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Chef Michael d'Ennery

I was a big fan of Chef d'Ennery when he was at Trinity and dined there frequently despite the fact I didn't care for the ambiance nor the crowd. Never made it to Atlantic Bar & Grill, as it was quite a trip for us. Just noticed he is no longer there. Anyone know what he is doing now?

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  1. Per his LinkedIn page, he is the Chef/Patron of Maverick Kitchen.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bgut1

      Thanks, bgut1. I had seen that, but can't find anything about Maverick Kitchen. Found the Facebook page and it noted an address. Looked up the address on Google Maps and there only seems to be residential properties there, so I'm wondering if he is doing individual catering or something like that.

      1. re: lggfly

        It looks like he's at Mark Joseph's Grilled Pizza & Restaurant in Manalapan. I've been waiting for them to open and I liked their Facebook page. His name popped up on the site. Hope he's their chef. May try it this Friday night.

        1. re: Pink Pepper

          Thanks Pink Pepper. Hope you are right. Visited the Facebook site. Not too many places serve short ribs and I know from the old Trinity days that short ribs are a specialty of ChefMD. We've had them and they are "to die for." Please let me know what you think after your dinner Friday. We live very close to Manalapan, so if he's there, so are we!!!

          1. re: lggfly

            Will do! My husband loves short ribs, too.

            1. re: Pink Pepper

              Don't think I ever had better short ribs than those from ChefMD......even better than Grandma's!

          2. re: Pink Pepper

            I loathe the idea of travelling diagonally across the county to eat, but I also heard that ChefMD was going to be doing something in the Manalapan vicinity. Honestly, I don't know a better chef in our area, so I suppose, I'll have to make the trek to eat his food once again. Italian food may seem a bit of a departure from Trinity and AB&G, but the carbonara he once made me was the best I ever had ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/599263 ). I wish him the best of luck and I'm glad we have him back.

        1. re: sockster

          Well, that reads like a menu chef MD had something to do with.

        2. Just before sockster posted the link for Mark Joseph's website (above), I found it via Open Table. On OT, they list "Michael d" as the executive chef, so I presume that's Chef d'Ennery. We never went to Trinity.

          I'm very interested in reading Pink Pepper's report. Normally, I would not even consider trying a new Italian restaurant in our area since none has ever been anything but a disappointment. However, depending on what she has to say, I may make an exception with this one.

          Btw, I called to find out its exact location. It's in the Alexander Plaza.


          9 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            Uh-oh, pressure is on. ; ) I am terrible at writing reviews. I'll try my best. I'll even take pics.

            1. re: RGR

              FYI we are not an Italian Restaurant.....

              1. re: chefMD

                Well, that's good news! WAY too many Italian restaurants around these parts as it is. And Nuovo hasn't even opened yet (where Le Peep used to be).

                Q. How do you make a grilled pizza?
                A. Very carefully. :)

                1. re: MarlboroMan

                  Introduced to grilled pizza a few years ago and now it is our favorite to make at home. The key is have everything ready to go. Grill one side to perfection, flip and QUICKLY add whatever you had planned from simple to complex. Grill until done and enjoy. Actually quite easy once you try it.

                2. re: chefMD

                  Good to have you back, Chef. Can't wait to have your food again.....and almost in our backyard!

                  1. re: lggfly

                    Are they open yet. My backyard for sure! Can't wait to try it. Chef d'Ennery is extremely talented.

                    1. re: charmel

                      Compliments to chefMD. The menu and photographs look very good. I am looking forward to trying the place real soon.

                  2. re: chefMD

                    "FYI we are not an Italian Restaurant....."

                    The menu seems to indicate otherwise. Yes, you have included non-Italian dishes. However, the bulk of the menu looks Italian to me, i.e., a very extensive pizza list, more than half of the small plates, and five of the eight large plates.

                    In any case, I sincerely hope that your food will be delicious. I will happily welcome an excellent restaurant, Italian or not, a proverbial stone's throw from our house.


                    1. re: RGR

                      Time for my brief review. Wait! The place is still too new. The staff was nice but not yet comfortable. We were seated by the hostess and asked what type of water we wanted. We chose the flat and no water was brought out. I took out our wine, my husband ordered soda and then our waitress brought me a glass of water, none for him. The bread was bland. Nothing tasty in our bread basket.
                      We ordered the romaine salad and the fried calamari for our small plates. The fried calamari was tough and chewy. We compare all fried calamari to our favorite place, Brioso. I know that many on this board are not fans. But to us no other Italian restaurant in our vicinity comes close. So that's our standard even it we stand alone.
                      Now for the pizza. We chose Mark's favorite, roasted mushrooms, truffled breadcrumbs. That was delicious! Tasted like a big stuffed mushroom. Would definitely go back in a few weeks when we're in the mood for grilled pizza.
                      The place definitely has potential. You can tell they put a lot of thought into the menu. But like any other new place, it just needs time to work out the kinks.

                3. We have been fans of Chef Mikes since his days at Trinity and went in for dinner last night and were very pleased. We started with the Pork Belly Pastrami sandwich which is pork belly pastrami with sauerkraut and russian dressing on a house baked pretzel roll. It was fantastic and we would return just for this sandwich. They cut it into two halves and plated each seperately since my wife and I were sharing it as an app so thats why the picture only has half in it. For our other app we had the joey grilled pizza which comes with sausage, roasted peppers, carmelized onions and smoked mozzarella. It was very good with a crisp thin crust and a bit of smokey char from being grilled.

                  For our mains we had the cabernet braised short ribs over polenta and the malfatani which are torn pasta sheets with baby tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, evoo, and basil. The short ribs were tender and flavorful but the pasta was my favorite, nicely balanced and a good mix of flavors and textures.

                  For dessert we had cinnamon fritters with 3 dipping sauces, chocolate, caramel and strawberry which were very good. The service was a little spotty and hopefully will improve over time as this is the first weekend they are open. One sugestion if you go is to make sure they give you both menus. Originally we were only given the menu which included the pizzas, apps and entrees. We had to ask for the 2nd menu which included the salads and sandwiches. We will certainly return soon to try out more of the menu.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bossa_Nova

                    Other than the "visit from the grim reaper" wings, those short ribs and the pastrami were my top choices to sample. Sounds great. I look forward to heading up there soon. Our fellow 'hound has a very good command of combining flavors.

                  2. Pink Pepper and Bossa_Nova,

                    Thanks for your reports! Sounds as though, with the exception of the calamari, the food you both had was very good. Once Mark Joseph's has been open for a while and has, hopefully. worked out the service issues, we'll probably try it.


                    1. Based the initial review here and another food blog we decided to give this place a visit yesterday and frankly we were underwhelmed. Nice space and brand new but the music was loud and distracting because of all of the hard surfaces in the place.

                      As for the food - starting with a fried calamari dish which was large but lacked any real flavor and devoid of any salt it just simply tasted bland and was served lukewarm. As for their signature dish the grilled pizza, the fresh mozzarella was chewy (not heated enough), the bottom crust was under cooked and here again no salt so the pizza tasted bland as well. The pizza also was not served hot enough.

                      Our dining experience was not bad but just simply OK with much room for improvement.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: CatLadyJan

                        We felt the same about the pizza. While it stated "pizzas will be well done", the bottom of the pie was not; and did not deliver (outside crust was tasty). Pizza tasted fine, albeit a little bit bland.

                        Where we felt the restaurant had more success in was the pasta dish we ordered, with gnudi, squash blossoms, and brown butter breadcrumbs. While at times the buttery notes became a little one dimensional, the textures were great, and the gnudi cooked perfectly, with the squash blossoms making a unique cameo. I thought the dish could have really come together with a vegetable with a bit of sweetness (maybe peas for summer, sweet potato in fall/winter) to provide contrast to the brown butter, but from a technical perspective, the dish was head and shoulders above other pizzerias' attempts at pasta

                      2. The reviews are mixed on this place. I went for the first time last night, the wife and I and the kids. As much as I wanted to order real food, it was Friday and it was Pizza night for my family. So we had pizza. We did a small plain and a large half margherita and half carnivore. We enjoyed it. Certainly way better than the typical pizzerias around here. Not the best I ever had, but very good, certainly not bland. I enjoyed the grilled taste and found it to be different from typical pizza.

                        I did manage to sneak in some app's because I really wanted to try the chef's dishes. We had the meatball app. I never order meatballs out, but the ricotta had me intrigued and they were really good. Nice and crusty and riccota for dipping. Garlic bread was great as was the Pink Clam chowder, a combination of Manhattan and New England with bacon. Will definitley go back to try non pizza items like the short ribs, as they looked and smelled incredible.


                        I tend to agree with Angelina, but on this one I don't.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: angelo04

                          Speaking of short ribs, someone on this string, commented how Trinity was one of the few places that were serving short ribs in the area. Short ribs are a favorite of ours starting when we first had them at Joe & Maggie's in Long Branch, and he's been out of there for well over 10 years. And we have continued to enjoy that entree at their Highlands restaurant as well. The chef community is a small incestuous one - they take from each other all the time. Belford Bistro which opened up a few months after Trinity has also had short ribs on their menu as well. Just saying. It's a fairly common dish, and I'll give a tip of the hat to my bride who has nailed the dish at home, with horseradish mashed potatoes, root vegetables and it's up on the menu in a couple of weeks for her brother and SIL who's finally getting through chemo and loves Joe's dish. Bon apetit folks

                          1. re: JustJake

                            It was very funny to read this today as the most recent post on the NJ Board. We are good friends with Michael's mother, and we saw her last night. When his name came up in the conversation, I told her that he had an active and loyal following on Chowhound, and needless to say she was thrilled to hear this!

                            1. re: albinoni

                              She should have been - he's a very talented chef.

                        2. FYI For the holidays, for every $25 in gift certificates, they give you $5 for yourself. Picked $100 up for a friend and got $20 for myself.

                          1. I posted the below on Yelp a few weeks back because I don't think Chef MD is getting the good press he deserves at Mark Joseph. I figured I should share this on CHowhound too

                            I have been here about 4 or 5 times. Tonight will be my 5th or 6th. I never write reviews on yelp, I prefer to do this on Chowhound. I felt compelled to review for a couple of reasons. Mainly because this place is realy good and seems to be an under appreciated gem. This place only has 4 or 5 reviews on yelp. Kind if shocked by the few reviews and that they are mediocre reviews. I am a big fan and this has become a goto place for my family. The toughest part has been do we go for grilled pizza or the well prepared app's and entrees?

                            The food is really good. Pizza joints are a dime a dozen and usually mediocre at best. They serve really good pizza with the twist being that is it grilled. They also do well with their twists on pizza, like the broccoli rabe and sausage or the white pie with mushrooms bread crumb and truffle oil.
                            I like that my kids can get good pizza while my wife and I can have awesone well executed and expertly prepared entrees courtesy of Chef Michael like the not to be missed short rib dish

                            The apppetizers are well done. As a New York Italian I never order meatballs out. But the meatball appetizer with home made ricotta for dipping made me curious. It was excellent and fun. My kids love the clam chowder.

                            Desserts are not to be missed either. The deconstructed cannoli or the fritters with 3 dipping sauces are delicious.

                            also worth mentioining, The dining space is new and quite nice.

                            I encourage you to give them a try. I wish them well, this area lacks good food and Mark Joseph fills this void quite nicely.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: angelo04

                              Thanks for posting that and reminding me that, now that Sandy's dust has settled, I need to go eat some of ChefMd's chow.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                I recall there being grits with some of the specials.....Soooooo Good

                                1. re: angelo04

                                  I''ve had Mike's grits - his NOLA background shines through!

                              2. re: angelo04

                                We've been back many times. They have a nice crowd now. In fact, going again tonight. Will finally try those short ribs.

                                1. re: angelo04

                                  Agree wholeheartedly that the area lacks good food. However, my one (relatively recent) experience was so poor that I doubt I will be back. As my party of 6 was being seated, I used the restroom which is located in the back near the drink station. A guy from the kitchen came out and instructed a waitress to push the fish at the table of 6 just seated and gave her a financial incentive for each fish ordered. While this may not be an unusual practice (I've never worked at a restaurant, so don't really know), I eat out far too often to know that no customer should ever hear this conversation. Needless to say, no one ordered the fish (which, to the waitresses credit, she did not press upon us any more so than any other special). Unfortunately, the food just did not impress.

                                2. FYI: Chef d'Ennery is at Surv Kitchen & Lounge now.

                                  ... with short ribs and all :)

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: stfwschaefer

                                    Name change and concept change only from what I understand. I believe they ditched the grilled pizza and are going for an after hours lounge like atmosphere which includes a liquor license. Havenot been tb ere sine they reopened but will report back when I do.

                                    1. re: stfwschaefer

                                      That seems like a much wiser use of the talents of such a terrific chef. Those pics sure seem to look like great ChefMd fare. I look forward to taking the cross county trip.

                                      1. re: stfwschaefer

                                        How long has this place been opened? This is in my work "back-yard" and haven't heard a thing about it.

                                        If it is a reincarnation of an older spot what was it previously?
                                        I'm all over this place next week.

                                          1. re: stfwschaefer

                                            And he changed restaurant names why? Because MJ wasn't very good??? Could that be the reason? And what will make this place any better?

                                            1. re: sockster

                                              If you decide to keep Kaepernick as your QB, do you square peg him into being a pocket passer or work with him to create an effective offense?

                                            2. re: stfwschaefer

                                              I gotcha! Sometimes it takes me a few to catch on.