071015frnchmkt1The charming facade of the newly opened French Market on East River Road in Rumson. Below,  a variety of tarts and pastries.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


071015frnchmkt4What happens when three gourmet-food-loving friends get together for a meal? In the case of Carli Windsor, Pamela Best and Robert Smith, they decide to open a store in Rumson.

And if the resulting French Market feels a little like deja vu to locals, it’s because the new owners were fans of Le Bon Panier, the French-inspired food market that previously occupied the same building at 114 East River Road.

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puglia (1)Michael Mancuso of Puglia, where he’s the saucemeister working alongside his father, Ben. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoredbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories . . .

• Red Bank’s Whipped Bites is bolstering its menu of crepes to include lunch and dinner offerings.

• There’s a new restaurant called Puglia at the long-vacant former home of Red Bank Pizza, one with roots in Manhattan and a Sandy story.

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.




whipped bites 15Nick Napoletano gives PieHole a sneak peak of the new savory crepes menu at Whipped Bites.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)


morsels mediumWhipped Bites is busy. The dessert café and creperie on the corner of Broad and Monmouth streets in Red Bank has been in a near-constant state of transformation since this summer, when Nick Napoletano and his girlfriend Erica Lieberman took over the lease on the space from chef Marc Fontaine, who had been making crepes in the location.

When the couple first took over the space, it was a hodgepodge collection of tables and chairs, with empty refrigerator cases and a small sign in the window that read “crepes.”  Despite the less-than-inviting space, the Nutella crepes were enough to keep PieHole coming back again. And again.  Though frankly, we’d eat Nutella crepes while crouching over a cardboard box in a shipping container and still ask for seconds.

But over the past few months, the couple has revamped the café into a comfortable, welcoming space that invites you to take a seat and leisurely enjoy a coffee with your crepe or dessert.

Napoletano says the café is doing a brisk breakfast business, especially for Sunday brunch when it offers specials like Grand Marnier French Toast or Champagne-infused Belgian Waffles, and draws a steady after dinner crowd on Friday and Saturday nights.

Now, after sweetening up the space and honing the dessert side of the business, Napoletano is in the process of revamping the savory spectrum of the cafe’s menu. PieHole caught up with him as he was finalizing the new menu.

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