July 5, 2010

Dinner by the Shore - Matisse in Belmar, New Jersey

Last weekend, a weekend full of celebrations! We had my birthday, my youngest son’s birthday and my in-laws celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. We were also lucky enough to have my sis-in-law and nephew from Arizona visiting us!

To celebrate all of these wonderful events, we went to this fabulous restaurant in Belmar, New Jersey – Matisse. We’ve gone there in the past to celebrate birthdays and such, but as my mother-in-law said… we should go there more often and not just for special occasions. The food was wonderful and the service was excellent.

The restaurant overlooks the beach in Belmar, so the view while dining is nothing less than gorgeous. One of the benefits of living in New Jersey (and there are a few in spite of what the rest of the world may think!), is that many restaurants are BYO (Bring Your Own) wine, beer, etc. My mother-in-law had dropped off our bottles of wine ahead of time and they had them chilled and ready to pour as soon as we were seated and looking over the menu.

The menu is varied with everything from fresh seafood to chicken to steak. We enjoyed one of the appetizers that was a special that evening. A trio that included Clams with the most flavorful sauce (would be perfect to soak up with the fresh baked bread that they serve), pulled pork sliders and scallop ceviche. The kids DEVOURED the pork sliders, so I did not get a chance to sample that for myself, but based on how much they enjoyed them I’d highly recommend them! The scallops were a huge hit with all of us as well, so full of flavor but not so citrus-y to be overwhelming.

I started with their version of the Caeser salad, which was served with a crostini topped with an olive tapenade. It is a good thing that it just had two of those crostini’s on it because I could so easily have many more! Then, I had the Crispy Seared Red Snapper with Ginger, Garlic, Cilantro Soy And Sesame Sticky Rice. It was cornmeal crusted and sauce made the dish hard to stop eating it was so full of flavor – it really made the dish. It was supposed to have cilantro on it, but not being a fan of that herb they were nice enough to leave it off for me.

My husband and sister-in-law both had the Cast Iron Skillet Seared Day Boat Sea Scallops With Chive Potato Tart and Sweet Pea Coulis. I tried one of the scallops and it was cooked perfectly and the potato tart and next time would definitely order that dish so I could have more of it to myself!

We finished the meal with a table full of desserts! It was a potpourri of all of their offerings and we all shared a bit of each one. I’d have to say though that the overall highlight was the chocolate crème brulee … truly OUT OF THIS WORLD and I believe my sister-in-law is working on getting the recipe from the chef.

If you are ever in Belmar, do make sure to enjoy dinner at Matisse with your family. They do have a children’s menu which has many options to accommodate the various tastes of all different kids.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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