050215 eventide2The pungent Garlic Shrimp, above, and the Drunken Clams, below,are customer favorites.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


050215 eventide4There isn’t a bad seat at the Eventide Grille, tucked away at the Navesink Marina in Sea Bright.

Mesmerized by the sun glinting off the Shrewsbury River, PieHole almost forgot the real reason we were here, until an insistent, growling stomach reminded us: lunch.

050215 eventideviewViews of  moored boats and the Shrewsbury River can be seen from all of the dining areas at Eventide Grille.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

To reach the restaurant, the lunchtime crowd has to navigate its way through a busy, workday marina. One there, though, the vistas of the river and docked cabin cruisers visible from all of the dining rooms inside and the enormous oval bar are worth it.

Our bartender, Maureen Gryson, a veteran of the Mad Hatter and other local bars, suggested we try the Drunken Clams. Although there are plenty of landlubber options on the menu, such as nachos, quesadillas and pizzas, a seafood lunch seemed most appropriate to the atmosphere.

The orders of Drunken Clams ($12.95) and Garlic Shrimp ($11.95) arrived at the same time, both coming with three crucial-to-the-dish chunks of herb-flecked garlic bread.

050215 eventide2The four plump shrimp were bathed in an exceedingly pungent garlic-imbued lemon sauce. The shrimp were a tender mouthful, but the leftover brew in the bottom of the bowl was the real party-in-your-mouth. If you’re on a date, order this dish only if you’re both planning to eat it. Consider yourself warned.

The sweet, tender clams were tamer in seasoning but no less flavorful. Steamed in Yuengling beer, the Little Necks were slippery, salty and drenched in a lemon scented sauce with a surprise whisper of tarragon and a dusting of parmesan cheese. Every last crumb of the provided bread found its way into the heavenly broth.

The EvenTide is at 1400 Ocean Avenue, and opens at 11:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday and 4 p.m. the rest of the week.