Robinson Ale House- Red Bank, NJ
Another Mcloone’s addition to the Jersey Shore comes to us in Red Bank. Robinson Ale House differs itself from the other Mcloone venues in its style and ambiance. Put this location together with the other Mcloone’s locations and you may create the perfect restaurant. The jury is still out on this venue, but overall, so far so good.
Let’s start with the beers. How do you boast about all the beers on tap but start off by having your waiter state that you are out of half of them? We have dined here a few times and this has been the case each time. I personally couldn’t care less since I am not a beer lover, but I don’t understand how that continues to be an issue. They are eventually supposed to have 16 beers of tap. One night we got a bottle of merlot and another time I had an apple martini, which was very good.
I have eaten lunch and dinner here. Both experiences were positive overall. I really love the idea of the grilled cheese bar on the lunch menu, so I feel compelled to touch on this even though the blog is in the dinner category. There are a few unique grilled cheeses to choose from and for just $10, you can get a grilled cheese and cup of tomato bisque. That is an awesome deal! I got the Mugo, which was muenster cheese, mushrooms, and balsamic glaze caramelized onions. Paul got the Vermont Cheddar, which was pecan smoked bacon, cheddar, and Vermont apple butter. Both were very tasty and the cheeses were melted perfectly. The Colorado would be your basic cheddar grilled cheese.
Moving onto the highlights of our dinner experience, we had the cheese plate for an app. I get cheese boards everywhere I go. The cheese plate is always the chef’s selection which offers up a change each time. The cheese plate also comes with a honey comb and some bread to complement the cheeses. We also had the chili for an appetizer. The chili was a little too bland for my taste. Chili should be a little bit hearty, and this just was not. For our dinner selections, I was boring and got a chicken caesar salad. The chicken was grilled perfectly and there was not an overkill of dressing on my salad. The garlic anchovy dressing may sound a little scary, but it did complement the salad nicely. Paul got the honey glazed chicken with sautéed broccoli and mashed potatoes. He liked his meal as well. On another visit, Paul had the Jane burger which is their version of a plain burger with lettuce and tomato. He thought the taste of the burger was great, but the burger was a little too big and tall. You want to be able to fit it in your mouth, right? Or maybe not…
The atmosphere is trendy and casual. The big couch booths add such a nice touch to the dining area. It is comfortable and adds a little privacy to the booths in the middle of the floor. Honestly, the couch booths make it for me! The exposed brick walls add a nice touch as well. The atmosphere feels more laid back than the other Mcloone establishments at the shore. Customer service has gotten better since it first opened and all the kinks were ironed out.
This is a good, casual, fun spot that stands out amongst all of the food competition in this “cool little town.”