By Eileen and Paul Goldfinger, Editors at Blogfinger.
At The Bonney Read, 525 Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, they say that the restaurant’s theme is about pirates. But you could have fooled us. This place feels like and looks like a Parisienne bistro complete with tiles on the walls and floors. It is a lovely spacious place with high ceilings, a curvy bar, and gracious friendly service. They have about 40 rums to choose from at the bar, so I guess that’s the pirate gesture. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
The real point of it all is that The Bonney Read is a fine seafood restaurant. The menu is basic, but imaginative and appealing. We went on a Tuesday night when you can get two lobster rolls for the price of one. The dish was served with excellent French fries and some cole slaw. The cole slaw missed the boat , but the lobster rolls were terrific with only a gentle nod to mayonnaise.
There is a raw bar out in the open facing Cookman Avenue, with a raw bartender there who looks the part: tattoos, an outgoing personality, and a baseball hat turned backwards. I ordered a half dozen oysters, trying three different kinds. They superbly passed my test: fresh, cold and tasting of the ocean. On Wednesday nights you can get oysters for $1.00 each.
Eileen opened with a Caesar salad which was excellent–we split it; she said that it was the best she ever had, and I must agree.
We each had a glass of fine wine—a good selection.
The menu is tempting with many creative choices such as “Jersey Green” clam chowder, lobster bisque, mussels served three different ways, Spanish octopus, Alaskan snow crabs, and, of course, Maine lobsters.
You can get Cajun style shrimp by the pound and combo dishes such as 1 lb. shrimp and 1 lb. snow crab ($50.00) or 1.25 lb. lobster, dozen clams, dozen mussels ($80.00.)
Happy hour sounds great with a wide variety of “small dishes” such as mushrooms escabeche ($6.00) New England clam chowder ($7.5) and clams casino ($12.00). Other choices include Fisherman’s fry ($13), oyster po boy sliders ($17) and Ipswich steamers ($19.) You don’t have to sit at the bar for happy hour, and the happy time goes on all day on Wednesdays.
They also have sandwiches which include the Bonney Burger (Angus) which looked outstanding being devoured at the next table and buttermilk fried chicken among the selections.
And of course there is the fresh catch, linguine with clams, and fish & chips.
Since FISH closed, Bonney Read has become the go-to place in AP for sea food (not withstanding TAKA which is a Japanese sea food restaurant that is in a class of its own.) We give Bonney Read 4 of 5 Blogfingers.
SARAH VAUGHAN: Live at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen (1963). The music, of course, is from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.