eat & drink
stout braise. At least the accompanying roasted garlic risotto was assertive and properly textured.
On one visit, sprightly house-made
gnocchi basked in a vegetable broth
umami-charged with mushrooms,
Parmesan and white truffle oil. On
another night, the gnocchi were
mushy, the broth thin and under-seasoned. A side order of roasted butternut squash was leathery outside,
Fish and fowl fared better. Tuna
tartare, a starter playfully served in a
crispy miso tuile, was lively and delicious in its accompaniments of finely
diced papaya, soy sauce, sesame oil,
peppery chive sprouts, and black and
white sesame seeds.
Pan-seared tuna, an entrée rubbed
with Chinese five-spice powder, was
nearly as rewarding. Benjamin tops it
with brown bubbles he calls soy caviar,
a molecular trick made with soy
sauce and agar gelatin. The salty little
pearls burst amusingly on the tongue,
enhancing the tuna. It comes with a
slightly too-sweet sweet-and-sour
slaw of Napa cabbage, jicama, mango
and avocado presented, with a wink,
in a mini Chinese takeout container,
complete with chopsticks.
Organic rosemary-basted chicken
breast and thigh was juicy and full flavored. With a butternut squash-and-brioche stuffing, grilled mushrooms,
pearl onions and gravy, it blossomed
into a table-pleasing hit.
“Northern fried” chicken (“
South-ern-fried in North Jersey,” Benjamin
explains with a smile) is moist and
rich under crisp skin seasoned with
Old Bay. The pieces are stacked over
cinnamon-cap nameko mushrooms on
a delectable Belgian waffle. Two sauces
double your fun: A tangy maple-syrup
gastrique drizzled over a thick chicken
gravy spiked with Jack Daniels.
Desserts run from trendy to traditional, none compelling. Ricotta
zeppole were leaden; the caramel
cap on a crème brûlée oddly leathery.
Banana sour cream cake with Oreo
crumbs was gooey kid stuff. Best bet?
The sumptuous bourbon-and-vanilla-infused Chantilly whipped cream,
which you can order on its own for $6
or over berries for $8.
Open- 7 Days
THE SWEET REWARDS
88 Bay Avenue
Incredibly Fresh Seafood.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
Bratwurst, Knockwurst and
Hearty Home Cooking
“COME FOR THE MEAL
STAY FOR DESSERT.”
German Chocolate Cake
Mom’s Own Rice Pudding
Apple & Cherry Strudel
Ice Cream Parlor Fountain Treats
801 Main Street, (Route 71)
Avon-by-the Sea, Monmouth County, NJ
The New Audit Bureau of Circulations
New Jersey Monthly
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