I didnt really notice it since I absolutely HATE when restaurants flop out one course after another. I was satisfied with the calamari and the salad and was enjoying our wine and conversation. The couple we were with, however, did note that they felt that the service was slow. You see, I feel that good things are worth the wait and it was for me. I agree with one of the posters above. I had the Day Boat Halibut and WOW....it was probably the best piece of fish that I ever ate also. It was delicious and our friend had the same and also agreed. We cleaned the plates! My spouse had the Osso Bucco and loved it too. I took a taste and I would definitely put that on my list of things to order when we return. The only negative was our friends steak. He ordered the T-bone and as he was eating I could tell he wasnt happy. Coincidentally at about that point in the meal, Karen came over to ask how everyhing was. We told her that the steak was tough. She was very surprised and was very apologetic. She immediately asked if he wanted anything else. He declined and Karen was extremely gracious and a smart business woman and took the steak off the bill. She said that she would speak to her meat supplier on Monday. I would hope that it was just a fluke and an isolated instance because I read above rave reviews on the rib eye, but for me personally, I will stick to the fish since I loveit over meat any day. All in all, we will definitely go back. The reservations were promptly honored and I also agree that this restaurant has major potential to stay around for a long time. It is refreshing to enjoy good food. There are so many mediocre restaurants around except for a short list of winners that we all know and love and it is nice to see a new player on the boards. I look forward to all of your reviews as you all get to Daniels.

                                                            1. re: charmel
                                                              bgut1 Jul 23, 2009 07:30 PM

                                                              Nice review Charmel. I'm happy you enjoyed your meal.

                                                              1. re: charmel
                                                                t
                                                                tom246 Jul 23, 2009 07:41 PM

                                                                Charmel, great report and I agree with Daniel's is off to a good start.

                                                                1. re: tom246
                                                                  c
                                                                  charmel Jul 23, 2009 08:10 PM

                                                                  Thanks bgut and tom....I follow and enjoy your posts, also RGR and Seal are a few other reviewers that I find pattern my own tastes. I remember about two years ago maybe, when I first learned about this board and I tried Trinity when it first opened, I wrote a glowing detailed review of my dining experience. I tried to fashion my review in a similar detailed style to those I was reading. As a newcomer to this board, I was so proud of what I posted. Well, much to my surprise, I got slammed by alot of you as being a "ringer" for Trinity. I was accused of owning the restaurant or being an investor. It was hilarious in a way, but I didnt take it personally and continued to follow the board and post here and there. I guess you all have gotten to know me by now and realize that I am just another "foodie" like all of you.

                                                                  1. re: charmel
                                                                    r
                                                                    RGR Jul 23, 2009 10:16 PM

                                                                    charmel,

                                                                    Thanks for this detailed review. There is absolutely no need for you to apologize for what you think is your lack of "eloquence" because you've done an excellent job. You are a trusted member on this board, and I always appreciate your contributions. :)

                                                                    1. re: RGR
                                                                      bgut1 Jul 24, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                                      My sentiments exactly.

                                                                      1. re: bgut1
                                                                        tommy Jul 24, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                                        what a love-fest. :)

                                                        3. Angelina Jun 25, 2009 04:32 AM

                                                          Sounds great! Maybe they will even put a website together for the rest of us to see!! Nice review tom246!

                                                          21 Replies
                                                          1. re: Angelina
                                                            r
                                                            RGR Jun 25, 2009 06:07 AM

                                                            Hey, Angelina,

                                                            When I spoke with Karen, she told me the website will be coming in November. The delay relates to when their domain name becomes available. If you want a copy of the menu, e-mail her, and she'll e-mail back a copy.

                                                            danielsbistro@verizon.net

                                                            1. re: RGR
                                                              Angelina Jun 25, 2009 09:40 AM

                                                              Thanks so much RGR! Will do!

                                                              1. re: RGR
                                                                Angelina Jun 27, 2009 04:44 AM

                                                                RGR...I sent Karen an email and still responded ASAP with the menu! Looks fantastic! Great part on Karen! Thanks again!

                                                                1. re: Angelina
                                                                  r
                                                                  RGR Jun 27, 2009 06:14 AM

                                                                  Angelina,

                                                                  Yes, Karen is definitely on the ball. A very savvy businesswoman. And from what we've heard, she's doing an excellent job running foh. Of course, that would mean zilch if the food isn't good, but all reports thus far indicate that in that regard, diners are in for a real treat. Daniel's Bistro is at the tippy-top of my NJ "go to" list.

                                                                  Btw, we finally made it to Shirin Cafe yesterday for a late lunch. Dee-licious! I'll be posting the particulars on the appropriate thread.

                                                                  1. re: RGR
                                                                    bgut1 Jul 5, 2009 09:39 PM

                                                                    Okay – under the better late than never category I’ve finally got around to writing up my review of Daniel’s Bistro. Let me start off by apologizing not only for the lateness of my submission but the lack of detail in my recollection of the meal. Over the past several years, I’ve written reviews within 24 hours of the meal if not the same evening after returning from the restaurant (I truly need to get a life). Here it has been well over a week since I ate at Daniel’s and my memory has not benefited from the delay. Aided by the copy of the menu provided by my good friend RGR (I couldn’t wait for you R – You owe me one) here goes:

                                                                    Our party of four arrived a few minutes late for our 8 PM Saturday reservation. I should have known better than to underestimate the traffic going over the bridge in Point Pleasant Beach as well as the lack of parking along Broadway. Frustrated with my inability to locate a parking spot, I pulled into the restaurant’s lot with the intention of letting out my companions. Instead, a woman who I later understood to be Karen was outside and directed me to park in an unmarked space in front of the building. It was an unnecessary but welcomed gesture. Score one for Daniel’s Bistro.
                                                                    My party was welcomed and escorted to a very nice table in the back of the restaurant. Although I’m a little fuzzy about the specifics of the décor, I found the restaurant to be nicely designed and appointed. Nothing too fancy or uncomfortable but just about right for the food and price point of the restaurant. Let me start off by focusing on the things I was impressed with. The service for such a young restaurant (I believe it had only been open for a few weeks) was unusually polished. I was also impressed with the small touches such as a choice in breads (although one item was a bit dry), excellent olive oil along with the offer of butter (I was thinking of you RGR), a nice plate of olives, an amuse of sorts which was a bruschetta with diced parmigiano reggiano (?) cheese, the use of the correct tableware including an escargot fork and bone marrow spoon (for my osso bucco). With regard to the quality of the food, everything was generally good with items ranging from okay to excellent. My only disappointments for the evening were an underachieving appetizer and the lack of dessert choices.

                                                                    I started with the Braised Escargot with roasted garlic, white wine, butter and herbs delivered in the classic white porcelain escargot plate. I have nothing bad to say about the dish. While it wasn’t earth shattering, it was just what I was looking for; comforting and familiar. The escargot were cooked properly as they were soft and melted in my mouth. I almost yelled at one of the servers however who tried to clear my plate before I sopped up the buttery goodness in each well (my favorite part). My DW’s Ahi Tower was a much more substantial starter. I tried a little bite of the dish and can attest to my wife’s nods of approval. The tuna was cool, fresh and worked well with the avocado, wasabi and soy. The table decided to order an extra appetizer to share which was a special of roasted figs stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and prosciutto. This dish was the only disappointment for the evening. I was expecting a little more. Instead, we were presented with a few fresh figs cut in half with a little bit of gorgonzola layered on top which was melted under a broiler and a twirled cone of prosciutto in the middle of the plate. Again, there was nothing wrong with the dish and it tasted fine but I was expecting a bit more considering its description. From there I moved on to my entrée of osso bucco atop saffron risotto. This dish was another winner in the comforting food department. Instead of one single shank, I received several small pieces. The meat was moist, succulent and gelatinous. There was no refined way to eat this meal. I hope I didn’t embarrass my dinner companions, but I had to get in there picking at the bones, cleaning up the demi glace and getting at the bone marrow. There was nary anything left when I got done with that plate. I will say however that based on the prior reviews; I was expecting a much more sizable portion. That being said, the portion was more than enough for me and I was ready to tackle some dessert.

                                                                    As I noted above, the dessert offerings were sparse. They offer a chocolate cake, a crème brulee, as well as an assortment of gelato. We chose to order the cake along with a scoop of hazelnut and chocolate gelato. Like the rest of the meal, the desserts were very good with the gelato being the winner (especially the hazelnut). One more nice touch was the delivery of a plate of fresh sliced fruit (honey dew melon, cantaloupe, and berries) before our desserts. Again, this place went out of their way to make you feel welcomed and I couldn’t get over the fact they had just opened. We left that evening looking forward to our return visit in order to try out other items on the menu (in fact we are probably going again this coming weekend).

                                                                    Daniel’s is a well oiled machine and I see only good things in its future. I intend to add it to my standard round of local restaurants (Drew’s, Belford, Stella Marina and Bistro 44). Daniel’s is a welcome addition and I wish them the best of luck.

                                                                    1. re: bgut1
                                                                      r
                                                                      RGR Jul 5, 2009 11:08 PM

                                                                      Yeah, b. Waiting for me can be like "Waiting for Godot" (we saw the Roundabout production last weekend). lol But I promise my review of elements *will* show up in the not too distance future.

                                                                      Meanwhile, I'm glad your experience at Daniel's Bistro was a positive one. Despite your claim of haziness, you've done your usual excellent job of providing more than sufficient details. When Karen e-mailed me the menu, I was surprised that there was no dessert listed. Now, I can see why. It really is much too limited. However, that won't stop me from going, perhaps as soon as this coming week.

                                                                      1. re: RGR
                                                                        bgut1 Jul 6, 2009 09:20 AM

                                                                        Good things come to those that wait and I'm sure your review will be well worth it. I look forward to the read.

                                                                        1. re: bgut1
                                                                          r
                                                                          RGR Jul 6, 2009 10:16 AM

                                                                          Thanks for the compliment, b. I do hope you will find it worth the wait. :-)

                                                                      2. re: bgut1
                                                                        w
                                                                        wizard2 Jul 6, 2009 06:01 AM

                                                                        What about Trinity?

                                                                        1. re: wizard2
                                                                          bgut1 Jul 6, 2009 09:19 AM

                                                                          Wizard - I'm sorry about not adding Trinity to my list. Regretably, I have yet to try it for dinner although the lunch I had there a few months back shows that there is talent behind the stove. Keyport is a nice drive for the DW and I and whenever we go up that way our dining companions are already set on eating next door at Drew's. I have to make a concerted effort to make it over to Trinity.

                                                                          1. re: bgut1
                                                                            r
                                                                            RGR Jul 6, 2009 10:24 AM

                                                                            b.,

                                                                            The reason we've not been to Trinity is that every time I look at the menu on the website, it doesn't appeal to me. There has never been even one item that when I read the description, I said to myself, "Self, I *must* have that!"

                                                                            Perhaps if you go for dinner and have a rave-worthy experience, I might be willing to give it a try. But unless and until that happens, with so many other places on my "go to" list (mosty in NYC), for now, I'm going to pass on Trinity.

                                                                            1. re: RGR
                                                                              w
                                                                              wizard2 Jul 7, 2009 03:43 AM

                                                                              Was at Trinity for the 4th. Having a drink at the bar first set the mood. Had the mussels appetizer & the Hukilau Pot for an entree (2nd time for the Hukilau). I hope that both are still on the menu next time I dine, although I might try a meat entree. I'm craving the mussels right now. Here's a link to the menu: http://www.trinitykeyport.com/dinner....

                                                                            2. re: bgut1
                                                                              w
                                                                              wizard2 Jul 7, 2009 03:21 AM

                                                                              No need to apologize. I haven't had the opportunity to dine at either Daniel's or Belford. After reading all of the posts on both, I hope to experience them soon. My DW fell in love with Trinity, causing us to dine there quite often. It's not easy having so many great restaurants to choose from.

                                                                          2. re: bgut1
                                                                            Tapas52 Jul 6, 2009 06:15 AM

                                                                            bgut thank you for the great review.....I'm glad you had a good time.
                                                                            Do you think being it was a big holiday weekend crowds could of put some restaurants under stress. BTW I love good deserts also after dinner.

                                                                            1. re: bgut1
                                                                              t
                                                                              tom246 Jul 6, 2009 06:47 AM

                                                                              bgut, great report. Your visit was much like mine, not perfect but a good start for only being open a few weeks.
                                                                              Places like Belford Bistro and Drew's did not hit their stride until open for a while so Daniel's shows promise.

                                                                              1. re: tom246
                                                                                r
                                                                                RGR Jul 6, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                                                tom246,

                                                                                I happen to think that Drew hit it out of the park right from the start and has just kept doing so.

                                                                                With regard to Belford Bistro, we've only been there the one time for the Chow gathering. I have to be honest and say I wasn't as taken with it as you and bgut are. Still, it is on my "go to again" list, so maybe a return visit will push me into the fan camp with the two of you.

                                                                                1. re: RGR
                                                                                  t
                                                                                  tom246 Jul 6, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                                                  R, I'm not sure when you first went to Drews but when we first went in 2005 he was still finding his way and the restaurant was half the size it is today. We are thrilled that the restaurant has become a dining destination and we continue to go there often.

                                                                                  In regards to BB, maybe what you ordered didn't "click" that evening. I would recommend giving it another try to reach a firm conclusion. All our experiences have been superb.

                                                                                  1. re: tom246
                                                                                    bgut1 Jul 6, 2009 09:15 AM

                                                                                    R - I agree with Tom. Belford has truly kicked it up another level since the Chow dinner awhile back. I would deifintely give it another shot. Anyway, how can Tom and I (not to mention the other countless hounds) be wrong? :)

                                                                                    1. re: bgut1
                                                                                      r
                                                                                      RGR Jul 6, 2009 10:14 AM

                                                                                      b. and Tom

                                                                                      I'm sure I don't have to tell you (but I will anyway) that I hold your opinions vis-a-vis restaurants in the highest regard! :-)

                                                                                      Don't get me wrong. Mr. R. and I liked the food well enough at Belford for me to put it on my "go back to" list. So, I have every intention of giving it another try, especially if, as you say, b., the husband and wife team have kicked things up several notches from when I was there. The only problem has been that, lately, we've been eating up a proverbial storm in NYC, so that when we're in NJ, we tend not to go out much. Yeah, some "problem"! lol

                                                                                      1. re: RGR
                                                                                        bgut1 Jul 6, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                                                        RGR - I completely understand. If I had the selection of restaurants you have available in NYC, I doubt if I would ever eat in NJ. Considering the dearth of qualtiy restaurants we have in NJ and it is quickly evident why we are frequent diners at BB.

                                                                                2. re: tom246
                                                                                  bgut1 Jul 6, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                                                  Thanks Tapas and Tom.

                                                                      3. AC Captain Jun 23, 2009 02:44 PM

                                                                        After positve reviews and RGR suggestion of having the menu emailed my DW and I decided to give Daniels a try last night. It was a really nice experience . As others have reported we were warmly greeted by Karen who I would best describe as the front of the house manager/owner. She was very nice and assisted with the service all night.

                                                                        We started with two apps. First was a special of buffalo mozz and tomatos, garnished with basil and olive oil drizzle. This is one of my favorite summertime dishes very simple but if all the components are fresh and of high quality( which in this case they certainly were) it is a classic flavor combo. This app was 10$. Second app was lobster cocktail. It was 15$ so when it arrived at our table and was a chilled whole I'm guessing atleast a 1 1/4 lb lobster we were very pleasantly surprised. I thinked I was expecting chopped lobster meat in a martini glass with cocktail sauce. But it was a whole lobster deshelled on a bed of ice. It was cooked very nicely not overdone or rubbery at all. Two dippings sauce a cocktail sauce and I would say a cross between tartar sauce and a remoulade both good.

                                                                        For entrees we both chose meat I had the duck and my DW had the ribeye. We are by no means portion people, but when our entrees came to the table they were so huge it is worth reporting. They were so large in fact I was thinking to myself I hope quality does not suffer. Her steak ( 30$) looked to be 20 oz plus and I think I had two duck breasts ( 27$) on my plate. Both were delicious. Her steak ordered med rare was cooked perfectly full of flavor and very tender. On the plate were roasted mushroom and onion both good the only negative in my opinion was the french fries and onion rings that it also came with. Good but maybe out of place, I shouldn't complain we ate them both. The duck also ordered med rare was also delicious. It was over a nicely cooked risotto and had a very tasty pinot noir sauce with black currants in it. We also ordered haricot vert ( 6$) which still had a good crunch to them very good.

                                                                        Desert was a scoop of hazelnut gelato ( 4$) which was outstanding. And a flourless chocolate cake (7$) this was okay but the banana gelato served with it was very good.

                                                                        All in all very good and we will definetly return quite surprising they are only three weeks new. We were one of two tables so it is hard to judge what service would be like on a busy night, but last night both Karen and Ryan (server) were excellent very welcoming and had a geniune concern towards hospitality.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: AC Captain
                                                                          cookieluvntasha Jun 24, 2009 12:31 PM

                                                                          Wow! The place sounds great. I am def. going to try them in a few weekends.

                                                                        2. bgut1 Jun 23, 2009 02:09 PM

                                                                          Tom - Thank you for the excellent review. While I regret not making it there on Saturday, I hope to try it very soon.

                                                                          R - Everytime I read that a restaurant serves Olive Oil with their bread, I think of you and your distaste for the practice. :)

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: bgut1
                                                                            t
                                                                            tom246 Jun 23, 2009 04:53 PM

                                                                            b, for a place only open a couple of weeks the staff and kitchen did a nice job. The kitchen got backed up a bit but nothing severe. Food was solid. Interested in your impressions when you get there

                                                                            Funny I know people who get pi**ed when butter is served. They solve that by asking for olive oil :)

                                                                            1. re: bgut1
                                                                              r
                                                                              RGR Jun 23, 2009 11:15 PM

                                                                              b.,

                                                                              LOL. Yeah, it is one of my restaurant peeves. However, there is one restaurant where I don't object to the practice. At Pamplona, in NYC, Chef Alex Urena puts a boatload of finely minced garlic into his olive oil. Love scooping up that garlic onto the excellent bread.

                                                                              Mr. R. feels exactly as I do about the oil thingy. So, rest assured when we go to Daniel's Bistro, we will be requesting butter! :-)

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