Have you ever wondered where chefs eat on their nights off? We trust a chef’s palate when it comes to preparing our food, so it only follows that when they eat out, they go for the best. I sat down with a few prominent chefs and food industry experts here at the Shore to shed some light on the tasty places they frequent when not sweating over their own stoves.
Chef/Owner Tim Murphy, of Spargo’s Grille in Manalapan likes the juicy steaks at Shipwreck Grill in Brielle. He’s also a regular at Piccola Italia in Ocean Township when in the mood for authentic home style Italian. “The food is great at both places and they have a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s all about enjoying myself on days out of the kitchen and I am never in a rush to get through my meal at these great places.”
Mark Mikolajczyk, the Chef/Owner of the Black Trumpet in Spring Lake prefers spending time with his three children when not working, so he opts for kid friendly eating establishments like Sumo Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar in Wall Township. “It’s not fair working crazy hours and leaving my kids at home to eat. Sumo is the perfect place for us to all have a good time while enjoying great food”.
Jersey Shore native Andrew Araneo, Chef/Owner of the highly regarded Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport enjoys the simple side of eating when out of his kitchen. “Just ask for the Chicken Black Bean Burrito Hot at 10th Ave Burrito in Belmar,” says Drew. Like many, he’s also a big fan of Pete and Elda’s when eating out with the family.
Director of Marketing and Sommelier Barbara Hay of Ocean Wine and Spirits, Ocean Township absolutely loves Mister C’s Beach Bistro in Allenhurst. “If you want great food, but most of all want a great atmosphere then you have to check this place out. The bar is phenomenal.” She recommends both Stella Marina Bar and Restaurant in Asbury Park and Sirena Bar & Ristorante in Pier Village, Long Branch “as they both have wonderful wine lists and great views.” Barbara also loves Brandl in Belmar for a great BYOB place.
Chef/Owner Anthony Wall of Matisse in Belmar enjoys visits to Nicholas in Red Bank for special occasions and Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park for their fun vacation inspired cuisine and their great “fish of the day”. When thinking Italian, Chef Wall recommends Giamano’s Ristorante in Bradley Beach. “I enjoy the Chicken Murphy and Chicken with Anchovies and Balsamic. You can tell the food at Giamano’s was taught by someone’s grandmother. The taste is always consistent, which is the key to great food and is what will keep customers coming back for more. But most of all I love to cook at home with my kids in the kitchen. We usually make a mess, but I love to experiment with new foods and this is the best way to do that”.