Where I Was
On the Deck Restaurant & Bar, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Friday, June 14, 1:33 p.m.
Where I Sat
I settled with sitting at the inside bar before realizing there was just one more spot outside. The place was popping on this gorgeous Friday afternoon. I sat mid-bar with my back to the Atlantic and a full view of busy bartenders and laughing patrons.
Who Served Me
Kristen. She noticed that I was looking longingly at the outdoors. She immediately and enthusiastically encouraged me to move outside and enjoy the fabulous fresh air and gorgeous water view. So I did.
Bartender’s Favorite Bite
“Wait, let me see the menu to see what’s on special,” she answered. As soon as Kristen read the menu her expression lit up, followed immediately with, “Oh, the lobster stuffed avocado is so good!”
When I asked her why, she said, “I don’t know. It’s one of those things you wouldn’t think of, to put the lobster with the avocado. It’s interesting and light. And just really good.” And indeed, dear Kristen, you were right!
The Vibe and My Vantage Point
No frills. Rustic, start to finish. On the Deck sits above the bait and tackle shop adjacent to the SeaStreak ferry in Atlantic Highlands. The views of the ocean make it an ideal waterside spot whether you’re sitting indoors or out, regardless of whether it’s in season or the dead of winter.
What Quenched My Thirst
The Brinley Rum Bucket, $14
Brinley Shipwreck mango white and spiced rum orange juice pineapple and cranberry juices
At first, I mused, “Why in God’s name does anyone need to drink a bucket of anything?” The answer?! Because it’s just that good. The ideal combo of sweet and tart, this juicy, spicy delightful beverage was everything you’d expect when sipping outdoors overlooking the Atlantic. Packing a punch without warning, this drink is the epitome of “one and done!”
What Fed My Soul
Lobster Stuffed Avocado, $18
Lobster salad stuffed in half an avocado with pico de gallo and drizzled with sriracha mayo
The lobster salad, while a bit over-mayo’d, featured insanely generous amounts of identifiable lobster. Full pieces of lobster claw and chunks of tail meat filled the half of avocado with specks of finely diced chive for the punch of flavor. The avocado half provided the ideal indentation to hold a generous helping of lobster salad. The avocado, however, was fully intact.
I would’ve preferred if the sous chef prepared had removed it from the skin, dicing it and leaving it as a bed for the lobster to sit on. Getting the avocado off the skin was no easy feat. It was, however, ultimately well worth the effort, as the silkiness of its texture was just the right accompaniment to the lobster.
P.E.I. Mussels, $12
Served your choice of marinara, sweet or hot, or garlic white wine and served with crispy garlic bread
A heavenly, steaming mound of mussels glistened in their glory. I ordered them with the garlic white wine broth as it was midday. The dish served as a nice, light accompaniment against the lobster salad I had just devoured. Super fresh, supple, sweet. The garlic white wine broth was surprisingly excellent making the garlic toasts a welcome vessel for transporting the juicy goodness into my mouth without lifting the bowl to drink it.
Tuna Tacos, $15 (however prices vary based on daily market)
Rare grilled or blackened tuna, pico de gallo, lettuce, and drizzled with sriracha mayo
I’m not a fan of blackened or cajun so I got the naked, grilled version, and learned that the chef knows exactly what rare tuna was meant to be. Wildly fresh, the tacos were the perfect way to finish the meal. Light yet filling and honestly with tuna being the star there isn’t much more to report as I’m fairly confident it wasn’t the pico or sriracha that made theses tacos special. Fresh tuna all the way!
What’s on Tap
Angry Orchard, $6
Blue Moon, $5
Bud Light, $3
Cape May IPA, $6
Carton “This Town,” $5
Coors Light, $3
Goose Island IPA, $6
Kona Big Wave, $6
Miller Lite, $3
Sam Adams Octoberfest, $6
Stella Artois, $6
Selections may vary.
Red, white, peach, or strawberry
Zonin, split $10
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, $10
Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio $9
Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, $12
Riberas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, $10
Oyster Bay Pinot Noir, $12
Selections may vary.
What Else to Know
Ample seating is available both indoors and out. You’ll find super fresh seafood, as expected with an establishment that hugs the Atlantic coast. Amazing views all around. Guests can even watch the local ferries coming and going, depending on the time of day. Check out On the Deck’s website for more details.
When to Show
Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. to Late
Know Before You Go!
Hours may change during the off season. Please check the On the Deck website for the most up-to-date info.
On the Deck Restaurant & Bar
10 Simon Lake Drive
Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
A Lady Walks into a Bar™ is owned and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.