Blend on Main at The Inn on Main, Manasquan, NJ
Had an excellent dining experience at the newly opened Blend on Main last night. Our party of nine ranged in age from 4 to 87. First I'd like to say what a warm & comfortable dining room they have with large windows that flood light into the room & a beautiful free-standing gas fireplace. Our family group arrived without reservations, with the addition of two toddlers after we were seated & then the addition of yet another adult. This would have flustered & annoyed many establishments but the front of this house handled us with professionalism & grace. After settling in we were excited by the menu & the quality of their offerings. By the way, this is a BYOB which my family embraced fully. From the freshest raw bar offerings through to magnificent desserts & cappuccinos everyone was thrilled with the offerings & service. Several times during our time there Chef Lou came out to introduce himself & greet each table. He inquired about our choices & answered questions graciously. Chelsea, our waitperson & all of the bus people/servers were professional & friendly. We loved it so much we're bringing the other side of our family in on Saturday night. This time we made a reservation through the web-site where you can also browse the menus-http://www.blendonmain.com
Thanks for letting us know about your experience at Blend. I'm glad something drove you to try such a practically pre-nascent restaurant - especially with a large group and small children. We have not been in since the opening, but look forward to trying it soon (although, I'll avoid it on Saturday if you're coming back with kids and clan). I've dined in every other incarnation of the space, so it's basically obligatory at this point. Besides, I had a chance to talk food with Lou some time ago and I'm a sucker for a chef owned restaurant where the guy chained to the stove is the one trying to pay the rent.
Speaking of Firefly, Blend seems to have a lot of ties to its predecessor - from chef, to menu, to staff, to "look", etc. Did you ever eat at Firefly? If so, what did you think of it? Any chance of comparing your thoughts as to what changes have been made? Any knowledge of any financial control maintained by the previous owners?
Also, any thoughts on any particular dishes? All those folks must have ordered a variety - were there standouts? I noticed you're a crab cake girl, how were they? (I'll admit that I think any restaurant that serves crab all year long calling it "pure [M]aryland" is full of shit. That doesn't even happen in Maryland.)
Anyway, welcome to Chowhound. We look forward to your sharing all that you know with us.