HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >

Discussion

Anyone tried Aqua Blue in Toms River?

I heard it opened Monday and usually avoid new restaurants for a couPle weeks till they work out the kinks, but due to the lack of decent restaurantsin the toms river area, I'm getting impatient. Does anyone have any feedback (any guinea pigs out there)?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I went for lunch on opening day, but they were not yet serving lunch. I think they may be open for both lunch and dinner this week, however! Here is something: http://tomsriver.patch.com/articles/a...

    7 Replies
    1. re: catgalioto

      Does anyone know who will be the Chef there?

      1. re: Tapas52

        From the article catgalioto linked: "Oscar Toro, the executive chef of Aqua Blu, noted the main dining area, which seats 100, has its own separate bar, which allows for speedier drink service for dining room patrons without disrupting the flow in the main bar area. Square tables fill the room, which is lined on two sides with rectangular tables – three as booths against the front wall, and others lined up in front of a blue upholstered couch-style bench that runs the length of the far wall."

        Amazing what happens when you actually read the posts, you get information.

        -----
        Toros Restaurant
        1083 Main St, Paterson, NJ 07503

          1. re: Tapas52

            I find this question funny because it's Toms River.

            1. re: BeerWeezil

              Thank you for the info.........I guess they wont know if its a success until next shore season..good luck to them!

          2. re: catgalioto

            Better bring a big wallet high prices little food not that good had to go have pizza after dinner

            1. re: serpfish2

              Went for a second dinner. What a disappointment!!!! My husband ordered the same dinner as last time (gnocchi and shrimp), he said it was almost inedible. I ordered the fish provencal. Bland and tasteless. Tuna appetizer was okay. Desserts were again nothing to write home about. Consistency seems to be an issue as the couple we were ith also had the same issues. One okay/decent meal, then a horrible one. Service was good, however we are not coming for the service. At this point, we are willing to drive up to McCloone's Pier House or Avenue for a consistent and delicious meal. What a disappointment!

          3. My husband and I were excited to try to newly opened restaurant. The Toms River area is essentially void of higher end restaurants, with the exception of just a few. Be advised... in speaking with our waitress we learned that the restaurant is in a "soft opening" phase and that menu items are changing. We were the only couple in the main dining room when we arrived with a 5:30 reservation. By the end of the meal 5 other tables had filled up. The bar area was full when we arrived. Decor is clean and of the "aqua" marine coral type. My one complaint are the odd spoon, fork, spatula wall art pieces that do not match the otherwise tasteful decor. Our meal began with ciabatta bread and a tasty fruity olive oil dip. Good but nothing earth shattering. My husband was thrilled that East and West coast oysters were offered (Malpeque and Kumomoto). He preferes the West Coast which are more difficult to find here. The best part of the meal- the house ground incredibly hot fresh horseradish! Please do not change this! I ordered the colossal shrimp cocktail. 2 nice sized shrimp arrived and were perfectly cooked, not overdone. Cocktail sauce is made with the house horseradish and was very good. My husband and I both ordered the pan seared gnocchi with shrimp and wild mushrooms. Initially, we both felt while good, was slightly underseasoned. My husband said with every bite the flavor improved and may have been since he had briny oysters and olives from his martina which threw off his salinity. By the end of the dish, I still felt mine was still slightly underseasoned. The gnocchi were light and pillowy, not dense, shrimp were perfectly cooked, and we both enjoyed the variety of wild mushrooms and accompanying sauce. We saved room for dessert which we were disappointed with. We shared the carrot cake with cinnamon ice cream. The carrot cake was a bit on the dry side (the carrot cake I make at home is moister) and the cinammon ice cream had no hint of cinammon. I do have to admit, it may have been dulce du leche ice cream (I may have mixed up what I was reading from the menu with what I received) however, even if it was dulce du leche ice cream, it still lacked the flavor punch that I am accustomed with premium ice cream. My husband's one pet peeve- he ordered a Sambuca with his espresso. The bartender initially poured a Sambuca Black which we returned,we have never heard of a bartender serving Black unless specifically requested, especially with coffee. The Sambuca White was served in a fancy shot glass- blah! My husband prefers it be served in a brandy snifter with 3 espresso beans (good luck), of course none fit in the shot glass. Andrea our server was fabulous, service in general appeared to be well established considering the "soft opening" status. Meal courses came out quickly and were timed well. All in all, we were very pleasantly surprised and are VERY hopeful that Aqua Blue will become our new go to place. FYI- the menu also includes less expensive items such as pizza if you bring children or want a less expensive meal out.

            1. One word, Awful! Having the ability to dine in many upscale restaurants this should not be considered " fine dining"! I ordered the short rib it was dry and tough. 3 others with us had the steak. Although they claim it is prime, there is no way! At times it was inedible due to so much fat! The dessert was just ok. the decor well, they tried but completely missed it. Seriously, hire a professional! I would just bet the owners wife thought she could do it. The bathrooms well they tried to emulate a "W" hotel but it was more like the metal tables that you see in an embalming room! The biggest issue is how loud it is once again had they hired a professional they wouldn't have this problem. They desperately need acoustical panels to absorb the sound. We immediately asked to have our table moved to perhaps a quiter location but there was no place else to fit the six of us. The service was just ok the prices were high for the quality. Theonly positive thing
              about it was the valet parking. If your looking for fine dining this isn't it.

              1. Went to Aqua Blue on two occasions. The specialty pizzas and the pasta dishes we tried were good on both occasions. The service staff however needs some work or more training in the basics of servicing tables. On the first occasion our waiter spent the first few minutes complaining about how long a day he had and how much pain he was in before he even took our order. On the second occasion, our waitress either forgot to put in part of our order or didn't hear it being ordered in the first place. When I inquired about the missing item, she told us that the item was never ordered. When I politely told her that we did in fact order the item, instead of just offering to bring it out, became insistent that we never ordered it in the first place. (other members in our party also later told us privately that they did hear us order the item). The insistence that it was our mistake was not only rude, but just plain idiotic. Why would a waitress continue to argue with a customer rather than just offer to resolve the situation? Needless to say, her tip was adjusted to reflect this ridiculous lapse in a very basic level of service and respect. The valet parking can also be annoying if you don't like waiting for your car at the end of your visit. With some refinemet in the service and the parking, the experience at Aqua Blue will be greatly impoved!

                1. Against my better judgement we tried Aqua Blu the other night. It lived up to my very low expectations. There are no specials and they were out of or"stopped making" about half of the regular menu. Also out of the wine that we ordered, but wait, 15 mins later they found some! Apps were very small, carpaccio about a 1/2 oz, no capers and a ton of arugula. I had a ribeye, pittsburg, they only cooked one side, when I sent it back, they cooked the one side somemore and still lft the otherside raw, then disappeared! My son ate some of it because he was starving, he had the swordfish which was a 4 oz square. The server kept saying I'm brining you some mini cupcakes to make up for your patience but they never appeared. We spent over 200 for 4 people and left hungry, never again!

                  1. Been there twice. The service was slow and you would think there would be windows where you can see the water but there's not. Otherwise the food was great!! I had steak both times and it was amazing. Pricey, but nice. Good for special occasions.

                    1. Just drove by and the electronic sign said "best lunch in town $5 lunch specials". Guess they are struggling.