Home > Cocktails > A Lady Walks into a Bar…Nauti Bar by David Burke

A Lady Walks into a Bar…Nauti Bar by David Burke


A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Nauti Bar, Sea Bright, Monmouth CountyWhere I Was

Nauti Bar by David Burke, Sea Bright, NJ

When, Exactly

Friday, November 30, 2:59 p.m.

Where I Sat

I arrived just as the hour struck 3 p.m. (opening time at Nauti). The bar was empty with the exception of two maintenance fellows working on the sliding glass door closure, the bartender who was busily decorating the newly placed Christmas tree with blue and white Hanukkah lights, and two kitchen masters—Francisco and Kristin—prepping behind the bar. So of course, I went straight for the sweetest seat in the house: corner spot, next to the window looking out to the great blue beyond.

Who Served Me

Michele, who introduced herself after having left her place at the tree to swing back around the bar. She joined Nauti after the reopening a couple of months back. Bright blue eyes matched only by her sparkly demeanor and big smile. Before long the bar was filling up, and Michele did her part to tuck everyone in one by one, like every great bartender should.

Bartender’s Favorite Bite

As always, I ask my bartender her favorite item on the menu. Without much provocation, Michele comes right out with it. “On the snack side,” she said, “oh, the clothesline bacon. It’s such a thick cut. It’s not the thin bacon you get at breakfast. And it’s just, the maple. I am such a bacon freak and this is just the best. It will single-handedly make me resize my wardrobe, at least one size up!” I loved the way she spoke as if meditating all the while. (And more on the bacon below.)

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Nauti Bar, Sea Bright, Monmouth County

The Vibe and My Vantage Point

Easy, breezy, full exhale. What more could you want from a tiki bar? Simple, glass enclosed, and set out on the sand, facing the ocean. It’s a magical place off season. As a former member of the Driftwood Cabana Club (home of Drifthouse by David Burke), I loved the tiki, but it was no Nauti Bar then. The drinks were bar swill and the cups plastic. No food in sight and no vibe whatsoever. The new change is a complete breath of fresh air. Not because the decor is markedly different or even because the bar menu now includes really decent wine and beers. No longer just for summer lovin’, Nauti is now a real destination thanks to the simple-yet-poignant culinary magic only David Burke brings.

What Quenched My Thirst

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Nauti Bar, Sea Bright, Monmouth County

Pisco Spiced Cookie

Pisco Spiced Cookie, $12
Kahlúa, RumChata

Holiday goodness in a glass with a sprinkle of chocolate. I am really not your typical creamy, after-dinner-drink kinda woman, but the one cocktail I wanted was just removed from the menu for the season. So, with a limited specialty drink menu (and even though Michele will make anything), she recommended the “cookie” due to its irresistible appeal and customer compliments she’s received. Interestingly, it wasn’t syrupy sweet like I anticipated; it was straightforward yet potent. I can’t imagine having more than one but this one was an absolute delight!

What Fed My Soul

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Nauti Bar, Sea Bright, Monmouth County

Bacon on a Clothesline

Bacon on a Clothesline, $15
With pickle, lemon
Are you kidding me? When this dish arrived before me, I saw it: Bacon, literally hanging from a clothesline. I was enamored with the whole idea. But wait! There’s more. A blowtorch! YES. A flipping blowtorch. Over comes Francisco with a blowtorch. He begins to sear the maple bacon, right there. My eyes glaze over as I’m drawn into the hot, blue heat of the torch’s flame. Watching as the bacon slowly drips its goodness onto the pickle spear below. So elegant. I could not wait to taste it! The novelty of the presentation continues with the clothespins to hold the bacon and scissors to cut (to avoid scorching your fingers). Michele was right: this was not your typical breakfast bacon. Thick cut, maply, but not overly done. With a little squeeze of lemon it brings out the sweet top notes letting the smoky, fatty depths linger on the tongue. If you like bacon, and maybe even if you don’t, this is a dish worth ordering—even if only for the blowtorch.
A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Nauti Bar, Sea Bright, Monmouth County

Lord of the Wings

Lord of the Wings, $12
Thai style, with shishito peppers, radishes, scallions, chili sauce

Grilled to perfection, this plentiful pile of chicken wings arrived unlike any before. Glistening with a gooey, colorful topping of Thai chili sauce, scallions, and razor-thin sliced radishes, the colors popping off the plate were only matched by the aroma wafting up. The shishito peppers wilted beneath the heft of the wings, adding another layer of gorgeous light green color and smoky mild peppery goodness. This was a really fresh take on the regular ol’ chicken wing.

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Nauti Bar, Sea Bright, Monmouth County

Prosciutto and arugula pie

Prosciutto and Arugula Pie, $13
With grapes, pine nuts, Parmesan

As you may know, I love a prosciutto-arugula combo. The pies are really cooked just right: a bit larger than a single-serve with generous amounts of gorgeous green arugula combined with ribbons of prosciutto. The “wow” came from the sweet pop of slightly roasted red grapes against the nutty charm of the tiny pignoli. A nice touch of contrast for a pizza combo that’s become so ubiquitous.

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Nauti Bar, Sea Bright, Monmouth County

Beyond the Bar

Located on the property of the Driftwood Cabana Club, Nauti Bar offers a true respite from the dreary days of winter with good vibes and a great view. Happy hours feature three-course tasting menus and 25% off wine selections. Of course, the bar is game-time ready, complete with multiple TV screens.

When to Show

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 3:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Friday: 3:00 to 11:00 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Know Before You Go!
Happy hour takes place daily. Please check the website for more information.

Hours, prices, and menus are subject to change.

Nauti Bar by David Burke
1485 Ocean Avenue
Sea Bright NJ 07760
732-530-2047​
[email protected]

This article was not paid for, nor influenced by, the restaurant/bar featured in this column.
A Lady Walks into a Bar™ is owned and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.
You may also like
Red Rock Tap & Grill, Red Bank, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Jersey Bites
A Lady Walks into a Bar…Red Rock Tap & Grill
David Burke at Orange Lawn Coming to South Orange, Veronique Deblois, Jersey Bites
Coming to Essex County: David Burke at Orange Lawn
A Lady Walks into a Bar…Sirena Ristorante
Celebrity Chef David Burke and More from the Two Fat Guys Show