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Sep 28, 2010 09:51 AM

Thinking about Nicholas bar seating/price fixe this weekend

How extensive is the seating (it'll be a foursome) for the $29 price fixe? Will they accomodate 4 for this? Where can one find the upcoming weekend menu (or is it WYSIWYG).

Birthday for my youngest who'll be turning 19 this weekend and he has asked for Nicholas as the place for this weekend.

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  1. I think it should work fine. Current menus, including the day's $29 3-course, and several photographs of the bar area can be seen on the website:

    The week's worth of 3-course bar menus are here: h

    N.B. The $29 3-course menu is not available on Saturdays.

    Restaurant Nicholas
    160 State Route 35, Red Bank, NJ 07701

    7 Replies
    1. re: njfreqflyer

      JustJake - As confirmed by my good friend Seal (in another thread), the Sunday 3 course bar menu is the best choice. It consists of the following full sized dishes: Baby Field Greens, Caramelized Hazelnuts, Beaufort Cheese (although decent, it was the weakest of the three), Nova Scotia Lobster, Sweet Corn Pudding, Crispy Pork Belly, Smoked JalapeƱo Sauce (a phenomenal dish), and Maple Belgium Waffle Bread Pudding, Pecan Praline, Apple Confit, Vanilla Ice Cream (an adult rendition of a Drake's Coffee Cake - excellent). All told, for $29 it was one of the best food bargains I've ever encountered. As far as seating is concerned, you should be good on Sunday as the bar is not too busy on that night. Otherwise, you may encounter some difficulty on other nights getting four seats in a row at the bar. They do have a few tables along the perimeter of the room however I only recall one four top. Whatever you decide to do, please let us know.

      1. re: bgut1

        To all, thank you. Bgut, yeoman's work here and you're one of the best here on the forum; that's what we will probably do as the young man is being taken out by his GF on Saturday nite.

        Sunday will work just fine for us.

        1. re: JustJake

          JustJake - Thanks for the compliment. Please enjoy your evening and happy birthday to your son.

          1. re: bgut1

            My Daughter wants Nicholas' scallops for her birthday, so we'll be at the bar tomorrow night.
            And then she can drive us home :)

            1. re: Mr. Bingley

              So much for that. Found out earlier today from my wife that his girlfriend is taking him to Nicholas tonite. Asked her to make sure he gets dressed appropriately as it's a surprise.

              It's our turn tomorrow (isn't life grand for the kids today), and we'll probably take him to Angelica's, Brandl, or we may even try Langosta (which isn't even in the class of the other two) but is a bit more fun and I am at a loss for where to go....Dauphin Grill perhaps?.

              Tried to get reservations (for a decent time slot) for the 2nd time in 2 weeks at BAT and the response was 5:30 or 9pm. As I tried to get a reservation for tomorrow, the waitress commented they're booked for the prime time slots 2 weeks in advance. We've been to Belford Bistro 2x (as we couldn't get into BAT) , and while great, the menu is very limited. Need a BAT fixe, but we don't plan things that far in advance. Oh well.

              Belford Bistro
              870 Main Street, Belford, NJ 07718

              Brandl Restaurant
              703 9th Ave, Belmar, NJ 07719

              1. re: JustJake

                JustJake - Although it might be too late, you might want to try the Keyport restaurant that shall remain nameless. Other favorites you might try are Dish in Red Bank and Bistro 44 in Toms River. Wherever you decide to go, please have a great time. BTW, just because he's going tonite doesn't mean you shouldn't go to Nicholas on Sunday. You deserve it!

                Bistro 44
                44 Washington St Ste 2C, Toms River, NJ 08753

                1. re: JustJake

                  JustJake- Another thought would be to try AMA in Atlantic Highlands- we were there last night....phenominal as always......and it's BYO as well...If you want fantastic food at reasonable prices and haven't been, try to get in to AMA.

      2. Well, this is how it all turned out. His gf did take him to Nicholas Friday nite, and within 5 minutes of their leaving the restaurant did he call me at home effusively raving (in his own low key manner mind you) of the qualitative aspects of his dining experience. From portion size and presentation, room ambiance to the high level of the servers in addition to his description of his meal and it's presentation. For a low key kid, I had to smile at his excitement (as I've often promised him of our eventually getting there for an "occasion" ) . From his squash & cranberry soup to the Nova Scotia Lobster (he loved the pork belly) to his quasi pb&j dessert (PB & chocolate ganache with Concord Grape sorbet) he was indeed happy he had the chance to experience this fine restaurant. for the first time. He had heard of it's high level from me some years back . His gf had the 4 course vegetarian.

        Thus my dilemma over this weekend. How do you top Nicholas? You don't but you find the next best thing.

        And so it went as I tried to get a decent reservation slot at the 'certain' Keyport restaurant (not to be with a 5pm up to Keyport being out of the question), and with our recent visits to Belford Bistro being a place we wanted to put on temporary hold. Shipwreck is a bit of a hike (and didn't call for availability either), I decided on getting the very early 5 pm slot at Bay Ave. as it's been at least 6 months since we dined there. It's most definitely not N, nor does it possess the simple warm ambiance of the room that is BB. BAT does 'heat up' with that open kitchen and Joe firing up the burners, etc and also as diners start filling up that small space for their 6 & 6:30 seating. Those minor discomforts aside, it is always the food that keeps us so wonderfully satisfied when we visit.

        Whenever Joe has a soup special, you order it. It's criminal not to as he has always made masterful soups (since J&M days). Last nite, a Manhattan based seafood chowder (with cod, scallops, shrimp, red potatoes and vegetables) which was marvelous and which my son and I both ordered. My bride went with the golden beet, goat cheese, mixed green special salad with a honey vignarette which was also a 'special'..

        Entrees had her having the braised Short Ribs sitting atop a cheddar polenta with the ribs having an adobe chile rub and fried onion frizzled crisps.. Son had the pescatore (rock shrimp, scallop, shrimp and white fish (cod?) in a nice garlic sauce over fresh linguine (the pasta was home made/fresh and really elevated the dish - I normally don't care for entrees that sit atop pasta be it cappelini or linguine - this was decidedly different). As he went back to school today, I had the opportunity to have his leftovers - simply delicious. My dinner had me ordering the stuffed flounder that had a crab/lobster mousse, with crisp asparagus fingerlings, a fresh baby carrot and a potato/parsnip puree along with a roasted pepper nage. Loved that dish to the very last sweep of filet into nage, the remaining parsnip puree and onto my fork.

        Desserts had us sharing the tartufo and Joe's signature Devils food/espresso Tiramasu and coffees.

        During the course of our dinner, part of the evening's conversation segued into HIS gastronomic weekend. I asked if he could envision dining like this everyday, which he responded with a 'of course and a subtle smile'. I just shook my head and smiled myself. He did a 3.8 GPA last year and as we discussed his current course load he commented that a 4.0 is his target and reachable this semester. Something tells me he'll be my guest at Nicholas next spring if he continues his fine work academically and if that projection is realized.

        In the end, one goes the extra yard for your kids in two areas in this life: their education and their having straight teeth. LOL . A dinner at Nicholas is indeed inexpensive if he's going to continue on that pace.

        Thanks for all of the suggestions folks. They were well received and thoughtful.

        Belford Bistro
        870 Main Street, Belford, NJ 07718

        1 Reply
        1. re: JustJake

          JustJake, great read and glad you enjoyed BAT. Better yet is your son who sounds like quite the young man.