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Fish! - Asbury Park

Has anyone been to this restaurant? They had their "soft" opening on the 7th...It's located at the end of Mattison Ave, in a location that used to be a bank....The decor looks inviting, and the menu obviously consists of seafood.

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  1. We went to "FISH" in asbury park tonight !! It was just ok.......we will return to try again. We were greeted (not) by a lackluster, disenchanted hostess who seated us. The space is clean, crisp and new. We thought the lights were too bright for the dinner hour and should have been dimmed. No candles on the tables either, and there were like vinlyl tablecloths that would be just wiped off after you leave as opposed to fresh linen tablecloths. There seemed to be some sort of water or flood in the kitchen and we heard the sound of a broom sweeping water the whole time we were there. We ordered 2 drinks (11$$) EACH !! and waited about 15 minutes for them to get to the table , they were served to us without beverage knapkins. We had ordered 2 appetizers while we were waiting, a warm crab dip ( bland and blah ) and a lobster mac and cheese ( good ). We ordered a Halibut (28$$) which was a tiny portion and scallops (27$$) an ok portion cosisting of 3 very large scallops. The problem was that we were not even halway done with our apps when they dropped our entrees !! our bill for the 2 apps, 2 drinks, and 2 entrees was 107 $$$ PLUS TIP !!! rather high for asbury park and for the size of the portions.

    1. The menu is very limited and they did not have any specials........no surf and turf, no steamed lobster, and no pasta..........

      9 Replies
      1. re: FrankieT945

        We won't be going.....not for mediocre food at those prices. The only thing worth going for in Asbury these days is Taka.

        1. re: CatLadyJan

          I don't know about that. Taka just didn't do it for me. I had a sushi starter that was good, not great. . My main was an uninspired BBQ salmon that was slightly over-cooked, over-sauced with sort of a tempura sauce and not exactly spanking fresh. Not off, but not on, either. Talk about "mediocre food at those prices" . . .

          1. re: Deb Van D

            we have been there hundreds of times....food always very very good. The homemade dumplings are delicious, the short ribs excellent and the japanese meatloaf was outstanding. I am not a big salmon fan, I like it but's it's not on the top of my list; and as far as sushi, I do agree with you it's okay but then again I don't really order sushi there because I like the other stuff. Desserts are homemade and really good. Sorry you did not enjoy, maybe give it another try.

            1. re: CatLadyJan

              My partner and I ventured to Fish recently, and came away generally unimpressed. I'm assuming the hurried to get the place open, as the decor is overall bland and uninviting...the space does have some potential though.

              The bar area is a bit awkward as there is a large column that sits on one end, that blocks the view of the bar as well as the TV's. The martini list is nothing special, and our martini's were overly shaken to the point that resulted in ice chunks floating in each glass. Skip the signature list and go for something basic.

              Food-wise we tried the calamari - these were just okay. The breading was tasty and they were served with an aoli. The salad of butter lettuce and ranch dressing was okay, except for the fact that the bacon that was served on top was the microwave variety....yuck. Lastly, the dumpling appetizer with asparagus was the only true winner of the evening. Overall, portions were decent.

              We will try again, and will probably wait several months before we do so. Overall, not impressed, at least not yet.

          2. re: CatLadyJan

            I would agree, TAKA is good. The thing I do not like there is the "space" . It's just one big room and gets very loud and noisy at times. Also, they seat the tables so close. When it's a "date" night and you have to practically sit touching the people at the next table, it's not a nice experience. When I am spending well over 100$$$ for dinner, I like a little space around me, I do not want to hear the entire conversation of the table sitting very close to me.

            1. re: CatLadyJan

              In general, I find the restaurants in Asbury Park to be very "HIT OR MISS". I do not think there is one that hits the mark every time. We have tried them ALL many times. Stella can be GREAT and another night, STELLA can be awful, you just never quite sure what you are going to get on any given night in Asbury Park. This goes for all the restaurants, not just Stella. As for "The Boards", I have been there, it was SO BAD, that I will not be giving it another chance. All the tables around us said the same thing..........

              1. re: FrankieT945

                I agree with you completely about the "HIT OR MISS" aspect of Asbury Park with one exception and that is TAKA. I've been there dozens of times since their opening and have NEVER had a bad experience. Taka is frequently on hand to insure that his place is meeting the needs of the patrons for food, service and cleanliness. Although a very spartan and open space this is not necessarily a bad thing.

                Even Moonstruck which I've been going to for 20+ years when they started in Ocean Grove can be hit or miss these days. The city of Asbury Park is finally cleaning its self up and the restaurants must now follow and get their act together.

                1. re: JerzeyShore

                  Oh yes, I agree, TAKA is wonderful for the food. But, like i said, to me the "SPACE" is not enjoyable at all. Too loud, no walls or decor to absorb the noise. the tables are too close together, to me, that is a "bad thing". I like some space when i am spending a lot of money on dinner. I like my conversation private, and i do not enjoy practically touching elbows with stangers while i am eating. there really needs to be more space and some decor, it almost feels like a cafeteria.......

            2. re: FrankieT945

              Just found out that the reason the lights are so BRIGHT at "FISH" is because they forget to put in Dimmer switches, so the whole place just has one setting "BRIGHT". I would not lounge at this bar for that reason alone. They really need to get this fixed, it's very BRIGHT in this place........

            3. Where exactly is this place anyway? Can't even seem to find an address let alone a web site for fish.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JerzeyShore

                Fish is located in the lobby of the old "Post building" at the end of Mattison. It was a bank years ago....

                1. re: JerzeyShore

                  Fish is at 601 mattison ave. 732-455-8181.

                2. We ate at Fish last night, and were very pleased. I had the black cod, and it was very tasty and perfectly cooked. The seared tuna appetizer had a wonderful ponzu sause. Everyone at our table (4 of us) enjoyed their dishes and the appetizers we shared.

                  Responding to points others have made:

                  The service was efficient, but not at all rushed -- exactly the way I like it. The lighting was appropriate -- I guess they got those dimmers! The waiter and the rest of the staff were attentive. People at my table commented that they liked the "vinyl tableclothes". The tables were not close together, like people have remarked about Taka (I also hate when tables are too close -- at Fish there was plenty of room for "privacy").

                  I will definitely return.

                  1. We have been to FISH twice and we had very enjoyable experiences both times. We found the food to be expertly prepared, the service was professional and friendly and we LOVE the room. The lighting has obviously been addressed as the mood and vibe of the space is warm and comfortable. We really dig the table coverings (different and modern feeling) as the second time we went we were part of a large party and that table was clothed (boring).
                    We feel that the prices are perfectly in line for the quality of product we recieved. What's with the "a little too pricy for AP?" should excellent product be priced differently given it's location? Never got that...
                    Anyway, FISH is quickly becoming our new destination in AP

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: hamandegger

                      "should excellent product be priced differently given it's location?"

                      Depends on many things, such as service, ambiance and especially portion size.


                      1. re: equal_Mark

                        I went to Fish last night hoping for the best. While the reviews so far on this board have been mixed, both the menu and the resume of the chef looked promising. For those who don’t know, Fish is helmed by Michael Haimowitz. Chef Haimowitz had cooked with Bradley Ogden and Wolfgang Puck and had been lauded over the past few years for turning around the kitchen at Arthur’s Landing (before its untimely close a year or so back due to the economy). The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the historic Post Building on the corner of Mattison and Cookman Avenues in Asbury Park.

                        The owners did a nice job with the space with the use of a modern yet warm design. I’m sorry however to advise that the favorable part of my report ends here. First, the room was ice cold (to the point that I lost the feeling in my feet). I’m not sure if the problem stemmed from the lack of heat or due to the many large picture windows (which could’ve been poorly insulated). The next problem was the service. While our waitress seemed to try hard, she and the rest of the staff just couldn’t get it together. Examples of the poor service include: the failure to pour our wine (not a byob), failure to offer us bread (we asked our bus person halfway through the meal), failure to ask if we wanted coffee, delivering the check before the end of the meal, failure to replace flatware for our entrees and leaving unused glassware and dishes on the table. These service issues could be overlooked and chalked up to a new restaurant (notwithstanding the fact that its been open since October) if the food was up to par. Sadly the food didn’t save the night.

                        For the appetizers, our server recommended the ricotta dumplings and the sweet and spicy babyback ribs. Those were ordered along with the hearts of romaine salad and items from the raw bar (cherrystone clams and shrimp). The ricotta dumplings were far and away the best dish we had all evening and consisted of five quarter sized pasta pillows stuffed with a fresh ricotta filling. As far as the ribs, while I enjoyed the taste, they were served too cold. Had they been the proper temperature I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed them more. The romaine salad however was a disappointing throw away as it consisted of a whole heart of romaine and placed on the plate with some dressing, a white anchovy fillet and some pumpkin seeds. At the very least they could’ve separated the leaves and arranged them on the plate. The salad lacked flavor and and was not satisfying to me in the least. As for the raw bar items, they appeared fresh and were enjoyed by my DW.

                        Supposedly, Chef Haimowitz is known for his butter basted Barnegat light scallops and I was sure to order them. The entrée was to come with a cauliflower and pancetta risotto and a drizzle of truffle oil. The first issue I had with the entrée was its portion size. It is served on a small rectangular plate (approximately 3”x 7”) and contains four scallops atop a small base of risotto. While I don’t consider myself a big eater, I was immediately disappointed by the dish’s diminutive size. Although the scallops had a nice sear, each had an unpleasant grittiness to them. I was further disappointed with the flavorless risotto which lacked any of the richness and creaminess typically associated with the dish. Lastly, I couldn’t discern the use of truffle oil on the scallops. As for other entrees, one of my guests enjoyed the red snapper while my DW ordered the grilled yellowfin tuna and was unimpressed. I can’t comment on the desserts having chosen not to try any. Sadly, I doubt I will return to this restaurant. Good luck.

                        1. re: bgut1

                          b, Your detailed reviews are always a pleasure to read. But oh, dear! This was a pretty dreadful experience. It's doubly disappointing when the chef has Haimowitz's pedigree and you go with high expectations. Needless to say, we will not be going to Fish. I do hope your feet have recovered.

                          P.S. Excellent paragraphing! :)


                          1. re: RGR

                            Thanks R. My feet have recovered quite well. As for the paragraphing, I always think about you when formatting my long posts. :)

                    2. Went to Fish last Thursday nite (2/3/11). Saw in the newpaper they were offering a 3 course dinner for $25. It was never offered so we thought we were mistaken. I saw again today in the latest issue of Tri City News their ad for the 3 course dinner. So much said. The dinner was ordinary. Neither my wife nor I are big eaters but the fish entrees were appetizer size. The service was bad - the waitress took our order and ignored us the rest of the night. We did not even have knives on our table and we waited 50 minutes for our entree with the restaurant being about 1/3 full. What do they do on a busy night??? We eat out 3-4 nights per week and with all the good restaurants in our area why go there for mediocre food and poor service. Would not be willing to try it again.

                      1. This is not a formal review, but I can't help but weigh in on the discussion.

                        Four of us went to Fish last night and I can't say that it was a great experience. We'd all been there before--indeed we live in Asbury Park and are big supporters of the restaurants here. We are always pulling for the restaurants to succeed since it helps the town, yet many of them deliver too little for far too much money. I'm afraid Fish falls into this category.

                        Our party is a walk-in early on Friday night; we are greeted quickly (though the hostess was clueless about understanding one couple were already seated and that we were joining them). The beginning of the service went well; drink orders taken and delivered, specials recited, food orders taken, appetizers delivered. One weird thing is that of the two specials offered that night, none of them involved fish or seafood. Which didn't really bother me except that the name of the restaurant is "Fish"; seems like someone forgot what the restaurant is about.

                        The problems began with the entrees (we had 3 between 4 people). The surf & turf looked satisfactory--well plated and my companion enjoyed it; the black cod was also good, though it appeared to be scaled back (no veg, smaller portion) from when we had ordered it back in December. The tagliatelle with Peekytoe crab that I ordered had a faint metallic aftertaste that I attributed to a not-fully-rinsed dish plate. GF tastes it and agrees that something's off. I figure at least it's not the crab that tastes off, and the rest of it seems OK (again, not a full review here; if it were, I'd point out that the pasta was overcooked, the food was lukewarm, good ratio of crab to pasta, the flavours of the sauce were indescript...), and a little dishwater wouldn't kill me. On to dessert...

                        This is were everything falls apart. We order 2 desserts and an espresso; one dessert and the coffee come to the table in a reasonable amount of time, and after 10 minutes we realize that our 2nd dessert isn't on the order. Our waitress apologizes that she didn't hear us correctly about the order and says she'll rush the 2nd dessert and it'll be out shortly. Or at least that's what she should have said. 20 minutes later, we are still waiting for dessert #2 (which BTW, does not need to be caught, killed, OR cooked--it's a $10 banana split that merely needs to be assembled). By the time it finds it's way onto our table, dessert #1 is a melted puddle of what was probably delicious, dark chocolate.

                        I tell our our runner to let the waitress know that this plate took far too long to make it to the table, because from here on in, our waitress is MIA. The restaurant is only about half full at about 9:00 so being busy can't be an excuse. I stop to take a sip of water and the dishwater aftertaste comes back in full force. I pass my glass around for others to sample and the verdict is not a good one. At this point I begin looking around for someone who looks like management since it's clear the waitstaff cannot cope with anything approaching a problem. The trouble is neither I nor anyone in my party can see anyone who might be in charge. Our waitress has disappeared so we can't even ask her. Finally my GF goes over to the hostess to send over whoever might be managing the floor.

                        This last bit is a lesson in how to make a poor situation even worse: the manager comes over and I outline the problems that we've had. The off-taste on the pasta is acknowledged with an 'OK'; the poor timing with desserts is not even acknowledged; and the dirty water glass (which I've saved for him to taste) is combated with "that's what Asbury Park water tastes like". Which is so offensive, I can't begin to describe. I tell him that I live in AP and drink the water all the time and it doesn't taste like dishwater (all of which is true--there's nothing wrong with the water here). I tell him he's got a problem with a dishwasher (human or mechanical; I do not know nor do I care) and he gives me a look that reeks of 'mind your own business'. No apology, no thank you for bringing it to our attention, no offer of doing better next time.

                        Of course some of this might be acceptable in a hash house that didn't charge $30 for entrees / $12 for drinks / $10 for desserts. But in a restaurant that is expensive in any part of the U.S. (including NYC and LA), none of it is. If you want a decent restaurant in AP, go to Taka, go to (most of) Marilyn Schlossbach's places, go to Stella Marina, go to the Mexican joint on Main Street.

                          1. re: OGguy

                            Wonderful! Glad to see the word about the restaurant is spreading.

                            1. re: jerzykb

                              "Worth It" when "entrees are "hit or miss" makes NO sense to me. Most particularly at those prices!

                              1. re: Curlz

                                It does to me. "Hit or miss" means some of the entrees were good or great, and some were not. With all of the other positives about the restaurant that the review stated (including appetizers, deserts, bar, atmosphere, etc.), it's logical to say that the restaurant is worth going to.

                                1. re: jerzykb

                                  Considering my poor meal as well of comments from friends, I must admit to being rather "surprised" by this review.

                            2. re: OGguy

                              Was the ceviche a special? Am always looking for good ceviche and it is not on the menu.

                              1. re: equal_Mark

                                Went to FISH last night and found it to be delightful. We sat at the bar and enjoyed $5 apps which are available until 7:00pm. The fish taco and lobster mac and cheese were especially good. Also had a few oysters which were excellent.

                                1. re: Papa Bing

                                  FISH Asbury was loud with crowded and uncomfortable floor plan. Manager was inattentive to needs of patrons e.g.not responding to request for table not in middle of kitchen traffic (reserved a week ahead). Portions were small and expensive with pretensions of being a Manhattan high end eatery. Wait staff was overly friendly interrupting private conversations a number of times to ask if we were happy. Jersey shore has much better to offer elsewhere. Not recommended.

                                  1. re: justice1

                                    sorry Justice. I found just the opposite. Granted we took advantage of the Happy Hour app specials at $5. But the manager was attentive. We had a nice, brief chat about the place. The fish taco and lobster mac and cheese were excellent. It was not loud. We got a nice vibe from the place. It was early in the evening. What is much better on the shore?

                                    1. re: Papa Bing

                                      I also have never had any of the problems that people describe here at Fish.

                                      1. re: Papa Bing

                                        What is much better in Asbury Park is:
                                        1) Taka;
                                        2) Stella Marina;
                                        3) Moonstruck (not one of my favs, but generally problem-free);
                                        4) any of Marilyn Schlossbach's places;
                                        5) La Tapatia;
                                        6) Cubacan;
                                        7) Bistro Ole;
                                        8) Jimmy's;
                                        9) Old Man Rafferty's.

                                        If you think Fish is a good restaurant, that's your prerogative. But to think it is the best restaurant around is being extremely near-sighted IMHO. It is certainly the most expensive, and therefore should be held to a higher standard.

                                        BTW, the restaurants listed above are not necessarily great restaurants, however I've found each of them to be better in patron service and in value than Fish has been.

                                        Stella Marina Bar & Restaurant
                                        1200 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

                                        Bistro Ole
                                        230 Main St, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

                                        Old Man Rafferty
                                        531 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

                                        La Tapatia
                                        707 Main St, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

                                          1. re: tommy

                                            near-sighted: meaning one can see better close-up and not see distances well. Another way to put it would be to see only the things in front of you and not the big picture.

                                        1. re: justice1

                                          Gotta agree with papa and Jerzy...FISH has become our favorite restaurant not only in Asbury Park but favorite period. No pretense at all, just nice friendly service. Over priced and small portions? You're kidding right...We fill up on delicious apps for 5 bucks at happy hour and the dinner portions are excellent and priced very fairly.
                                          Justice, you should definately give it another shot.

                                          1. re: hamandegger

                                            fvc - wake up. no one said it was the best. best would be Nicholas, Bay Ave, Fromagerie. better would be Yumi, What's Your Beef, Dish, FISH is very good for what it was last night - excellent $5 apps and some drinks.

                                            1. re: Papa Bing

                                              Lot of 1 hitters on this thread...btw I don't know why people are saying FISH is so expensive...prices seem moderate to me, with most entrees not breaking 30 bucks.