Windows Dining Room is a hidden gem of Monmouth County where students from the Monmouth County Vocational School District/Brookdale Community College Culinary Arts Program prepare lunches and dinners under the supervision of master chefs.
I have been ‘privy’ to Windows for quite awhile now and selfishly I admit have only brought ‘select’ friends and family who I could trust to keep my little gem a hidden treasure. I was afraid word would get out and it wouldn’t be my own little ‘secret’ anymore. Well, what can I say? I guess it is time to let the cat out of the bag.
Tucked away in a corner of Asbury Park High School, an entirely new culinary experience awaits you. After entering the main side door, you are brought down to a small second door which enters into the warm green dining room. Our hostess, Paige, greeted us with menus and sat us at a table with flowers, and a full view of the open kitchen. Waiters and Waitresses (and also Chefs-in-Training) stood lined up alert and anxious for their guests this evening.
Our waitress, Stacy, educated us on the menu for the evening. For dinner, the price of an entrée ($20.00 to $26.00) includes an appetizer, soup or salad, entrée and dessert, plus a nice warm fresh baked biscuit! Yum!
I found EXACTLY what I wanted (everything!) and so did my assistant on this outing, my husband (and photographer), Bob. I ordered the Pork Roulade with Roasted Pepper Tomato Sauce appetizer, the INCREDIBLE Crispy Duck and Rice Noodle Salad and the Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Gruyere cheese served with Purple Potato Cream and Succotash ( a first of many times for me I hope!) Bob’s selections included the Maryland Crab Cakes with Remoulade appetizer, Poblano Corn and Shrimp Chowder and Pan Trout with House Smoked Bacon with Dried Cherry Cornbread and Creamed leaks (Did I mention all of this food is completely fresh and prep work begins at 2:15 daily?) Of course, I had to taste everything including Bob’s selections (a wife’s prerogative). For dessert, at the suggestion of the entire staff, (maybe because it took us 5 minutes and counting and we were still undecided) we chose a selection of ALL the desserts for the evening! Yes, you heard me, you can order a dessert sampler with generous samples of – EVERYTHING! Can life get any better?
Thank you Principal/Director, Michael Sirianni, for setting up this beautiful dinner for us, and Chef Anthony and his culinary staff for pulling it off superbly! The warmth of the room, soft music and attentive staff, lovely menu items with picture-perfect presentation and superb preparation …..and, of course, the unbeatable price!…will bring us back over and over again.
At WINDOWS, I have also enjoyed ala carte lunches, themed buffet lunches on Fridays, and now dinner. I just found out that they also serve a brunch (next week!). Please note that the menu changes frequently due to the three week rotation of classes and chefs.
WINDOWS has been a ‘treat’ for me over the years and I now know it will be for you too!
The Culinary Education Center of Monmouth County: Windows Dining Room
A collaboration between Brookdale Community College and Monmouth County Vocational District
101 Drury Lane, Asbury Park, NJ
Open September – May (except holidays and school vacation times)
Weekdays for Lunch (seatings from 11:30 am to 12:30; party reservations and walk-ins)
Monday-Thursday for Dinner (seatings 5:15 – 6:30 pm; reservations required)
Beverly A. Beveridge, Monmouth County Regional Editor, JerseyBites.com
Bev resides in Eatontown with her husband, Bob, daughters, Melissa and Brittany, son, Glenn, dog, Bailey and cats, Kitty and Slodki (polish for honey/sweet). She enjoys dining out, piano, tennis, travelling, designing her JERSEY GIRL swimsuits and Calendar, music (especially Rock Concerts) and meeting people. Enjoy her ‘fun’ reviews! Passport to Peru – Home of the Jersey Girls Swimsuit models and ‘Calendar’ Girls! ‘Passport Swimsuits – A Swimsuit to fit ‘every body’. www.passporttoperu.net