By SUSAN ERICSON
Meeting a friend for lunch at the beach is one of the biggest perks to living on the greater Green. So, dispensing with the usual idea of running into Red Bank, we opted for the more relaxing sandy beach locale of Sea Bright, where Woody’s Ocean Bar and Grille stands among the reopened restaurants decimated by Hurricane Sandy almost two years ago.
Decorated true to its name, the driftwood and lacquered-surfboard styling gives this place a comfortable beach vibe. Upstairs, in a loft overhanging the bar, a long banquette with comfy little pillows made us feel like we were sitting on a sofa rather than a bench. The skylight adds to the outdoorsy ambiance. (For more on the design, check out redbankgreen‘s 2013 feature on designer Jeff Cahill.)
A comfy banquette and lacquered tabletops give Woody’s a comfortable beach vibe. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
Woody’s Famous Orange Crush ($8) is, according to both the menu and my friend, a must-have. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, Burnett’s orange vodka, triple sec and Sprite are served in a pint glass. It is a cold, thirst-quenching, end-of-summer treat.
A complimentary basket of tortilla chips with a mild, fresh salsa arrived at the table with our drinks. This is a nice touch in the ala carte world of dining expenses.
Shredded BBQ brisket sliders ($9) come three to a platter. A tangy, tomato-based barbecue sauce coated big chunks of tender brisket. Served on slider-size brioche buns, the sandwich was dressed with pickled red onion and avocado slices, but it was the ancho aioli that made this sandwich interesting.
A mayonnaise-based sauce, the ancho aioli gave the sandwich a big kick – and stored a nugget in PieHole‘s memory bank to order extra sauce on our next visit, maybe for dipping with a side order of fries.