On the opposite side of the Manasquan inlet is Point Pleasant Beach. I like Point Pleasant for its restaurants. My favorite place on the entire shore is Red’s Lobster Pot at 57 Inlet Drive. They have a large outdoor patio for casual dining and a very small 12 table indoor dining room that is really charming. The food is really wonderful and you are literally right on the docks so the fish and lobster is really fresh. I first heard about it in a New York Times review in 1997 and I can’t miss it every time I am there.
Jack Baker’s Wharfside is well-known for its seafood and a large outdoor deck. I have been going for many years. It is great for watching the boats come in. Just be aware of the large crowds. Next door there is a more casual patio for food and music. 101 Channel Dr.
One of my favorite spots is Spikes at 415 Broadway. It has been a local’s favorite since 1926. It has a great fish market, plus a great eat in menu for their casual dining room. I love the lobster roll!!!
The Shrimp Box, overlooking the Inlet in Point Pleasant, is a longtime favorite seafood restaurant with a large menu featuring a raw bar plus seafood, pasta and chicken dishes. It has great outdoor dining as well on the patio. 75 Inlet Dr.
A great new find is Point Lobster Co. that has been in business over 30 years. They have a full fish market with fish, scallops, lobster, shrimp and crabs plus you can have one of their famous lobster rolls and a cup of lobster bisque or crab soup. The hot lobster roll was perfect and the crab soup really excellent. Covered seating is available outside on picnic tables. Make sure to try it for a great Shore experience. 1 St. Louis Ave., at Channel Drive.
I also tried Poached Pear for the first time after reading some great reviews. This new BYOB, fine dining restaurant is a great new addition to the area and probably the best in town. I had a really wonderful meal with friends and family.
The garlic shrimp appetizer served on a reggiano parmigiano crostini with oven dried tomatoes and micro basil was really excellent as was the swordfish entree with a light mango salsa. We also shared the pear pizzetta which was nicely made with pear, gorgonzola, walnut, radicchio and a port wine reduction. The pan seared diver scallops, the potato crusted halibut, the apple cider brined pork chop and the veal vol au vent all got great reviews. The chocolate cake was also great. 816 Arnold Ave. It also attracted a more affluent Shore crowd in its sleek, modern dining room.
Also downtown is the recently opened is The River Market, at 522 Bay Ave.. It is known for its new American cuisine.
A new find thanks to New Jersey Monthly Magazine is Shore Fresh Seafood Market. I tried the one at 703 Bridge Ave. which has great salads, soups and sandwiches including lobster rolls. Their second location is in the former Fisherman’s Coop space at 57 Channel Drive.
Speaking of markets, I just heard about and visited Joe Leone’s Italian Specialties. At 510 Rt. 35 South, they feature an extension selection of cheeses, baked goods and breads, deli items, prepared foods and grocery items. They also feature daily food specials. If you are staying at the shore, it is the perfect spot to grab lunch or dinner and not have to cook!! By the way, the cookies and biscotti are really good. They have a second location in Sea Girt at 527 Washington Blvd.