Stella Marina, Asbury Park, NJ

So what your telling me is my next eating challenge is going to cost me $56!?!?! The cost of these keeps going up!!

Why do you need 4 shirts?

If you are eating to put clothes on your kids backs it’s time to explain the facts of life to them.

Put the lazy little buggers to work and make them eat their own pie for the shirt.

After all, they are part of a proud lineage.

It’s so funny…Sat night I was walking the boards in AP with friends, and they were asking me about each restaurant we passed. I haven’t been to Stella Marina, Cubacan, Pop’s Garage, or McCloone’s in the year+ I’ve been living here. I know from reliable sources here and elsewhere in my life that those spots are all about the location/view and not about the food. The one place where I have eaten is Langosta Lounge, and while our meal wasn’t bad, it certainly wasn’t worth the prices they’re charging, imo. I also felt like the menu was all over the place and there’s no restaurant that does that wide a range of food well, as far as I’m concerned; it comes across as a bit schitzo to me. That said, I had terrific cocktails at Langosta.

Viking, while I’m 100% with you on Porta after 9pm, I still think they’re putting out terrific food and I love the vibe there. I’m not sure why you feel you need a shower after being in AP. Have you been to Talulla’s? Cardinal Provisions? Barrio Costera? As a resident, I’m blown away by the volume of suburbanites who are in town every weekend (year-round), and have ended up in conversation with many of them; they come from Rumson, Red Bank, Freehold, Marlboro, etc. Mogo and Bond Street may not attract them, but from what I can see, the majority of the restaurants (and certainly all of those on the boardwalk) are mostly pulling people from elsewhere!

We agree on Langosta, I am not a big fan of anything by Schlossbach (or McCloonies). Her menus are all over the place. And quality and freshness are inconsistent.

But they do serve a lot of cocktails.

Again, the singularity.

As regards Asbury in general, I’m really not into crowds, noise or suntan oil when I’m dining out, so Asbury is avoided from May to October.

And I am very insistent on cleanliness in a restaurant. I find housekeeping at most places in Asbury is lax as they cater to a party crowd that mostly doesn’t notice.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Gordon Ramsey when he walks into a resto on his show, and reems the owners out about all the dirt he finds, but I’m kind of like that. If a place isn’t clean, and the restroom smells, then I can only imagine what’s going on in the kitchen. I get sick easily when dining out, so I’m very careful about stuff like that.

So my comment about the shower was more along those lines.

I would consider trying some of the places you like and look forward to your reviews of ie Tallulah’s, Costera or Cardinal, especially if they have an interesting lunch as this is when I most often dine out.

Finally if I am dropping more than a C Note on a meal I tend to go to Brooklyn as I find better value for the dollar there.

For the record, I’m rarely eating in places that are $50+pp since moving down here; I just haven’t found a place yet that can convince me their $25+ entrees are worth the price (see: Brandl, where I was someone’s guest recently). I do think legit higher-end restaurants just can’t survive as easily down here, but I’m also not dining out in Red Bank or Rumson, so I may have no clue. :slight_smile:

The thread on Cardinal Provisions is here, and they’re only open for breakfast and lunch and brunch on weekends:

I could swear I had started a Talula’s thread, but based on my searches here and on CH, I just write about it whenever the topic of pizza comes up. I’ll remedy that today at some point! :smile: But I can tell you they do lunch and dinner and they often post lunch sandwich specials on Instagram that torture me from afar.

One thing we certainly agree on is that service in general is abysmal in this area. I chalk it up to beach life/attitude and the more seasonal availability of 20-somethings, but it still annoys me on a regular basis. I will say that at both Talula’s and Cardinal that I’ve found servers who have stayed with the restaurant and who have more of a clue than those working at other places in the area.

I guess if I could summarize my position it’s not that I am opposed to Asbury per se. I am always willing to try new things.

I just haven’t found anything in Rasbury that I get really excited about, especially with the summer crowds, the indifferent service & food, and the price levels.

My comment about the benjamin/C note for dinner was based on two entrees at $30 a piece, a shared app at $15, and shared dessert at $ 10 which is invariably creme brulee and mostly “shared” by Helga. Add tax and tip, but no booze, and it’s easily a $ 100 bill.

I look forward to your continued reports and recommendations.

This unfortunately can happen to anyone and anywhere, it is also the reason why it’s always better to “over cook” than under-cook your proteins.

… and now they’re getting the Yelp “I heard that …” reviews. I hate that the median IQ is 100.

“Management at Stella Marina did not return multiple calls seeking further information about its response and the incident.”

And once again, we have a restaurant that doesn’t know how to handle themselves from a PR/hospitality standpoint. Here’s a perfect opportunity to EDUCATE the public about parasites in food/fish cleaning/etc. but instead… YEESH.

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HEY @gcaggiano !!! As the resident HO’s follow up caller you want to see what you can find out! Do your best not to p*ss off a manager that will come here and call names!!!

I just figured if they changed their name to Stella Marina and Bait Shop, it would clear everything up.


Agreed but they should have handled the matter better by comping the entire meal.

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The entire meal or check? According to the article they comped about 1/3 of the check and there were more than 3 people there so it seems they comped more than just the meal in question.

Seriously. Comp the meal and give them a gift cert for the next meal. Apologize to everyone and let them know the fish is inspected but there’s nothing you can do if the worm is in the flesh, and that all fresh ocean catch are susceptible.


Hmmm maybe I will give it a shot tomorrow.


That’s cool Greg. Listen I’m having some issues with my mortgage and the escrow account, you mind calling them tomorrow and getting it straightened out for me?


So I had time while my chicken was cooking. Called and spoke to a Lizz who then put me in contact with their PR person Eda. They’ll be emailing me a statement from the owner. Probably pre-fab, nothing groundbreaking. All involved were exceptionally friendly and cooperative.



(Thats my complete sentence.)


The response from Stella Marina to my inquiry. Pre-fab and not very enlightening as I expected.

_"Stella Marina, which means star of the sea in Italian is an award-winning rustic yet classic Italian restaurant located on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ. The taste of Stella Marina comes from quality ingredients sourced from our gourmet purveyors and highly trained kitchen staff. We proudly offer fresh, never frozen, seafood on our menu that is delivered daily. _

_Stella Marina is dedicated to ensuring that our guests enjoy a safe and delicious experience. For the past ten years, we have proudly served thousands of customers without incident until this past weekend and for that, we apologize. _

_Out of an abundance of caution, cod has since been removed from our menu. _

The safety and happiness of our guests is our highest priority and we are proactively working to further guarantee our kitchen maintains the rigorous standards we are known for."

Joe Cetrulo, Owner
Stella Marina Bar & Restaurant

And then their PR person even went so far as to email me a second time:

Hi Greg,

_In case it was helpful background, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has jointly prepared a document on parasitic worms in cod with the Marine Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland and the Torry Research Station of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Link here: _

Also, food safety expert Dr. Donald Schaffer of Rutgers University’s Food Science Department is an expert on this topic.

_Dr. Schaffer can be reached at xxxxxxxxxx or via email at _

Please don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or require any additional information.

Thank you,

Wow. Nice, neat, and tidy. It pays to have an international PR firm at your disposal.

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The problem is that the story has been picked up by the media and no amount of rational explanation will suffice. Their business wil be affected but to what degree is the question. BTW personally I don’t think their food is very good but I don’t like seeing this happen to them.