Langosta Lounge - Asbury Park
Dined there last evening with my wife and my oldest son for his birthday.
We were contemplating Brandl, but those prices.....ouch!!! Chris, you need to find a building and buy it as I'm sure there's at least a 25% mark up at your current digs. And in this economy, value rules.
Not that Langosta is pub grub and pub grub prices. First time there. The ticket is to secure an early evening reservation based on Asbury's emerging attractivness. Being a local, it's but a 5 minute ride.
Appys: Bayou Shrimp (excellent), Summer Crab Cake (good, not great; nothing compares to a Joe Romanowski creation over in the Highlands), and I had the traditional Lobster Roll (skip this folks as it's chintzy. Delicious, I'll give you, but they dolloped onto the Hawiaan soft rolls like it was Beluga).
Entrees were very very good: Shrimp/Scallops in a light seafood cream sauce over rigatoni. SearedAhi Tuna over garlic smashed potatos with julienned carrots, squash, zucchini and sugar peas. I had the Lobster Bangock which had a curry based cocoanut milk sauce (ever so lighlty) over the same vegetables and Black Rice.
Desserts: Cuban Rice pudding (good/smallish portion), mango/passion fruit gelato ( a real winner) and flourless chocolate cake.
Nice room that does get crowded as the night goes on. They appear to have overcome any of the service shortfalls that I've read and heard about.
Nice place. Nothing extrordinary, but quite good. And what's not to like from a chef such as Marilyn Schlossenback who puts a lotta love and passion into here cooking. A beautiful evening, people are on the boards and Asbury has been on a real nice 'updraft'. Granted there are spots that still look like Beirut, but that was the case with the Lower East Side not too long ago.
I'm glad to have Asbury as an option to Red Bank which has become a bit sterile for this writer's palatte and 'hang'. Still love the Basie,; love some of the restaurants and some of the other musical spaces, but it's Asbury Park and the organic vibe that's hooked me.
I recommend Langosta for a fun evening and Asian/Latin cuisine. A nice pairing if you're going to the Pony or Lance's place.