By Karen Irvine ~
Locals’ Summer is the time of year when our waterfront restaurants are returned to the locals who live here year-round. The summer crowds of seasonal visitors are gone, and so too are the long lines. Tables and bar seats are plentiful as are parking spaces while the weather in September and October is still comfortable, sunny and warm. So now is the time to enjoy refreshing cocktails, a variety of innovative and traditional delicious dishes, at the Shore’s favorite waterfront restaurants with outrageously gorgeous views.
And thanks to healthy competition there are a variety of waterfront dining options abundant with midweek deals. There are casual, yet elegant restaurants like the Salt Creek Grille in Rumson on the banks of the Navesink River; oceanfront fine dining on the beach in a sophisticated, art-filled interior or outdoor deck at DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke – the Shores’ only celebrity, world-renowned chef; and the super-casual, seasonal, BYO The Boondocks Fishery in Marine Park in Red Bank.
Dock and Dine is also a wonderful dining alternative available to our region and there is no better place to tie up your boat, jet ski or kayak than at Salt Creek Grille’s exclusive dock.
The popular American grill offers its award-winning Happy Hour Monday – Friday 4-6:30. With its floor-to-ceiling windows capturing the ever-changing sunsets over the horizon dotted with billionaire’s estates it’s easy to see why this landmark restaurant was voted the Jersey Shore’s Most Scenic View.
You will also be blown away by the savings: half-off wine by the glass (over 30 selections) and a special bar menu with many favorites including Salt Creek Grille’s signature Baby Back Ribs, Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp, Creek Sliders, salads, pizza and more. Salt Creek Grille also features a drink special, all night Monday – Thursday. Mondays it is ½ off bottles of wine; Tuesdays, 1/2 off all draft beer; Wednesdays, all wines by the glass ½ off and Thursday 1/2 off Specialty Menu Martinis.
Delight in the ocean breezes while enjoying world-class cocktails and appetizers on the outdoor deck at DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke during their nightly “Angry Hour”, the libations, bar menu and the savings are guaranteed to turn your frown upside down.
Angry Hour is available Tuesday – Saturday 4-7 and on Sunday 3-7 p.m. at the Hendrix Bar (named after the bar’s iconic original painting of Jimi Hendrix) and on the Sunset Deck (named after, well, the spectacular sunsets over Shrewsbury River.) The restaurant is closed Mondays.
All beers and select wines by the glass are ½ off, $3 off house cocktails, $9 cocktail du jour. The special menu includes David Burke’s famous Cheddar Burger, Charcuterie, PEI Mussels, Shrimp and Avocado Guactail and East and West Coast Oysters $2 a piece. And, there is no better backdrop to relax and slurp down some briny shucked-to-order oysters pulled minutes before from the restaurant’s custom-made oyster and lobster salt water tanks. That’s as fresh as they come.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at The Boondocks Fishery, a seasonal, tented, outdoor, BYO restaurant on the wharf in Marine Park, it’s “Lobstuh Night”, which includes two Maine lobsters, Jersey corn and roasted potatoes for $27.95, plus tax and gratuity.
The casual eatery will be open until September 19, after that you’ll have to wait until May 2020 when it reopens.
So, bring along a light sweater and enjoy Locals’ Summer at the Jersey Shore’s scenic waterfront restaurants.
DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke, Driftwood Cabana Club, 1485 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright www.drifthousedb.com (732) 530-9760
Salt Creek Grille, 4 Bingham Avenue, Rumson www.saltcreekgrille.com (732) 933-9272
The Boondocks Fishery, 1 Wharf Avenue, Red Bank (732) 747- 7177 https://www.facebook.com/LOBSTUH/