On August 16th, Molly Pitcher hosted a Night on the Navesink: A Flavour Summer Soiree, an event highlighting the best of Red Bank’s flavours, that benefited Lunch Break and the Red Bank Middle School Athletic Foundation. From all the Red Bank Flavour events I’ve attended, this was definitely the biggest one. The awesome food, combined with those two great causes brought a crowd of over 600 people, something you rarely see in a local fundraiser. The three rooms inside the Inn were packed, and at the same time the outdoor patio overlooking the Navesink was quite crowded.
I started my culinary tour in the main room, where a jazz trio was also providing live entertainment. Some of Red Bank’s best restaurants were represented here:
Starting thing off, the host, Molly Pitcher Inn served an outstanding filet mignon carpaccio with a small veggie salad, while next to them their sister restaurant Pearl at Oyster Point offered crab cakes, also with a light salad.
- Teak had one of their signature dishes, the pineapple fried rice.
- One of my favorite dishes of the night was the Chinese pork butt at The Bistro, which left my mouth watering and had me come back at least a couple more times.
- I also returned several times to Dish which, like the last time I was at a similar event, served one of the finest, most tender slices of filet mignon carpaccio, with creamed spinach.
After all this meat, it was good to find Jamians, with their grilled cheese with prosciutto and Brie toast.
- Time for (the first) desert now, and what better place than Sugarush? Their cupcakes are always very good, and they have spirited names like Limoncello, Pink Champagne or Guiness.
- Boondocks Fishery served also their signature dish, the lobster roll. I don’t eat lobster, but rumor was that it was as good as it looked, so I’m sure it was outstanding.
- Front St. Trattoria again brought a very creative dish: grilled summer peach (oh yeah!) & shrimp cocktail, served over creamy polenta. It’s one of those things you can actually describe, you really have to taste them!
- Downtown offered delicious goat cheese and beets bruschetta while on the next table, their partner restaurant Red had the jumbo lump crab flatbread bruschetta with an wasabi-avocado mousse.
Taste was also there with a very yummy shrimp stir fry.
- Gaetanos offered spinach ravioli, which was very soft, a great piece of cooking!
- Danny’s Grill and Wine Bar didn’t have any food. Even better, they had wine, and I really needed a drink by that time, so I had a pinot grigio.
- The relatively new Blue Water Seafood had two other culinary masterpieces: Insalata di Mare (octopus, shrimp, calamari, mussels and sea scallops, over celery and cherry peppers, with lemon juice and olive oil), and great Tuna Nicoise with peppered sushi-grade seared tuna.
- Just when I was craving more wine, I found the Rodney Strong distributors, showcasing their merlot, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. I had the pinot and it was very good.
By now I was already full, so the second room took me by surprise. I took a few minutes off to relax and then got to the next room for a new round of restaurants.
- First was Pazzo with some meatballs and crab cakes.
- Then, desert time again! Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe had an awesome selection of chocolate covered fruits (and other products): Chocolate Covered Bacon, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, White Street Pretzel and much more sweet stuff.
- Via45 served an unbelievable summer salad, with rice, fresh chickpeas, grape tomatoes, zuchini, and white balsamic vinegar.
- Melting Pot had their desert fondue: vanilla and chocolate fudge cake that you could dip in the soft melted chocolate.
Readies offered another great-looking sandwich, with fresh mozzarella and eggplants.
- One of my favorite places, The Cheese Cave, never ceases to surprise me. This time, with the Push Pop, similar to those tube shots you get in a bar, but filled with watermelon, yellow tomatoes, arugula and of course cheese. They had several other exotic cheeses to taste, but the Push Pop was really unique.
- Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza (another of my favorite local places) served tasty barbeque wings and meatballs.
- Speaking of favorite places, I mentioned the cheese (appetizer), wings and meatballs (entree), so who was my favorite desert? Cupcake Magician, of course, with their yummy, creative, sweet cupcake treats!
- Finishing off the inside of the Inn was Belvedere Vodka, with surprisingly good flavored drinks like lemon tea vodka that attracted a big line.
There was so much outstanding food in one place. It’s a good thing many of them were bite-sized, so you can indeed try them all. I was a bit concerned because the bar was cash-only, and like usual I had no cash with me, but at least the wine and the vodka were good. And then I got outside, to enjoy the great weather on the patio, and found out there’s more to find there!
- Carton Brewing, our friends from Atlantic Highlands, served their main four beers. I had the ale Boat Beer, but they also offered three IPA’s.
- Next to them was Kane Brewing from Ocean Twp, with a Belgian white and a Belgian blonde.
- Tanteo Tequila was another refreshing stop, a very good tequila tasting, I remember especially the chocolate-flavored one.
Wine Sisterhood was set up more like a bar, you could get there win, but also liquor on the rocks and simple cocktails.
- For a final desert, the Sicilian Cafe served icecream in many flavors, but the chocolate and capuccino one was the best.
- So after wine, vodka, beer and tequila I was convinced I can’t have any more drinks. But that was until I found Bulldog Gin. Another new brand for me and it was incredible. It was one of the tastiest, most flavorful spiced gins I ever tried!
This was by far the best Red Bank Flavour food tasting event I’ve attended. It’s rare to find that many fine restaurants altogether and I think it’s very good promotion for the busy Red Bank culinary scene. Also, my friends at Lunch Break were extremely happy because this event helped them raise a lot of money for the soup kitchen. If the dishes I mentioned sounded good, why not go try them yourself, so stop at one of the local restaurants next time you’re in town!
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