Jersey Shore Gems to Round out your Summer
Summer is not over yet, but the days are counting down now that we have head in to August! With so many great restaurants to choose from, it is hard to dine at all the ones you want to, and also hard not to repeat the ones you are already in love with. Take the leap of faith and dine at these gems to round out your summer. Some new, some older, all of these picks are promised to please in all categories!
Reyla- Asbury Park
Reyla is brought to you by the team of the fabulous Barrio Costero (also a gem!). This Eastern Mediterranean tapas restaurant opened in the place of the previous Cibo e Vino and is everything you want from the decor and the unique dishes and spices used in the food. Pulling from cuisines from Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Greece, and other surrounding countries, this restaurant is a hit with nothing else like it in Asbury or neighboring Shore towns. Some of my favorite dishes are the shakshuka which is baked quail eggs with sausage in a tomato puree served with pita bread, the lamb and beef kofte, lamb tangine, and the crudo of the day for the fish lovers which is always fresh and delicious.
The cocktails are carefully curated and made to perfection. Try out the HeyReyla. The wine list is also superb; I fell in love with the Domaine de Fontsaint red wine on the list. At a modest $32/bottle, this wine easily tastes like one of the smoothest hundred dollar reds I’ve had in the past. Spectacular! Be sure to check out Reyla!
Anjelica’s- Sea Bright
A beautiful mix of modern and old school Italian, Anjelica’s hits the mark on any Italian food cravings you may be having. The restaurant itself is small and quaint, but in a good way, almost like stepping in to a tiny, charming restaurant within Italy. The other plus is that it is situated on Ocean Ave right across from the beach. You can smell the fresh ocean air as you walk toward the restaurant. Anjelica’s is not new to the scene; they have been around since 1996, and it is no wonder why they have lasted this long in an area with plenty of competition.
The fra diavolo is such an amazing staple on their menu. The specials and seafood are also so fantastic. Just order what you’re in the mood for, and I promise you can’t go wrong! Make sure to bring your favorite bottle of wine too! Cheers!
Larimar- Spring Lake
Larimar is bringing fine dining to the Jersey Shore! I love when fine dining restaurants pop up at the shore especially ones that are as consistent as Larimar. I have been here for brunch and dinner several times and have had the same quality of food and service each time. Speaking with the owner’s wife was fabulous and gave such insight in to the love and care that they put in to their business and food. Owner John Paulus started his restaurateur career in New York City and worked the front of the house at many notable NYC restaurants including Jean Georges.
While all of the menu is fabulous, the pastas here standout and are fresh and homemade; the spaghetti nero and the campanelle are my two favorites that hit the spot each time.
The blue and white colors and sofa style seating is both romantic and alluring. Make sure you check out Larimar in the charming town of Spring Lake!
The Poached Pear- Point Pleasant
The Poached Pear is another BYOB establishment offering upscale dining at the Shore. Consistent and elegant, the Poached Pear’s mission is to bring people together over food. According to the restaurant, the goal is to “offer familiar dishes presented in innovative ways.”
Some of my favorite appetizers here are the duck confit ravioli and the pear pizzetta which is bosc pear, gorgonzola, walnut, radicchio, and port wine reduction, finished with citrus EVO. For entrees, the ahi tuna is always a winner for me, however the pistachio panko crusted salmon is also one of my other favorites. You just can’t go wrong on this menu!
Additionally, the pastry chef Teah Evans definitely knows how to whip up some mean desserts for that after dinner sweet tooth you may have, so make sure you leave some room!
Some other can’t miss spots that deserve a more than a mention are Barrio Costero in Asbury Park, The Grand Tavern in Neptune City, and farm to table restaurant Alycia’s Bistro in Freehold. Enjoy!