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Nov 29, 2011 08:46 AM

Looking for a restaurant for Rehersal Dinner in Northern Jersey Shore - laid back!!

Hi All,

As my title says, I'm looking for a fun, laid-back restaurant in the Northern Jersey Shore region (think Monmouth Beach to Point Pleasant Beach) with really great food for a rehearsal dinner of 22-30 people. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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  1. Just recently went to one at Via 45 in Red bank. Everything was great!

    1. Although I have not been to a function there, I agree with joon that the food at Via 45 is quite good.* Please note, however, that it is BYO.

      Given your qualifications of "fun [and] laid back," I think Trinity and the Pope in Asbury Park is a site worth looking into. I attended a party of 30some there recently and was pretty wowed by the quality of food served to such a large group.** There is an upstairs area complete with a bar and a small side room. Overall, the setting is quite conducive to celebration.

      Otherwise, I think that there are plenty of small(ish) BYO places that could provide what you are looking for, but as I have never attended a sizable gathering at any, I do not think it right to recommend them. I would note, however, that when you are planning the dinner is very relevant. Assuming from your name that the wedding is in June and you will be seeking a Friday night, you may not want to wait long to begin making initial inquiries.

      *On the other hand, I disagree that Red Bank is the Shore

      **As the kinda guy who usually leaves weddings and fundraisers famished and winds up having to wait to finally eat something decent, I'm always surprised when each plate I am offered is worth finishing.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MGZ

        Red Bank is as shore to this local as it gets as the town doesn't have to sit RIGHT on the beach to be considered "da shore". Oakhurst (my hometown), Shark River Hills, Wall Twp - are similarly situated as RB is and as far as my friends who live in those towns are concerened - it's the SHORE. Now if Via was located in Manalapan or Freehold, I would agree. Minor point, but I find your comment to be a bit short sighted as you can reach the Sea Bright beach in about 5-7 minutes most days.

        Your Trinity & Pope rec is a good one. I love the inside of that place. It's quirkly eclectic, has good music with the upstairs being perfect for what this poster is looking at. There's also McLoone's on the boardwalk for her consideration as well. They oftentimes have 'private parties' in the Supper Club upstairs and you can't beat the view.


        1. re: JustJake

          I meant you no offense, Jake ol’ boy. I’ve done my time in Red Bank over the past three decades and have immediate family in the town. Nevertheless, going there, to me, has always meant “leaving the Shore.” My view of it is that the Shore is pretty much just what’s east of 71 in Monmouth County. Then again, I like to think of my home State as only that east of the Parkway, extending north to the Driscoll Bridge and to south to Holgate.

      2. May we assume by your username that your wedding is planned for June? If so, is it early June or late June? Believe it or not that would make a difference, crowd wise, as would the day of the week you're planning your rehearsal dinner...

        2 Replies
        1. re: newfie29

          Hi, and thanks for the responses everyone. I've started looking into Trinity & Pope and Mcloones (which someone else recommended). The wedding is on June 9th so I'm looking for something on the 8th (Friday).

        2. Imo, McLoones is a lovely setting but overpriced and the food is just average. Personally, I'd RUN to Taka in Asbury Park for fantastic Japanese food--everything from sushi to cooked entrees. And it's BYO, to boot!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Curlz

            Honestly, that would be fabulous, but a very boring in-law group means Japanese is probably out of the picture. Anything beachy? Seafood? etc?

            1. re: JuneBride12

              I agree that it's not 'beachy' but Taka is all about FISH! And their (tempura-) fried calamari is some of the best I've ever had. Unless these people 'require' shellfish, I bet Taka would work with you to come up with some options to suit a wide range of palates!

              Other than that, both Sea Grass in Ocean Grove and The Black Trumpet in Spring Lake get good reviews, but I've never been to either; maybe someone else can chime in...?