Very Christmas-y Location, Monmouth Co. NJ

Suggestions on a very festive place for dinner in Monmouth County? We go out with the same couple each year right before Christmas. Last year, we did Formagerie and the year before Nicholas. I’m thinking about Blu Grotto or the new Dennis Foy restaurant in RB, perhaps? Any other well decorated restaurants we should consider? No major dietary constraints. Bar is a plus but not required.


My vote is do Nicholas again.

I’d get a drink at nauvoo first and hang by the fireplace…then swing over to eat at nicholas.

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Perhaps, SamVera, in Marlboro? It’s the only Italian restaurant we go to in this area of NJ. The food on the eclectic Italian menu is a cut well above the mediocre Italian-American restaurants that are prolific. Attractive ambiance, and I imagine it will be nicely decorated (haven’t been there since September). They have a liquor license and a separate bar room.

Pascal and Sabine?
The Grand Tavern?

We went to SamVera once and were underwhelmed. I would try it again but probably not with this couple. It is so close to our house and the service was awesome.

Thanks! My husband I vowed to never return to Pascal & Sabine for the sake of our marriage haha! We got into ENORMOUS fights both times we went. It has turned into a joke that if we want to fight that night we should go there for dinner! Too bad because the space is cool. If we end in AP, I remember your Asbury Distillery cocktail suggestion!

Grand Tavern is an interesting idea. I may have posted about this before. We made reservations there for Mother’s Day brunch and said 2 and a baby. When we arrived they said that they don’t have high chairs and that we should bring our own. Uh. What. We eat out a lot. At least 2-3x a week and nearly always have the baby. This has never, ever happened. We left and went to Reyla’s :wink: I probably should get over it, but I found the whole thing annoying and off putting.

I think we have settled on Heirloom. We haven’t been in a couple of months and it would be nice to see the whole team.

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I like the Nauvoo drink idea. We ate there a few times and it was solidly EH. But, the restaurant is beautiful.

Yeah I wish the food was better for such a nice venue. Have you ever done the chefs table at nichola? …very cool experience! I doubt you would be able to get a reservation in such a short time though.

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OOOH I love that suggestion and would love to do that. Maybe I’ll ask Santa for that!

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Anyone know a local place that does the feast of seven fishes? Now that’s a festive meal.

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I would be interested in this too. My in-laws do it for Christmas Eve. One of the best meals of the year! Perhaps this should be it’s own thread!

@gracieggg, Sorry to hear SamVera disappointed you. We’ve been there often (5 minutes from our house) and always enjoy the food. I hope you will try it again sometime. And, yes, service is excellent.

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It certainly wasn’t bad. We do owe it another shot.

If you ever find yourself in Boston…

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If you don’t mind going further up North, Cafe Matisse is one of the best restaurants in NJ. They have a tasting menu & it’s BYOB.

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Ha! He was the guest chef at the table on CBS this morning.

NJ guy with some fun tapas restauarants in Boston/NYC and elsewhere. When I visit my son in Boston we go to Little Donkey, another of his.

His 7Fishes is outstanding as is all the fish preparation. My son doesn’t eat fish but we both find favorites at this place. Not cheap, but very tasty.

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Here’s the piece that ran this morning, if you’re interested: