With so many options for holiday shopping at the shore how do you choose? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to visit them all. These two destinations are only a few minutes from each other. The bonus is driving on beautiful Ocean Ave from one to the other.Spring Lake When driving down the quaint main street in Spring Lake, you might be surprised at how many shops line the street. Some people say it’s one of those “blink and you might miss it” moments, but we don’t think that way. Spring Lake has a beautiful, small downtown feeling. This unique Jersey Shore shopping destination has something for everyone along Third Avenue, the town’s main drag. Featuring many clothing shops, salons, shops for home and interior goods and much more. The borough was founded in the 1870's and was regarded as a playground for the rich and connected but today, Spring Lake can be enjoyed by all. It boasts one of the largest boardwalks and lovely, pristine beaches. Of course, no shopping trip would be complete without a great dining experience. Visitors can enjoy The Breakers and Whispers, Ray's Cafe and many others. Kickoff your holiday shopping in Spring Lake on Thursday, December 6th from 5 pm to 8 pm at the 4th Annual Holiday Soiree with in-store specials, refreshments and hors d'oeuvre.Spring Lake will be alive with music, holiday excitement, and an opportunity to take home some great gift baskets. Looking for something for the little one's or home and hearth, why not stop by Whimsicality.
A bed, bath, and home shop with unique, curated goods. Everything from furniture to chandeliers, and apothecary, they offer over 20 years of experience in design service. Whimsicality is located at 1219 Third Ave.
Have a special gent on your list? Then Village Tweed is the place for you. Established in the 1970’s they have provided the finest in traditional men’s dress, sports wear and accessories. Make him smile this year and perhaps, consider that tie. Located at 1213 Third Avenue.
We know it’s only November, but any shore dweller is already thinking about the summer. A favorite pastime at the Jersey Shore is riding a bike along the boardwalk and we’ve found a unique shop for the bike lover.Pedego Electric Bikes may just have the perfect gift for you or the casual cyclist on your holiday shopping list. Stop in for a free test ride, unless the snow gets in the way.
For the wine lover in the family, you must visit the Bottle Shop of Spring Lake. They specialize in fine wine from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California, Oregon, Piedmont, Spain and Tuscany, from South Africa, New Zealand & Australia to Greece, Croatia, Portugal and more. You are sure to find a vintage you’ll love.
Enjoy your trip to Spring Lake and be sure to stop by one of the fine dining establishments or take a stroll on the boardwalk or by the lake.
Our next destination is right down the road from Spring Lake. You could make it an all day and night shopping affair.
Avon The official name is Avon-by-the-Sea, but the locals don’t call it that.
This little beach town is not widely known for shopping or as a dining destination, but a visit might just convince you otherwise. It’s known as "the Shore's best-kept secret,'' and that may be exactly right. Take a drive down Route 71 and you’ll encounter shops and lots of eateries in Avon. Looking for some lovely, thoughtful gifts, then you must drop into Bungalow Road.
This shop is impeccably designed, and the goods are highly curated. One of the best things is Stitch Lane, Bungalow’s embroidery and monogram service for that personal gift that they will love. Bungalow Road is located at 700 Main Street.
Now you may not think about footwear as a gift, but Carella’s Art & Sole Footwear has a great selection and unique designs. If you’re looking for that person with a shoe obsession, Carella’s is the place for you. They are located at 424 Main Street. Great gift certificate idea.
Avon has some great restaurants as well. While you’re shopping, catch a little bite to eat at Clementine’sfor some creole or Cave Bistrofor locally sourced, organic dishes.
We also recommend a drive on beautiful Ocean Avenue.
It stretches for miles and is one of the few places you drive by the ocean with a closeup and unobstructed view of the beaches and the waves breaking over the jetties. It’s a perfect way to begin or end your day at the beautiful Jersey Shore.
Stay tuned for part four in our series, Unique Shopping Destinations at the Jersey Shore. If you missed Part One and Two, find them here:
The holiday season is one of our favorite times of the entire year. Family get together's, great conversations (and arguments) and the best part, the food.
When it comes to food, we always have a difficult time choosing the right recipe for all things holiday. Growing up in an Italian family makes us long for mamma’s food, the way she made it. Nothing ever comes close, nothing is ever quite as good as her food. So, we decided to just share some of her recipes and try to get that taste that only she could create.
Everyone knows that no matter how hard you try, no matter whether you have the exact ingredients and your mother’s hand-written recipes right in front of you, that your cooking is going to taste like hers. (I believe there is a universal rule that says it isn’t going to happen) But we can try to come as close as possible in recreating that taste, that smell, and those memories of home and holidays gone by.
The first thing that is a must and the “star” on our Thanksgiving table is of course the roast turkey. We have all experienced the dry, tasteless turkeys that our aunt Marie has made, her mistake, she failed to use mamma’s recipe and of course disaster ensued. Rule number one: Always say “no” to dry tasteless turkey no matter who makes it. Rule number two: Fresh garlic is a must.
Make sure that the turkey is large enough for left overs, you’re going to want them. Fresh or frozen never seemed to matter to her, she could make either taste like a dream. Now here come the details, the devil is always in the details, but this recipe is simple and tasty.
Our Mamma’s Roast Stuffed Turkey
IngredientsTurkey-1-14 to 29, Pound Turkey-Washed and Dried Depending on the number of guests, at least 1-14 to 29, pound turkey, your choice frozen or fresh. If it’s frozen, make sure you do your due diligence to thaw before the big day. Make sure that you take it out of the refrigerator before prepping and make sure it’s at room temperature. Remove the giblets and other parts. Ma never used them but if you prefer, you can roast them in the pan for flavor.
Fresh Minced Garlic-Two Tablespoons, Heaping. II’s in our DNA… No garlic powder, garlic salt or anything dried, make sure it’s fresh.Fresh Carrots-Peeled and Washed-TwoCelery Stalk-With Leaves-Washed-OneTurkey or Chicken Stock-One and One-Half Cups Boxed or canned will do or if you’re a kitchen warrior you can make your own.Salt-Keep it Handy, she used a bit… Sea salt was not fashionable when we were kids, but it will work nicely if you don’t have the old-fashioned Morton’s.Pepper-Same as above.Butter-Softened-One StickFresh Sweet Onion-Half an onion will do. It’s for the flavor of the pan dripping gravy, we’ll discuss later.
That’s it. No fancy rubs or tonics, just good old ingredients. Now if you’re a lover of Rosemary or Thyme, you can have some fresh sprigs on hand for a garnish.
Turkey Prep Wash the turkey inside and out. If your using a frozen bird, don’t forget to remove the bag inside with the "parts" you know what I mean. I once forgot to remove it and it wasn’t pretty… Check for any additional pin feathers and get ready to roast.
Set a rack at the lowest position in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Rub the outside of the turkey with some of that softened butter, okay slather it as though butter was about to go out of style and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make sure you salt and pepper inside the bird. Add your favorite stuffing and place in your roasting pan. In the bottom of the pan, pour one cup of the stock and add the fresh garlic, carrots. celery and onion. These items will add amazing flavor to your pan dripping gravy. Ma always used pan drippings for gravy. Now everyone has their own roasting times, the good old 20 minutes per pound is the rule but it depends on whether it’s stuffed or not. Here is a suggested set of times for stuffed, not stuffed, and different weights:
So, when is it done? That is the universal question. I never saw my mother use a thermometer to test the temperature of the meat. Of course, she may have, hiding the fact that she had used one. She wanted everyone to think that she was magical in the kitchen and I believe that she was. In the modern world of cooking it’s probably a good idea to check the internal temperature of the turkey and the stuffing. Cook the turkey until the skin is a light golden color, and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Good rules to follow:
Basting will not make a turkey moister but will promote even browning of the skin.The only true test for doneness is the temperature of the meat, not the color of the skin.The turkey is done when the thigh meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. To get an accurate reading, be sure that your thermometer is not touching the bone.If your turkey has been stuffed, it is important to check the temperature of the dressing; it should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and makes for easier carving.
If you are “winging it” and I usually do just use your intuition. I’ve never served an under-cooked turkey so don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy thermometer. Remember to baste all the way through the roasting of your turkey. It adds flavor to the skin and a beautiful color. Use that remaining stock to keep the basting going. When it’s done, let it rest, it makes it easier to carve. We all remember those carving disasters. My uncle Joe used to tear into that beautiful bird, it was like a turkeymageddon at the table.
Now for that stuffing and gravy discussion I promised earlier.
Mamma always stuffed the turkey. It just makes sense, right? She always made two kinds of stuffing, one for the bird and one for the true Italians at the table. The stuffing for the bird was traditional, the other was made from fresh sweet Italian sausage, garlic of course, sweet onion, stewed tomatoes and day-old Italian bread. The gravy is all pan drippings, make sure you keep that amazing gold from the bottom of the pan. And that will be part two, the gravy, the stuffing recipes and the side dishes so stay tuned. The sausage recipe is a winner, and everyone will be talking about it and you for days.Stay tuned for part two of Our Favorite Holiday recipes. We are going to take you all the way to dessert. Italian dessert naturally. Does the word Mascarpone mean anything to you?
Don’t let your “list” get you down. We’ve got another great destination to get your shopping done and have a great time doing it. Take a trip to Asbury Park during the holiday season. Why not have fun while getting everything checked off that long list?
Asbury Park for the Holidays
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of Asbury Park. It’s been voted as one of the best (you fill in the blank) everything. Best beaches, boardwalks, downtown, hotel and we are sure there will be more top categories to add to the list. In a golden-age revitalization, Asbury has come back into its own and if you haven’t visited the City by the Sea, it’s time. With great restaurants, small cafes music venues and retail shops, Asbury should be on your holiday shopping destination list.
While you are there you can take in a great concert at the historic Stone Pony or stroll the famous boardwalk. If you plan on an extended visit, there are great places to stay like the Asbury Hotel, the Berkley Oceanfront Hotel and a number of B & B’s to accommodate all your needs.
Asbury goes all out for the holidays and you won’t want to miss a minute of it.
While a lot of the shopping district is located on Cookman Avenue, there are cool little shops located throughout town and there are quite a few shops that line the boardwalk. Historic Convention Hall also houses retail shops and bars. One of the largest events during the holiday season is the Holiday Bazaar. It’s a great place to find incredibly unique gifts presented by various artists, vendors and craftspeople from all over the region.
The Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar will feature a curated roster of talented local and regional artists, vendors, and local shops selling the cutest and coolest vintage, handmade, art, jewelry, home goods, foodstuffs, and more. The event will feature holiday performances, live music, DJs, Photos with Santa, holiday pictures, a 30-foot Christmas tree, and beautiful holiday decor. While you shop, enjoy a seasonally-inspired menu and holiday drinks at the Anchors Bend and Asbury Oyster Bar
. Feeling creative? You can even take in art classes for the kids and holiday workshops.
The holiday market is inspired by the traditional "Weihnachtsmarkts" in Nuremberg, Germany. So be sure to stop by the hot drink bar to enjoy traditional glühwein (hot mulled wine), hot chocolate or hot cider while you shop.
Bring a toy or gently used coat for the AP Toy & Coat Drive and you will receive a 4x6 print of your Photo with Santa, along with copies of your photos emailed to you. Pets are invited to meet Santa as well and you must have that photo of the furry kids this year.
Enjoy shopping in both the Grand Arcade and Convention Hall this holiday season. It all kicks-off on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24th, noon - 10 pm! Tree lighting at 7 pm.
The market will operate from 11 am to 6 pm: Sunday, Nov. 25, in Convention Hall.
Sat and Sun, Dec 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 in the Grand Arcade and Convention Hall.
Sat and Sun, Dec 22 & 23 - Last Minute Shoppers Bazaar in the Grand Arcade.
The shopping just rolls on in Asbury. Visit the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten for their Rooftop Holiday Market this year featuring over 25 vendors and live music. Find artisan gifts, handcrafted toys, European ornaments and gifts, specialty foods, hot drinks, and holiday cheer. The rooftop market is scheduled for November 24-26, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23. There is something for everyone on your list and you can get some great food and beer in the Biergarten. The Festhalle is located at 527 Lake Ave.
Shopping for someone who’s loves the pin-up life? Then you must stop at Betty’s Bombshells. As Betty’s says, they’re not just a store, they’re an attraction. Built to preserve the romance, significance, and awareness of legacies of the finest vintage Hollywood royalty. The pin-up lives on at Betty’s. They are located in the Grand Arcade in Convention Hall.
Is there a musician on your list? Because you are in one of the music capitols of the state, you know Bon Jovi and Bruce Sprinsteen got their start in Asbury right? You may want to stop in to Russo Music and marvel over the mind-boggling guitar wall. They have the largest selection of Gibson and Fender guitars in the state. Guitars, amps, effects, strings, drums, keyboards, and much more. The musician on your list will thank you…profusely.
Have a hard to shop for homebody? If you’re looking for that perfect home item, look no further. Carla Gizzi is a vintage inspired chic boutique located inside Convention Hall. This little shop features eclectic jewelry and goods for the home. It offers truly unique items that will make anyone on your gift list smile.
A must on your visit is something to commemorate your trip to Asbury Park. You must get that “Tillie” thing to take home. If you’re not familiar with Tillie, he’s the iconic “ambassador” of Asbury Park.
Sometime around the turn of the 19th century, George C. Tilyou who owned Steeplechase Park in Coney Island expanded his amusements to Asbury Park. The Steeplechase he built in Asbury like the Coney Island amusement was adorned with the “funny-face” as its mascot.
Some folks say that the face was modeled after Tilyou’s brother. After the Steeplechase passed into history, Tillie continued his reign on the famous Palace Amusement complex that was and still is one of the most beloved locations in town. Although the complex was torn down in 2004, the giant painting of Tillie was loving removed and is rumored to be stored somewhere in Asbury waiting for the day when he will emerge and once again reign over the city. Ah, but we digress, back to the shopping…
So where do you get that Tillie thing? Fun House/Shelter Home also located inside Convention Hall features original designed Asbury Park tees, tanks, & hoodies with iconic AP designs. Locally made tea towels and pillows, one of the many places where you can get your Tillie thing. Everything Tillie! Beach towels, magnets, mugs, and stickers. Collectible vinyl, plush, and unexpected toys for the whole family.
Everyone has that person that is “hard” to shop for. Flying Saucers is one of our favorite shops in Asbury, it has an amazingly cool collection of goods. It may also solve your problem of the “hard-to-shop-for” person on your list. Retro- kitchenware, cat clocks, and so much more. They carry new items that look retro and real vintage items from the 50's 60's and 70's. You are sure to find great gifts for anyone on your list. Flying Saucers is located at 658 Cookman Ave.
Have an avid reader on your holiday list? Words! should be one of the stops on your Asbury shopping tour. Words! is a highly curated, small, independent bookstore that promotes new ideas, aspiring authors and open discussions with authors and artists. They also feature a storytelling time for kids. Words! Is located at 623 Cookman Avenue.
Let’s not forget the furry family members this holiday season. They deserve some holiday goodies too. Paws Pet Boutiqueoffers lots of great, unique and hand-made pet accessories. The furry babies can show off their new hand-made bow ties, hand-made bandanas, collars, leashes and of course, treats! K9 Confections all-natural dog and cat treats will be a welcome addition in their stockings.
Paws Pet Boutique is located at 658 Cookman Avenue (Shoppes at the Arcade).
Remember, most places in Asbury are pet-friendly, so bring the fur babies shopping too.
Need a great vintage for your holiday table or a perfect party gift? You must stop by Lush AP, the city’s destination for wine, craft beer, and spirits. Lush has a large selection of organic wines, local beer, mixers, whiskeys, vodka, gins, bitters, and more. The more holiday cheer, the better…
And last, but not least, everyone has a foodie on their list. Why not give a gift certificate from one of the dozens of amazing restaurants in Asbury. Know someone who loves Japanese cuisine? Try
Taka, enjoy Japanese and seasonally-inspired small plates. They offer a full-service bar and lounge, perfect for your late-night sushi and sake craving. Located at 660 Cookman Avenue.
For American Grill-Mediterranean Style, Moonstruckhas three levels overlooking Wesley Lake. Cocktail lounge on the first floor, dinner upstairs with wraparound porches for alfresco dining in the warmer weather. Located at 517 Lake Avenue
For some great seafood, why not try The Bonney Read, a classic chowder house that offers sustainably procured and locally-sourced seafood in a variety of ways.
A raw bar features a rotating selection of oysters and clams shucked-to-serve and offered raw, hot, or in the rough. They also feature a full bar. The foodie on your list will be thrilled. Located at 525 Cookman Avenue.
For a different twist, try Barrio Costero, their name is Spanish for "coastal neighborhood," and the rotating seasonal menu uses market-driven ingredients for their tasty coastal Mexican cuisine. Located at 610 Bangs Avenue.
There are so many more shops and restaurants to visit so put your comfortable shoes on and get to Asbury Park this holiday season to fill your stockings and check off that list. You’ll have a great time in the process and that is what the holidays at the Jersey Shore is all about.
Visit our Dining in Asbury page for that perfect bite to eat after your long day of holiday shopping. If your looking for entertainment while in Asbury, we have you covered. Check out the Events in Asbury Park page too. It features music, movies, art exhibits, live performances and more.
Stay tuned for our next installment of Unique Shopping Destinations at the Jersey Shore. We’ve just gotten started…
The holidays are fast approaching. Lists are being made, menus are being planned and family is about to gather. Where do you shop for those truly unique gifts, and what places can you visit for that special holiday memory? The Jersey Shore of course. We will reveal some well-known and some hidden gems for just such memories and great shopping here at the Jersey Shore.
The Historic Village of SmithvilleHistoric Smithville started life as a one room, stage coach stop. Over the last 60 years it has become a shopping and a must visit destination. It has a small town, old-world feeling and is packed with over 60 shops. Stroll along the cobblestone walkways and over the foot bridges to discover a true village that seems as if it were frozen in time.
There is something for everyone and gifts that will please anyone, including that person that has everything.
For the foodie fan, you can find unique gourmet specialties from Italy at Olive N Grape. Featuring olive oil, balsamic vinegar's, spices, sea salts and various other gourmet foods. Olive N Grape could just solve your foodie gift dilemma.
Magnifico’s Say Cheese is for the true foodie at heart and cheese lover in all of us. This is an old-fashioned cheese shop, that has a great selection of gourmet and artisan cheese and of course they hand-cut to order. What could be better than a cheesy gift?
How about a great vintage for your holiday table? The Tomasello Winery shop is filled with delightful local wines, wine accessories, and tasteful gift items for the wine connoisseur on your holiday list.
The Merry Goldfinch is the place to shop if you are looking for unique, one-of-a-kind gifts. Their fashion boutique is filled with hand-crafted pottery stoneware, fine Italian dinnerware, china dishes, artful tabletop accessories, painted glassware and the latest in handbags, artful jewelry designs, fashion accessories for that fashionista on the list, home goods and much more.
With 60 shops, the holidays and the shopping at Historic Smithville is just the thing you need if you want a unique, old-fashioned experience.
From Thanksgiving through January 6, you can see The Light Show on the Lake, with over 120 Christmas Trees made from over 50,000 Christmas lights, magically float on Lake Meone in the center of town.
The Magic Talking Christmas Tree, and Breakfast with Santa make this destination family-friendly and a taste of a bygone era.
Victorian Cape MayThis seaside town is transformed into a Dickens village for the holidays with garlands of fragrant greens and twinkling gaslights. Wrap yourself in the warmth of holiday spirit and sample a seemingly endless variety of fun and tasty events. From trolley rides to wine tastings, from house tours to themed dinners, Cape May offers something for everyone. The shopping district is a bonus during the holidays.
Cape May is home to an outdoor walking mall spanning three blocks, with brick pathways, decorative fountains, and wooden benches surrounding garden planters. Shopping in Cape May is basically concentrated on the mall, the Washington Commons, Carpenter’s Square Mall (located behind the Washington Street Mall on Carpenter’s Lane), the beachfront, and West Cape May, primarily where West Perry Street meets Park Boulevard.
The Cape May Peanut Butter Companyhas 9 varieties of hand-made peanut butters, candies and jams and jellies and many other gourmet goods. Great place for those unique stocking stuffers.
Have a cigar smoker on your list?Cape May Cigars & Wine offers a walk-in humidor and an eclectic collection of fine cigars and wines. While you’re shopping you can enjoy tastings of local wines.
Have a budding chef in the family? Than Love the Cook may be right up your alley. They feature house roasted coffee, loose leaf tea, spices, oils, mustard's, salad dressings, kitchen accessories and gadgets, as well as a selection of cookbooks.
While in Cape May for the holidays, experience the high point of the season and make the Holiday House Tours a must stop. These self-guided walking tours feature beautiful Victorian homes, inns, hotels & churches specially decorated for the holidays. Christmas caroling and strolling musicians, trees and garland & good old-fashioned holiday cheer. There are hospitality centers with warm beverages & home-baked goodies.
Visit the Emlen Physick Estate for the holidays. The estate is Cape May’s only Victorian house museum. Also enjoy “An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery. Admission to the Emlen Physick Estate is $35 for adults, and $20 children (ages 3-12)
Madison Marquette has announced Improvements to the iconic Convention Hall which was originally designed by famed architects Warren & Wetmore and was constructed in 1929. The news is long-awaited by Asbury residents and visitors, and gets underway this month, according to Madison Marquette spokeswoman Pasquelina DeBoer.
The boardwalk redeveloper will begin by focusing on steel and brickwork repairs and more specifically, brick surrounding exterior columns will be removed to allow engineers to perform façade probes and inspections.
“This is done to examine the impact of time and oceanfront elements on the structure,” DeBoer said. “The areas where brick will be removed will be temporarily covered as steel is assessed and repaired in order to keep the building as weather-tight as possible until the masonry can be restored.”
The information gathered will then be analyzed and used by the DC-based company’s architects and engineers to create solutions to restore the building’s entire façade, she added. It will be an ongoing process and will include repairs to the buildings piers and promenades.
Restoration work will take place in the evenings so that businesses, venues and restrooms can remain open and accessible during normal operating hours. Work will take place from 7 to 11 a.m. and at non-operating locations throughout the day.
The project estimates $750,000 in upgrades and will include new panels to replace the original copper panels.
The firm will also make improvements to restrooms at the facility. “We will restore and preserve existing original elements of the bathrooms and will replace all plumbing fixtures to electronic hands-free toilet flushers and sink faucets,” DeBoer said. “Signage will be posted to direct the public and event attendees with all rerouting to temporary restroom trailers, located on the West Loggia by the Paramount Theatre.”
The bathroom renovations are just over 50 percent complete and will be ongoing thru early September, DeBoer said.
As part of its mission to construct the New Jersey portion of Raritan Bay’s first Living Shoreline, NY/NJ Baykeeper will be conducting an oyster deployment and oyster castle installation (concrete oyster “homes”) on Monday, August 13.
Approximately 1.5 million juvenile oysters will be transported from Leonardo State Marina aboard the Baykeeper patrol boat and taken to the Living Shoreline at Naval Weapons Station Earle (NWSE), where the fledgling oysters will be introduced by NY/NJ Baykeeper’s team of scientists.
NY/NJ Baykeeper cultivates juvenile oysters at the NWSE facility, where the oyster larvae are grown and then released onto NY/NJ Baykeeper’s oyster reefs in Raritan Bay and monitored for growth and survivorship.
The oyster is now functionally extinct in the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary due to rampant development, over-harvesting and pollution. NY/NJ Baykeeper is working to restore the oyster population for the many benefits this vital species provides, including protecting the coastline against erosion, serving as speed bumps for waves during storms and acting as natural water filters.
NY/NJ Baykeeper has restored 3.5 million oysters back to NY-NJ Harbor Estuary waters with 200,000 – 500,000 new oysters introduced annually through its oyster restoration program.
The event will be held on Monday, August 13 from 2 pm to 2:30 pm at the Leonardo State Marina on Concord Avenue in Leonardo.
NY/NJ Baykeeper's mission is to protect, preserve and restore the ecological integrity and productivity of the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary. NY/NJ Baykeeper fights to protect the health of local waterways through advocacy campaigns, legal actions and boat programs.
Dining Guide 2018: The Best Dining at the Jersey Shore: Part Two
With so many choices, residents and visitors to the shore can dine on a variety of cuisines. We have it all, Coastal, Asian fusion, Italian, classic seafood, and we even have canine-friendly menus to please the pickiest pups. Award winners, Casual to upscale and local favorites make up a wonderful culinary landscape. Here are seven more of our Dining Guide 2018 favorites..
Cross & Orange Asbury Park Cross & Orange in Asbury Park has one of the best a la carte brunches. Great brunch cocktails, indoor and outdoor seating and if you have a favorite furry friend, their canine menu has something to please even the pickiest pup.
Shipwreck Grille Brielle Winner of the 2018 Diners Choice Award, the Shipwreck is nestled on the dock and overlooks The Manasquan River. With an approachable menu, it offers some of the tastiest seafood and steaks anywhere. One of our favorites is the Grilled Filet Mignon & Scallops.
Sweet, luscious Sea Scallops, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Shitake Mushrooms in a Port Wine Truffle Sauce. This is a must stop on your shore dining tour.
Due Amici Brielle
While in Brielle, a visit to Due Amici has a lot to offer, Piano music, great drinks, an affordable wine list and a warm, inviting setting. It offers a diverse menu to make this an enjoyable experience. Dishes are so immense you can order ½ portions and meals come with Bruschetta, crusty, tasty bread and a soup or salad. Pastas, steaks, seafood and chicken and veal one of our favorite dishes is the Veal Rossini, layered with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, prosciutto, and topped with a light garlic and white wine sauce. Bene!
Salt Creek Grille Rumson
Salt Creek features spectacular Views and the staff is engaging and attentive. the food and wine menus are amazing. The place has a great vibe. Grilled meats, fresh seafood, good drink and wine menus. It’s Just a wonderful place to dine here at the shore.
If you are looking for an amazing gourmet burger, look no further. Ground Short Rib, Chuck & Brisket, Arugula, Aged White Cheddar, House sauce, Caramelized Onion & Bacon Jam, King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bun, served with Truffle Asiago Fries. All we can say is oh yes…
Joe's Surf Shack Lake Como
This slightly off the beach eatery has tasty offerings with great appetizers like Chips and Salsa, Fried Clam Strips, Roasted Street Corn, Shrimp Bucket and Stuffed Tater Tots. If your looking for comfortable and casual after a day on the beach, this is it.
Jersey Shore BBQ Belmar
If you think BBQ is only a southern thing, think again. Any BBQ aficionado would agree that this Jersey Shore BBQ in Belmar is an experience. This place has won so many awards that they probably need an additional room just to house them. If you love BBQ, this is the place for you. We recommend the OINK-A-DILLA DOG Topped with pulled rib meat, candied bacon, and jalapeno honey sauce. Woof!
Baker's Water Street Bar & Grille Toms River
This place is a great spot for relaxing and heading outside to take a seat on the multi-tiered deck overlooking the Toms River. You’ll find great tables for dining and lounge chairs surrounding a fire pit. Try some classic lobster bisque or New England clam chowder, Allow us to recommend the baked lobster mac and cheese, cashew-crusted flounder or the Baja fish tacos, Enjoy a nice raw bar and curated daily drink specials.
Where ever you dine along the Jersey Shore, you are sure to find delights around every corner. Plan a trip to any of these amazing eateries and you'll be pleased and full.
Next time, sweet confections at the Jersey Shore. Stay tuned.
ASBURY PARK, N.J. — Asbury has been called the “city by the sea” and one of the top ten tourist destinations in the country, one of the best beaches in the state. A place where you want to come and enjoy the sights and sounds of revitalization, the new golden age of a beautiful, historic Jersey Shore town.
Like the phoenix that rose from the ashes, Asbury is alive and thriving. Long gone are the boarded-up, abandoned buildings and empty stretches of nothing. Today if you take a stroll down Cookman Ave you will be greeted by an eclectic mix of eateries, coffee houses, the vintage record and clothing stores. Hip, cool and totally Asbury Park. One such place, hip and absolutely Asbury, located in the 700 block of Cookman, just past Main Street is Larry Cadillac, a salon for men and women. You’ll know it by the very cool neon sign in the front window. It’s a place for great hairstyles, precision barbering, some very cool hair products and a welcoming vibe with great conversation. It’s a place where art meets hair.
The concept for Larry Cadillac has been in the mind of owner Lawrence Matarese for many years. Originally planned for Red Bank, he felt it was not the right demographic and that the vibe there was lacking. “I've had a presence in Asbury Park for about 10 years with my antique shop Asbury Archaeology, located at the Antique Emporium on Cookman Avenue. I started noticing the town changing, more year-round people living and visiting the town.” Matarese said. He decided then and there to open his new salon in Asbury. He had his eye on a unique space on Cookman Ave. for many years. There were zoning issues he had to battle and that space needed a complete demolition for his vision to become a reality. But a reality it did become.
Take a walk in the salon and you will feel the old-school, throwback charm and very artsy vibe that is Larry Cadillac. “Many years ago I had a salon in NYC's East Village and I wanted to recreate the same feeling. It's a mix of old-school barbershop meets new school salon, graffiti art, and hip-hop music,” he added.
Twenty years ago when Matarese and his wife started visiting Asbury, Cookman Ave. was all boarded up, the streets were empty, long gone were the amusement rides, the carousel and the department stores and the tourists.
Like everything in life, changes began to happen, little by little shops and cafes started popping up and Cookman was once again a thriving, bustling street full of sights and sounds that have thrilled residents and brought back the tourists.
Asbury has a vibe unlike any other city in New Jersey or perhaps anywhere.
“My wife and I started coming to Asbury Park to shop the wonderful vintage clothing scene like Allan & Suzie's and other great shops. Always being an antique collector there were always great antique and Mid-Century stores. I started noticing a slight change in the town.” he said.
“It was similar to the explosive change I felt living and working in the East Village in the 1980's. It was electric. The eclectic mix of peoples and cultures is what makes Asbury great!” he added.
His business philosophy has been the same since he opened his first salon in 1982, be a true professional, give the best possible service, keep current with the latest trends and, first and foremost having the best styling team you can assemble.
“I've prided myself on a diverse workforce and always encouraged individuality and creative expression. In addition to Larry Cadillac, I own a large salon and spa in Manalapan. I have about 25 employees there. It is full service with 15 hairdressers, two colorists, and a private manicure and pedicure area that also features facials and massages.” Matarese said.
As much as he loves working in Manalapan he felt he needed a creative outlet to merge his passion for doing hair and his love of collecting graffiti art. He added that Larry Cadillac is a salon and mini gallery. “I always say, Where Art Meets Hair!"
One of the things we like about Larry Cadillac is that they are a socially responsible company. They have sponsored many fund-raising events at both salons.
Since the shop opened in Asbury Park they have done a “Cuts for Cats” fundraiser for Catsbury Park that was a huge success. The entire staff at Larry Cadillac is behind the socially responsible efforts. In December they held a Coat Drive that will benefit the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission.
“People were so generous we lost count! In October we do Pink Hair for Hope. We put a pink hair strand in your hair to show your support to fight cancer and we donate the $10 price to cancer research.” Matarese said. In the Manalapan shop at Christmas time, they sponsor Toys for Tots, and Gifts and Sundries for a local woman's shelter for families in crisis, they sponsor clothing and food drives for the less fortunate. “I have always felt a need give back to my community. I came from a humble upbringing but we were always conscious of those less fortunate. Asbury Park is a true tale of two cities. One must help the other for both to survive!” he said. His salons have raised thousands of dollars over the years. Matarese personally knows the struggles that cancer patients go through having had cancer in his family, and in his own life. In November they sponsor a fundraiser for Alzheimer's Research.
Matarese can’t do it alone. He will be the first to tell you that he has a very talented staff at the shop.
“My manager is Alex, a young man I trained originally for the Manalapan salon but he was drawn to the barbering end of the business. I shared with him my vision for Larry Cadillac and he was on board from day one,” he said. A trained Paul Mitchell stylist, Alex has merged all of his training to become the barber he is today. He lives in Asbury and loves the vibe the shop brings to town.
The rest of the teams are comprised of staff members from the Manalapan salon that wanted to spread their wings and explore their more creative side. There are also staff members that are solely employed at the Asbury location.
Young, hip and vibrant is the only way to describe them. They do not want to be labeled a Barber Shop or a Hair Salon. "We are a wonderful breed” to quote Vidal Sassoon. “We work one-on-one with another human being and the object is to make them feel so much better and to look at themselves with a twinkle in their eye. The staff is inclusive and open-minded and all are welcome to the shop,” he added. Most clients will say how welcomed and comfortable they feel. It’s the kind of place that everyone can just be themselves and look fantastic when they leave.
“I want to thank Asbury Park for welcoming us with such open arms. We've tried to make the town proud by adding a certain something else to the mix. Being at the base of Cookman, I feel our 700 block is the welcome to the tapestry that is Asbury Park...”
For more information about Larry Cadillac, you can visit their website larrycadillac.com or call 732-455-5898.
We recommend stopping by, you’ll love the atmosphere and the staff. They are located at 725 Cookman Avenue in beautiful downtown Asbury Park.Mention this article and receive $10 off your next visit to Larry Cadillac.
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Every shore local has their favorite and there are many options to choose from. Dining at the Jersey Shore features sheer opulence to no-frills dining, it’s all about the food. Seafood is king at the shore but there are many different cuisines represented here, from Classic American to Peruvian. There are a lot of places to eat, some with amazing views of the Atlantic and the bays, the views are a great addition to the dining experience but for foodies it’s really the food that matters. In our five-part series of best places to dine at the Jersey Shore, we will be covering restaurants, diners, bakeries, ice cream shops, everything savory to sweet. Here’s part-one of some of the best places to dine while at the Jersey Shore.
The Raven and the Peach, Fairhaven
This is a luxurious dining experience. The décor is opulent and, rich and the New American cuisine is an experience not to be missed. It’s Casablanca meets the Jersey Shore and the service is second to none. If your looking for an impressive five-star dining experience, this is it.
740 River Road, Fairhaven, 732-747-4666.
Bahr’s Landing, Highlands
Bahr’s has been an institution at the shore for over a hundred years, yes, 100 years. With sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, the bay and the New York City skyline. Classic seafood and steaks with a million-dollar view. Boaters can pull up to the dock, dine and refuel, now that's a bonus.
2 Bay Ave, Highlands, 732-872-1245
Red's Lobster Pot Restaurant, Point Pleasant Beach
If lobster is your thing, then Red’s has to be on your foodie-do list. With dining on the dock, you can watch your dinner come ashore, fresh Jersey lobster right to your table.
57 Inlet Dr, Point Pleasant Beach, 732-295-6622Mustache Bill's, Barnegat Light Mustache Bill’s is a no-frills diner that is a James Beard Award winner which is a feat and only one of three shore eateries that can make that claim. If that isn’t impressive enough maybe the fact that Guy Fieri paid them a visit will push you over the edge.
Local seafood, pancakes, and hearty dinner platters. This place is usually packed, so prepare for a wait, but it’s worth it.8th Ave. & Broadway St., Barnegat Light, 609-494-0155
Mud City Crab House, Manahawkin This spot is a casual family atmosphere and a full-scale fish market. Great seafood and a welcoming atmosphere. There is frequently a wait for a table, but the patio overlooking the wetlands is a great place to hang out and enjoy a drink and an appetizer. An LBI local favorite.
1185 E Bay Ave, Manahawkin, 609-978-3660
2nd Jetty, Sea Bright
From the beachy entrance with its directional signs pointing to exotic destinations far and wide to the playful atmosphere it is quintessential shore, serving simple yet tasty fare.
The lobster roll can rival any other on the eastern seaboard. Not a seafood lover? Not to worry, the menu has something for everyone.
140 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright, 732-224-8700
Simply Southern, Belmar If you love traditional southern cuisine, true southern cuisine then Simply Southern is for you. This family-owned little eatery features classic dishes, fried chicken, greens, fried green tomatoes and cornbread that is so tasty. They also offer seafood, catfish, crab and an all-day southern breakfast.
817 Belmar Plaza, Belmar, 732 243-9259
Tuscany by the Sea, Bradley Beach This spot is take out only but if you crave fabulous Italian cuisine this is a must on your shore dining list. Located in downtown Bradley Beach, Tuscany features freshly prepared foods daily, amazing sandwiches and fresh baked breads. Growing up in an Italian family makes you a little picky, but Tuscany definitely passes the authenticity test. Friendly atmosphere and amazing food. They deliver to the beach, so you can dine al fresco with the Atlantic as your backdrop.
314 Main Street, Bradley Beach, 732-361-5592
Stay tuned for part two coming soon, there’s a lot of shore to cover…
The New Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Opens June 28, 2018
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is about to get a new addition. Get ready for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The new state-of-the-art facility is set on 17-acres, with the historic AC Boardwalk and roaring Atlantic Ocean as its entrance, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will create a vibe like no other.
Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, purchased the hotel in March 2017 for pennies on the dollar from real estate magnate Carl Icahn and began its massive renovation. Gone are the brash minarets and the Trump name. Investors have poured $500 million into the epic project that is expected to open this summer.
According to the Hard Rock, guests and visitors will be able to experience world-class entertainment at the new 400-seat Hard Rock Cafe. The Hard Rock says that it will feature lavish guestrooms and suites with all the creature comforts and stunning views of the city, the boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean.
Rendering of the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
In keeping with the tradition of a classic AC casino, gaming will include 2,200 slots and 125 table games. The interior vibe will be rock-centric and will boast over 20 fine-dining concepts as well as casual eateries. To rival any other facility in AC the Hard Rock will offer event space of over 150,000 square feet and can accommodate large conventions, events and trade shows.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City wants to be AC’s most venerable entertainment destination and has already booked some world-class bands and musicians like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Third-Eye Blind and the Motor City Revue.
In the unmistakable Hard Rock style, guests will be able to indulge their rock star fantasy with in-room Fender guitar checkouts and curated playlists to set the perfect mood.
The Hard Rock serves as curators of the largest and most valuable music memorabilia collection in existence, it’s only natural that the interior and exterior design will pay homage to the greats. Memorabilia will be hand-selected and locally-focused on contemporary musicians and artists with ties to New Jersey. As with any Hard Rock location, their collection spans the last 75 years of music history—from Frank Sinatra to Bon Jovi and beyond.
The new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino sits across the street from Steel Pier at 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401.