Search Results for: teak red bank

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SUMPTUOUS SOUP

011615kanji1Seafood soup served in a rustic bowl at Kanji. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

011616kanji3Shades of gray and black dominate the tables, slate flooring and walls of Kanji Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, a Japanese restaurant in the Tinton Falls strip mall that was once anchored by an A&P and is now an Acme at the intersection of Shrewsbury Avenue and Route 35.

In this cave-like setting, the well-lit sushi bar takes center stage. Maybe this was a tactical design, because we went in thinking of soup but wound up ordering sushi.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? FAST FOOD, GREEK STYLE

112715greekeats1A plate of rotisserie chicken at Greek Eats comes with pita bread and a variety of  sides. A gyro, below, loaded with fillings, including french fries.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

112715greekeats6That old line about having fast food “your way” can definitely be applied to the newest restaurant on Newman Springs Road on the Shrewsbury-Red Bank border.

Greek Eats, located in a high-ceilinged, industrially-styled space on the former site of Memory Bowling, is the brainchild of George, Charlie and Taso Lyristis, brothers and owners of Teak and the Bistro in Red Bank.

But if decor and the fun, blue-eyed logo — a protector against the evil eye —  don’t pull you in, the opportunity to grab some authentic Greek grub certainly should.

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FAIR HAVEN: SCHOOLED ON MEATBALLS

102115aurichio3Meatballs and gnocchi in San Marzano tomato sauce with parmesan-ricotta crema made by chef Julie Aurichio, below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

102115 aurichio1It takes courage to stand in front of a class full of gourmet-minded students and declare that your recipe for meatballs will be the best they’ve ever tasted.

Lifelong Fair Haven resident Julie Aurichio did just that. Chef, personal assistant and owner of Just Julie — a luncheonette that occupied the space now rented to Seed to Sprout in the Acme Shopping Center in Fair Haven from 2002 to 2004 — she’s now adding culinary instructor to her résumé.

PieHole caught up with Aurichio and her fiancé, Rob Candiotti, a chef at the Raven and the Peach, while they taught a cooking class at Taste and Technique Cooking Studio on River Road in Fair Haven recently. Read on to learn about “Meatballs and More,” their unique twists on the Italian mainstay.

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CHURN: FAST GREEK AND EASY WEDDINGS

lyristis bros 111615Brothers George, Charlie and Taso Lyristis plan to open Greek Eats on the Shrewsbury side of Newman Springs Road Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of Retail Churn:

• Three brothers with a long track record as linen-napkin restaurateurs open a fast-food eatery rooted in their Greek heritage Tuesday.

• A wedding planning business that has its roots in a flower shop throws off a new shoot in Red Bank.

• A ginormous pharmacy chain opens a controversial store here.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A FRESH TAKE ON TAPAS

110815belmonte2An unusual adaptation of taquitos, above, and a glass of made-to-order sangria, below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

110815belmonte4Gone are the heavy velvet drapes and dark, brooding atmosphere that once decorated Red in Red Bank. Renovated and re-dubbed the Belmonte, the Broad Street restaurant and bar with the panoramic front window is now lighter, brighter and much more inviting.

A cool, marble-topped bar elicits a bit of Old World charm. Banquettes lining the walls promise comfort, while high-top tables arranged down the center aisle of the room offer a variety of seating or standing options: playing off the primarily tapas menu, it’s a mixture of this and that.

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CHIKYBOOM: COOKING WITH CUBAN ROOTS

eduardo bover 092415Though the signage still reads No Joe’s, chef Eduardo Bover is cooking authentic Cuban food in the kitchen of ChikyBoom, where the dining room features a Caribbean feel. (Photo above by John T. Ward; below by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON
092215chickyboom6

If you remember the song “Cuban Pete,” made famous by Desi Arnaz, you know the bongos and maracas playing to the rhumba beat: chick-chicka-boom.

The same might be said about ChikyBoom, the former No Joe’s coffee shop-and-luncheonette on Broad Street in Red Bank that’s now a Cuban-and-Spanish restaurant — when it’s not serving coffee and breakfast.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A KISSUI FOR GOOD LUCK

091015kissui5A beef negimaki lunch box from Kissui, filled with fresh vegetables and rice. Below, the entrance with its traditional salt pile.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

091015kissui2In the vestibule of Kissui Sushi, a Japanese restaurant in the Markham Place shopping center in Little Silver, a little shelf filled with salt is the first thing that you notice.

Called morijio, meaning salt pile, the displays outside Japanese businesses are part of an old custom with various interpretations, but Kissui owner Jenny Nguyen tells us that it is “over the shoulder for good luck.”

Having eaten the sushi at Kissui many times, PieHole was looking for a little luck in the form of a hot lunch.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A DIP IN THE OCEAN CAFÉ

090215oceancafe4Seared tuna in a rice-paper wrap and a mixed fruit smoothie for lunch, with a picture-window view of Monmouth Street thrown in, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

090215oceancafe5It’s the first week of September, but still hot as blazes outside. So the fun, beach-themed mural seen through the floor-to-ceiling front window of the Ocean Café in Red Bank beckoned us to chill out and take a little extra time for lunch.

Overindulging during the month of August, PieHole was looking for some dietary balance, and the menu here skews to healthier fare such as salads, wrap sandwiches, soups and sandwiches on reliably good French bread. Deciding to go all-in with a lighter, cooler, less-fattening lunch, we found a myriad of options at this Monmouth Street getaway.

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LITTLE SILVER: VYING FOR TOP TOMATO

tomatoThe stakes are high once again, as three-peat champion (and top-seeded competitor) Michael Mansfield prepares to defend his crown in the 2015 Biggest Tomato Contest, scheduled for Saturday at Sickles Market.

It’s fast becoming one of the most highly anticipated homegrown competitions of the summer season — an annual event that’s been dominated by a single champion whose reign is ripe for a challenge.

This Saturday, August 29 marks the 2015 edition of the Biggest Tomato Contest, sponsored by Sickles Market and hosted for the fourth consecutive year at the garden center of the Little Silver landmark. With weigh-in time at 1 pm, this is scarcely your run-of-the-mill county fair contest, as three-time winner Michael Mansfield is expected to make another bid for dominance and heavyweight bragging rights. The Oceanport resident’s current record holder of 4.4 pounds pasted the competition last year; leaving all other tomato growers to stew for another season (and vow to ketchup this year).

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? EVERYTHING ON A BAGEL

081215bagelmaster5A two-fisted corned-beef Reuben on an everything bagel from Bagel Masters. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

081215bagelmaster3A few clues indicated to PieHole that Bagel Masters, nestled in a strip mall on Broad Street in Shrewsbury, was a good bet for lunch.

The parking lot was full. There was a line of people from various walks of life waiting to place an order. Every table in the deli was taken.

This is just the type of place that makes you wonder, “what’re they giving away?”

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SHREWSBURY: LUNCH IN A BENTO BOX

072815fuji4The Bento Box lunch special at Fuji in Shrewsbury. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

072815fuji2Our hearts skipped a beat five years ago when Trader Joe’s announced it would open a store in what was then called the Treasure Island Mall in Shrewsbury: we thought we’d never again see the inviting teak interior of Fuji.

This was before the Greater Red Bank Green caught up to the public appetite for sushi and became fairly saturated with Japanese, Asian and fusion-style restaurants. Fuji was one one of the few, and among the better. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s simply bumped the restaurant out of its spot  in the Route 35 shopping center – and into one with a lighter, more organic decor. And the restaurant is as busy as ever, owner Jenny Chen-Ng tells PieHole.

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CHURN: 10TH AVE. NEARS OPENING DATE

10th ave 071415 1Signage is now up at 10th Ave. Burrito on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith the restaurantization of Red Bank in full swing, this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn serves up a groaning board of food news.

• The long wait for 10th Ave. Burrito Company is nearly over.

Sicilia Ristorante on Broad Street has a new owner, and he’s planning to split the business in two, sort of.

Details, and some assorted table scraps, are just around the corner.
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SEA BRIGHT: BRUNCH MAKES A BEACHHEAD

061415amaviewThe dining deck at Ama, with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Below, a brunchtime bloody Mary. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061415ama1For many years, options for Sunday brunch, the 10-to-2 repast that invites an eat-whatever-you’re-in-the-mood-for approach to breakfast and lunch, were limited on the Greater Red Bank Green.

Our only choices were expensive buffets at Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn and Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille, both of which required reservations and adherence to dress codes.

But the boom of new restaurants in Red Bank and Sea Bright has brought more a la carte options for brunch-seekers.

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FAIR HAVEN: A LUNCH LODGED IN MEMORY

nauvoo sandwich 052915The blackened chicken sandwich at Nauvoo Grill Club in Fair Haven. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

nauvoo 052915In the mood for something southwestern-but-not-quite Mexican, PieHole was drawn to the lodge-like Nauvoo Grill Club in Fair Haven on a lovely Friday afternoon in late spring.

At the height of the lunch hour, we found the place strangely empty. But what we ate satisfied our craving, even if it left our fingers sticky.

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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 »

WHATS FOR LUNCH? TOKI HAS THE ROLL

040415 tokis rollA fresh platter of sushi from Toki in Red Bank features uni, yellowtail hamachi, tuna and a Toki Roll. Below, three chefs work Toki’s sushi bar. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

042115 toki2An area of Red Bank that was once a desert for those craving the cuisine of the Far East is fast becoming what we might call Little Asia.

For several years, following the departure of the Jade Garden takeout place on Broad Street, the only choices were Sogo Sushi and Teak Asian Fusion on facing corners of Monmouth Street. But since the opening of  Temple Gourmet Chinese on Broad Street in 2011, the downtown has seen the addition of Pho Le across the street and Oriental Empire just one block over on English Plaza.

Now, there’s another Asian place in the burgeoning mix of restaurants: Toki, at the corner of Monmouth and Broad is a light-filled, upscale Japanese restaurant dressed in a tranquil aesthetic of celadon green and natural wood adornments.

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CHURN: SHREWSBURY TO GET FAST GREEK EATS

89 ns rd 033015Greek Eats has signed to take the corner space, at right above, at the three-store 89 Newman Springs Road, now under construction. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508For about five years, Red Bank restaurateur George Lyristis has been developing an idea for a casual fast-food restaurant based on his ethnic heritage, he tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Well, the time has come to make the concept real, he says. With the sale of their Zoe Bistro in Little Silver, effective Wednesday, Lyristis and his brothers Charlie and Taso are planning to open a new place called Greek Eats in Shrewsbury in coming months.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A WALT STREET CUBAN

022415 walt st pub4The Cuban sandwich, served in a retro-fun basket, comes with chips and a pickle, while the order of Crabby Fries is served in an oversized cone. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

022415 walt st pub3In the man cave Walt Street Pub on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, women held forth on which dish is best.

“I order the boneless wings,” said barmaid Kelly Martin. “Mild, though, always mild.”

Sitting next to PieHole at the bar, Jen Disney, informed us that “the beef chimichangas are the best. We go elsewhere, but always come back here.”

Jen Rodriguez, our waitress, said her son, “who is one of the pickiest eaters ever,” gets the chicken cheese steak, but she likes the chicken burrito.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? KUNG PAO, INDEED

teak kung pao 021115A dish of kung pao chicken at Teak in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lunch at Teak in Red Bank on a recent frigid afternoon offered a double dose of satisfying warmth.

PieHole grabbed a table bathed in nearly blinding sunlight in the solarium-like front room overlooking Monmouth Street. That took the chill off the old bones, pronto.

Finishing the job from the inside out, though was a heaping dish of kung pao chicken, with flavor and substance by the megawatt.

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AT BARNACLE BILL’S, VIEWS, VIBE AND VITTLES

010615 barnaclebills3A busy Tuesday night at Barnacle Bill’s, where the Tilefish Francaise swims in a pool of buttery, lemony sauce. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

010615 barnaclebills7How many years does it take for a saloon in a marina to become legendary? At the dead end of First Street in Rumson, Barnacle Bill’s has been searing burgers on an open grill and filling glasses at the bar for more than 40 years.

With high-top tables, coveted window seats overlooking our beautiful Navesink River and cozy family-sized tables in the slightly more gentrified dining room, it’s no wonder that there’s a waiting list any given night. In warmer weather, groups happily wait outside, taking in views of the river, the boats in the marina and the mansions on the bluff across the way. In frigid January, though, the waiting masses crowd around the fireplace in the bar area, children and adults making small talk with neighbors.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SLOW-BRAISED COMFORT

121014 zoe4The tender short rib sandwich comes with a mountain of made in-house potato chips. Below, the delicious crispy chicken sandwich.   (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121014 zoe2Strip mall restaurants, especially those with a closed facade, can sometimes surprise. Expectations dictate fast food and plastic seating, but at Zoe Bistro in the Markham Street Plaza in Little Silver, our assumptions were incorrect.

The large, modern dining room with its back-wall-spanning banquette, rustic farmhouse-style touches, and easy-on-the-eyes creamy beige color scheme sets an elegant tone.

The lunch menu offers a mix of Mediterranean specialties such as hummus, feta, and grilled octopus, as well as and more filling burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. All come with a gourmet touch.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? COMFORT FOOD W/ RIV VU

120414 potpieChicken pot pie at the International Bar in the Molly Pitcher Hotel. Below, the pot pie scooped out of its baking dish. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

120414 potpie3The days of the Mad Men-style two-martini lunch have been over for decades, but there is a staunch holdout in Red Bank where you can still enjoy this throwback indulgence if you have the luxury of time.

With wood-paneled walls, carpeted floor, and a beckoning fireplace creating a dark, masculine, club feeling, the International Bar at the Molly Pitcher Inn makes a terrific traditional martini. A sense of luxurious comfort abounds, and the bar’s menu of standard American choices adds to that feeling of well-being.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SUSHI AT SANSU

IMG_0044The shrimp tempura roll was a standout, but the new-to-us peanut avocado roll (right) was missing a note at the sushi counter. Or is it a bar? (Photos by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

IMG_0039PieHole and frequent lunch companion Brian McCourt rolled down River Road into Fair Haven to give Sansu Japanese Steakhouse a try for lunch. At 12:45, there was plenty of parking in the adjacent lot.

Last week, we singled out Edie’s Luncheonette in Little Silver because it had a lunch counter, one of the few in the area. McCourt took umbrage at my reference to the sushi bar as a counter and insisted it’s a bar, not a counter. In any case, that’s where we sat and ordered up some green teas while perusing the menu.

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CHEF BURKE GOES FARM-TO-TABLE

AmaPatTramaBurkeSB2012Superstar chef David Burke — pictured at right, with former Ama Ristorante owner Pat Trama during post-Sandy relief efforts in Sea Bright — has created a special menu for As It Grows, a September 13 benefit gala for Little Silver’s historic Parker Homestead. (File photo) 

Press release from Parker Homestead 1665                

Come celebrate the American Farm at one of America’s oldest farmsteads — The Parker Homestead in Little Silver — on Saturday, September 13 at 6:30 pm. The event, titled “As It Grows . . ,” will feature a tribute to the local bounty of New Jersey with a one-time-only, farm-to-table menu created by celebrity chef David Burke 

The event, which will include music, dancing and a live auction conducted by Antiques Roadshow star Nicholas Dawes, will benefit The Parker Homestead – 1665, which is leading efforts to preserve the home, and The Monmouth County Historical Association, preserving Monmouth County history for last 115 years.

In addition to locally grown produce, meats, cheeses and specialty food products the event will feature New Jersey wines grown and harvested by 4JGs vineyards in Colts Neck. There will also be a rare, collectable wines donated from private wine collectors available at the Premium Wine Bar.

Dance music will be provided by Rip Tide and the Bobby Lynch Band. A silent auction and a live auction filled with unique items will be led by Dawes, from Heritage Auction Galleries in NYC.

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SEA BRIGHT: ROONEY BUILDING APPROVED

sb mrs rooney 040314The Ocean Avenue lot where Frances Rooney, seen above in April, has sold hot dogs from a cart since 1977 will become Rooney Plaza, below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rooney plaza 081214Mrs. Rooney selling hot dogs indoors?

To Sea Brighters and other passersby, the idea that Frances Rooney, the hardy weiner merchant who sometimes defies the pleas of her children not to go out in arctic weather, would no longer ply her trade in the elements might seem unnatural.

But with the planning board’s approval Tuesday night of a four-story, mixed-used structure on her gravel lot at Ocean Avenue and Surf Street, it may happen, she told redbankgreen.

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