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RED BANK: SMALL KITCHEN YIELDS BIG FLAVOR

112415jamians1Mixed green salad on the specials menu at Jamian’s Food and Drink is available for lunch or dinner. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

112415jamians3PieHole dipped a spoon into a bowl of black bean soup at Jamian’s Food and Drink in Red Bank while waiting for a recent weekly trivia game to begin, and swooned. Jalapeno heat and cumin-infused flavor told us that someone new was working in the kitchen.

Owner Jamian LaViola hired 46-year-old chef Andy Doelger to run the three-person kitchen two months ago, and customers are starting to notice the difference. We’ve been asked by more than one satisfied diner if we’ve tasted the braised short rib grilled cheese yet. Yes, we have and it’s seriously good.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S SUP? FIND OUT SATURDAY

rb paddle 091215 17The annual Shore Paddle fundraiser for Clean Ocean Action travels upriver to Red Bank’s Marine Park for the first time Saturday.

rb paddle 091215 20The brief, sunlit window of Local Summer may be giving way to the first flush of fall, but the communities of the Greater Red Bank Green are hardly ready to throw in the beach towel on outdoor delights.

Witness the return on Saturday of a favorite riverside diversion: Shore Paddle in Marine Park in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: MOVING UPRIVER, WITH PADDLE

SUPPress release from Paddle Guru

The summer SEAson is almost over, but it’s still a great time to be on the water, as well as to enjoy one last paddle with friends at Shore Paddle, the annual fundraising Stand Up Paddle event that presents its 2015 edition on Saturday, September 26 — and in a brand new location.

Hosted by Paddleguru, this final event of the SUP season offers something for all ages and experience levels, and benefits Clean Ocean Action, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting our coastal ecosystems and waterways, keeping them safe and clean for all paddlers, swimmers, and beachgoers. While the setting for Shore Paddle remains the beautiful Navesink River, the event’s continued growth and popularity has resulted in its moving a few miles upriver this year, to Red Bank’s Marine Park.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A MONSTER BURGER

040115 jamianmonsterburger1The Monster Burger, ordered from the specials menu at Jamian’s Food and Drink. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

040115 jamianmonsterburger2A regular stop for many Count Basie Theatre ticket holders, Jamian’s Food and Drink, on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, has a loyal local following, showing up for dinner, ever-changing art shows, great music and a lively bar.

At a regular Tuesday night trivia game, PieHole noticed a customer tucking into an enormous burger that seemed to require larger-than-average hands to hold and a strong jaw to get a good bite.

The standard menu burger has never disappointed, so with curiosity piqued, we went back the next day to try that Monster Burger for lunch.

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RED BANK: AN O’REE-LY BIG SHOW FOR THE 4TH

matt-oree-band-live-006Matt O’Ree furnishes all the fireworks you’ll need this Fourth, when the Shore’s bluesical legend lights the fuse on another Friday Jamian’s jam.

Not so very long ago the undisputed local capital of fireworks fun (and the occasional short fuse), the greater Red Bank green has opted to keep a lower profile during recent Fourths — but if you’re wandering the downtown streets this Friday night in search of some white-hot sizzle and spark, you just might find what you’re looking for at Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street, where Matt O’Ree provides the pyrotechnics.

It’s another entry in an ongoing first-Friday gig at the musically minded Monmouth Street watering hole — one made all the more intense by the seasonal heat, the holiday-weekend vibe, and the fact that it doesn’t get much more all-American than O’Ree, his downright Ree-gal blues guitar technique, and the musically minded crowd at Jamian LaViola’s classically casual watering hole.

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RED BANK: TWO GO THE DISTANCE FOR CHARITY

MingNicoleCOMIC BOOK MEN’s Ming Chen and fellow marathon runner Nicole Corre kick off their charity run of the San Francisco Marathon with an event at Jamian’s Food and Drink on Thursday, June 26.

Longtime habitues of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash know Ming Chen as “weekend man” at Kevin Smith’s Lourdes-like grotto of pop pilgrimage — and the burgeoning fanbase of the Smith-produced AMC series know Ming as one of the Comic Book Men who’ve helped put Red Bank on the map of the multiverse for comix culture. But if you haven’t known Chen as a Marathon Man, then an upcoming event on Thursday, June 26 is designed to make the public aware that, when it comes to philanthropy, Chen is in it for the duration.

Hosted at Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street, the “Not So Ordinary Fundraiser” party serves as the official kick-off to Ming and Nicole Run San Francisco, an endeavor in which Chen and fellow endurance runner Nicole Corre will take part in the upcoming San Francisco Marathon, scheduled for July 27.

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WEEKEND: CHEER FOR JERSEY, ROOT FOR SNOW

snowprojectAbove: Maxine Snow and the Snow Project lend a jazzy chill to the Steamy Nights house party at the Woman’s Club while, below, Quincy Mumford brings a warm and beachy vibe to Jamian’s.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHGot anything going on this weekend? Even if your plans don’t include those twin national pastimes (handicapping TV commercials and scanning for wardrobe malfunctions in the hoary halftime air), there are still any number of alternative ways to socialize in the coming days and nights — and we’ve got a few of them right here.

Friday, January 31:

RED BANK: Those of you easily panicked by a Friday night forecast of SNOW should know that this time, the cool chills are localized beneath the roof of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank on Broad Street, where the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation hosts the first in a new 2014 series of Reckless Steamy Nights house party concerts at the old Anthony Reckless estate. The multi-talented visual artist, writer and performer Maxine Snow – co-organizer of the annual Women of Song events at the historic house  – is joined by her bandmates in the Snow Project (keyboardist Kendall Scott, bassman Joseph Peterson, guitarist Mike McKernen, drummer Tony Tomaino) for an unplugged evening that mixes music, spoken word and live art painting to “bring back jazz to the masses.”  It all happens between the hours of 8:30 and 11 pm, and it’s BYOB, with a $10 donation requested at the door (proceeds benefit the JSJBF scholarship programs). Call (732)933-1984 for more info.

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WEEKEND: DRESSED TO THE 9’S, AND BEYOND

brittninesAbove: Britt Savage and the Nines recall those 1980s nights of 75-cent ‘kazis and roses for the ladies, when they reunite for a throwback Friday at the Downtown… while below, Ziggy Shock turns Fair Haven’s K of C hall into the best kept secret on the Shore music scene. 

Friday, January 24:

ziggy-shock-would-be-johnny-cashRED BANK: With recent overnight temps threatening to put the Greenland into the greater Green, being “dressed to the nines” has tended to mean wearing nine extra layers of unfashionably lifesaving thermals.

But for just one cold dark night, clubgoers of all ages can wayback to those 1980s summers when the drinking age was 18, closing time was 3 a.m. — and the mega-barbands ruled a clubscape dotted with fortress-like institutions like the Tradewinds, Fountain Casino and Club Xanadu. Tonight, the Downtown welcomes what might just be the first-ever Red Bank appearance by one of the era’s most fervently followed cover combos — the Nines, featuring vivacious vocalist Britt Savage. Now based in Nashville, the in-demand session singer (and 1992 grand prize winner on TV’s Star Search) reunited with her classic band lineup — guitarist Adam Roller, bassist John Rogers, drummer Mick Gormaley, and Bill Dellicato subbing for the late keyboardist Bobby Gordon — for a July 2013 show in Asbury Park that brought in so much love, they up and did it again during the recent Light of Day music festival. Britt and the boys will be taking it upstairs at the double-wide Downtown for several sets of VICE-vintage favorites that could reasonably include everything from “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Kids in America” to some radio-ready originals from Britt’s recent Music City projects. And you can take it right here for a full interview with this most noble of Savages, or take it just around the corner for more frosty fun at the jiggle end of January.

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WEEKEND: LAUGHING ALL THE WAY

kylegroomsAbove: Standup guy Kyle Grooms is among the headliners taking part in Saturday’s annual Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show fundraiser for 180 Turning Lives Around. Below, it’s a triple-header of Jim Gaffigan shows at the Count Basie. 

A quadruple-whammy forecast of snow, ice, epic low temps and, uh, snow can put a klondike kibosh on the best-laid plans for the holiday-hangover weekend. But those willing to boldly go beyond home and hearth will find some  entertaining people who aim to make it worth the trip or slip. All served up with a smile and a laugh — and all, we feel compelled to add, subject to schedule changes.

jim-gaffigan copyFriday, January 3:

RED BANK: The chilly autumn landscapes of Nebraska and other Plains locales might appear downright tropical when you’re coming into Red Bank Bow Tie Cinemas from the Navesink riverside cold. But if you’re looking to defrost your extremities by the glow of a heartwarming father-son bonding scenario, you’ll need to do the hard miles with Alexander Payne’s comedy-drama road trip, through the kind of quirky relationship dynamics that the writer-director mastered in Sideways and The Descendants. 1960s Hollywood rebel Bruce Dern has his best role in decades as a drinky, distant deadfish of a dad who’s convinced that a direct-mail sweepstakes prize awaits him in Lincoln, NE — and he’s fortified by a strong cast that includes Will (SNL) Forte, Bob (Breaking Bad) Odenkirk and fellow codger contrarian Stacy Keach. At times broadly silly and bracingly sad, Nebraska nurtures a warm ember of humanity at its heart — and it’s playing on White Street with Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers’ seriocomic sojourn of an ambitious folkie adrift in the crashpads and coffeehouses of Camelot-era America. Take it here for showtimes throughout the weekend.

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