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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
            http://www.americanhotelnj.com/pdf/my...
            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.

              2. Going to have to agree with CSmooth on pretty much everything, nailed it. The Market Yard Grille (American Hotel) has been open since the end of Decemeber. Having been there twice thus far (I was hoping they would have had all the kinks sorted out), I have to admit I am disappointed at the quality of service from the Hostess I encountered as well as the extremely slow service (dining here is likely to be an all night event). By now, I would have thought they would have had this down. Besides the rude hostess and the slow service, the portion sizes are laughable for the price and quality of the food. The steaks are overcooked and the sides come out luke warm to borderline cool.
                The waitstaff/bartenders are very friendly and accomodating. The interior is very nice. Having the lobby bar and the main bar is a nice touch as well. Hopefully they can improve as now they are the only steak place in town as the South Street Steak House is no longer in business.

                1. My fiance and I went here yesterday instead of going to Court Jester for a late night dinner. We saw they weren't packed inside, so we asked the hostess for an inside table. She was very friendly and immediately seated us. First off, the renovation is very nice. It lends a great atmosphere in the dining room, perfect for a date or nice dinner, but not stuffy at all. I love that we have another place in the boro with a liquor license. They have a nice wine menu, but I opted for a cocktail. They had my favorite gin (hendrick's) and made a great G & T. He started with the shrimp cocktail and and mesculan salad, while I got an app from the "specials" menu- fried green tomatoes. The salad was easily enough for 2, but the cabernet dressing could have used a little more seasoning. The shrimp cocktail is 4 HUGE shrimp. Normally, the big ones are tough, but these were sweet and meaty and not at all chewy. My fried tomatoes were over arugula w/ a cherry tomato/onion salad. They were room temp and crispy and tender. I'd never had fried green tomatoes before, but I can't wait to get them again. I finished the whole app myself (4 slices of fried tomatoes).
                  For dinner he got the filet mignon, medium, which comes with 2 sides. He ordered whipped mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms. I ordered an entree off the specials menu, a halibut filet with mashed parsnips, spinach and a vanilla-lobster-saffron sauce. When they brought out the steak it had mashed and french fries mounded on the plate. As soon as we pointed out the missing mushrooms, the waitress was a min. in the kitchen and out with the mushrooms. The steak was cooked perfectly, and though not the best filet ever, it was yummy and juicy. Much better then S. St. Steakhouse was. The sides were delicious and plentiful. My halibut was a large piece, but cooked and seasoned perfectly. The veggies were also seasoned well. I hate too much salt, and this was perfect for me. Even the spinach was delicious, and not just for spinach. I was worried the vanilla sauce would be overpowering, but it worked perfectly with the fish.
                  We were so stuffed, I couldn't finish my fish and he couldn't finish the 10oz filet.
                  Market Yard Grill is a great addition to the downtown area. They prepare good quality meats, fish, and produce without trying too hard. I like when places take great ingredients and don't mess them up :) We can't wait to go back!