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May 3, 2010 08:16 AM

Synaxis at the Shore, Asbury Park: a disappointing restaurant experience

We ate dinner with friends at Synaxis on Saturday night and wished we hadn't bothered. It's a very attractive room, and they have a very nice wine list at fairly good prices, but the food was not very good. We ordered the saganaki and the Cypriot salad as starters - the saganaki was just melted cheese in a small gratin pan, not the piece of fried cheese we were expecting. The overly familiar waitress tried to light it several times but it did not catch. The description of the Cypriot salad indicated it had pickled caper vines in it. It did not. It was a mediocre salad with underripe tomatoes, some cucumber, and slivers of lettuce and...cabbage? What place does cabbage have in a salad of this sort? The main courses were no better - one of us ordered the grilled shrimp with vegetable mossaka, which seemed to be the best of the bad lot; my husband ordered the scallops - big mistake, they were deep-fried and soused with a pinkish tomato sauce, and plated with couscous which to my knowledge is not used in Greek food and to my taste does not go with scallops; and our other friend and I ordered the half grilled chicken. I picked this because it seemed to be the least likely thing to be done badly. What came out was not a half chicken, it was two boneless skinless tasteless dry as dust breasts. The accompanying Greek fries were half sweet potato and half regular potato (this should have been specified) and the grilled vegetables were partly underdone and partly overdone. How two breasts constitute a half chicken is something I'll never know...unless they meant the front half! With a glass of wine for three of us, an ouzo for my husband, and a bottle of wine for the table, this cost over $200.00 before tip. Not worth it in the least. (Restaurant name is also rather odd - why would you name a restaurant after a rhetorical style?)

Synaxis - Asbury Park
660 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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  1. This spot has always been a bit of an 'anomaly' to most of us locals. It's never discussed or reviewed favorably, yet it has been 'there' a bit longer than most of their competition in town.

    If you were truly looking for a good Greek restaurant, you probably should have gone to Nikko's in nearby Long Branch.

    Sorry you had to have this experience ruined on a wonderful late spring evening.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JustJake

      We bumbled into this place - hadn't searched for a restaurant here before going to Asbury Park - and should have! Thanks for the Nikko's recommendation.

    2. I thought this place closed a long time ago! (Sorry you had to find out why I figured it was closed.)

      That really stinks when not 1 meal was good in the whole bunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Angelina

        Yes, it's been a very long time indeed since we've had anything so sub-par in any restaurant anywhere.

      2. Were there any people there when you went? The place is always DESERTED when I go.

        4 Replies
        1. re: joonjoon

          It was packed when we walked by around 8, when we sat down it was around 9 and the place was about half full. The (obnoxiously forcedly "friendly") waitress was saying they had been really slammed earlier in the evening.

          1. re: joonjoon

            It was First Night (and a gorgeous one at that) so I would suspect any occupants had more to do with that than the restaurant itself. I am frequently in Asbury and rarely see more than a table or two in there.

            1. re: ejdb

              Yes that's why we were there - and I'm sure you must be right.

              1. re: ejdb

                Isn't Synaxis a great place to hit on bored, suburban housewives? It certainly has that look and feel.