HOdown at Drew’s in Keyport Jan. 26th 4pm

(Eli Paryzer) #61

Thanks everyone for joining us in an epic HO down. And thank you Drew for going above and beyond! It was great meeting everyone.
We started off with an unexpected and exceptional amuse bouche of a
pork empanada with mustard and spicy pickles (just for Johnny :grin:).

Next came the amazing New Orleans styled broiled oysters with garlic, parmesan, parsley and butter. Drew was kind enough to make an awesome mushroom pasta for someone that was allergic to hard shell seafood.

The next course was the amazing voodoo shrimp that beat Bobby Flay.

Next came the outstanding crispy Nashville Hot Chicken.

The next dish was a very flavorful pulled pork jambalaya with tasso ham and andouille sausage. It is not as spicy as the regular jambalaya but was really full of flavor.

For dessert we had the amazing salty pretzel caramel chocolate tart, and Drew comped us with his beignets.

Johnny was generous enough to treat us to a 1999 Brunello Di Montalcino from his personal wine cellar. Thank you Johnny! That was a real treat.


Well I just got done watching a movie and I’m still alive lol. What a feast! Thank you to Eli and Evie for setting this up and to Drew for always being an amazing host/chef. The fact that he came out and said hello meant a lot to me. This man stands behind his food.

It was nice to meet some new friends and see some old ones. And I finally got to meet the famous Mrs P! What a treat! Eli brought some outstanding selections and we enjoyed some very nice wine. I’m a believer now in his recommended bourbon aged red. It paired so nicely with Drew’s bold flavors. Well done my friend!

I think everyone left with enough food/dessert for tomorrow and my surprise dish of the night was the dessert. I’m not really a “sweets” guy but this dish was bonkers! Holy cow! I am not really sure how to describe it. It is so rich that you literally need the vanilla ice cream to balance it out. Nicely done Drew and thanks everyone for a wonderful evening.

@CurlzNJ I told you that you would be a fan :smile:

I am anxious to see if we can set up a spring time event :slight_smile:

Ps…the pickles are amazing. I want to see if I can get some tips from drew on these. I like to make my own but they don’t come out like his.


My flip phone that I had forever died so I bought another one.

I don’t need a smart phone. Try talking to a millennial with their head buried in the phone, they don’t hear a word you say.

(David) #64

As always, the best thing about the evening was the company. Sure, the Voodoo Shrimp were as good as usual, and the Nashville Hot Chicken was a tad too crispy and was a little hard to eat, and both desserts were amazing, but the quality of the attendees made the night. Here’s to @CurlzNJ and @paryzer for setting this up and to meeting new and old friends, so this is the most important pic of the night:

If you carefully you can even see @gcaggiano eating at the next table over. :grin:


Where to begin…? The company! Excellent, as usual, and as has already been mentioned, it’s always fun to meet new HOs (@foodsnob and @paryzer I’m looking at you and your SOs) and to see “old” HOs as well. :kissing_heart: We really did have a fun time together!

The food. For starters, I’m just putting this out there–not for a lack of appreciation, but this kind of cuisine isn’t what I generally gravitate towards; as good an eater as I’ve always been, I rarely pack it away the way my brain wants to, so I was careful going in to this meal not to fill up too soon. I was determined (as I told Drew) to have some of every course as it came out of the kitchen–but I also left with a tower of leftovers, which I’m already enjoying this morning. :grin: I’m allergic to mollusks, so Drew graciously offered to sub “pasta with mushrooms” in lieu of the oysters. That fresh pappardelle and mushroom cream sauce MAY have found its way in to my eggs… #justsayin

It was fun to be at the table with a mix of people who have been there + other newbies like me, and @corvette_johnny didn’t exaggerate when he said it would be an epic meal. The expected five dishes became six when the empanada amuse came out, and then seven with the addition of the beignets. Unbelieveable! Everything we ate was simply delicious (including those pickles many of you had been raving about), but if forced to choose just one, I think it would be the Voodoo Shrimp. I loved the grilled shrimp in contrast with that amazing creamy Worcestershire sauce and the cornbread soaking it all up… but really, there wasn’t a dud on the list. I also loved that Carolina mustard sauce, which was on the empanada and on the jambalaya. If there was one surprise for me (and this isn’t a knock–it was just a surprise), the heat/spice levels weren’t off the chart, so I was truly able to enjoy and taste everything! I also have to mention the Nashville Hot Chicken. OMG. I loooooved that super crisp exterior, and the chicken itself was very moist. Add the sauces, and… LUNCH TODAY, I assure you! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Eli. thanks again for working with Drew, and Drew (and staff) thanks for accommodating us and for what was a ridiculous bargain and one of the best meals I’ve had since moving down here! I’ll certainly be back…

Drew's Bayshore Bistro..............Keyport, NJ
(Jeff) #66

@MishyPoo and i enjoyed this dinner very much. Thank to @paryzer and @CurlzNJ for setting it all up.

Drew’s food was fantastic as usual. The service was friendly and efficient. The company, both old friends and new, was great. There was that terrific vibe that you get with a group of engaging friendly people enjoying a great meal and each others company. ( the many bottles of wine may have contributed to this) Even after three and half hours at the table, we all stood in the freezing cold in the parking lot for quite a while continuing to socialize.

7 dishes, not one clunker among them. Even though this was a multi course menu Drew did not skimp on the portions at all as you can see from Eli’s terrific pictures.


I’m glad you liked it Evie! I was confident you would be a fan after trying it. And I wasn’t joking about those pickles lol.

@BossaNova and @MishyPoo I hope you guys have a wonderful cruise and get some nice sunshine.

I also hope Mrs seal had a nice sampling of the menu.

I’m wishing I packaged up that half piece of pie today :slight_smile:


Shhh I might have already had a couple of forkfuls of that pie today… :grin:

(Eli Paryzer) #69

We can’t wait to have our leftover pie for dessert tonight :yum:

(Greg Caggiano) #70

So who is who? I recognize @CurlzNJ and @corvette_johnny but who are some of the other less photographed (or should I say, more mysterious) members?

(Eli Paryzer) #71

The one in the colorful shirt up front is me, and the infamous Mrs. P is wearing the beige blazer. Next to @CurlzNJ is @MsBean. Next to @corvette_johnny is @seal. At the head of the table on the other end is @BossaNova. Sitting next to me is @Foodsnob and her husband.


Of course you recognize the dumb looking guy in back lol.

I think you will have a great time here and I’m looking forward to your report. Maybe the next hodown can be a GC planned one very soon. I’m ready to go back already :slight_smile:

And as Jeff mentioned, kudos to the staff. They did a wonderful job and were on top of everything. We probably stayed a little too long, but we were never rushed and they were on par every step of the way.


Also, for the record (and I’m really not vain), this is a pretty terrible picture of everyone. Mishypoo is banned from being the photographer at future events! :yum:

(Eli Paryzer) #74

I liked the fact the we started an hour earlier, at 4PM, and had the restaurant to ourselves for over an hour. We were able to have normal conversations without having to yell (when the place is jam packed).


The bonus about not having to time to post earlier is that everyone said exactly what I would have - only much more eloquently!

Everything was just right from - from the space which was clean and simple, to the food which was also clean but not quite so simple in the very best way, and of course the company. It was great to meet CJ of 3K post fame, Mr and Mrs Foodsnob, and of course Eli (famous for his amazing food pictures) and Mrs P (famous for her culinary excellence). I can’t think of a better group to share my first Drew’s experience.

I look forward to many more.

(Junior) #76

Well now that I am in front of a computer I can fully appreciate the pics etc. Wow it looks and reads like I missed a good one! So glad everyone enjoyed and Drew delivered the goods!! (not that there was really any worry he woudn’t)

Glad everyone enjoyed, nice to see new faces, can’t wait to make the next one!

Regards to all !!!


I have to start by apologizing for not doing this earlier…but some life stuff got in the way.
I can’t find the words to thank the folks who arranged the HOdown at Drew’s and, of course, Drew and his staff. It was an amazing meal (I wouldn’t expect anything less at Drew’s) and a great group. Everyone was very welcoming and I was glad that we decided to join the group. I am looking forward to going to future HOdowns, but this one will be a hard one to top.