The new Semolina in Red Bank

I did and ****spoiler alert **** while it was certainly good, it was the least impressive of the meals.

Jeez you’re going to make us wait until Monday? Lol

The pork chop looked good on Google images

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For real–can’t wait to hear about it!

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OK, so I called on a whim around 1pm on Friday for 7pm reservations and they were able to accommodate me for 7:15, done!!! Arrived on time and our table was waiting for us, luckily it was a 4 top in the middle of the room which backed up to a pole, so there was plenty of distance between us and the next table behind us, I sat on this side as did my buddy. Two larger guys and it was “ok”, not nearly as bad as I was expecting. The biggest complaint about the dining room was the noise, wow was it loud and it made social banter during dinner rather difficult.

We were greeted by our waitress given the low-down on the menu etc. this is a farm to table restaurant which is NOT my thing. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but it’s not something that is a priority in my dining choices, as such they take pride in explaining where they source their menu items etc. While as I said I could care less personally, the waitress was extremely well versed in working the descriptions into the conversation so we didn’t get the impression she was “preaching” about the menu, I did take note to her very articulate nature in working the conversation to deliver her message without sounding like a waitress reading specials off a list. (I should mention that is an analogy as she actually said their menu are their specials, they do not have nightly specials)

We were served water and an excellent loaf of warm semolina bread, who would have thought!?!?! (I do wish people were offered butter rather than the default bottle of olive oil on the table) The bread was excellent as was the olive oil they supply for your bread, not my preferred option but very good none the less. After some consideration we settled on:


Grilled asparagus - House salad - Baby Burrata. All were excellent, not sure what they could do to asparagus to make it as charred/tasty as it was but it was delicious as was the creamy burrata. The salad was light and refreshing with a lemon and olive oil dressing. (only complaint here is the online menu didn’t match the menu of the night, so I had my wife sold on the beet salad which is online but not currently offered)

NY Strip (mine) - Wester Ross Salmon - Seared Dayboat Scallops - Berkshire Pork Chop

The snoozer of the group was my steak, not that it was bad by any means, actually it was good. The reason why it’s a snoozer is because everything else was truly exceptional, you can only do so much with a grilled steak. I ordered medium, it came out rare/medium rare but I wasn’t going to send it back, better under than over cooked.

I’m not a salmon guy, but the beets and pesto it was served with were delicious and the salmon received high praise. The scallops similar to the asparagus, I have no idea what you can do to a seared scallop that can make it exceptional but these were. The leek puree it was served with was wonderful. Next is the pork chop which was probably one of the best plain grilled pork chops I have ever had. Watching the dishes come out of the kitchen all night I would say the pork chop is probably the best seller, they were flying out of the kitchen. Now at $ 33. for a single pork chop it better be dam good and this one was.

Zeppoles and some Caramel Crunch type desert. The caramel crunch thing was excellent, the zeppoles were good, but they were served over a lemon custard which I didn’t particularly care for.

Overall one of the better dining experiences I’ve had in a long time…especially in Red Bank. This place has lived up to the buzz unlike Cafe Loret which I went into with much higher expectations to just fall flat. Semolina is not cheap, especially for a BYO but the food is certainly worth it and the passion for the farm to table concept is not only demonstrated by the food, but by the staff as well. This is not “fine dining” by any means if anything I was surprised by how casual some people were which in my eyes does the food a bit of a disservice, but that’s just my opinion.

My largest complaint is just the noise…I really wish that could be toned down a bit, but it certainly won’t keep me away as I have reservations again for this Friday night!

$ 275 including tax and tip So as I said not cheap but worth it in my opinion.


((deleted, nothing to see here move on))

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Glad you enjoyed it. We have only had dinner there at 5 or 6 PM seatings so the noise usually isn’t too intense. Our waitress told us last time that even with the extensive sound paneling they did, after a certain time it is just LOUD.

Was this the first time you have been?

Yes my first time, but certainly not my last!


Damn I was hoping to hear some steak action. I’m glad you had a nice time. That is kind of steep for four people and no booze, but if the quality is there…

Had 8pm reservations on a very rainy Friday night. At about 7:50pm while just arriving in Red Bank we received a phone call giving us a heads up that our table was just receiving their desert so our table wouldn’t be ready till about 8:15. No problem at all but I appreciated the courtesy call since there is little room to wait, especially if your not the only table waiting. Kudos for knowing how to manage your space.

Once again the meal and service was excellent. Once we arrived we requested our previous sever because she was so good, unfortunately we weren’t in her section but the server we had was equally as good.

Apps: homemade tortellini with peas - grilled asparagus

Entrees: 2 Berkshire pork chops - skate special- seared scallops

Everything was excellent again. I’m putting this food quality on par with Drew’s, I’m that impressed. The pork chop is the best I’ve ever had, so tender it practically melts in your mouth.

The sear on the scallops is so intense you expect them to be over cooked like a diner, but inside they are perfectly tender.

The skate…(who would ever think to eat a skate wing!!) while as polar opposites of anything in the world I find appetizing was actually good. It was a tad too fishy for me - but that’s just me - not a criticism of the dish, the flavor was excellent. It was prepared in a francaise type sauce and my wife thoroughly enjoyed it.

Desert was a mousse type special with a marshmallow topping and the caramel thing we had last time. Both were very good.

Very happy and this is going into my steady rotation of places I frequent.


@paryzer although we have never met from everything I have read of yours this place is right up your alley. Grab a nice amarone and take the infamous Mrs. P here, you will thank me.


Yes @NotJrvedivici This place looks right up our alley. I have been drooling over everyone’s reviews. I only wish it was closer. Maybe we can shut the place down one night and do a HoDown. I wonder what they would charge to rent the restaurant for an evening. I have to move closer to Central Jersey. I have to see if I can try this for an early dinner on a Sunday. I see they open at 4 on Sunday. I just hate the GSP traffic this time of year.


If you’re looking for an early taste of summer, two must haves are the apps - tomato tartare and the just-shucked English peas. I can’t get over how flavorful both dishes were. The entrees were solid as always, but those apps!!


Just a quick review went last Wednesday with another couple and split:

Cavatelli broccoli rabe and sausage - angelotti with peas - arugula salad all delicious.

Pork chop and scallops both excellent as well. Wonderful meals and excellent service again.


We finally made it out to Semolina for our first, and unfortunately last, time. I was really looking forward to this restaurant after reading all of the raving reviews. It’s a shame, but the outstanding food was ruined by the horrible VERY RUSHED condescending service by our server from hell Karen. Talk about eat it and beat it. She couldn’t wait to get rid of us. We have never been treated with such disrespect. I guess I shouldn’t of mentioned that we came from 1 hour away up North. They must really hate the Bennies down south :slightly_smiling_face: I purposely made an ungodly reservation of 4PM and requested a larger 4 top so we could relax and enjoy our dinner before it got crowded. When we got there at 4 PM I asked if we could possibly have a larger 4 top. Right away Karen says, we are fully booked but we might be able to squeeze you in, but you HAVE to leave at 5:30. I said no problem. So of course Karen seats us at the shittiest 4 top by the front door and hostess station, where all of the workers congregated all night long and whispered in front of us. Of course when we left there were only 3 tables taken and we could have sat anywhere. Karen then pressured us to order everything up front in this empty restaurant. I gave her a couple of appetizers to put in while we decided on entrees but she would ‘t even put the appetizers in until I gave her the entrees 5 minutes later. I tried to tell her we don’t want to be rushed and don’t want the entrees on top of the appetizers and she said don’t worry the meal will be paced accordingly. So after we had our appetizers I asked Karen to wait a few minutes before firing up the entrees, and she basically said it’s too late (or tough shit). So of course as Mrs. P gets up t go the bathroom they are coming out with the entrees as an F U to us. So what would have ben an excellent scallop entree was ice cold by the time she got back with the overhead fan blowing on it. So we got served 2 appetizers, a pasta dish, and 2 entrees in barely 45 minutes, or 15 minutes less than it took us to drive there. We still had another 45 minutes before our deadline of 5:30. Karen says don’t worry you can take your time. I told her this is already our last course, it’s too late now.
It was a real shame because this chef is extremely talented, but I think we will stay up North where we are treated with respect. What a difference between our dinner at newly opened restaurant Bloom, where everyone was so friendly, didn’t rush us, and the owner kept coming out to see how we were enjoying our dinner.
As far as what we ordered, we started off with an excellent sungold tomato tart, and a so so stuffed zucchini blossom that wasn’t fully fried. We also had the excellent chittara with Maryland blue crab, and basil pesto. For entrees I had the awesome pork chop (which I can see why everyone is raving about it). Mrs. P had what would have been an awesome scallop dish if they didn’t purposely bring it out as she was going to the bathroom. The full descriptions are on the attached menu.


Whoa! This may sound weird but as I was having dinner on Sat it suddenly popped into my mind that I’ve never heard an unhappy review from you. This does soften the blow of not being there for me though! :grin: What a frustrating experience!!! I’m annoyed for you.


Thanks @gracieggg . I’m sorry for the rant. I am usually very mild mannered and polite, but I was so frustrated after driving 1 hour and being rushed for no reason in an empty restaurant at the ungodly hour of 4PM. It’s a shame because the food was excellent but we couldn’t really enjoy it. I was more upset for Mrs. P who was pretty much fuming and upset the whole meal, and barely said 2 words. She was even more upset that I left a 20% tip and wanted to take some money back for the horrible service. I tried to take things in stride while we were there. I’m sure it would have been a wonderful dining experience if we didn’t have the server from hell.


Sorry to hear you had a bad time. I haven’t been here yet so I can’t comment on the place. One thing I can guarantee is that you just met a bad apple. There is no way this lady knew you were not from central nj. You just happened to get a bad server.

This place was on my list but I might stick to a few of my favorites now.

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I’ve also noticed the same with Eli’s reviews, always quote
Enthusiastic. This must have been truly terrible to warrant such a review. So sorry to hear. I feel like mr and mrs p get a Bennie pass for sure.


Thanks Johnny and Mr. Met.
Well the server did know I wasn’t from Central Jersey because I told her we drove an hour to get here from North Jersey, and was excited to try this restaurant from the rave reviews I read on Hungry Onion. She was familiar with Hungry Onion. Has anyone ever had Karen serve them?
Johnny, I wouldn’t let my review prevent you from trying this place. It is worth it for that pork chop alone. Just don’t let Karen serve you :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve thought the same many times.

This may be the first negative review from @paryzer I’ve ever read.

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