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Help! Need to find great Seafood places in Highland, NJ

k
klessiep Jan 23, 2011 04:23 PM

Hi Guys/Gals,

I need help selecting a good delicious seafood shack in Highland, NJ. I'm taking my gf there for Valentine's Day weekend. We're really into authentic and homey places. I see that the options are Original Oyster, Inlet, Bahr's, Off the Hook, Windansea, and the Clam Hut- but I just want to avoid overpriced standard food that's mainly aimed at tourists.

Which ones around the area is still the best in terms of the quality of the food without being overpriced?

We already have a reservation at Bay Avenue Trattoria for another night, but looking for a nice casual spot for the night when we arrive to Highlands via the Ferry.

No car so Atlantic Highlands might not be possible for us.

Help!

Thanks so much in advance.

-----
Windansea
56 Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands, NJ 07732

Clam Hut Restaurant
Atlantic Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

Off the Hook
1 State Route 36, Highlands, NJ 07732

  1. s
    sockster Jan 24, 2011 02:33 PM

    If you like fish with an Italian twist, try AMA in Atlantic Highlands. Incredible!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sockster
      k
      klessiep Jan 24, 2011 03:30 PM

      Heard great things about AMA too, probably will be going there when we have a car and driving from NYC to the beach..

    2. equal_Mark Jan 24, 2011 06:46 AM

      Probably the best seafood restaurant in the Highlands / Atlantic Highlands area would be the Navesink Fishery. Definitely homey, though I'm not sure what "authentic" means. It would seem to satisfy all your requirements with the possible exception of location. It is in the A&P shopping center about a mile or so east of 1st Ave in Atlantic Highlands off of Rt. 36.

      http://navesinkfishery.com/

      -----
      Navesink Fishery
      36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

      14 Replies
      1. re: equal_Mark
        c
        cantkick Jan 24, 2011 10:44 AM

        Great choice normally, but without a car it is probably not doable for the OP. Moby's would be perfect, but a little chilly. :)

        It's been a while since I've been to any of the listed ones, so I really can't comment on them.

        1. re: cantkick
          k
          klessiep Jan 24, 2011 02:31 PM

          I keep hearing great things about Navesink Fishery too, about how it's a locals spot & exactly what I'm looking for. Maybe if the weather isn't too bad, we'll march ourselves the 2.1 miles to the place which isn't too bad considering how much we'd eat once we get there.

          Anybody got comments about the above places as well?

          -----
          Navesink Fishery
          36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

          1. re: klessiep
            Deb Van D Jan 24, 2011 03:02 PM

            The food is pretty good at Navesink Fishery, but I can't see that walk in June, much less February. It's very hilly (that's the "Highlands" part) and on a busy highway without a sidewalk. Even if you could get there, the walk back would just suck.

            Off the Hook is nothing special, and you will be crossing an unforgiving state highway and bridge construction to get to it. Windandsea is expensive, nice enough bar but pretty crappy food. Not the time of year for Moby's, if they are even open, which is doubtful. Sometimes they are, on the weekends, often they are not. I don't like the food at either the Original Oyster or Clam Hut--used to be good in a down-and gritty way when the Zusak's owned it, but it's been bad for a long time now.

            I think for the sake of propinquity, Inlet Cafe is your best bet. It's not exactly a fish shack, but the food can be quite good. Casual and cozy.

            -----
            Navesink Fishery
            36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

            Off the Hook
            1 State Route 36, Highlands, NJ 07732

            1. re: klessiep
              JustJake Jan 24, 2011 03:05 PM

              You're not going to walk there - even in the summer as it's atop a fairly significant grade. Take a cab - it's a BYO, and it's what you're looking for.

              Enjoy BAT - it's been a favorite of mine f or a very long time (try Joe's crab cakes (the appy) or his fried oysters if you're eating seafood that weekend. And if you're lucky - halibut may be on the menu.

              1. re: JustJake
                k
                klessiep Jan 24, 2011 03:28 PM

                Yeah, sounds like I need to cab it to Navesink Fishery then. I was going for Inlet Cafe as the local option for the exact reason that Deb Van D said, but cabbing it to NF sounds like the the best bet. I've always been dissapointed by Clam Hut and Windansea (just nothing special for the price).

                BAT's just incredible. I dont' remember a single thing I didn't like from there.

                So to conclude, I'm doing:
                Lusty Lobster (surprise catered romantic indoor picnic for when we arrive at night - that way the food can be room temp or chilled. This was more for logistics reason than anything else, I'll report back with the review)
                Navesink Fishery (Sat - Lunch)
                BAT (Sat - Dinner)
                Inlet Cafe (Sun - Lunch)
                Then home to Manhattan.

                No real plans in Highlands, NJ except for eating - but that's the most important part anyway... :)

                -----
                Navesink Fishery
                36 N State Highway, Middletown, NJ

                Windansea
                56 Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands, NJ 07732

                Clam Hut Restaurant
                Atlantic Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

                1. re: klessiep
                  angelo04 Jan 24, 2011 03:40 PM

                  What & where is BAT? I am reading on my mobile, mabe I missed the details in the above thread.

                  1. re: angelo04
                    k
                    klessiep Jan 24, 2011 04:15 PM

                    BAT is for Bay Avenue Trattoria at 122 Bay Avenue, Highlands, NJ.

                    It's marked as "Italian" but it's really more of a American/Italian food with a bit of unique flair to it.

                    It's just really really delicious food without the ridiculous pricing or being uppity. Portions are good and hearty but not too much. Just a really satifying meal - if I only had one meal to spend in Highlands - this would be it.

                    It's also a BYO which is a plus.

                    1. re: angelo04
                      s
                      sockster Jan 24, 2011 06:18 PM

                      Also one of the best (not fancy) food around. And make sure you try his oysters Rock- THE BEST!!

                    2. re: klessiep
                      a
                      aklein Jan 25, 2011 03:32 AM

                      nice lineup, though I suggest you don't go into Inlet Cafe with high expectations

                      1. re: aklein
                        t
                        timbug Jan 25, 2011 05:04 AM

                        Inlet cafe is closed for the winter

                      2. re: klessiep
                        equal_Mark Jan 25, 2011 04:51 AM

                        Sad to say, Navesink Fishery doesn't do lunch on the weekend...

                        1. re: equal_Mark
                          k
                          klessiep Jan 25, 2011 05:47 AM

                          My Goodness! My plan is falling apart! I guess it's better to find out now than later.

                          Maybe we'll catch a run down deli or something in town? Anything good?

                          This means I have two lunch spot (Sat & Sun) to fill....

                          1. re: klessiep
                            Deb Van D Jan 25, 2011 10:25 AM

                            If you're taking the ferry anyway, you would do better to get off and stay in Atlantic Highlands. There is more within walking distance and it doesn't fold up quite as thoroughly in the wintertime. You would still have to figure out transportation to BAT, but if I were you I would stay local and save that for another trip.

                            1. re: klessiep
                              GraydonCarter Jan 25, 2011 12:02 PM

                              Doris and Ed's are closed for winter break until Feb 9. This may be a familiar refrain.

                              Never been there, but I think I'd try the cuban place, Old Havana.

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