Home > Cocktails > A Lady Walks into a Bar…Trama’s at One Willow

A Lady Walks into a Bar…Trama’s at One Willow


Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth County

Where I WasTrama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth County

Trama’s at One Willow, Highlands, NJ

When, Exactly

Sunday, September 1, 4:03 p.m.

Where I Sat

I headed straight to the outdoor bar, just steps from the small beach and Atlantic Ocean.  

Who Served Me

Mike, who was super friendly and accommodating. 

Bartender’s Favorite Bite

“I know it’s gonna sound weird, but have to say the shrimp cocktail,” Mike said. “It’s just the way they cook them. They skewer them so the shrimp stay straight, not curled. Just a nice presentation.” I wasn’t sold but maybe next time! 

Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth CountyThe Vibe and My Vantage Point

Truth be told, this was my third visit to One Willow in just under two weeks. I took girlfriends for a milestone birthday celebration, then my whole family when we celebrated our middle son Luca’s 15th birthday.

I walked through the inside space first to snap some pics and the bar was dotted with folks enjoying a late-afternoon cocktail. The restaurant was less crowded, with perhaps a table or two seated. As I headed outside, I could easily see both the restaurant seating and the entire bar space, which was absolutely packed.

However, like I am with parking spots (luckiest person ever) so too am I with bar seats. Sure enough there was one seat wide open in the sunshine. I grabbed it—facing the ocean and with a full view of the tables set up toward the marina side. I could also see the band setting up on the restaurant level, with the outside bar about a flight of short steps beneath it.

I had an ideal spot indeed, nestled next to the nicest couple, whom I came to chat with: Henry and Blanca (credit for my pic this week goes to Henry!).

What Quenched My Thirst

Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth County

All Inclusive

All Inclusive, $12
Rum, coconut, chartreuse, orange, and lemon served over crushed ice and garnished with an edible purple pansy

I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate a Sunday afternoon of Labor Day weekend than with a lovely, summery tropical delight of a drink. This one didn’t disappoint. The presentation was stunning—the contrast of the cocktail’s color with the delicate purple flower was magnificent. And it was cold, not overly coconut-y and just the right blend of citrus—it was hard to take it slow!

What Fed My Soul

Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth County

Fish tacos

Fish Tacos with the Fish of the Day, $21
Today the fish was mahi-mahi, lightly battered and pan fried, served in a corn tortilla with salsa verde, pico, and Cotija cheese served with fries

The mahi was lightly battered sauteed beautifully to the perfect cook. The fresh salsa verde and nice punch to the suppleness of the fish – the cheese a light, cool addition – super fresh and tasty. A nice light bite for sure!  The fries were so good – lightly battered as well and fried to perfection, an airy interior to complement the crusty outside – mmmmmm.

Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth County

Lobster roll

Lobster Roll, $28
Fresh Maine lobster, chervil, fennel, and lemon aioli served with lightly battered fries

This lobster roll was really like none I’ve seen—even in Maine. This was not minced—not diced—not coarsely chopped. This was a mountainous pile of gorgeously whole pieces of lobster tail and claw, all pieces identifiable and voluptuously plump.

The taste was astonishing—a true balance between a Connecticut and Maine Lobster roll. It was super lightly dressed yet so flavorful, while allowing the lobster to shine through. The roll was too weak to sustain the heft of the lobster piled on but it was delicious and perfectly toasted.  

Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth County

Little neck clams

Little Neck Clams, $18
Steamed, white wine, garlic, butter

Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth CountyHonestly, wasn’t going to order them. I always love clams made this way, and cook them myself quite well. I wanted something different but when Mike suggested the shrimp cocktail he could tell I wasn’t going for it so he asked Charlie, who was unequivocal. Done!

They arrived and I could tell right away these were not going to be ordinary. Aha! I could see why—thin slices of fennel sat within the buttery juice below the clams…and what’s more?! NO BREAD! I was really happy about this, as I would’ve eaten a loaf by dipping alone! The clams were exquisite and I don’t use that term lightly—DO get them when you go and I only hope yours are as good as these. Even as full as I felt, I kept going back for more—the more juice from the bottom, the better! They were so insanely good I had to share with Henry, Blanca, and their kids!

What’s on Tap

Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth CountyAsbury Sea Dragon, NJ $9
7% ABV

Troegs Sunshine Pils, PA , $7 
4.5% ABV

Carton This Town Lager, NJ $6
4.9% ABV

Jug Handle Mosaic Pale Ale NJ, $7
5.2% ABV

Dogfish Head Namaste White, DE, $7
4.8% ABV

Victory Cloud Walker IPA, PA, $7
6.8% ABV

Selections may vary.

What’s Uncorked

Rosé
Moulin de Gassac Guilhem – Languedoc, France, $9

Sparkling
Elio Perrone Moscato d’Asti Sourgal – Piedmont, Italy, $8
LaLucca Prosecco – Veneto, Italy, $9

Sauvignon Blanc 
Foucher-Lebrun Sancerre Le Mont – Loire, France, $15
Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough, New Zealand, $10

Chardonnay
Raeburn – Russian River, California, $14
Bleeker – Healdsburg,California, $10

Reds
Trama's, Highlands, Jersey Bites, Gabrielle Garofalo, A Lady Walks into a Bar, Monmouth CountyMalbec
Fina Sophenia Malbec Altosur – Mendoza, Argentina, $10 

Pinot Noir
Wyatt – California, $11
Left Coast Cellars – – Willamette Valley, Oregon, $14

Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Hall Artisan Collection – Paso Robles, California, $12

Alternative Reds
Villa Pillo Super Tuscan Borgoforte – Tuscany, Italy, $11
Hitching Post Generation Red – Central Coast, California, $13

There are significantly more selections by the bottle. Please note that list and offerings may vary.

What Else to Know

Trama’s hosts happy hours Mondays through Thursdays. Click here for details on what’s featured. 

When to Show

Closed on Mondays
Lunch
Thursday through Sunday Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Dinner
Tuesday through Sunday 5 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Happy Hours
Tuesday through Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m
Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Know Before You Go!

Get the latest information and updates on Facebook or by checking the website.

Trama’s at One Willow
1 Willow Street
Highlands, NJ 07732
732-730-7770

A Lady Walks into a Bar™ is owned and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.

 

 

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