Where I Was
Mr, Shrimp, Belmar, NJ
Thursday, September 12, 11:54 a.m.
Where I Sat
My arrival was early (really still almost breakfast time for me) and I needed to hunker down. Little did they know I was setting up my temporary office while getting a review done between conference calls. So I wandered to the far side of the dining room and tucked myself into a booth—cozy with ample space to set up my laptop and dive into the deliciousness.
Who Served Me
Ashley, who was friendly and the ideal level of attentive, given that I hung out for well over three hours!
Server’s Favorite Bite
“I really like the hot and spicy shrimp! In fact, that’s what I had for dinner last night, it’s so good. It has hot and red peppers in a red sauce—soooo good.”
The Vibe and My Vantage Point
The Mr. Shrimp makeover looks amazing. Bright, clean, chic. I love the gray stained wood floors, the clean white walls with graphic fish stencils and the light fixtures are gorgeous, and let’s not forget the mix of seating and booths and the new bar seating area. Given my seating location on the other side of the booths, toward the back dining area, I had a good view of the bar area and the small service window that may be used during private parties. I loved the drapery that sectioned off the back dining tables for private events and overheard two women at the bar making plans for their own shindig—fun!
What Fed My Soul
Steamed with fresh celery and a touch of celery salt, served with hot steamer broth and melted drawn butter.
The plate arrived in a glorious burst of color. The steamers in their gorgeous gray hewn shells with small pinstripes, the coloration of the belly, the deep dark protective cover and the bright green of the sliced celery was stunning. Unlike most steamer presentations, they were served on a flat plate, not in their own broth, looking like they were styled for Food & Wine. The flavor delightful, if not a tiny bit sandy (which only proves their freshness!). I liked the restraint used with the celery salt and seasoning allowing the delightful nature of the steamer itself to be the shining star. The broth and butter were delightful and really enjoyed that the broth remained suitably warm throughout the entire experience.
Fried Scallop Sandwich, $15.99
Scallops lightly breaded and fried then served on a roll with a side of coleslaw, lettuce, tomato, and your choice of fries or onion straws. Can substitute with long-grain rice, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, or a steamed veggie for a $1 upcharge.
I have never eaten a fried scallop in my life and wasn’t really sure I was psyched when the plate arrived—the scallops on the roll looked so, well, tan! (It reminded me of when I yell at my kids for having no color on their plate.) I considered the lettuce and tomato and wasn’t feeling it, then it struck me—I’m dropping the coleslaw and tartar right up on the rolls and SHAZAM! My taste buds could not have been more appreciative of my love of condiments and slaw for this was just shy of a religious experience.
It didn’t hurt that I was sipping a sultry sauv blanc from California which made the pop all the more prevalent. The sweetness of the scallop against the light crisp of the fry was sheer delight and the slaw, homemade, had the perfect acidity to cut into the suppleness of the scallop itself. Then, the tartar did its magical job of adding punch with the relishy addition—I’m for sure going back for another one of these and next time with the onion straws in case I want to add them to sandwich too!
Pepper Tuna Salad, $16.99
Pepper crusted tuna steak on a bed of artisanal harvest blend greens, cucumber, roasted red peppers, plum tomatoes, carrots and sliced red onion served with a balsamic vinaigrette (or your choice of dressing) on the side.
Honestly, I was stuffed so wanted to get something that was light and also could pack up for home as there was NO WAY I could really eat much more after the colossal scallop sandwich!
What Else to Know
Mr. Shrimp is also a fresh fish market and keeps the same hours as the restaurant. Mr. Shrimp offers dining in, takeout, gift cards and is available for private parties. The salad arrived and seemed massive. Certainly a plentiful meal on its own at lunch OR dinner.
The tuna steak was deeply crusted and a nice size, I’m guessing about 6+ ounces. The taste was delightful, the crunch and flavor of the peppercorns blended beautifully against the heft of the tuna steak. The blend among the salad greens and raw veggies delicious. I’m usually disappointed with restaurant vinaigrettes this one was awesome—blended well and balanced with thoughtful seasonings and light herbs.
When to Show
Seven days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Know Before You Go!
BYO! For daily fish specials at the market click here. Get the latest information by checking the website.
1608 Route 71
Belmar, NJ 07719
A Lady Walks into a BYO™ and A Lady Walks into a Bar™ are owned, operated and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.