Lubrano's in Manasquan, anyone?
Recently ate here for the first time, and I feel like I've tried most Italian restaurants in the Monmouth County region, and this totally blew me away. Everything from the homemade bread to the super tender calamari and then some. I had the "Americanized" creamy pesto sauce, girlfriend had the pescatore and both were totally socks-knocking-off great.
Definitely check this place out if you haven't yet. Worth a long drive, IMO.