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Jersey Shore Dining: 6 New Destinations for 2019


New to the Shore-Dining Desitnations

The Jersey Shore has very eclectic dining. It’s not just great seafood anymore but an ethnically diverse culinary experience. With new concepts opening all along the shore -in some amazingly upscale spaces, the gastronomic landscape has become very vast and varied.

The interior of Iron Whale.Photo courtesy of Iron Whale

When in Asbury Park, there’s great entertainment, shopping and dining. You’ll have many choices of atmosphere and cuisine. There’s a new spot on the Asbury horizon and a standard-bearer of the restaurant industry has created that new concept in the beautifully redesigned Fifth Street Pavilion on Ocean Avenue.


Iron Whale is a “seafood-forward” restaurant. It is the newest venture of industry veteran Tim McLoone. Heading the kitchen is Chef Michael Dolan of McLoone's Rum Runner. This waterfront restaurant will offer a modern interior, an open kitchen, indoor and outdoor seating, and a large cozy fireplace that will be a focal-point on those cold shore nights. Iron Whale located in the Fifth Avenue Pavilion, 1200 Ocean Ave. in Asbury Park.


Visit Asbury Park



Big Mike's Atlantic Highlands

Just up route 36 from Asbury, on the stunning “Hip Strip” (that’s what we have named it) Ocean Avenue drive you’ll find Atlantic Highlands and it has a new restaurant to enjoy, this place is not to be missed. The menu is highly curated, and the atmosphere is unique. Big Mike’s, is the brain child of former executive chef, Mike Metzner of Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank.



Images courtesy of Big Mike's

Metzner ventured out on his own and ended up converting a beautiful 1885 general store into Big Mike’s Little Red Store. This eatery has unique, classically-crafted sandwiches, salads and soups. The restaurant offers 16 seats, a six-seat counter and on-the-go treats. His partner Nicholas Harary, owner of Restaurant Nicholas, like Metzner, holds high standards for the offerings at Big Mike’s.

Gourmet sandwiches like the Poppa, feature seared bologna, a crispy potato pancake and a cheddar omelet. This is not your grandma’s sandwich shop.

Take out is available, BYOB. Big Mike’s located on 101 Navesink Avenue. Get your kicks on Route 36...


Read about the “Hip Strip” Drive along Ocean Ave



Maeberrie' Market in Avon by the Sea. Photos courtesy of Maeberrie

A great culinary team was born about five years ago when Keri DeCorso, Salvatore Capobianco and Michael Halsey were running the helm at Pascal & Sabine in downtown Asbury Park.

Now, that dynamic team has opened their own market and restaurant. Maeberrie, is an American bistro and market serving breakfast and lunch in Avon by the Sea. That sounds great, dining in Avon by the Sea...

DeCorso and Halsey have a lot of restaurant experience and they have created a restaurant that embodies that rich experience. You can shop in their market for prepared foods, and pastries. They offer Booskerdoo coffee, and some great retail goods like vintage and new housewares, you can pick up some fresh flowers for your table or stop into the dining room for a full -service experience. Maeberrie located at 504 Main St. in Avon

Cafe Loret in Red Bank. Image courtesy of Loret.

With a tremendous pedigree in the food space this culinary-notable has quite the resume. He’s won praise for his restaurants in Manhattan and Jersey, he brings a traditional French influence to the Jersey Shore. Longtime restaurateur and Chef Dennis Foy and his wife, Estella Quinones-Foy have opened a new endeavor in Red Bank, Café Loret.

It is a light-drenched, cozy space with a stunning glass wall that creates just the right atmosphere for his food and his large collection of Impressionist paintings.

What else would a French café have adorning the walls?

Loret’s menu is not pretentious. It includes traditional dishes like mushroom crêpe, foie gras, and slow-roasted halibut, and a staple confection, chocolate mousse.

A first-rate dining experience from the presentation to the flavor profiles. BYOB. Café Loret located at 128 Broad Street, in Red Bank.


Visit our 2019 Dining Along the Shore Guide


Image courtesy of Mezza Luna

Bell Works in Holmdel is an amazing place. It was once the home of Bell Telephone and was the hub of telecommunications way back when. Today it is an engineering marvel of a space. It has a Mediterranean restaurant, a food hall, a coffee shop and will soon gain a Mexican and an Italian option to add to the mix.

Mezza Luna will soon be gracing the Bell Works complex in Holmdel. This will be a second location for the popular Manalapan restaurant.

Anthony and Melissa Imperiale are getting ready to open the new location. With a menu of traditional, high-end Italian favorites.

Estrella Azul, will be a fast-casual Mexican restaurant serving traditional fare featuring tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Mezza Luna and Estrella Azul in Bell Works, Holmdel is located on 101 Crawford Corners Road.

Whatever type of cuisine you gravitate to, dining at the Jersey Shore is an experience not to be missed. With long-standing local favorites like Bahr’s in Highlands, the quintessential Vic’s Italian in Bradley Beach or the five-star, opulent Raven and the Peach in Fairhaven, the culinary vista is impressive.

Next time we’ll explore 6 more “New to the Shore” dining destinations.

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