First trip to the Atlantic Bar & Grill in Seaside Park this year....and learned something new about one of the specials that was offered.
My girlfriend and I made our 1st trip to ABG last night with my parents for a Mother's Day dinner. We arrived there right at 5pm when they opened to avoid the crowds, which was a good idea since by 6pm the restaurant was full.
Appetizer: We ordered the hot appetizer sampler which consisted of coconut shrimp, sweet thai chili calamari, mini crab cakes, chicken pot stickers and tuna spring rolls. All of the food was very good, but my favorite was the calamari. The sampler was plenty for a table of 4 as an appetizer. The table next to use ordered just the calamari and the portion was HUGE.
My girlfriend had the small portion of the Lobster Risotto. It was very creamy and loaded with large chunks of lobster. The small portion was pretty big and more than enough for 1 person. Being that the risotto was heavy and filling, I think it would be difficult for one person to finish the large portion.
I had one of their specials which was sliced boneless sirloin (about 10-12oz) topped with a cherry pepper and blackberry glaze with mashed potatoes and asparagus. The steak was cooked to my liking and the glaze offered a nice sweet/spicy kick. The mashed potatoes and asparagus were good, but nothing exceptional.
My Dad had the crab cakes which he wasnt too impressed by. When my mom asked how they were, he replied "These are not as good as yours". I didnt taste them, but the mini crab cakes on the appetizer were very good with no much filler and a good amount of crab. He enjoys Mud City crab cakes, which I think are not the best. To each his own I guess.
My Mom had another special that was offered: escolar with 2-3 dipping sauces and vegies. None of us had heard of escolar, but the waiter explained it as a slightly firm (like swordfish), white, flaky fish with a buttery taste and that escolar is sometimes called butterfish. My mom LOVED this dish. I did happen to get a bite and I thought it was very good as well. So today, I wanted to do some research on escolar since I had never heard of it. I was surprised by what I found. Here is an article that I came across: http://www.thekitchn.com/use-caution-...
Overall, ABG was as I expected and will definitely return again sometime this summer. However, I will not be having the escolar!
Escolar is often served as "white tuna" at sushi restaurants. I used to always order 2-3 pieces of white tuna sushi (tastes like butter). I had the reaction noted in the article only once after dining at a chowhound-favorite Monmouth County sushi restaurant. I googled the symptom and came upon the article in the link above. I did not eat over 6 ounces unless the scallop appetizer that I had had escolar substituted for the scallops bits (not an impossibility). That night, we noticed that the restaurant had taken a number of cost-cutting measures (cheaper napkins, no bean sprouts). The experience ruined me for sushi.
Wow. You would think they should have to post a warning or something if you choose to partake of the escolar!
My husband and I will never eat escolar again -- it's sometimes also known as Hawaiian butterfish. It was not a pleasant experience and every time I see it on a menu or in a recipe, I really wonder why there isn't some note that -- at least for SOME people -- it causes an unpleasant reaction.
It was only after searching that we found the cause.
Escolar is great fish. Some people have a reaction to it, much like many foods that cause allergic reaction. If you don't have any adverse reaction after eating it, there's no reason to avoid it in the future. As far as listing potentially adverse reactions, where do you start (or stop). Do you post warnings next to every dish that contains gluten, or every piece of shellfish treated with tripolyphosphate?