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Sep 11, 2013 04:34 AM

Saturday Lunch for 15 in Manasquan

Where can a group of 10-15 people go for lunch in Manasquan on a Saturday in September? Vegetarian options are important. We are willing to travel one or two towns over if there's a better dining option to be had. We don't necessarily want a formal, multi-course meal. What's more important is to be at a place that's not too noisy and where we can linger over our food.

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  1. Well, Velda Mae, that is an interesting query and I hope that I may be able to help with some ideas about dining in and around this dopey little town. I do admit, however, that since September is "Local Summer" and Manasquan HS football's schedule includes a game at home against RBC on the Twenty-first,* it's not that easy.

    First off, in town, you might be able to get the folks at Firefly to set you up with a private luncheon in their side room. They are mostly "Dinner Only", but do "events" on Saturdays. They will tailor a menu with you. BYO.

    Next, I'd suggest Harpoon Willy's just a short ride through Brielle's scenic Riverview Drive. They have a separate room that could hold fifteen to twenty. It will be pretty quiet, away from the College games in the Bar area. They offer a great deal of seafood options, but they also make a mighty fine burger for those so inclined. Full Bar.

    Third, there is Maria's on Main Street in Manasquan. It's an old school "Red Sauce Italian" place, but they have space in the dining room to set up a few tables for a big group. The food is pretty solid and the pizza is the "thin crust, Jersey Shore" style that reminds you that you are only a half mile from the Atlantic. After the games, however, they do get a bit crowded. Full Bar.

    Finally, I guess I'd offer up Asahi on Route 71 for sushi. They shouldn't be very busy around Noon on a September Saturday. I will admit that I have never been there with more than six in my group. BYO.

    Hopefully, someone else can chime in about spots in Sea Girt or Spring Lake, but noting hits me as within your parameters. There is Kaya's Kitchen on Main and Tenth in Belmar, they are vegan/vegetabletarian, but the place always seems crowded and loud to me. BYO.

    Maybe, our friend Missybean, has some other ideas. She's local and might have better insight into what people eat around here that doesn't involve flesh.. There are other 'hounds who spend time in the area as well.

    *At which, if there is actually a God in the Heavens, RBC will once again prove the power of Rome. Sorry, but, if you grew up in a goofy ass borough like this and were one of three kids sent out to play ball for a "fancy" private school, you'd understand the thirty or so years of rivalry, ribbin', and cheerleader stealin' that has long prevailed . . . .

    3 Replies
    1. re: MGZ

      MGZ how about Legends? (technically wall I think but close)

      I didnt find the food spectacular but the decor and atmosphere I love. I really dig that fish tank. And I know they can accommodate large parties.

      Clarks landing? have not been there in while (last time was a nice wedding)

      1. re: corvette johnny

        Legends is a good, very pretty spot for a lot of different reasons. I s'pose I didn't think about it 'cause it's so far outta town, but it is right off the Parkway, and I admit I have had a coupla solid meals there.

        As to Clark's Landing in Point Pleasant, I understood that they had "retooled" to be only a bar and an event hall. I had a nice dinner there eight or nine years ago, but, at this point, I could offer no other suggestions beyond planning a wedding or other big party.

        1. re: corvette johnny

          I can also 2nd, or 3rd, as the case may be, Legends. It's a solid place for their Asian Fusion/Hibachi and Sushi as well. Great bar, great atmosphere and usually a good crowd.

      2. In my experience, 15 can be a hard number for a smallish restaurant to handle. MGZ has pretty well covered everything in town. What he excluded would probably not be suitable for a large group (I'm thinking Max Devros which has great food but is small) or not as good food (I won't mention any names)

        The only other suggestion I have are out-of-town. Massutos on Route 35 in Wall doesn't have a separate room but I doubt they'd be crowded on a Saturday afternoon.

        I once went to a Saturday afternoon wedding shower at The Shipwreck Grill in Brielle. Maybe they'd be able to accommodate you.

        Both of these have full bars if that is important to you.

        If you don't mind my asking, what brings you to Manasquan? Maybe with some context other options will occur to me.


        4 Replies
        1. re: missybean

          We will be in town for a memorial service. My father-in-law and his wife lived in Manasquan for about 15 years. As a result, my husband is quite familiar with the area so going to nearby towns won't be a problem.

          Thanks, MGZ, for telling me about the football game. I know it's also the weekend of the Point Pleasant seafood festival and am mindful of Saturday traffic. Go RBC!

          1. re: Velda Mae

            Well, Velda Mae, I'll return to this thread by noting that I adore your screen name. It's probably 'cause it makes me think that if Scooby, Shaggy, and that big blonde, shall we say, "questionably hunky" dude had hired you, they would've needed only one girl, would have eaten better (I mean, no matter how baked you might be, how many "Scooby Snacks" could anyone enjoy?), and the mysteries woulda been solved in four or five minutes.

            That bein' noted (as well as the pro Casey's vibe), Maria's, Firefly, Squan Tavern and Remington's will all provide separate space for bereavement luncheons, in town. Another place to think about might be The Mill in Spring Lake Heights.

            Good luck & our condolences.


            1. re: MGZ

              I think you should open the gates to the MGZ estate and offer to host this affair. 10-15ppl would fit comfortably on the patio with enough room for a 20 piece band and dance floor.

              You cook, I'll serve. Velda, let's talk some menu idea's. MGZ loves using his outdoor hibachi grill!

            2. re: Velda Mae

              Velda Mae, I am sorry for your loss.

              Once again I think MGZ suggested the best our town has to offer..

              While I've catered several repasts, the only one I attended was at The Grenville in Bay Head. It was quite some time ago and so would not be comfortable recommending it.

          2. How about Fratello's or Rod's in Sea Girt...I think either would one could handle that size group in a quiet, back area.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SusieQQ

              I second Fratellos in Sea Girt. Much better than the not too good Rods. Fratellos food is wonderful and I eat there often and have attended several events there.

            2. Another suggestion, The Breakers in Spring Lake...