WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? PIZZA AT DANNY’S

061115dannys4Danny’s has been using the same tomato sauce recipe since 1969 on its pizza. Sidewalk seating is available, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061115dannys3Danny Murphy had his hands in the restaurant business long before the current incarnation of Danny’s Steak House on Red Bank’s West Side.

Murphy’s mother owned a place called the Friendly Luncheonette on West Front Street, where he worked in the 1950’s. In his teens, he learned pizza-making a few doors away, at Brother’s Restaurant. He opened his own restaurant around the corner, on Bridge Avenue, in 1969, starting with Italian dishes, and later adding steak and fish to the menu.

It’s his pizza, though, that PieHole remembers first eating 23 years ago. Read More »

SANDY HOOK: TRUCK IT HERE FOR LUNCH

imageDavid and Rose Rivera of Elizabeth have the right idea: stopping for a bit of barbecue after a bike ride at Sandy Hook. Below, a map showing food truck locations in the park. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Sh truck mapThe food concessions at Sandy Hook have remained closed since being wiped out by Hurricane Sandy. But food trucks have been filling the void, and the stomachs of park visitors.

A recent Facebook post by Gateway Nation Recreation Area touts 10 food trucks at the national park, peddling everything from brain-freezing ice-cream to “naked empanadas” at the clothing-optional Gunnison Beach, naturally.

Parking Lot D, the largest on the hook, is home to four of these trucks. PieHole stopped by to check out the menus.

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RED BANK: HEAPS OF AUTHENTICITY

060414 trattoria3The Mediterranean Platter, a dependable classic on the Front Street Trattoria menu. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

042115 trattorianWhat key elements are crucial to keeping a restaurant current for 30 years? If we’re referring to the Front Street Trattoria in Red Bank, it would have to be the consistently prepared fresh ingredients.

With an exposed brick wall on one side and floor-to-ceiling windows framing an ever moving backdrop of foot-traffic outside, the often busy main dining room is unpretentious and cozy. An open kitchen area lines another wall, giving the diner plenty to peer at.  Alternatively, there is another more private dining room and a wide open back patio for seating. But the decor isn’t why this restaurant is packed with regulars on any given evening: it’s the food.

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RED BANK: BROTHERS REOPENING DELAYED

brothers 012215A notice on the door at Brothers Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The work required to reopen HOT-TOPIC_03Brothers, damaged earlier this month by a water leak, will keep the Red Bank bar and pizzeria closed for at least another month, an owner tells redbankgreen.

“The good news is we were approved by our insurance company” on a damage claim, Ralph Ventre said Friday. “The bad news is it’s going to take four-to-five weeks to make the repairs.”

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RED BANK: BROTHERS STILL CLOSED

brothers pizza 011015A frozen pipe that burst was the culprit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Brothers, a Red Bank bar and pizzeria darkened for the past week by a water leak, is likely to remain closed for another week or more, an owner tells redbankgreen.

Ralph Ventre was awaiting word from his insurance adjuster for the go-ahead to embark on extensive repairs to the building he and his partners own at West Front Street and Morford Place, he said Wednesday.

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LITTLE SILVER: SANDWICH SWAP AT GIANNI’S

111214 giannis1The Neopolitan Panini served on fresh house-baked bread at Gianni’s. Below, the spacious dining room.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

111214 giannis3Lunchtime at Gianni’s Pizzeria in Little Silver is busy. Between the hours of 11:30 and 2:30, the tables fill up with people from all walks of life. Mothers with small children stop in for a slice while truckers pull over to pick up an order of subs or a full pie.

Helping PieHole watch its waistline, Jeff Lopez, the always-smiling counterman and pizza maker, suggested the Neapolitan Panini ($8.95).

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RED BANK: SPICING UP A MONDAY NIGHT

110314 pazzo1The granite bar at Pazzo is as inviting as any table in the restaurant. Below, complimentary dishes of  olives and warm bread and butter served at the bar. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

110314 pazzo3After a fun weekend, the blow of facing another Monday is sometimes enough to bring the strongest person down. Enter Pazzo on West Front Street in Red Bank, though, and Monday night gets a little easier to bear.

“Pazzo,” in Italian, means crazy, but it’s nothing short of brilliant that this restaurant has given customers a reason to look forward to that first workday of the week with a deal of half-price pizza and pasta dishes. Any pie or pasta dish listed on the menu is fair game for this Monday night offer.

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RED BANK: EATERY CONTENTS ON THE BLOCK

12 broad 091914 The oven, assuming it’s sold, will have to go out the way it went in: through the front window. Below, Anthony “Tito” Vega with the three-ton oven last year. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

biagio 2Need some sturdy metal chairs for your kitchen? How about a service counter? Or a custom-built, 6,000-pound, tile-covered, wood-burning oven?

Well, who doesn’t, right?

Here’s your chance to get those items, and more, as the contents of the short-lived Biagio restaurant in Red Bank are going up for auction.

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CIAO, BASIL’S. IT’S ‘BIRRAVINO’ NOW.

091014 birravino ralloVictor Rallo in the bicycle-decorated atrium of Birravino. Below, one of the long communal, or feste, tables in the dining room.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

091014 birravino5The Old World charm of Basil T’s Brew Pub is gone, along with its popular mug club, where members had personalized mugs hanging at the bar. Remodeled and repositioned as Birravino, however, the Red Bank trattoria is just as welcoming, warm and suds-friendly as its predecessor.

Nursing a broken leg from a running accident, Victor Rallo showed up earlier this week to make sure everything was running smoothly after a makoever that included completely restructuring and redecorating his Riverside Avenue institution in about a month. Before some customers even realized  the restaurant was temporarily off-line, a new name was on the building and the changes were well underway, he said.

The result? “I wanted an industrial, rustic look like you see in the trattorias or osterias of Italy,” he told PieHole,  amid the exposed brick walls, honed wooden tabletops, galvanized metal seats and an open kitchen. “Definitely something more casual” than Basil’s, he said.

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RED BANK: PATRIZIA’S AMBROSIAL SIDE

090814 patrizias dessertA sampling of desserts from Patrizia’s. Below: the caramel cone. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

090814 patrizias caramelIn a perfect world, calories would not count and sugary treats would be good for us. But this is not a perfect world, and so we have to be selective about when we allow ourselves to indulge in desserts.

At Patrizia’s on Broad Street in Red Bank, the pizza and pasta are not to be missed. But it would be a good idea to leave a little extra time, and room, for dessert when you visit.

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WHATS FOR LUNCH? PANINI AT PATRIZIA’S

080814 patrizias vegThe grilled vegetable panini hero shown above is vegetarian friendly. Below, the burrata. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

patrizia's 073014“It’s like going to your grandmother’s house on Sunday,” manager Santo Saitta said of the food and ambience at the week-old Patrizia’s on Broad Street in Red Bank.

If your grandmother has a dining room in a former bank building with a sky-high vaulted ceiling, a raging hot copper-clad pizza oven and remarkably good food, well then yes, it would be like that.

After a lunch here, you might want to visit nonna more often.

The suggested Burrata All’ Amalfitana appetizer ($13.95) – silky, salty, creamy and lightly seasoned with a smidge of olive oil – was terrific on its own, but the piquant caponata accompaniment made it a sexy, delicious starter.
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RED BANK: PLANNERS SPAR OVER FACADES

joe romanowski 111513 2A plan by Joe Romanowski to remove the vestibule of his new Goldtinker store on Broad Street won approval. So did Tommy’s Coal-Fired Pizza’s request to permanently enclose seasonal seating area at the Galleria, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tommy's 042114The  Red Bank planning board approved a restaurant expansion, a downtown facade change and the renovation of what Mayor Pasquale Menna called a “cancerous eyesore” Monday night.

Along the way were some unusual flashes of passion among board members.

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