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Nov 26, 2009 07:06 AM

American Hotel -- Freehold

Anyone heard when they are opening? I just found out that the opening chef from Rats, Eric Martin will be running the kitchen.

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  1. Don't know when they are opening, other than to note that some time ago a banner was draped across the second floor balcony advertising a telephone number to book holiday parties. No website up that I know of yet.

    1. I believe they had their "soft" opening on Monday (Dec 28th) and are now officially open

      2 Replies
      1. re: lggfly

        Do they have a website with an actual menu? I saw the website, but it is so weak!

        I would like to see the menu items first. It's just been too cold for me to walk past it and check it out!

        1. re: JessKidden

          I was there last night and nothing vibrant about it. The bar ia on the small side, bartenders we very nice and friendly. They did let quite a few young children sit at the bar with parents. There was a wedding going on in a banquet room, but these folks were not from the wedding. The dining room did not look inviting. We had some apps at the bar, not worth writing about. All in all we most likely will not go back.

      2. Went to American Hotel last night, (Saturday) for drinks. Packed! They restoration is A+ in my opinion. There are two bars -- one beside the main dining room and one in the hotel lobby. We hopped from one to the other. The lobby bar only seats about 18. It has a comfy contemporary feel. Brighter, and well lit compared to the main bar. THe main bar is about 3X bigger than the lobby bar. It is very warm and inviting, as is the dining area. A serious nod to the history behind the building with lots of woods and tiffany styled pendant lighting. Classy but not stuffy or pretentious. Vibrant atmosphere. We loved it. Looks like a great meeting place for friends or a nice spot for a date. They have a tappas menu at the bar that was quite good and well priced. We checked out the dining menu: mostly fish and steak entrees. Some interesting choices. I don't think I saw one pasta dish on the menu which is actually a refreshing change! (TOO many boring Italian places in western monmouth!) Best cosmo I've had in a LONG time! We will be having dinner there soon and will report back with our thoughts on the food. One problem: it's probably too small. This area desperately needs more places like this. It was a pleasure hanging out in a place with some atmosphere and good vibes for once!

        1. One more comment ... I see the poster above me went on the same night but had a completely different take on the place. I'm wondering if we were there at different times, because it was definitely packed and very lively when we were there. I didn't see one kid at the bar. Majority was people in their 30's - 50's, with some younger and some older. I felt a good energy in the place. This was at about 8:30 - 9:45 PM.

          1 Reply
          1. re: marls

            We were there earlier that evening meeting friends for a drink before dinner, somewhere else, but that should not change the quality of the food. I did say the bar staff was good. It was packed when we were there as well. I think the restoration and design were ok but I never saw the original so it's impossible to have a feel for how well they did. I am possibly more critical regarding this issue because I work in this field. We would possibly stop for a drink again but no apps.Anyway thats what makes the world go round, different tastes, different perceptions.

          2. After eagerly following their develpment and reading the stories and about Eric Martin I was dying to go here. We went there on Friday night. The good news is they are now taking reservations for any size party. They were faily crowded but were only 10 minutes off with seating us.
            The place looks very nice all around, bar, lobby, main dining room etc. The service was as would be expected for a new place. Long wait to see a waiter, over 30 minutes before they brought bread or water. That said they were really nice and you could tell they were trying hard to run smoothly, they just weren't. Obviously this will get better over time.
            Now about the food... The menu is online now so you can check that out
            We started with the duck egg rolls, the crispy crawfish and the lobster wontons. They ranged from dissappointing (the crawfish) to passable; none of them blew any of us away. Three of us ordered their best steak, the 21 day dry aged broiled ny strip. When we ordered it, the waiter made it a point to say that "sometimes their cuts on the strip are thicker than usually, almost as thick as a filet" That should have been the warning. All three cuts looked basically like filets. He said they tend to cook slightly under, so I ordered mine medium. It came medium to medium well. I could have overlooked that if it was at leats good. Unfortunately it wasn't. It was average. I would say that Drews, Pine Tavern, The Copper Canyon in the Atlantic Hightlands, and Peking Pavilion (yes them) all make better steaks. My beef (pun intended) wan't just with the cut, or the overcooking. The meat itself was not tender, not well marbled even for a strip, and not even well seasoned (it was as if it was not seasoned). I ordered mine with fries and brocolli, and both of those portions were tiny. I have never seen sides that small and I am not one to complain.
            All this said, we had a nice meal anyway as it is a nice place. I am sure it will improve, but I am worried about their meats. I hope its just their current butcher or we had an off batch, or they had an odd delivery that week. I will go back mainly because it was nice. There is no way they won't do well because of their liquor license, location, and how it looks, My fingers are crossed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: CSmooth

              How do you know it was not well marbled? Did you see it before it was cooked?

              1. re: CSmooth

                UPDATE: Went again last night, June 26, 2010. The service was a bit better but not much (had to wait 25 minutes for our wine after they brought the wrong bottle. The food however was much better! We had the porterhouse for two and it was excellent. Lobster wontons were great too.