With an enticing menu, an outstanding beverage program, and excellent service in beautiful surroundings, Avenue is elegant yet accessible: everything fine dining should be. This rare gem, which has been open since 2005, deserves a spot at the top of your list of year-round Jersey shore destinations.
The 5,000-square-foot interior has towering ceilings and comfortable banquettes, along with tables to accommodate parties of all sizes. The expansive 25-foot bar replicates the hull of a ship and is ideal for the oceanfront setting. The combination of an inviting indoor fireplace and outdoor seating add to Avenue’s year-round friendliness.
When you go, plan a relaxed meal so you can fully appreciate your Avenue visit.We stopped by early on a Sunday evening, and enjoyed Executive Chef Josh Sauer’s menu of contemporary cuisine with an authentic French flair. Our server, Richard, helped us make just the right selections.
We started with a few of Avenue’s favorite house appetizers: escargot with parsley garlic butter (a perfectly seasoned delicacy) and the signature Avenue salad, with baby greens, shaved vegetables, avocado, and grilled shrimp complemented with light lemon vinaigrette. There is also an impressive choice of “plateaux de fruits de mer” or seafood plates that include East and West Coast oysters, little neck clams, king crab legs, lobster, and shrimp cocktail.
The selection of entrees has something to suit everyone’s tastes and dietary preferences with seafood, meat dishes and more. You won’t find a better beef bourguignon anywhere. The tender braised beef is prepared with a rich red wine sauce, vegetables and lardons served over delicate ribbons of fresh pappardelle pasta. The roasted branzino has a distinctive grapefruit pommery sauce that is a delicious version of mustard cream sauce. We suggest you round out your meal with a side for table sharing like pommes frites, roasted Brussels sprouts, macaroni gratin or exotic mushrooms. There’s something to appreciate in the presentation of each beautiful dish.
Linger a little longer. Pastry Chef Stuart Marx prepares tempting selections with the perfect balance of flavor and sweetness. Some of the scrumptious offerings include crème brulee, chocolate truffle cake, warm apple tarte tatin and the ice cream or sorbet selection. In the summer, he presents his seasonal toasted coconut layer cake.
Sip and savor. Specialty cocktails should not be missed. Thierry Carrier, general manger and manager of operations, has created a drink menu that includes a blood orange margarita with tequila, fresh lime, and fresh blood orange. The peach passion is made with 360 Georgia peach vodka, champagne, white peach and passion fruit. And of course, Avenue has a remarkable wine list and beer selections to pair with your meal.
You’ll want to stop by for the Avenue Happy Hour, every day from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. and (Fridays from til 10.) At the bar, you’ll find special prices on martinis, specialty cocktails, wine by the glass, oysters, and clams. Monday is Margarita and Taco Night and they also have a weekly Bar Burger Thursday.
23 Ocean Avenue
Photos courtesy of Avenue. Mussels shown at top.