Tag Archives: Jersey Shore

Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park, New Jersey

Langosta Lounge 
1000 Ocean Avenue

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Asbury Park is an up and coming area that’s trying to restore itself to its past glory days.  They’re doing a great job cleaning up the waterfront and offering tons of restaurants and fun things to do all year round.

Langosta Lounge is a fun place to go for drinks or dinner.  It’s located right on the Atlantic Ocean on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.

After car shopping this week, my husband and I headed over to Asbury Park for a cocktail or two at Langosta Lounge.

After a couple of drinks we decided to try their prix fixe menu for Jersey Shore Restaurant Week.  The menu offers a 3-course meal for $30.11 per person.

We actually started out with their fabulous Picadillo Sliders that we ordered off the bar menu – pre-prix fixe decision.  I love their apps and the atmosphere.

John started with the Shaved Fennel and Orange Salad which he really liked.  He moved on to the Chorizo & Baby Spinach stuffed Chicken Breast with a fall herb risotto cake, roasted baby carrots & a chive mustard seed remoulade.  He said it was a little dry but tasty.

I started with the Asian Braised Pork Belly over mushu pancake with berry hoisin & snow pea shoots.  Basically it was crispy pancetta with a sweet kick.  Pretty good.  Then I moved on to the Frutti del Mar – Scallops, calamari & mussels in a sherry lobster broth over garganelli pasta with  a “fabulous garlic crostini” with spicy rouille.

Now here lies the problem.  There were no mussels in my Frutti del Mar, some of the pasta was a bit “cardboardy” and it had a slight fishy taste (not in a good way).  It wasn’t terrible but I would never order it again.

After my disappointing main fare John and I both enjoyed a deconstructed Oreo cheesecake served in a martini glass.  I must say that this dessert saved the day!  I don’t usually care for sweet but this had the perfect flavor and level of sweetness.

Overall we had a nice night.  Asbury Park is definitely a great place to dine.  Jersey Shore Restaurant Week will be back in April, so don’t forget to support your local businesses and sample some mouth-watering cuisine close to home.

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.


BENNY Bombardement: Weekend Invasion At The Jersey Shore

Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, New York

BENNY.  If you’re from NJ you know the word BENNY.  A BENNY is someone who lives in North Jersey or NY and invades the Jersey Shore on the weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Being a former BENNY myself, I travelled in the wee hours of the night to avoid traffic at all costs.  I was down the shore every weekend.  I would even sleep in the back of my Camaro if I didn’t have a place to stay.  Now that I am a resident of the Jersey Shore I find BENNYs to be a gridlock creating breed of tourists who are good for the economy but bad for my peace and quiet.

I won’t even go near the beach or boardwalk on the weekends.  The crowds are monumental.  A 5 minute in-town drive might take you 35 minutes or more.  It’s insanity.  My husband and I wait until Sunday night after 10 pm to attempt a boardwalk visit.  By that time the crowds have dwindled and the traffic is minimal so the boards are a good bet for a late Sunday night of fun.

This weekend was the kick-off of the summer in NJ.  I always have to work the Friday before and stress about traffic.  I have a 20 minute door to door drive to work that might take 2 hours or more via the GSP.  This Friday was a record for me (in a good way) – I made it home in under 30 minutes thanks to back roads and Route 18 South.  It’s a Godsend.

For the rest of the holiday weekend I usually sequester myself to my property perimeters, venturing to a neighbor’s or to the nearest liquor store for supplies.  I don’t dare travel within a mile of the beach.  Last time I tried to buy bread at Fortunato’s, I got stuck in the “beach” traffic on Mantoloking Road.  Needless to say, I never made it to the bread.

When I was a BENNY from North Jersey I hopped in my car every single weekend, could have sat in traffic for hours and if I left on a Sunday afternoon, it would sometimes take me 4 hours to complete a 1 hour drive.  As I get older I have less tolerance for crowds, traffic and annoying people, so from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I do what many other shore dwellers do.  Stay away from the beach and boardwalk unless absolutely necessary.

I don’t know if I’m turning against my people or I’m just getting crotchety in my old age, but the BENNY Blitz has only just begun.  If you’re my friend, welcome to the Jersey Shore, if you’re obnoxious, invasive and frankly a cavone, stay out of my sector and try Jones Beach.

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Jersey Shore Gourmet

If you have been reading my blogs, you know that I always start some new project or venture and never follow through.

Well, this time I’m actually following through with Jersey Shore Gourmet.

Check out my cooking classes and book a party today!

Finally… I got something going….

PS:  I’ve been overwhelmed lately – hence the lack of blogging.  Sorry : (……

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Matisse in Belmar, NJ

Henri Matisse. Woman with a Hat, 1905. San Fra...

Image via Wikipedia

Matisse Restaurant
1300 Ocean Avenue
Belmar, New Jersey
732-681-7680  *BYOB

Last week I went to TD Bank’s kick-off party for Jersey Shore Restaurant Week.  I tasted so many local restaurants’ fare, so I was anxious to make the most of the week ahead.

Last night in the pouring rain we made it to Matisse on the ocean in Belmar.  They offered 2 three-course menus, one for $20.11 and one for $30.11.  Since our reservations were at 8pm we took advantage of the latter.

I started with the Thai Coconut Scallop Ceviche which was very tasty.  My husband had the Tuna Tartare and we both found it to be a little bland.  There was no depth of flavor that you would expect with a Tartare.

We both ordered the Pan Seared Angus Rib Eye Steak for our main course.  I ordered it rare and John ordered his medium.  Both were cooked to perfection and tasted wonderful.

Our last course was delicious as well.  I enjoyed a Double-Chocolate Brownie with Whipped Cream and Berries and John indulged in Crispy French Toast with Vanilla Ice Cream and Raspberry Coulis.

All in all it was a pretty good dinner.  The steak was my favorite.  I’m very picky about my food.  A food snob as such – so it’s very hard to totally please me.

We got a $10 gift certificate to boot for coming in during Restaurant Week, so that will give us incentive to go again and order off their regular menu.

Try out Matisse and let me know what you think, so we can compare notes.

Until then… enjoy the Jersey Shore and all it has to offer!

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Reflecting On New Year’s Eve: Because I’m Not Ready For Any Resolutions Yet!

Times Square, New Year's Eve, December 31, 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Another New Year’s Eve has come and gone and I’m still waking up alone in my bed – Where the Hell did my husband sleep last night?

It was always a tradition in my family to watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight from the comfort of our living room then have a feast complete with mini-hot dogs, provolone, pepperoni, Herring for my dad and a host of other pickies that we all enjoyed.  It was a joyous time to celebrate the New Year and to reflect on the past and try to improve the future.

When I stopped spending New Year’s Eve with Mommy and Daddy, no matter where I was, or what I was doing, I would always call them at midnight to wish them a Happy New Year.  This year was no exception.  Even though my mother is gone, my dad still has his 12 o’clock feast:  mini-hot dogs, cheese, herring and some homemade dandelion wine.

Looking back on New Year’s Eves gone by, I happily remember how I celebrated each one – even when they were not so happy.

  • Fun parties at my cousin’s house.
  • Crazy parties at my house.
  • Parties at hotels and restaurants.
  • Spending it alone in my bed crying.
  • Watching my husband fall asleep.
  • Dropping way too much money in Atlantic City on dinner and a wine pairing + $500!
  • First Night in Montclair.
  • Toasting with my family and friends.

I’m not sure if there is any happiness left for December 31st but I was glad to have some friends over this year.  I miss having a big party or going to a big party.  It’s just not the same anymore.  Maybe I’m just whining.

As my traditions fade I can only think about starting more.  My dream scenario is spending Christmas and New Year’s in Paris – in the city I love – not stuck in suburban Hell at the Jersey Shore.

Aside from all that, I AM thankful for my family and their good health and my good health – barring the miserable sinus infection.  I have a good feeling about 2011 because this afternoon while I was putting away clothes I found my lost gold earring that my husband gave to me.  I thought I lost it a while back and recently chalked it up to LOST FOREVER status.  Today I found it!

I hope the new year bring better days for everyone.  I hope you had a Happy New Year and I hope that 2011 is better than ever!

© 2011  J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

Stuck in The Snow: A New Jersey Snowmare

Right after Christmas, New Jersey was pummeled with a winter snow storm that dropped 32 inches on our Jersey Shore town, crippling the entire state with record amounts of snowfall and high winds that created 6 foot drifts in some areas.

At 3 am on Sunday night the snow was still coming down and the wind was gusting at top speed.  My snowblower was buried in the yard.  My cars were buried in a snowy grave and my poor lighted reindeer were covered by the White After-Christmas festivities.

We were plowed out pretty quickly (by Monday night), no thanks to the Township, but there were still some people on Wednesday whose streets weren’t touched and who were stranded at home as they waited as slaves to their municipality.

That meant no work, no food and if you were is real bad shape – no toilet paper!

My dad was stuck at our house for at least another day but was dying to go home on Tuesday.  At 2 pm, with a shovel thrown in the back of my BMW, we made our way up the block to the main drag.  At the end of the poorly plowed, slippery street the snow walls were so high that you had to creep out a little bit to see and pray you didn’t get hit by a car carelessly barreling around the curve.

As luck would have it my low-to-the-ground BMW with its performance tires got stuck right at the end of the block.  I rocked back and forth for a good 15 minutes before I freed myself for the rut I was it while 2 male “neighbors” watched like the jerk offs that they are.  My 83-year-old father insisted on getting out to push me loose but I told him to stay in the friggin’ car and if anyone had to push it would be me.

Happily, we made it out and continued sliding all the way to the GSP.

The roads were terrible especially through Monmouth County.  I was driving along and all of a sudden a lane would end.  End.  No kidding.  It would end and I had two choices:

  • crash into the snow bank and destroy my car and/or its passengers.
  • quickly jump to next lane without crashing into another car.

What a nightmare!  Three lanes went to two lanes.  Then the two right lanes.  Then all of a sudden travel was in the 2 left lanes.  One lane.  Two lanes.  Three lanes.  One lane.  One and half – and on and on and on.

This was all south of the bridge which only proves my theory that towns and the state for that matter  below the bridge are clueless about snow removal.  What a half-assed job that cause countless accidents, debilitating traffic and general malaise.

When we arrived my father and I were arguing about who would shovel a path to his door.  Stubborn Daddy won but then let me take over half way through.  My father’s town was shoddily plowed as well but I made it in and out with no major problems.

So headed southbound and as soon as I got on the Parkway, I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  I was stuck for at least 45 minutes in a 3 mile span because of an overturned car that I never saw.  It was stop and go all the way but the fun stuff came south of the bridge.  Not only did going north suck, southbound sucked too.

Again with the disappearing lanes!  What the Hell?  Five hours later at almost 5 pm I arrived home.  A trip that should have taken less than 2 hours!

Just another reason to hate New Jersey.  Highest property taxes.  Ridiculous cost of living.  Bully governor.  I cannot go on for fear I might offend someone.  That about sums it up.

Some people have to go to work because they don’t get paid if they don’t.  Isn’t the economy bad enough?  Listen, I know it was a lot of snow but why was the State is such disarray this time around?  Can anyone answer that?  I can’t.  I can only deal with the aftermath of this most-memorable blizzard.

I hope you’re all dug out and safe at home with your families.  Be well and…

Happy New Year!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010