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Jul 20, 2012 06:55 AM

Mediterranean Chateau (old Charlie Brown's location in Matawan)

Well, the Portuguese restaurant replacing Charlie Brown's has their sign up: Mediterranean Chateau (with a picture of a lobster).

I always thought chateaux were homes in the mountains, making "Mediterranean Chateau" a bit of an oxymoron. In any case, there are still two problems with the name. First, shouldn't it be "Castelo" rather than Chateau"? And second, Portugal is not on the Mediterranean!

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  1. I haven't been by there in a little while however that could be an excellent addition to the area. I'm unaware of any other Portuguese places anywhere near there. Costa Verdi on Rt. 9/35 in Sayreville is the closest I can think of.

    Just out of curiosity where or how do you know it's Portuguese is it on the sign as well or do they have a web site? Besides the faux pas you pointed out I hope the place has it's stuff together I could get into a good Portuguese place in that location.

    6 Replies
    1. re: jrvedivici

      Above article mentions it's Portuguese (as did another article I found). Of course, the article also says the restaurant would be open "in a few weeks" and the article is dated late February. :)

      1. re: MarlboroMan

        Well look at that........I guess I should have used that new technology all you kids use these days....what's it called "Oogle"? lol

        This is actually interesting because I was just at Ria Mar a week ago today. It had been years since I have been there and unfortunately I was in the area for funeral service and decided to stop in and give it a try. They renovated the place signicantly since I had last been there and was very impressed with the decor. I had paella valencia and sadly I wasn't overly happy with it. A little too soupy for me the rice was cooked but too much "brothe" in the pot for me. All the ingrediants were fresh and seemed to be of decent quality but the entire thing lacked any "wow" factor to it.

        My wife had a stuffed flounder which was good. I'll certainly give the new spot a try......hopefully my paella was just a poor example for them.

        1. re: MarlboroMan

          Passed by the other day. The sign in front of the building includes the words "Portuguese Restaurant" below the restaurant's name. So, at least in that regard, the article is correct.

          1. re: jrvedivici

            Portugal has Mediterranean climate and is associated with the Mediterranean basin. I think Mediterranean evokes Italy and Greece, so it's probably not the best choice, especially for a NJ restaurant, where every other diner is Greek. If you search portugal and mediterranean at, you'll find an irate Portuguese complaining bitterly about the endless association of the two. I checked a number of reputable sites, though, and I think his complaints are unfounded.

            Who knows why they chose chateau? Perhaps the historic castles are referred to as chateaux in Europe? I used Google Advanced Search to choose English for a search of Portugal and chateau and I think I gave the search engine a nervous breakdown. Most of the hits were tourism ads with chateau and casal listed. I couldn't tell from the hits whether chateau is a romantic term or just a translation.

            There's always the possibility that the place is trying for fusion. But it says Portuguese on its sign.

            There used to be a Portuguese restaurant in Cliffwood Beach (Old Bridge) on Route 35 just north of the 7 Eleven. And I think the Cornucopia in Keyport has some Portuguese fare.

            I'm glad to see the signs up. I'm interested to try the new place. I'vve had paella in the Ironbound in Newark, and I hope it is as good as that. We'll see.

            1. re: Barzillai22

              There used to be a Spanish (not Latin American) restaurant on Route 35 just north of the drawbridge (Quixote's, I think); I have no idea if it's still there. I took my father there once back in the 1980s.

          2. Amusing that they totally miss on the name... reminds me of Olive Garden (aren't olive trees grown in a orchard rather than a garden, and why do they have a picture of grapes rather than olives?)

            1. Interesting..... This will be a lot closer than newark. My fingers are crossed.

              16 Replies
              1. re: corvette johnny

                Speaking of Newark, Fernandes just took over a restaurant in Sayreville called LaMarina. It's across the street from where the Club Bene used to be.

                1. re: Jerzeegirl

                  If its the location I'm thinking of the exterior of the building was done very nice and it certainly had curb appeal. That stretch of 35 is just a string of mom and pop convenience stores used car dealers or abandoned buildings/clubs. Not an area I associate with dining of any nature.

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    It's probably the location you're thinking of. Just over the Morgan bridge if you're coming north & near Covello's. I agree about the area.

                  2. re: Jerzeegirl

                    Is that the one literally RIGHT after the bridge on the right if you are heading north bound? If so I think it has a name with "spanish" in it before.

                    If it is from the people at fernandes, it should be a quality place.

                    1. re: corvette johnny

                      Yes. That's the one. It's had quite a few names over the last 5 or so years. We tried it a couple of years ago & really liked it. Two days later, it was closed up when I drove past it. Haven't had a chance to try it since it became LaMarina, though. We'll definitely have to try it now since Fernandes took it over.

                      1. re: Jerzeegirl

                        Do you perhaps know if they will have rodizio?

                        1. re: corvette johnny

                          No, sorry, corvette johnny, I have no idea. I have to pass it every day on my way home from work, so I can stop in & ask & let you know.

                          1. re: Jerzeegirl

                            sounds good : )

                            I will give it a shot either way but some fernandes quality rodizio much close to home will get me there a lot faster! LOL

                            1. re: corvette johnny

                              Ok, I'll try to remember to do it tonight. Just as a FYI, they're closed on Mondays, at least all the other incarnations of this place were closed on Mondays. I'll double check that while I'm there.

                              1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                Hey can you grab me a gallon of milk too on your way home? lol.....So they are open and operating already? Is the name still La Marina or is there a new name?

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Sure, you want regular, skim, 2%, organic, fat free? Any particular brand? They never closed, they just changed the name. The LaMarina sign is still up, but there's a banner that says Fernandes of Newark or something like that out front.

                                  1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                    At 300+lbs I pretty much sweat heavy cream. (I'm not sure if that's funny or just gross) Anywho......they have a liquor license correct?

                                2. re: Jerzeegirl

                                  Ok, it's called LaMarina Fernandes Steak House. They DO have a liquor license. I forgot to check on the Monday hours, but here's the phone #, so anyone can check or make a reservation. 732-721-2306. If anyone goes, please report on your experience.

                                  1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                    Thank you very much! Now where is my milk and lottery tickets?

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      They're not on your doorstep? I left them there hours ago. I hope nobody stole them.

                                    2. re: Jerzeegirl

                                      Has anyone had a chance to try LaMarina/Fernandes Steak House? I am looking for a place to meet people for dinner who live in Marlboro, and I hate to drive down Route 9. I have been to the one in Newark a few times and enjoyed it.

                    2. Well struck, eleeper. Dining and Matawan have always struck me as oxymoronish... it's embarrassing.

                      1. Chateau mediterranean is now open. Still no menu on the website. Has anyone been there yet?

                        8 Replies
                            1. re: charmel

                              I might have to try this spot. Yelp reviews are usually terrible. I never believe anything I read on that site unless its someone that takes time to write a legit review (and even then it is a craps shoot.)

                              NYCPA, have you been to Lamarina by chance? That is on my radar too.

                              1. re: corvette johnny

                                Not yet. The last time I was in the vicinity, we ended up meeting at Drew's Bayshore Bistro. I had not been there since they moved to the new location, and I guess it was a good decision, because my husband did a drive by the other day and said the place looks like it won't reopen for quite awhile. I am waiting for someone to (PLEASE!) review La Marina before I make that trip.

                                1. re: NYCPA

                                  LaMarina is actually called "Fernandes 3"

                                  I drove by last night on my way to Costa Verde. I didn't see any signs that said LaMarina so I guess they are banking on the Fernandes name. If it is anything like Fernandes, it will be a quality place.

                                  FYI, they are closed on monday nights.

                                  1. re: corvette johnny

                                    Ok well how was Costa Verde? Dependable as usual? I'm actually going to the "Old Ama" tonight across from Copper Canyon......Christine's as it is now known. Review tomorrow !!

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      It was ok....honestly not that great of a dinner but the standard chorizo and garlic shrimp were spot on. I always get those two to start. I got a filet with the mushroom sauce and it was pretty bloody in the middle. I am a medium rare guy. On those big steaks they always seem to be very rare in the middle so I got it medium....still undercooked.

                                      I'll check the review tomorrow. I can't wait to get that ribeye on thursday. It looks as if the dish has changed so it should be interesting.

                                      PS, for a good filet I like Spain.

                          1. re: Bossa_Nova

                            Just went this evening. The garlic shrimp and paella were great. Chateau chicken breast was good. What ruined the dish was the Instant mashed potatoes. I can tell the difference and the 6 people at our table all agreed: they were from a box! However, the thin sliced potatoes were fabulous and the Sangria was what made the trip worth while. We would definitely dine there again, we would just not get the 'mashed potatoes'.