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So what is your favorite resto --- Atlantic Highlands/Highlands area

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Meeting friends from Union and decided on this area. What suggestions do you have for me? Seafood is a possibility and steaks are always good.

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  1. Without hesitation I would recommend Bay Avenue Trattoria in Higlands.
    http://www.bayavetrattoria.com

    15 Replies
    1. re: bgut1

      Have to second my friend bgut's rec - BAT is always good.

      If you don't need to be by the water, Belford Bistro is also nearby and very good.

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      Belford Bistro
      870 Main Street, Belford, NJ 07718

      1. re: bgut1

        AMA in Atlantic Highlands is incredible. Its an Italian restaurant with steak and seafood on the menu. Also - its BYO which is always a plus.

        1. re: J M S

          I was so looking forward to AMA after reading the reviews...I was very disappointed in the menu and by my food!

          1. re: Dori Murray

            Dori, as a longtime AMA lover, can you please describe your unhappiness? What did you order? What was wrong with it.?

            1. re: sockster

              Sockster,

              It was very slow that evening. We were one of 2 tables. Thee waitress/waiter was inattentive. They convinced of to try the steak and it was just ok. The other dish was just ok. Perhaps we ordered the wrong thing. I would give it another try. What do you reccommend?

              1. re: Dori Murray

                Hey Dori: Truth is, sometimes the service used to be weird....but I really think they've solved that problem as of that late. The last two times we went we had excellent, attentive service. I love chef's artichoke salad, any pasta he makes, (last time we had the pasta on the menu with farfalle and fava beans), and the bronzino. They were fantastic!! If you're feeling very hungry, you could always ask for a chefs tasting menu, (which is four to six courses), and around $52-$58pp). We do that around every second or third time we go. Also, when you make your reservation, ask if chef would make you one of this "angry" specials- whether it's soft shell crabs, lobster, shrimp- all amazing!! Enjoy

        2. re: bgut1

          Oh Mr. Bgut1, what happened to your loyalty to BB?? LOL

          1. re: sockster

            Sockster - I would have recommended BB except that Barbarella asked for a resto in Atlantic Highlands/Highlands area. Both BB and BAT are very good restaurants. IMHO, I find BB to be a little better. Otherwise, I appreciate the funny.

            1. re: bgut1

              bgut1, Have you been to AMA and if so what is your take?

              1. re: JerzeyShore

                Jerzey - I haven't tried it yet although I have thought about going on a few occassions. Instead, however, I find myslef going to old standbys like BAT. To behonest, I'm not a huge fan of Italian food for my weekend night out. I therefore haven't made it a priority to try the place out. When I do, I'll be sure to report back.

                1. re: bgut1

                  Bgut1 - Thanks for the input, we will sooner or later get around to it but in the mean time yes BAT is hard to pass up on the way to the Atlantic Highlands.
                  Look forward to your comments when you do go to AMA.

                  1. re: JerzeyShore

                    I'm looking forward to your thoughts on AMA too! :-)

                    1. re: sockster

                      Thanks guys. Hopefully soon.

                2. re: JerzeyShore

                  We have been once and thought it was very good though service was a bit of a joke. This and the other thread has me curious so I set a res and will report back in a week.

                3. re: bgut1

                  only kidding you know :-)

            2. I also like BAT. Navesink Fishery is seldom mentioned but great seafood. Really enjoy the babybacks and wings at Memphis Pig Out. Also like Doris & Eds for upscale seafood, though there have been issues raised here...

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              Navesink Fishery
              36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

              Memphis Pig Out
              67 1st Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

              1 Reply
              1. re: pmt1111

                Amen to Memphis Pig Out

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                Memphis Pig Out
                67 1st Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

              2. AMA is cooking better than ever. Had a bronzino last night that was out of this world!!

                2 Replies
                1. re: sockster

                  We were at AMA last night as well, it was very good

                  but still I would go To Doris & Ed's, it is all personal preference and all these eateries do a good job, but I believe this board should give Jim more credit for continually trying to do something different, new chef/ revitalizing the menu/special pricing and for just keeping a really good restaurant alive in this area through personal problems, floods, a bridge project that almost destroyed the whole dining area last year...

                  He is an outstanding restauranteur and we need more professionals like him that really believe in fine dining and a great wine list...BYO's are great but sometimes I want a nice cocktail before my meal and then with dinner something I cant find in the liquor store and I don't have in my cellar, a really outstanding washington state pinot, a unique viogner or albarino, there is no other place you can get that in this area but Doris & Ed's.

                  The two main rants I read here are price and view, I still contend that the prices are almost exactly the same as AMA and BAT, the average salad, appetizer, entree desert price is right on line with the other "white tablecloth" restaurants in the area, yes he offers some eye popping high end products - but that can add to the fun of a special night out especially since no one ever pushes you to order them and on top of that the 3 special menu items available every day at all times is a great deal - an appetizer, entree and desert for $33.

                  We have been eating here for over 22 years and still enjoy sitting at the bar and watching the boats go by. Is it a dead on ocean view - no way, but still it is a nice setting, an attractive dining room with large picture windows

                  Really, can you name another spot anywhere near here that has had that type of longevity with the same owner and wait staff and still produces high quality food. I think some credit is due here. Other parts of the state would love to have a solid restaurant citizen like this in their backyard.

                  1. re: carlylecat

                    Well said! One of my all time favorites. Great memories. We also have been eating there for over 22 years.

                2. Here's another vote for BAT. The only letdown that I've heard of late through friends/acquaintenances who are also accomplished chefs/cooks is that if Joe R decides to take the night off, the quality goes down precipteously; to the extent that if they don't see him there, they'll turn around. I don't believe this happens all that often, but it has occured and again, my culinary brethern have been very disappointed in what came out of the kitchen.
                  Other than BAT, I love Navesink Fishery, though the 'locals' will always 'shhhhhh' you should you mention it. They seem to be very proprietary about the place. : ^ )

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                  Navesink Fishery
                  36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JustJake

                    For what I know, Joe only takes off on Tuesday night. That should qualm most fears about him not being there. But, we've been there on a Tuesday, and his chefs, per his very high standards, are top notch and you'd really, really, never know the difference.

                    1. re: sockster

                      Wooohooo. My wife took a call from an old friend who wants to get together for dinner. My thoughts immediately went to Nikko's.

                      She commented he wanted to take us to BAT next weekend.

                      DEAL!

                  2. I am surprised there hasn't been a mention of Copper Canyon. I think their steak is one of the best in NJ. I think they have an excellent crab cake and Chips and Salsa. I also love their Guacamole (even though I hate ordering it because it is so overpriced). My Wife is also a big fan of their Ceviche when it is available. I think the service and ambiance leave a lot to be desired, but the food is generally very good.

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                    Copper Canyon
                    51 1st Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hcentro

                      And their lamb chops are to die and go to heaven for don't forget!! As are their premium margaritas!!

                    2. There isn't a restaurant in the area that is as good and consistent as BAT, although I do agree that when Joe's not there things may not be as perfect. We've been following Joe for years. We tried Ama, and although the mussels are amazing, for the money I'll take BAT any time! We've taken friends who travel from Princeton periodically with us for Joe's food.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cherib

                        When is Joe definitely cooking at BAT? My wife and I would like to go, but only when the infamous Joe is there. Seems like its the place to be.

                        1. re: J M S

                          Wed-Sun. And make a reservation. If you like Oysters Rockafeller, don't miss Joes!! Enjoy!

                      2. BAT is still my favorite in the area and that will probably never change. Been to Ama. The food was very good, but there was NO service! The waiter had an attitude. He'd walk by when we had a dish filled with mussel shells...we had to ask to have it emptied. We waited over 15 minutes for a check among other annoyances by the staff. A group of friends were talking yesterday about going there for the chef's special and although I think we'd have a great meal, I'm not sure I want to endure poor service again. Prices are not cheap and cash is the only currency, so service should be better-

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cherib

                          Anyone who reads this chat knows I love the food at Ama and have had the exact same reservations about the service. May I just say that we were there last week. The problematic waiter is gone, and the service has picked it up a notch for sure. Also, Chef Pat's "angry" Crab Cake was voted (by me of course) to be the best dish I had in the US this summer!! Don't miss it and try Ama again...the service has really improved!