Search Results for: fontaine

RED BANK: O BISTRO TAKEOUT? MAIS OUI!

The former Red Bank Pizza storefront on Bridge Avenue has been reincarnated as the to-go counter of O Bistro Francais. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

When chef Marc Fontaine opened O Bistro Francais in Red Bank a year ago, local gourmets rejoiced at the return of top-quality French cooking after a six-year absence from town.

Now, Fontaine has turned the disused former storefront pizzeria end of his Bridge Avenue restaurant into a takeout counter to supplement the linen-napkin dining room. And once again, Francophile eaters are over the moon.

Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BEST OF 2016

091316redrock3Duck confit tater tots from Red Rock Tap + Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Soul-satisfying soups, beefy burgers, crusty pizzas…

From a year’s worth of lunches good, bad and inedible, PieHole‘s What’s For Lunch? feature picks the Top 10 of 2016.

Click to restaurant names to see complete individual reviews.
Read More »

CRAVINGS: CELEBRATORY PROFITEROLES

110116o-bistro-profiterole-2An iconic French dessert, a profiterole at O Bistro is what we crave. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravingsRinging in 2017 in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower sounds romantic, if not so practical.

But Francophiles on the Greater  Green can hoist a glass of (BYOB) Champagne at O Bistro Francaise in Red Bank while dipping a spoon into the best chocolate sauce in New Jersey.
Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? DREAMY O BISTRO CREPE

110116o-bistro4Shrimp, scallops and chopped clams swimming in a creamy herb-flecked sauce are folded into a tender crepe and served with a side salad at O Bistro Francais. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?A big old barn of a building on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank is now home to the much anticipated French restaurant, O Bistro Francais.

Following the arrows along the side of the building to a door crowned by a French flag, PieHole finds a new entrance, an interior whipped up in cloud-like shades of white and dove-gray, and familiar faces. Traditional French fare from the kitchen of chef Marc Fontaine is all the enticement we need to slide into a booth and indulge.
Read More »

RED BANK: FRANCE, NEW YORK MAKE INROADS

marc-fontaine-092216Chef Marc Fontaine in the kitchen of O Bistro, his new French restaurant, which opened on North Bridge Avenue last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn serves up yet another mouthwatering smorgasbord with news about three Red Bank eateries:

• a new French restaurant for a long-displaced chef

• a soon-to-open “New York-style Jewish deli,” complete with “pastrami salmon,” in the heart of downtown

• and expansion plans for a popular Monmouth Street bar and restaurant.
Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? CREPES WITH A TWIST

062116whippedbites5A savory French crepe served at the charming Whipped Creperie & Dessert Bar.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Americanized crepes? “Why not?” thought Nick Napoletano, who owns Whipped Creperie and Dessert Bar in Red Bank with Erica Lieberman.

Traditional French crepes are served sweet, with sugar, Nutella, jam or a creamy cheese filling. But Napoletano envisioned “an Americanized, savory version,” he tells PieHole. “I wanted to take familiar foods like turkey and cheese and create a more hearty filling on a whole-wheat crepe.”
Read More »

RED BANK: GROWING MENU AT WHIPPED BITES

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)

By JIM WILLIS

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.
Read More »

RED BANK: CUPCAKES, WITH A FRENCH TWIST

Erica Lieberman is jumping into the baked desserts fray with Whipped, A Café and Dessert Bar on Monmouth Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Into the ever-changing mix of Red Bank eateries comes a new entry  that aims to compete on several fronts, including cupcakes and coffee.

Dubbed Whipped, A Café and Dessert Bar, the business opening at 6 Monmouth Street also incorporates some offerings of the last tenant there. Chef Marc Fontaine, who briefly offered crepes under the banner of La Patisweet, will be working a section of the space now leased to Whipped owner and first-time retailer Erica Lieberman.

Read More »

FRENCH OUT. THAI, PERUVIAN & ICE CREAM IN.

Marc Fontaine outside the now-closed Bienvenue, which will become a Thai restaurant. Fontaine plans to open a pastry shop on Monmouth Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Restaurant-crazy Red Bank’s ethnic pot is getting stirred again.

For Francophiles, the news is bad, as Bienvenue, the only French restaurant for miles around, has closed.

Those hankering for another Thai choice, though, will get their wish, as one moves into the space Bienvenue vacated last month, at the corner of East Front Street and Wharf Avenue.

Bienvenue’s chef, Marc Fontaine, meantime, plans to open a pastries and crepes café at 8 Monmouth Street.

Farther west on Monmouth, work has resumed on yet-to-open Peruvian restaurant after months of inactivity.

And, for dessert, a homemade ice cream shop plans to open before summer begins on White Street, in the space held by the short-lived Nina’s Waffles.

Read More »

AU REVOIR, BIENVENUE

frederic-vidal1Bienvenue owner Frederic Vidal is handing over the keys to the restaurant to a New York-based chef at the end of the month, when Vidal and his wife, Audrey, high-tail it to sunny Florida. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He came, he accomplished his goal to inject Red Bank with some authentic French fare, and now he’s escaping New Jersey’s harsh winters for the land of sunshine and gated communities, Boca Raton, Fla.

Four years after taking over Le Petit France and renaming it Bienvenue, France native Frederic Vidal, along with his wife, Audrey, are turning over their tiny dining space to a New York-based chef on February 27. Just last week the couple signed a lease on a space where they’ll open a French deli and catering business.

The move, Vidal said, is largely based on the weather, but at 37 years old, he’s also looking to tackle a new project.

Read More »

MARRY US, RED BANK!

Wed3

Tom Labetti and Eileen (nee Weller) Labetti of Elm Place got married recently at St. James Church on Broad Street.

The red-haired bride beamed magnificently, the wedding party looked youthful and happy, and the newlyweds headed off for their reception in a classic red Corvette.

A perfectly nice affair, to be sure, but not exactly the kind of thing that usually merits media attention beyond the wedddings & engagement page in a local paper.

Except that redbankgreen is hyperlocal media, and the Labettis are a hyperlocal pair — in one significant sense, at least. They wanted their wedding to reflect not only their tastes, but their values. Which in this case meant that they were determined to keep as much of the money they’d be spending on their wedding in Red Bank.

They didn’t want it spread among the malls, Manhattan’s diamond district and some unbelievable-discount-on-Vera Wang-outlet in Brooklyn. They preferred that it land in the cash registers of the stores not far from their house. Thousands of dollars.

Now that’s what we call a civil union.

Read More »