The champagne corks are poppin’ as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes continue a Count Basie New Year’s Eve tradition this Saturday night.
Here at the tail end of a year that many people are all too anxious to put in the rear view mirror, there’s still sufficient cause to keep the party percolating right up to the last ball-drop. And in the bars, restaurants and performance spaces of the Greater Red Bank Green, revelers have a choice of options that range from an intimate table at a favorite bistro to a big event that’s become the toast of all New Year’s Eve Extravaganzas in the state of New Jersey.
Here’s a sampling from Red Bank, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright nightspots.
A 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
How 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. More →
Barnacle Bill’s fried zucchini with tangy dipping sauce is a perennial favorite, while deep fried pickle spears (below) from the Globe are a newer menu addition. (Photos By Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
By SUSAN ERICSON
Eat your vegetables, you were told as a child. They’re good for you. But your mama probably didn’t mean the deep-fried veggies that have been popping up on tavern menus all around the Green.
Belly up to the bar, boys and girls, to try a less healthy but way more fun way to fill your pie hole with roughage. PieHole leads the tour…
PieHole recaps some of the better bar burger suggestions from our readers. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)
By JIM WILLIS
Last week’s What’s For Lunch featured the mighty Globe Burger. Our proposition that it may be the best burger in Red Bank naturally sparked some suggestions from PieHole readers about other great burgers on the Green.
Authors May Becker, Susan E. Davis and Lisa Borders appear at libraries and bookstores around the greater Green on Saturday afternoon. Below, Michael Morch, Jennifer Grasso, Laura Gepford and Ian Brown-Gorrell head up the cast in Phoenix Productions’ staging of ‘White Christmas.’
The days and weeks leading up to Thanks Thursday and Black Friday buy us a little more time to approach the holiday season at our own pace… a chance to chill in the outdoors with a few more hours of autumn sun, or to head home and curl up with some comfort food and a good book.
Friday, November 15:
RED BANK: Or, you could just cut to the chase and surrender to Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the season-closing musical entertainment from Phoenix Productions on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre. Come for tonight’s opening performance at 8 pm, and you’ll get more than just a jaunty romance-in-rhythm packed with Berlin blockbusters like “Happy Holiday,” “Blue Skies” and the title tune — you’ll get a shot at the traditional Phoenix 50/50 raffle and, as is traditional on Opening Night, you’ll get a first look ahead to the borough-based troupe’s 2014 season. Show continues through November 24; take it here to reserve tickets — and here for our feature on some exciting new developments at the Phoenix fun factory.
RUMSON: He’s fronted the 21st century edition of Blood Sweat & Tears; subbed for Belushi in The Original Blues Brothers Band; shared stages with everyone from Boy George to B.B. King, and toured the region’s roadhouses with his own Hudson River Rats (an upstanding organization that boasts legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie). You might recall blues-rock belter and ace harmonicat Rob Paparozzi from those open-air Red Bank Jazz & Blues Fests of yore — but when Rob and Friends take it indoors to Barnacle Bill’s for some Friday night sets, they’ll be tearing the roof from the joint with a harpin’ helpin’ of houseparty hospitality, and the kind of star quality that keeps paparazzi flashbulbs a-poppin’.
Bartender Gavino Siciliano sees the end of the roasted-peanut era at Barnacle Bill’s as a sign of an overly litigious culture. Below, a sampling of comments from the restaurant’s Facebook page. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
When tinkering with some traditions, it helps to have a thick hull, the owners of Barnacle Bill’s are learning this week.
The riverfront restaurant, a Rumson institution, opened for brunch Sunday having quietly ended its four-decade custom of giving out roasted peanuts, whose shattered shells would carpet the floor. Owner Todd Sherman said the change was made over concerns over peanut allergies and slip-and-fall claims.
Within 24 hours, however, the restaurant’s Facebook page was flooded with nearly 450 comments many of them supportive, but most harshly critical.
“Me and my wife were just there last night, this is such bull$***,” wrote a Vinny DiCostanzi. “Having a beer and peanuts while we wait was a tradition.”
A Joseph Costanza wrote: “Thanks! the 1 thing that kept my kids occupied ,as we waiting for a table for an hour and a half, you have removed ,,,, good luck good bye”
Starting in July, Rumson will no longer collect trash from Dumpsters, leaving some businesses to hire outside contractors to do the job. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
After howling from residents and business owners last year over a plan to lay off a handful of employees and privatize trash collection in Rumson, the borough council scrapped the idea for this year, at least and instead came up with cost-saving measures within the public works department.
Now, as the borough prepares to implement one of those measures, some local merchants are bristling at the plan that they say digs further into their pockets.
More than 30 people turned out at borough hall Tuesday to speak out against an idea to privatize garbage pickup in Rumson. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The guys who pick up trash on Mondays and Thursdays in Rumson aren’t your average garbagemen, apparently. In fact, the term ‘garbageman’ is one that Lennox Avenue resident Teresa Connor finds unfit for the group of “smart young men” assigned cleanup duty of the borough’s 2,500 or so properties.
They provide security, they know most people by their first name, she said. One woman said they give her dog biscuits in the morning.
After hearing that the six-man crew was on the employment chopping block, about three dozen residents filed into borough hall Tuesday afternoon to give an earful to the council.