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Surv Kitchen & Lounge ~ Manalapan

I must say, the pics of the food look incredible!! I know many of you are a fan of the head Chef. Has anyone been here yet?




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  1. I have plans on going Thurs, I will be sure to report.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jrvedivici

      Thanks jrvedivici!!! I trust your opinions! :)

    2. Food looks good but the dining room looks awfully dark. Wonder if they may find blue lighting is not the best for showcasing food like Joe & Maggie did shortly after opening
      (when they had blue lighting in that little nook under the stairs).

      1. Alright well as promised I made my plans to come here last night, told my guest about the "hot new" spot with the awesome chef etc.

        Upon arrival I realized I knew this location. It. Use to be a BYO called Michaels, if memory serves me correctly, and it enjoyed much success. It was family style so once Nonnas opened it affected his business and I guess that's when Mark Joseph took over.

        So we got there at 7:00pm highly anticipating the experience, the parking lot was fairly empty as we walked in the hostess and a large sign which read "The Lounge is under construction and is. Closed"greeted us. I questioned the hostess, Tge bar is closed? No drinks?" She responded yes only the dining room is open, we turned around and left. As we were turning to leave she then asked me "Were you THE reservation?" To which I politely said no.

        On thursday night I don't think there were any other tables in the place and they had 1 reservation it seemed, that's not a good sign. I don't know what the story with the liquor license is, but it's hard to be a lounge without one.

        Went back to Osteria in Marlboro, it was good again.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jrvedivici

          So, just let me get it right. You have a chance to be the sole patron of a really talented chef, but decide to leave because they can't serve you booze? As you know, I'm an old school, Bukowski, "I will gladly pay you Thurday for a tequila today" kinda drunk. Next time this happens, should you ever be so lucky, go pick up a couple bottle of wines, half a pint of vodka, and return. Keep the vodka in your pocket and draw from it when nobody's looking, while you take advantage of the temporary BYO status. Oh, and arrange for a ride home.*

          *I'm legally obligated as an Officer of the Court to suggest such things.

          1. re: MGZ

            Sad up say but yes. The person I was with is a sit at the bar, tell war stories kinda guy. Sitting alone in the restaurant at a table wouldn't have been to his liking. There will be a next time.

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Sad up*? Sorry was suppose to say "Sad to say", I hate posting from my cell phone.

              Anyway, does anyone know what the story is with the liquor license?

          1. re: Bossa_Nova

            With those prices, the food better be pretty spectacular: $34 for scallops, $35 for halibut, $36 for tuna? Hmmm....don't think I'm running here any time soon.

            1. re: sockster

              They are way out of line for a strip mall on Route 9- Good luck to them, but I won't be eating there for those prices either! They will never develop a "regular" crowd.

          2. Well, we finally made the trip. Crossing Monmouth County and spending time in the western part of it are things we rarely have much interest in doing. On a weekend night, just before Christmas, that area is not always a welcoming place for interloping Shore denizens who believe in flip flops 'til Thanksgiving. "Sprung from cages on Highway 9 . . .", indeed.

            Nevertheless, with renewed passports in hand and memories of Trinity in mind, we went off to chow.

            From a purely factual point of view, I was particularly struck by the level of detail applied to every plate that came out of the Kitchen. Every ingredient was specifically contemplated for each dish. Sourcing appears to be a very important factor in the ultimate creation of the various plates. Things that are often afterthoughts, like bread, butter, oil, etc., were consciously selected. Presentations were well planned and executed. At bottom, it's a restaurant menu created by 'hounds for 'hounds.

            * * *

            As we walked to the car after our meal, Mrs. Z started ruminating aloud about our commitments over the next few weeks.

            "Why?" I inquired.

            "I'm trying to figure out how soon we can come back." She said, through a broad smile, as I grabbed her door.

            4 Replies
            1. re: MGZ

              Any update or status on the liquor license? I've been kind of on the sideline waiting for them to get that before I go back.

              1. re: jrvedivici

                Still no license. Which, honestly, is cool by me. It makes the place the best BYO I've been to in the area - way better than anything here at the Shore. I'm actually really excited to grab a six of some good IPA and head back for a Bahn Jovi lunch.

                I should've noted in my initial post that we indulged in: the crab beignets; a cured, heritage pork appetizer special; beet salad; tuna tartare; a veal porterhouse; and the ricotta gnudi with truffle and shimeji mushrooms. We sent each plate back to the kitchen so clean, the dishwasher left early to get a start on his Christmas shopping (rimshot, please). Seriously, though, we couldn't have picked a favorite, but the gnudi with fungii were such an uncommon dish to see on a menu that they generated the most excitement.

                1. re: MGZ

                  Ohhhhhhh veal porterhouse has become a recent favorite of mine. I looked on the menu and it said it was prepared marsala style, is that how you had it or was there a special?

                  (don't get the Bon Jovi reference, clarify please?)

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    I had the veal with the mushrooms/marsala off the regular menu. It was terrific.

                    The Bahn Jovi is a play on the Vietnamese classic. The chef uses a pork roll pate to Jersey it up. It's on the lunch menu. What can I say, I'm just "halfway there . . . livin' on a prayer" and all.

            2. I sorta forgot about this, but after dinner Chef d'Ennery gave Mrs. Z a coupla chunks of white chocolate with bacon bits and pop rocks in it, that he had conjured up in his lair. I managed to sample the love and I can honestly say that if you go to Surv, you should inquire about a taste of this try at cocoa-blanco pyrotechnics. It may not be Apollo landing awesome yet, but it's certainly a step past Saturn rocket good!

              1. Fans of the Chef or not, the service was deplorable. The owners seem to think they are better than everyone else while being offensive and rude. They might want to work on training the staff. Issues all around made for a lackluster evening and at these prices that's inexcusable. Absence of silverware, cold bread, sugar/cream for coffee. It looked like a bunch of high school kids were never trained for what seemed like high end food. Clearly the kitchen had some issues as well but someone back there is trying.

                6 Replies
                1. re: nelsonm14

                  The excellent chef referred to above has not been involved with the restaurant for a couple of weeks now.

                  I saw them advertising for cooks and servers last week so there might be a lot of new faces in the kitchen and the dining room.

                  I have no plans to return.

                  1. re: Bossa_Nova

                    I hope that is not true as we booked a brunch in May for my sons communion.

                    Where did you get you info regarding Chef Mike's departure?

                        1. re: chefMD

                          Boo!. Well good luck to you. Let us know where you land. All the best!

                    1. re: nelsonm14

                      I'd have to agree. We went last Saturday night and the server had no idea what the answers were to many of my questions. He said, "Sorry, I tried to ask the kitchen but they are busy so they don't want to answer my questions." Food is very pricy and the kitchen brought out the wrong food and then I had to wait a while to get the correct dish. The owner was not very helpful or curious. Many of the tables were upset that night. I wouldn't recommend this place just yet.

                    2. I have to say, we were there last week for the first time and I really enjoyed it!!! It was a week night, too. I think it was Wednesday. (The night they also do a burger and pizza menu)

                      I must say we were very happy. We did not order dinners, but rather an array of appetizers and a burger. The dishes were prepared quite well. The calamari app was really good! The flatbread pizza also was good, the lamb meatballs were very tasty, salad was fresh not wilted or overdressed, and the burger was cooked perfectly!!

                      The owner was pleasant with us and we even complimented him. Our server was very informative and friendly. We definitely intend to go back...don't know why I waited this long!! (It was still a BYOB as of last week)

                      1. Oh boy, without the chef, I can't see any other reason to go back. One of the owners is so nice and friendly, while the other one has his nose up in the air. The last time we were there was for burger night. The restaurant was almost empty and the owner sat at a table with friends and never came over or acknowledged us. We were pretty much regulars, too. It's not the way to keep your customers from returning.

                          1. re: Bossa_Nova

                            Really? Wow...........that didn't last long. According to their facebook page they are moving to Staten Island?


                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              Once they lost their chef it was only a matter of time

                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                Yes they are moving to SI...on the water in Tottenville by Angelina's..meanwhile I am screwed looking for a place for my son's communion next Saturday the 17th!

                              2. re: Bossa_Nova

                                You know, I THOUGHT I saw paper or something over the windows when I drove by...

                              3. So it looks like a new greek place is taking over the space. I don't think it has opened yet, believe its going to be called Anemos