Blu Grotto in Oceanport [NJ]

(Junior) #61

Went back last night for the first time since the spring, tried several times over the summer and couldn’t get reservations. We were celebrating our anniversary so the diet was out the window last night, we started with charcuterie for 4 and entrees were veal chop parm for my, diver scallops for the wife, swordfish special and linguine with crab meat. No complaints and the veal parm while very good pales in comparison to Christine’s, Chef Ron has ruined any chance of enjoying a veal chop parm anywhere else.

I will note the menu has changed the steak is now a 14oz strip on the bone which disappointed me a bit, especially when I’m looking to go all out. A 14oz strip on the bone could yield a small portion of actual meat so I passed it up for the veal chop which again was very good.


That’s looking tasty as hell! Is it me or did they skimp on the pasta? That is a pet peeve of mine.

So what’s the ribeye situation looking like there now? I think I have to get there this month. Hopefully it won’t be as crowded but I will make some reservations.

(Retired !) #63

Yeah, and 14 oz is the pre cooked weight.

Talk about giving you the bone.

What gives with the stinking shrinking steak sizes around here?

Cheep, Cheep, Cheep !

(Junior) #64

The rib eye was for 2 and priced at $75 which is a good price, I haven’t tried it yet…yet!


That’s a steak for one my friend lol. Well I think my mind is set. I’m ready to tackle this. I’m hoping to have a report for you guys soon. I wonder how this compares to ron’s, grand tavern or char. Locally, I’ve only had the char tomahawk and it’s usually solid. At 125 the grand tavern steak is commanding nyc/sf/LV prices. I wonder how good that beast is.

(Retired !) #66

Ya know somebody needs to start an Italian steak house around here.

With reasonable portions and prices.

Steak, pasta with oil & garlic or marinara, and salad.

Maybe grilled scampi and salmon for the vegetarians.

Any veg you want as long as it’s steamed broccoli with garlic and EVO.

That’s it. Whole menu right there.

(Junior) #67

When I moved to the area circa 94’ the location of the now defunct Carrabba’s in Hazlet/Middletown was called The Speghetti Western. It was like the illegitimate love child of a Olive Garden and Outback. Instead of bread they served deep fried pasta noodles topped with garlic powder and cheese with marinara for dipping. It was good for what it was.


Was that the place across from the shiki?

(Junior) #69

No I don’t think so, Carrabba’s was the last operator there and they closed a year+ ago.

(Retired !) #70


I’m heading here next Tuesday. If Jr says it is good, I’m game!

Jr what kind of sides should I order?

(Junior) #72

Well if you read my latest review don’t go for the steak!! Unless you are game for the ribeye for two which I have yet to try. The only sides I’ve had were the fingerling potatoes and broccoli rabe both of which were good but not fantastic.

Good luck let me know how you make out! The veal chop parm was very good, even better if you haven’t had Ron’s.


@NotJrvedivici what is the tv situation there? You may be at the game now so I’m just wondering.

(Junior) #74

TV situation at Grotto? They have about 8 tv’s at the bar with whatever simulcasting is on or various sports if no racing. They have 2 betting machines at the bar as well, however you CANNOT cash winning tickets, you must go to the track to get your winnings.


Well I have to say, this is a top notch spot. I’m sure this place is absolutely railed during decent weather. The food is actually quite good but the venue is fantastic. Everything is pristine, clean, and modern yet not “hipster trendy” with weird artwork and nonsense. It’s elegant, classy, not insanely loud, roomy/spacious and the service/management is on point. This place literally pays attention to detail. Some things were a little off but that’s just me being hyper-critical.

Unique examples of stuff they got correct:

Heavy utensils, not cheap flimsy crap.

Nice glassware

Comfortable seats…very nice

Real cutlery and they serve different knives depending on what meat you select.

Kosher salt served open with a spoon

Outrageous projector edge blending on the main ceiling and entrance hallway. Most people won’t realize how much money they spent alone on this “light show”…hundreds of thousands in gear, cooling, design, and install simply for ambiance.

Clean silverware/plates like clockwork after every round of apps (we had a few rounds since people were running late)

Ample parking and you could easily bring a classy car here and park away from everyone (at least this time of year)

A few nice beers were on tap and they had some good whiskey options as well. It was good to see carton brewing represented.

8 tvs, as Jr mentioned, and nice ones. The bar is rather small but nice nonetheless.

I had a few small issues but overall I will be back and I will get into the food topic later tonight maybe.

(Junior) #76

Nice !!! I’m waiting to hear if you had the rib eye for two!?!?!? I feel bad that @bgut1 had a sub-par experience because while every time I’ve gone it wasn’t perhaps great, but it’s always been good, very good. Like you I appreciate many other aspects of the dining experience but the food has never been poor or average. I’ve always been happy, there are things that weren’t to my particular liking but that’s just different tastes. etc.

Well I’m anxiously awaiting part II of the night.


OK well let me see if I can make this short and sweet. I did get the NY strip. For 40 this was a decent steak, but not the best around. I actually liked the “Diane sauce” (I believe it is called.) I’m not a sauce guy when it comes to steaks but this thing wasn’t smothered. It was a healthy strip and heavier than I thought it would be. I dig the fact that they keep the bone.

The sauce was not overpowering and had a pleasant rosemary flavor. The roasted mushrooms were a nice treat and with a little kosher salt they came to life. The “smear” of mashed potato was cold and a big let down.

A few minor gripes…

The beer glasses are small. For the money I’d like a pint. 6 or 7 bucks depending on the craft beer

No fresh cracked pepper was offered. They obviously have it but it would have been nice to get a little on my steak. I never requested it.

My guest didn’t eat mushrooms and declined them with his steak. The server didn’t offer to sub it out.

OK …more to come


So I unfortunately didn’t try the ribeye, my steak of choice. I was not in the situation to be the slob to order a steak for two, just for me lol

The Short rib meatballs were solid. I’m not a huge meatball guy but since I’ve been getting some asciotI meatballs this year, I’m suddenly a meatball snob. So maybe these were better than I thought.

The shishito peppers were like candy. At 12 a plate they aren’t cheap, but dusted down with a little kosher salt, these were quickly wiped clean.

The charcuterie/cheese board was also very good, not the best in the area but quite tasty. The crostini was decent but the winner… the dates accompanying them. They were fantastic. The spiced apple chutney was also superb. The prosciutto was some quality pork, and this is coming from a true fan of this cured style meat.

The shrimp cocktail apps were completely on point. I don’t think you can get much better. They were large, in charge, and the radish served with the cocktail was potent. My hat is off…nicely done Blu gratto!

One more small issue…

The bread was pretty weak. I’m a bread guy and this bread let me down. It’s decent but they can do a LOT better. Maybe it is me, but I found it weird that they didn’t serve the tapenade with a spoon. Normally I’d just dunk my bread but with some guests, I couldn’t do that.


I’m heading back this Friday. Anything I shouldn’t miss @NotJrvedivici

(Junior) #80

Was supposed to eat here on Saturday, but due to an addition of 2 people to our reservation they could no longer accommodate us. You know last summer it was impossible to get a reservation, even trying a week in advance, I’m really hoping this place doesn’t become a victim of it’s own success.