WHATS FOR LUNCH: SLIDERS ON SURFBOARDS

091914 woodys2Brisket sliders and an Orange Crush on a surfboard-themed table at Woody’s Ocean Grille in Sea Bright.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

092014 woodys sbMeeting a friend for lunch at the beach is one of the biggest perks to living on the greater Green. So, dispensing with the usual idea of running into Red Bank, we opted for the more relaxing sandy beach locale of Sea Bright, where Woody’s Ocean Bar and Grille stands among the reopened restaurants decimated by Hurricane Sandy almost two years ago.

Decorated true to its name, the driftwood and lacquered-surfboard styling gives this place a comfortable beach vibe. Upstairs, in a loft overhanging the bar, a long banquette with comfy little pillows made us feel like we were sitting on a sofa rather than a bench. The skylight adds to the outdoorsy ambiance. (For more on the design, check out redbankgreen‘s 2013 feature on designer Jeff Cahill.)
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SEA BRIGHT: DIVE BAR DIVES RIGHT BACK IN

091214 dive2A bright and colorful interior to Dive into in Sea Bright. Below, the vegetarian black bean burger. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

091214 dive3 Dive owners and newlyweds Christina DiIorio and Steven Graniero  start and finish one another’s sentences.

“We called it Dive so people would feel comfortable to come here,” Graniero said. “Diving into Sea Bright, diving into the food, and just diving into the new place,” DiIorio added.

After Hurricane Sandy, Dive – which had been open only two years – was closed for 20 months. In that time, the couple worked on refurbishing the restaurant and got married. “We opened Dive on out honeymoon” in early July, DiIorio said.

They hired Sea Bright locals, Kyle Hopfensperger as executive chef and Daniel Ciameroni as sous chef. Both 29 years old, they have restaurant experience in the area, and either ride their bikes or skateboards to work. They have also been friends since they were two years old.

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