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Monmouth County Casual Italian suggestions...??

Hi Chowhounds, ...next week we are going out for dinner 4 pp...
looking for suggestions for a CASUAL not that expensive but FUN & Delicious Italian restaurant in lower MC.....would also be open to almost any other cuisines too if needed,...any help appreciated..


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    1. I don't know what you consider fun, but an excellent Italian restaurant in Bradley Beach is Bella Sogno. BYOB


      2 Replies
      1. re: SusieQQ

        susieqq thanx but the link isnt working?

        Try this one...


      2. A few suggestions:
        -Belmonte's in Asbury: Very good southern italian; huge portions. Reasonable. BYO.
        -Porta in Asbury: More "fun" than Belmonte's but also loud.
        -Cibo e Vino in Asbury: New wine bar cafe next to Fish by owners of Fish in Asbury. Lots of small plates. Fun.

        1 Reply
        1. re: agree

          agree thanx for the replies but is there anything else besides Asbury?....closer to freehold rt 9 area....by fun I mean just a place to mingle before & after dinner with getting rushed out.

        2. There was a pretty good Italian restaurant in Allenhurst which in December moved to Freehold. You might try them. Lorenzo's.

          1. Prosecco I just wrote a review. It sounds like just what you are looking for. The owners make it a fun place because they are so delightful and caring. I typically don't want to be bothered when eating, but these people were so warm and charming we actually enjoyed talking to them! The food is excellent and we stayed a long time talking and relaxing and stuffing ourselves with a delicious dessert! Even though we were really too full to eati it, it was a creme puff type thingie with white mouse and rasperry sauce and chocolate and oooh it was soo good! The chef loves to make desserts on the weekend and we couldn't refuse! The food was really good and we ate way far too much. We will be back!

            3 Replies
            1. re: EL7

              Was the piano player there? Are they still offering live music on the weekends? When we were there couples were dancing. I can't even remember the last time I saw couples dancing in a NJ restaurant of that size and atmosphere. We found it very sweet.

              1. re: HillJ

                No we were there too early. However we plan on going back! I can't imagine people dancing there, but sweet is such a beautiful description for this place. It definitely was a lovely day for us and it was Tony and Dominic who gave it such a lovely atmosphere. So not like me to talk about a restaurant's atmosphere. I only care about good food, but this place had heart and it was just impossible not to feel good about being here. Oh and the food…!

                1. re: HillJ

                  The piano player was there Saturday night. The people dancing were wearing sweats and sneakers. Sweet? The music was fun though.

              2. I've been enjoying Ninos (Ocean) and Scarpetta (Long Branch) lately...

                2 Replies
                1. re: joonjoon

                  Thank you all these are great suggestions...now to choose one...

                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Nino's the old Manhattan Steak House location? Is that the same owners as the Nino/Nino Jr.'s bakeries of the area?

                    How do you like it compared to Tommy's which was there prior?

                  2. Porta. By far the best option!

                    1. We have been enjoying Nonna's on Rt 9 in Marlboro lately. I think the food is good and prices reasonable.

                      Had a great Chicken Parm couple of weeks ago.

                      1. has anyone been to Tuzzios in Long Branch? You walk in there and you feel like you stepped into the movie good fellas! LOL

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: corvette johnny

                          Tuzzios is where we ended up Great dinner there..Thanx for all the replies..


                          1. re: Tapas52

                            So was I right? Did you feel like you were in a mob movie? : )

                            any good recommendations on meals?

                            1. re: corvette johnny

                              Yes its has that feel for sure lol....food was terrific......
                              we actually tried to go there 2x and they were closed in the past .....thanx

                              1. re: corvette johnny

                                Pasteria always gives me that vibe as well

                                1. re: Lcdsoundsystem

                                  LCD, you should try this place just to check out the decor. It is pretty hilarious. I am dead serious when I tell you it is a throw back from the 60s. It's like you time traveled.

                            2. re: corvette johnny

                              Have been eating at Tuzzio's for years.

                              One of the best things on their menu is Tuzzio's Salad - ITALIAN MIXED SALAD W/ SALAMI & PROVOLONE -
                              now live 55 miles from Tuzzio's and would drive there just for their salad

                              1. re: eatinman

                                Every time we go there, we order this salad. One of our favorite dishes.