By Karen Irvine ~
We spend most of the year waiting and waiting for the deliciously warm Jersey Shore summer days to arrive. Then just three short months later, poof, it’s all gone! That’s why locals are so inventive when it comes to stretching each precious summer day out to its fullest. And they know a thing or two about stretching hard-earned recreational dollars too – without sacrificing quality. The trick? Choose westerly facing restaurants and non-peak time Happy Hours and Midweek Deals. We have assembled three of the locals’ most favorite restaurants with sunsets and deals.
The Salt Creek Grille, Rumson, with its spectacular location at the foot of the Oceanic Bridge offers unobstructed views of sunsets over the Navesink River. Fans point to co-owner, Steve Bidgood’s hands-on approach to the restaurant’s continued popularity throughout a successful 20-year history. In fact, Bidgood personally greets many of his customers by name and is also known for his very generous philanthropic endeavors within the community. Salt Creek Grille is one of the Jersey Shore’s most popular locations for enjoying beautiful sunsets with its panoramic views.
The ski-lodge like restaurant with its Craftsman-style architecture is gorgeous complete with outdoor fire pit. The delicious American grill menu centers around an authentic mesquite wood grill. On most nights complementary valet parking is available for convenient parking even on the busiest of nights. Even boaters get a break here at Salt Creek Grille and can arrive by boat and tie up at the restaurant’s exclusive dock.
Inside there is a large bar with comfortable leather bar chairs, which is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing cocktail, craft beer or freshly made artisan cocktail after a day on the beach or boating. Every seat has a beautiful waterfront view. A long banquette has several tables that make a great place for a crowd of friends to gather. Several high-top tables are available throughout the lounge area for a more intimate experience and there are four super-popular tables with floor-to-ceiling views at the riverfront windows. The restaurant’s award-winning Happy Hour leading up to sunset is served from 4 – 6:30 p.m. every Monday – Friday.
Salt Creek Grille
4 Bingham Avenue
Rumson (732) 933-9272 www.saltcreekgrille.com
Across the river from Rumson is Sea Bright, which has made an amazing comeback after Superstorm Sandy struck the tiny, narrow strip of sandy land in 2012. In fact it has rebounded into a dining destination with internationally acclaimed chefs, veteran restaurateurs and small mom and pop eateries. Two of the restaurants favored by locals for sunsets, food, drinks and value are Drifthouse, and Rum Runner, both offer super deals throughout the year including the entire summer season. Drifthouse is owned by celebrity chef and New Jersey native David Burke and Rum Runner is owned by local musician and philanthropist Tim McLoone.
Drifthouse is David Burke’s latest culinary adventure located at the former site of Ama Ristorante at Driftwood Cabana Club. While the seasonal beach club is private, the restaurant located on the second level remains open to the public year-round. The restaurant’s interior received a total makeover and now embraces a chic beach vibe. Throughout Drifthouse are many original works of art by current urban artists on loan from Detour Gallery, Red Bank. The artwork along with the stunning views provide the perfect backdrop to Chef Burke’s very creative and delicious New American menu. From its lofty perch, Drifthouse provides stunning bird’s eye views of the ocean to the east and ever-changing sunset views over the Shrewsbury River to the west and an outdoor dining deck for those who can’t get enough of the ocean breezes.
The menus feature a selection of unique plates, big and small, delicious house-made pastas, a variety of sides for the table to share and super fresh seafood. Our DB signature’s and fan faves such as the ‘Maple Bacon on a Clothesline’, the Octopus and Chorizo Kebabs, Pastrami Smoked Salmon, and the legendary US Patented Salt-Aged Prime Beef like our 34oz. 40-Day Salt-Aged Porterhouse for two continue to please and inspire awe day in and day out.
Drifthouse by David Burke
1485 Ocean Avenue
Sea Bright (732) 530-9760 www.drifthousedb.com