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Relaxing & Casual Valentine's Dinner 15 minutes from Oceanport?

We normally do not go out for Valentine's day, but we haven't been out in awhile and I thought I'd surprise the hubby. We live in Oceanport, and will travel 10-15 minutes. He prefers casual restaurants, (i.e., smartly dressed, no jacket and tie, or even a place in jeans will do). Any thoughts? We don't want to do Asian. THanks!

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  1. What kind of casual are you looking for? I mean there aren't exactly many restaurants in our area with a dress code.

    My personal picks for Vday:

    Manhattan steakhouse
    Nicholas
    Piccola Italia

    The most casual of those places is Manhattan, but I've been to Nicholas wearing jeans plenty of times.

    For the most relaxing and casual VDay though you can always try White castle!

    1 Reply
    1. re: joonjoon

      I do love White Castle's fries. I have heard good things about Piccola Italian but have never been. Thanks for the recommendations.

    2. Charley's

      1 Reply
      1. re: aklein

        That's exactly what I was thinking!!! I haven't been since the redo; I'm so happy you confirmed my thoughts! Thanks.

      2. Sallie Tee's in Monmouth Beach is nice and not too fussy....

        1. Anjelica's in Sea Bright might be a good choice

          1 Reply
          1. re: familyguy13

            We were there last year for Vday. Reservations definitely required. Food and service was excellent but we were packed in like sardines. We were with another couple so we weren't there for romance.

            Piccola Italia with its beautiful atmosphere and delicious food is a good bet but prices are higher than one might expect.

          2. On Piccola Italia - make sure you are seat in the main dinning room, not the bar or entrance area. Food is excellent but seating location can impact experience.

            For casual Italian, I prefer Riggoletto Trattoria in Middletown (www.rigolettotrattoria.com) and it is a BYOB.

            2 Replies
            1. re: stickman731

              Ooo. Another good idea.

              1. re: stickman731

                Oooh! They have whole wheat pasta! This one is rising up on the list...

              2. Whispers in Spring Lake is hard to beat for a nite like Valentines Day. Others to consider:

                Dish in RB; Scarborough Fair in Wall; Moonstruck in AP