Keyport Restaurants: A Sunday stroll through the "Pearl of the Bayshore"

Peter and I went for an impromptu tour of Keyport yesterday. We had heard about Trinity’s sister restaurant, the Bulkhead Bar & Grill, and we wanted to check it out.

As you can see from the picture, its got one of the prettiest views of all the Keyport restaurants. There is outside dining as well as a large indoor bar and tables. TV’s everywhere, so if you feel like sitting and watching the game over a few standard fare appetizers and pub menu, this is the place. Don’t expect any craft beers or interesting wines. This place is strictly for the basics. And, since Peter and I are always on our “quest for food with attitude” we had one drink and set out for more “tude.”

Just up the road we spotted an Irish looking joint called McDonagh’s Pub. Peter figured his search for better beer might be realized here, so we stopped in. I instantly spotted something I’d never seen before on the menu: fried pickles. Yes, there they are.

The waitress said they were a favorite, so we had to give them a try. I will say that I really enjoyed them. Sometimes when you order fried zucchini or fried mushrooms, the vegetable has very little flavor. Its hard to damage or diminish the mighty pickle. If you stop in to McDonagh’s give them try. We will definitely give this restaurant a return visit. They have outdoor dining and do full service catering. I’m sure they do a mean St. Patty’s Day.

After our pickles, we headed to our last and favorite stop, Trinity Restaurant. Here we are in their unbelievably spotless kitchen with Chef d’Ennery. Our new friend with the glasses is Dani who writes for The Average Cook and is a member of JerseyBiters.

Yes, we’ve already done a review here, but I must comment on the food last night. All I can say is, I have never in my life had a more wonderful soft shell crab, ever!!! I actually had all but given up on soft shells because whenever I order them, its like biting into a regular hard shell crab, bleck. Chef d’Ennery said he hand picks the softies himself. He looks for a velvety texture. Thank you chef for going the extra mile, it really shows in the final product.

After the amazing crab, we ordered the Thai Spiced Chicken Spring Rolls and the Green and White Asparagus. Both were fabulous. The asparagus will be coming off the menu for the summer, so I’m glad I got the chance to sample it. I really loved the white asparagus. I’m going to have to start keeping my eye out for it.

For dinner Peter order the Strube Ranch 100% Wagyu Burger with foie gras, onion marmelade and truffle cheese and out of this world homemade ketchup. I think this will sate Peter’s burger cravings for quite a while.

I had the Salmon special with watermelon salsa. Chef d’Ennery scolded me for removing the skin. He informed me that the skin was the best part and is crunchy and salty like a fishy potato chip. So, I put the skin right back on and enjoyed every bite. I had never even contemplated eating the skin before. I have been schooled.

All in all, what a great day. If you get the chance to dedicate a Sunday afternoon to wandering around Keyport, take advantage of it. I’d love to see the rest of downtown pick up and become the old Red Bank I remember growing up, before it became the “It” place.

If you do visit any of the above mentioned eateries, please come back and leave your comments on your experiences.