The newest addition to Asbury Park‘s restaurant scene is Cross & Orange, which officially opens on February 12th, 2015. It is the creation of restaurateurs Bob and Chris Fahey, who also own Edgar’s Pub in Manasquan and the Asbury Lanes, and is located in the historic Park Overlook building, at 508 Cookman Ave.
Cross & Orange and its executive chef, Sam Byrne, pulled out all the stops for the soft opening, as we were treated to a best-of-the-best menu selection. The list presented to us looked quite simple, but each course was very elaborated, highlighting Sam’s culinary creativity, and there were many intermediary treats in between the courses.
Chef Sam Byrne is a Michelin-quality chef who has garnered his experience cooking in some of the most lauded kitchens throughout Europe, including France and Spain. He returns to the Jersey Shore to bring the Michelin standard to contemporary American cuisine.
The service was outstanding. The waiters were knowledgeable about the food, as well as pairing it with drinks, and they were extremely courteous throughout the night. To get things started, we were served a delicious house made brioche, on which they shaved black truffle which, combined with the butter, made it delicious.
The first appetizer was charred octopus, over a pea and fava bean relish. Especially the octopus leg was amazing, the best I’ve ever had. It was accompanied by cubed chorizo and a very good breaded potato. The other appetizer was seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with pain d’epices french toast and charred pineapple. I don’t eat foie gras, but other people in our group said it was very good. I should mention that I attended the tasting with my lovely wife Alina, as well as fellow blogger Stacey from Stacey Snacks, so we had the opportunity to exchange our impressions.
As an amuse-bouche, we were served charred shrimp with harissa and tsatsiki dip. I also don’t eat shrimp, but my friends said it was an outstanding combination.
Cross & Orange outdid themselves on the main entrees. First was the coq au vin, with confit thigh beignet, smoked bacon and pearl onion. The red wine poached chicken breast was again one of the best I’ve ever had, it was perfectly cooked and extremely tender. The other entree was the Dover Sole, with verjuice, spring onion and parsnip puree. This is not a very common fish you’d find in seafood restaurants. It’s a rare gourmet treat, and its special taste makes it one of the most expensive items on this restaurant’s menu. The dover sole came as a whole fish, but the meat was so tender that it easily came off the bones.
On the side, we had a triple cooked potato (breaded and fried), with an unusual and tasty kale mashed potato (colcanon). There were several other small items that were being brought in between the main courses, and I apologize if I forgot to mention some of them, given that there were served so much food to sample.
Finally, the dessert consisted of an apple pecan galette with goat cheese, and even after all that food I couldn’t leave any of it on the plate. One of the best pastries I’ve ever tried.
As drinks, the waiter did a good job recommending the wines that would match each course, but I also ventured into their signature cocktails. It was my first time trying the Corpse Reviver, which is strong even when you don’t feel the alcohol that much. It’s made with gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and a splash of absinthe. The other was the Moscow Mule, which contains vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. Cross & Orange also had a nice selection of beers, and I couldn’t leave without having one of my favorites, the Allagash White.
The restaurant also features a nicely-sized bar, and reservations are recommended through Open Table. More information is available on the website and Facebook page. We also have more pictures we took at the soft opening.
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