RED BANK: NO OYSTERS, BUT ELUSIVE EELS

The American Littoral Society hung bags of recycled oyster shells from docks on the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers in June to see if they would attract oyster larvae. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After nearly three months, an effort to restore a once-thriving oyster ecosystem in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers has yet to detect the bivalve mollusk in the waterways, according to an update by the American Littoral Society.

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RED BANK: NAVESINK OYSTER STUDY BEGINS

Workers with the American Littoral Society drop a bag of recycled oyster shells into the river from the dock of a Red Bank home Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to restore a once-thriving oyster ecosystem in the Navesink River got off to a small start last week with the help of scraps from restaurant diners’ plates.

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RED BANK: GHOSTLY, AND PARTLY TRUE, TALES


dublin-display-092716-2A framed photo in a locked display case at Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub may have been turned around by a ghost, according to Pat Martz Heyer, below.
 (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pat-martz-heyer-092316In her self-published new book, “13 Ghostly Tales and Yarns of the Navesink River,” Patricia Martz Heyer recounts the history of the house that’s now home to Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub: its origins on the Middletown side of the river and two subsequent relocations over the years.

Along the way, the place seems to have acquired a non-paying tenant, in the form of a generally benign if somewhat mischievous ghost named Mrs. Roberta Patterson. Read More »

RED BANK: WELL, SHUCKS, OYSTERS FOR T-DAY

Jamian oyster 112413 2Jamian LaViola of Jamian’s demonstrates how to properly and safely shuck an oyster in a video on redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page.

PIEHOLE logoEver since our conversation a few weeks ago with food history author Karen Schnitzspahn, when she spoke how abundant oysters used to be at Red Bank’s bars and taverns, PieHole has had bivalves on the brain.

So we grabbed a dozen Maryland oysters and headed over to Jamian’s Food & Drink for a lesson in how to shuck an oyster without requiring a trip to the hospital.

Check out the video here.

RED BANK: HAPPY SHUCKING THANKSGIVING

Jamian LaViola of Jamian’s shows PieHole how to shuck an oyster. Click here to watch if the video isn’t displaying on your device.  (Video by Brian Donohue. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Ever since our conversation a few weeks ago with food history author Karen Schnitzspahn, when she spoke how abundant oysters used to be at Red Bank’s bars and taverns, PieHole has had bivalves on the brain.

Since then, we’ve been craving the cold and briny mollusk so much that we’ve decided oysters ought to be on our Thanksgiving table this year.

To see what kind of preparation would be involved to get oysters ready for Thanksgiving, we stopped by the Lusty Lobster (the folks who bring Red Bank the oysters for Oysterfest) and picked up a dozen Maryland oysters ($5/dozen) so that we could hone our shucking skills before the big day.

But mere seconds into our first attempt at prying open a shell, we were fumbling through the medicine cabinet for band-aids and combing through our Facebook friends to see if anyone could show us how to shuck an oyster without requiring a trip to the hospital.

Jamian LaViola from Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street in Red Bank answered the call.

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RED BANK: TALKING SHORE FOOD HISTORY

schnitzspahn 1Author Karen Schnitzspahn brings her knowledge of local cuisine history to the Red bank Public Library tonight. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

It’s a Friday afternoon sometime in the late 1880s. A guy walks into a saloon in Red Bank. Which saloon isn’t important, because Red Bank is crowded with watering holes, but let’s say it’s Frank Clausey’s tavern on West Front Street.

Now, there would be a list a mile long of differences between his happy hour experience and our modern day experience of ordering up a martini at the Downtown. But two worth noting, according to Little Silver author and historian Karen Schnitzspahn: the women and the oysters.

First off, there’d be no women – “or at least no proper women,” says Schnitzspahn. Second, there’d be way more oysters on the menu, and they’d be really local.

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THEY’RE ALIVE! OYSTERFEST RETURNS SUNDAY

Slurping and pulling at the 2011 edition of the Oysterfest, held in Red Bank’s White Street lot. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Think you’ve never eaten anything alive before? If you’ve tried a raw oyster on the half shell, guess again – or so claim the authors of the no-doubt-definitive Wikipedia entry on the bivalve, who state emphatically that oysters must be eaten or cooked alive. They’re also chock-full of zinc, iron, and calcium, as well as Vitamin A.

Also: they go well with Guinness.

Residents of (and visitors to) the Green might keep those culinary tidbits in mind as they turn their attention to next Sunday’s Red Bank’s Guinness Oyster Festival, slated to take over the White Street lot for an afternoon full of flavor and fun.

Modeled after the 57-year-old Galway Oyster Festival, the day is a celebration of the opening of oyster season.

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