26 West in Red Bank NJ

I haven’t been writing much lately, (obviously), but we went to 26 West on the Navesink the other night and it was wonderful.

Came here for dinner on Saturday night and sat at the front bar with the incredible mixologist Christopher James. We started with two aperitif drinks and then ordered four courses of food. Christopher did cocktail pairings for each course which were so brilliantly made we totally enjoyed each and every one!

Our food choices ranged from their excellent cacio e pepe oysters, grilled octopus (really good),their amazing buttered lobster roll, and finally the seared tuna.

Edie the owner was a wonderful host and we had an excellent time from the time we walked in until our final cocktail with dessert.

26 West not only is a beautiful restaurant, but has a vibe that makes you want to come back here again and again.

Great night and we look forward to trying more of Christopher’s amazing cocktails in the near future!


So I just checked out their website, looks like this is in the old rock club next to the Elks and Hansel & Griddle.

$ 58 for a sixteen oz NY strip in Red Bank?

You’ve gotta be kidding me.

I’m glad you had a good time. I know Chris actually.

Yeah vik that 58 tag is pretty steep for a 16oz strip. I recently had a 24Oz bone-in (dry aged and prime) for 85 at a world class steak house so I don’t know. Maybe people will buy them but that’s definitely not a famous world class steak house to be charging that price.

I don’t disagree that $58 is a lot for a steak in Red Bank. This said, the food was definitely a cut above average, and the drinks were seriously phenomenal. All in all, the prices were reasonable for the quality- on both the menu and drink side

I"m sure I’ll be the a-hole that winds up taking one for the team on this one. It’s nice it’s a 16oz. cut, most places are trimming them down to 12oz serving sizes, but as CJ points out this isn’t a famous world class steakhouse either. It does drive me crazy when a place has a $12. mushroom burger on the same menu as a $58 steak. To me that just sends mixed signals figure out what type of restaurant you want to be and stick to it. Just my $ .02

Chef Meg LaManna, why does the LaManna family name sound familiar to me?

As I said I’ll probably be the sucker and if I am I shall report back.

Yep. Not to mention the used canoe paddles on the walls. Real signature there.

I guess they won’t be stuck up Shadow Lake/Creek without a paddle.

We note, however, that they do have a liquor license and drink specials.

So my guess is, even if the food goes downhill quickly, that this will be…

Good news: I decided to give the place a try last night!
Bad news: I had steak the 3 previous nights, I wasn’t up to it again.

Overall impression, I like the place. I really like the space, the bartender told us they are going to be closing for a bit while they complete their roof top bar & dining area. That will be a BIG hit.

On to the details. For food my wife and I shared the Lobster Fagioli soup, Mussels in a saffron cream sauce (special) and the Fish and Chips.

Lobster Fagioli: this was the only “disappointment” of the night, while the soup was actually very good, this is a case of too much creative interpretation in a dish. When I hear Fagioli I’m expecting a bean and pasta soup, this was more a vegetable soup than a Fagioli. There was no pasta, however there is no pasta in the name and there was adequate lobster, but there was squash, eggplant and other vegetables that I have never had in a Fagioli soup. There was equal parts “other” veggies as there was beans, again the soup was very good just not what I was expecting.

Mussels in Saffron Cream Sauce: This turned into the surprise favorite. The reason why I said surprise is because they are really defeating themselves in serving this in a deep narrow bowl. This should be served in a shallow bowl, where the mussels can all bathe in the delicious sauce. Unfortunately the bowl they served it in has the mussels piled high, with the top half of the portion sparsely containing any sauce, so it was very hard to taste the flavor. It initially tasted like it was just boiled mussels. We were very disappointed but once we got about half way through the order and we could actually dip the mussels in the sauce, WOW. It was delicious! Excellent dish, poor plating.

Fish and Chips: This is the second time we’ve ordered this and received a whole fish filet battered and fried. I guess this is the new method instead of “fish sticks” as I’m familiar and accustomed to. The fish was fresh, and the batter was very good, crisp not too oily and overall very good. The chips were “smashed” fried fingerling potatoes tossed in old bay. (ehhh neutral on them) It’s served with the tarter sauce already applied to the top of the fish, that’s fine but they should put some on the side. You can’t equally distribute it to each bite on a large piece of fish like that. Overall very good.

Few additional observations:


The dining room is very nice with big roll up doors/windows that over look the water. Bright and airy a very nice space. Whoever put the one picture of the oars on the wall on their website is doing the place a HUGE disservice. I really, really, really like the space.

We sat at the main bar, in the dining room, there is a small bar when you enter. They had a bartender and bar back, the bartender and service overall was very good. I watched as the bar back was preparing “set ups” for the patrons at the bar (fork, knife, napkin, spoon, plate etc.) As he was setting up a napkin and plate he had it sitting on the edge of the bar, it tipped over back onto the work space he took them from. Literally a 1 foot drop, back onto the original space he took them from. Once they “fell” he took them and put them in a bus pan as “soiled”. As an owner that would piss me off they were clean, as a customer I appreciate the thought that goes into that. Very conscientious move by a bar back.

I watched the managers actively serving drinks, clearing tables and supporting the staff. I appreciate that. Apparently there is only one cash draw at the two POS stations at the bar. The manager who took our check had to wait a few minutes to cash us out, literally maybe a 5 min. wait, when she dropped our change off she apologized for the delay.

When leaving you pass the open kitchen as we walked by 2 or 3 of the kitchen workers said; “Good night, thank you” etc. Unprompted and these weren’t the Chef’s/cooks, these were the “workers”. Again a very conscientious move by kitchen staff.


I ordered a Stoli martini when we arrived, I was told they don’t carry stoli and was offered their other vodka selections. About half way through our meal I noticed a bottle of stoli sitting in the speed rack. At one point when the bartender was using the POS terminal in front of us I called her attention to it in a joking manner, she looked and responded: “I don’t know what that is doing there, we don’t carry stoli”. lol Well I guess that makes two of us.

When we walked in there was no hostess or manager or anyone to greet us. Especially being our first visit and unsure as to what the set up was, where the dining room, other bar etc. it would have been nice to have someone there to greet you. As noted above, the managers/hostesses etc. are very active on the dining room floor, although one should always be stationed up front. (in my opinion)

Parking, well it’s Red Bank enough said.

All in all I will definitely be back. It was a Wednesday night we arrived around 6:15 and by 7:30 the time we were leaving the dining room was mostly full as was the bar. Once they open the roof top I can see this place quickly becoming one of the “trendy” places in Red Bank, and sadly I anticipate that will also be it’s demise. I hope I’m wrong but only time will tell. Until then I encourage you to give this place a try before I suspect it will become a victim of it’s own success.

(ETA I just went back to their web site and realize you can scroll through pictures, so there are some other pics of the dining room etc. my bad)


Seriously? You didn’t try the $ 58 strip loin?

Wasn’t that the purpose of the exercise?

Your many fans who live vicariously through your carnivorous exploits are shocked by this report.

This was suspect going in. Why would you take perfectly good lobster and hide it under a bunch of stuff? Are you sure Slottbacks is not an unindicted conspirator in this crime?

I’m not eating beans with my lobster unless it’s in Rosarito.

??? Say wha…???

If that’s somebody’s private bottle then there may already be staff issues.

Mediocre Food + Liquor License + Rooftop Bar = Ka Chinga !!!

Expect the food to augur in like a B-17 with its tail shot off…


??? Say wha…???

If that’s somebody’s private bottle then there may already be staff issues.

Yeah exactly!! lol I thought perhaps I caught a picture of it in that martini pic above but it’s just out of frame, it was in the speed rack you can see behind the glass.


Darn I was hoping for a steak review too! Well it sounds like this place is totally “red bank” and has the “not so secret” formula for success. I don’t mind paying 58 for a steak but this better be a damn good cut for that price. For 32 my cc steaks owns it.

Good review jr. I’m glad to see they have some hope.

Amen brother.

Now pass the collection plate so we can afford to try one of those steaks.

Your Reverend,

The Church of the Open Grill


What, my review was chopped liver?

Thanks for bumping my thread on CH to HO- I still use both- This restaurant deserved the notice on both web sites and there you are.

Being a man of my word I saved my calories for dinner tonight and decided to make good on my promise to get the steak here.

Called at 3:30 and was able to get reservations at 7pm for 2, but only at a high top at the bar. Fine with me so off we were for our reservations. Lucky for me found a spot right out front, walking exactly at 7, was greeted and brought to our table. I was surprised the bar was less than half full, dining room seemed full but there were empty high tops. Also so pretty cool seating on street level just outside the kitchen.

My wife ordered the Cesar salad and the tile fish over ratatouille, I ordered 4 west coast oysters ($4. Per) and two jumbo shrimp and the steak as my entree. ($57) Service was a little slow but we received the apps, mine were good fresh oysters and true jumbo shrimp, the salad was fine although not huge for $10.

Entrees arrived after another small delay, my steak looked a little conservative for 16oz, but cooked a perfect medium as ordered. The tile fish was piping hot and very good per my wife. The steak was very good but I wouldn’t get it again. It didn’t taste seasoned at all and I really don’t like steaks being served after letting it stand. This entire bone dry, Luke warm steak trend really annoys me. That being said the steak was very good, just not to my preferred preparation and questionable for the price point. I would take the Copper Canyon strip to this in a heartbeat.

No booze (2 ice teas) no coffee or desert, $130 without tip. I will certainly be back there is enough to come back for, it just won’t be for the steak, I like this place but it’s not great for this price point but my entree and appetizers skewed that.

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Gotta say the picture is less than inspiring for $ 57 bucks. It looks dry and a little grey.

It is also extremely annoying because a steak is one of the easiest things to cook.

Unfortunately it’s also one of the easiest things to ruin.

I’ve gotten some of the best steaks in places that are not steakhouses. And sometimes serving quantity over quality actually helps.

Have you ever tried Rods in Sea Girt? I wanna get down there for one of their steak night specials.

PS. What’s that funky looking crap under the steak?

It looks like creamed corn…

Bingo! Well really a corn risotto and grilled asparagus.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from trying this place I still genuinely like it, I just would never go for the steak again. (or the oysters & shrimp) I saw a sign Monday night is all you can eat mussels for $20.

Are these Belgian style mussels?


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I might be going out on a limb here but I’m going to say that’s probably a negative.

So no fries?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2