Wine/Specialty Shops - Monmouth County
I am moving to Monmouth County in a few weeks and am curious to know what the hounds find to be the best/most interesting specialty shops.....most interested in a quality wine shop with fair prices and knowledgable staff but also curious about cheese/charcuterie, bread, etc.
Thank you in advance.
First off - Welcome (in advance). Next, where in Monmouth County may be relevant, as if you are toward the southern end of the area, there are some good spots in the OC as well (Ocean Co.). For example, the German Butcher (D.A. Barsch) in Toms River is the best I know of for lots of stuff. On the other hand, if you are in the northern half, there's a place like European Provisions in South River which may be equally as special for certain things meat.
For wine, I agree that the Bottle Shop does have pretty knowledgable service, but their prices seem to reflect their address. My favorite spot for wine (and spirits) is Jonathan Ron in Brielle.
Cheese on Main in Ocean Grove is the best place I know of for one's fine dairy fix. Excellent selection, owner-operated, and owner knowledgable.
I like DO for produce once the Farmers' Markets season has passed. You can find the slightly obscure stuff like ramps, chanterelles, golden beets, etc. Other than eggs and butter, I rarely buy anything but fruits and vegetables there.
Sickles is like DO in that it's an all-under-one-roof type market. I've never much been impressed. It's better than the National chain supermarkets, but that's about the best I can say. I suppose I'd get produce there if I lived nearby, but I don't. For example, there's a little "deli" in the strip mall by the A&P in Little Silver that has much more interesting charcuterie. (The name of the place, however, escapes me.)
There are no longer a lot of bakeries around. I am a fan of Italian breads from Del Ponte's in Bradley Beach and the corn rye loaf from Freedman's in Belmar. I prefer Mueller's in Bay Head for most baked goods, but that's on the other side of the bridge.
Thanks to everyone. I am moving to the Locust section of Middletown, but am from the area (Little Silver) originally. Have been spoiled living in NYC for the past 12 years but always believe there is quality to be found.
You mentioned farmers markets above....I have been to Red Bank and found it pretty good. Any others in the area? Any comments about the Atlantic Highlands farmers market? Thanks everyone.
Welcome to Monmouth County!!.
Wegmans Manalapan (on US 9 S) has a Wine store with a huge collection of quality wine at all prices. They also have a decent collection of cheese and bread.
Wine store staff are pretty helpful although unsure if they have a wine connoisseurs level of experience.