NEW IN TOWN – Summer 2023

We looked for new restaurants that have opened within the past year but who haven’t been visited yet by the summer crowds. But, we also listed some notable mentions because they have either updated their menus, opened a new location or refreshed their space. Hope you can stop in to support these fabulous local business owners from our area! 

The Loaded Spoon

{108 Schanck Rd, Freehold; 732.813.8700} The Loaded Spoon is an exciting new restaurant and bar in Freehold next to IPlay America. Beautiful décor and atmosphere entice you to dine in the main dining room or on their indoor/outdoor garden style patio. An insta-worthy selfie wall sets the mood at the entrance. Enter into the upscale dining room with a full bar live DJs every Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday Brunch. Owner Robert McDaid wanted “to bring a new and exciting dining experience to the area unlike anything else, from the ambiance surrounding you, to the food and beverage served.” The menu was chosen carefully. “The Loaded Spoon offers original dishes, creative cocktails and decadent desserts in the most captivating space.” McDaid explains. “We are thrilled to open this new dining experience to our community and strive to exceed expectations in food, service, and atmosphere for our guest’s time and time again.” On the #getloaded menu choose the unparalleled G.T.O., Garlic Toast Overload with eggplant caponata, whipped ricotta and garlic confit. The main dish Angry Shrimp, with aged cheddar polenta, ancho chili crusted, smoked heirloom tomato, and cilantro pesto will satisfy your taste buds. The Cut Above Menu offers a 16 oz. Prime Ribeye, butchered in house, with an option to add a tasty steak sauce such as the Smoked Moody Blue Mornay. Open Tuesday and Wednesday 4pm to 11pm. Thursday 4pm to 1am. Friday 4pm to 2am. Saturday 11am to 2am. Sunday 11am to 10pm. DJs every Friday and Saturday starting at 9pm. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays 11am-3pm with a DJ Every Sunday at 12 noon. 

The Brownstone Pancake Factory

{3445 US-9, Freehold; (201) 945-4800} The beautiful Brownstone Pancake Factory opened in Freehold celebrating their fourth location in NJ. The interior design is playful and inviting, with a charming carousel of white horses and delightful balloon shaped lighting throughout. This design is reminiscent of a whimsical boardwalk by the shore. Owner Bobby Bournias loves this area of Jersey. “We are very excited to be in Freehold and Monmouth County. We hope the community enjoys the experience that we create for our customers here, not just with food but with service, décor, and atmosphere.” He smiles and adds, “And of course the carousel & our over-the-top food creations!” Famous for their scrumptious one-of-a-kind pancakes and decadent milkshakes, smoothies, shakes, and floats, but they also offer a wide variety of breakfast specials, tasty wraps, salads, pasta dishes and dinner classics. Order the popular Fried Oreo Cheesecake Pancakes, a stack of buttermilks baked with Oreos, topped with chunks of cheesecake & fried Oreos and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Divulge in the Salted Caramel Pretzel Buttermilks Pancakes baked with caramel & topped with caramel sauce, pretzels, salt, Nutella & two scoops of salted caramel ice cream. Sundays through Wednesdays they are serving from 8am to 4pm. Thursdays to Saturday they are open 8am to 8pm. 

Whiskey Lounge

{403 Higgins Ave., Brielle; 732.722.8978}   The Whiskey Lounge is a traditional restaurant and bar that serves classic American fare, along with hand-crafted cocktails. Their full bar offers over 75 whiskeys on hand and specialty whiskey cocktails created by master mixologists. Owner Larry Grafas of Higgins Restaurant Group, is eager for the summer months ahead. “Whiskey Lounge is a new and exciting concept. From the onset of our opening in November 2022, we’ve seen a wonderful turnout of guests – from the local community to tourists – coming to enjoy an evening out with family, friends and colleagues. Our chef incorporates only the best quality ingredients at Whiskey Lounge, and we’ve curated the menu to appeal to all ages – keeping our selections moderately priced compared to many of the surrounding restaurants. We want Whiskey Lounge to be a destination for everyone inside and outside of our community, where all of our guests can enjoy flavorful dishes and cocktails each time they dine with us.” A bold and delicious favorite on the menu is the Charcuterie Pretzel for two or more, a Bavarian pretzel, various cured meats & cheeses, grapes, olives, house-made roasted peppers, candied walnuts, served with fig jam, and honey mustard. Another top choice is from the Grilled Cheese Menu, is the mouthwatering BBQ Pork Grilled Cheese with pulled pork, cheddar cheese, whiskey BBQ sauce, on toasted sourdough or marble rye at your request. Happy Hour Every Wednesday-Saturday from 3pm-6pm and All-Night Tuesday. Music Bingo every Tuesday, Prime Rib Night every Wednesday, and Live Music every Thursday. 

The Polo Club

{216 NJ Highway 34, Holmdel; 732.444.1931} The Polo Club is a contemporary American Steakhouse and Grand Lounge that serves prime steaks, seafood or small plates. The décor is magnificent with a grand mahogany bar, cozy leather chairs, and accented fireplace. The warm lighting illuminates the rustic brick walls and gold brass accents giving the restaurant a romantic ambience. Small plate choices include Lobster Mac & Cheese, Pan Bronzed Scallops and Spicy Seared Faroe Island Salmon. The Burgers and Sliders menu offers Buttermilk Chicken, Carolina Gold BBQ Pork or Filet Mignon Sliders served with caramelized onion, applewood bacon and house steak sauce. Sit at the stunning bar or lounge on an oversized leather chair and sip on one of their Signature Martinis, or a Signature Cocktail such as the Polo, The Stallion, or the Goal Post. Dining in the main room offers entrees like Crab & Crumb Crusted Halibut, Rack of Lamb or Scobeyville Reserve Pork Chop served with whipped sweet potato, Applejack demi, garlic baby kale and apple butter. From the Plancha menu all steaks are prime cut and includes NY Strip Steak, Filet Mignon and a 32 oz. Porterhouse. Open Tuesday through Thursday from 4:30 pm to 9 pm. Friday and Saturday 4:30 pm to 10 pm, and Sunday 4:30 pm to 9 pm. 

Skratch Kitchen

{812 Main Street Bradley Beach; 732.984.6363} Chef J.T. Dunn and Rob Kash, founder of Hospitality Group Great Restaurants NJ, created Skratch Kitchen, a 50-seat dinner-only cozy restaurant on Main Street.  “J.T. and I worked together at our first restaurant Café Colore back in 1992 and now it’s 30 years later,” Rob Kash says. “And now we have opened a real “chef driven” restaurant where J.T. creates elevated comfort food that is definitely Italian inspired!” Skratch Kitchen offers a custom designed rustic menu with high-quality food and memorable flavors. Choose from unique dishes with seasonal ingredients and local seafood. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, savory, or spicy, there is a wide variety of tasty options. For starters choose Herb Whipped Ricotta with EVOO, roasted peppers, olive tapenade, and crostini. A delightful gluten free salad choice is the O.F.A Salad, it combines orange, fennel, arugula, capers, pomegranate seeds, and EVOO. A pasta favorite is Gnudi, consisting of homemade ricotta dumplings, eggplant, oven-roasted tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. A delicious entrée choice is Gen Tso’s Chicken and Waffles, a dish with boneless thighs, Szechuan peppers, Asian glaze, honey, ginger-scallion waffle, and sesame seeds. A dessert menu offers options like Lemon Blu Pudding and Pistachio Tira Misu. This BYOB is open Tuesday through Thursday 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Friday and Saturday 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Sunday 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm. 

Bruno’s NYC Bakery

{356 W Main Street, Freehold; 732.301.5126} From Sicily to New York City and now Freehold, Chef Biagio Settepani has introduced his family recipes to Monmouth County at their new family pastry shop. Indulge in creamy cannoli or delicate French pastry made by award winning pastry chef Joseph and his sister Fina. And if you are in the market for a wedding cake, don’t hesitate to stop by and sample one of their many occasion cakes. Whether it’s to satisfy your early morning sweet tooth, or as a sugary exclamation point to a nice dinner in town, put this bakery on your radar. Closed Mondays, Open 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Tues-Sat, 7:00 am to 5:00 pm Sundays. 

The Break

{1000 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park; 732.361.3639} Open in Asbury Park on the boardwalk The Break is a sister restaurant to The Dive. The space previously known as Langosta Lounge, the new owners have revamped and refreshed the space giving it an open inviting feel. The ocean views, live music and outdoor seating provides an exhilarating coastal vibe. A variety of delicious starters are offered such as the Drunken Clams or Mussel Beach. Crunchy Chicken Spring Rolls with avocado Ranch dipping sauce is an option or another favorite is the Crab Pretzel topped with Old Bay seasoned crab and cheddar jack cheese. Fresh salad choices are available or choose from the classic Tacos Menu. A perfect boardwalk addition is the “Shuck Around + Find Out” Raw Bar of oysters and clams served with cilantro cocktail sauce. A Hand-Held menu and a Kids Menu list a variety of tasty burgers, rolls and sandwiches. The Dinner choices include San Fran Cioppino with shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, tomato, cilantro broth and toasted bread and a Chimi Steak with market vegetables, garlic parm mashed potatoes and Chimichurri.  Live music Fridays and Saturdays at 9 pm. Sunday Boardwalk brunch 1 pm live music. Open from Sunday to Thursday 11am to midnight, Friday and Saturday 11am to 2am. 

F St. Social

{1002 Main Street, Belmar; 732.934.2378} Craft pizza isn’t the only item on the menu at F St. Social in Belmar. This hidden gem on Main Street uses ingredients from local farmers markets to prepare hearty lunches and three course dinners.  Cozy seating, and monitors displaying sunny ocean views gives the atmosphere a beach vibe with an island flair. Wine can be purchased by the bottle at the beach style bar or choose an ice cream sundae to refresh. Appetizers in Social Chicken Wings Bone-In, Boneless or Grilled served with Bangin Buffalo, Thai chili, honey BBZ, garlic parmesan, and old bay kick. There is a variety of soups and salad choices. Charcoal Grilled Burgers or the Nashville Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich which is super crispy chicken topped with lettuce, and pickle dipped in hot honey sauce. From the Sea they serve a Shrimp Oreganato, with baked shrimp topped with seasoned bread crumbs, garlic, shite wine sauce served with rice pilaf or roasted potatoes and broccoli. From the Land menu select the Chicken Murphy pan seared with peppers, onions, potatoes and spicy murphy sauce. Signature Pies include the Sky’s the Limit, Berg’s Pastrami Reuben Pie and the Bee Sting. A quaint party room is available for private events or large groups. Both Indoor or outdoor seating and take out is available. Open Wednesday, Sunday, and Monday 12pm to 9pm. Thursday through Saturday 12pm to 10pm. 

The Promenade

{600 Ocean Ave., Avon By The Sea; 732-.505.7770) Liam and Carmen Moloney, owners of Amelia’s By the Sea in nearby Spring Lake, have this open air byob, in the space previously occupied by long time seasonal favorite Avon Pavilion. The freshly renovated dining room offers beautiful views of the ocean, while the dinner menu boasts entrees like Pan Seared Sea Scallops and Braised Short Rib with Creamy Polenta. Check out their unique Oysters Promenade appetizer, roasted with bacon, spinach and sambuca.  And if sushi is your thing, they have an impressive list of omakase and special rolls that’s sure to satisfy your craving. There is a concession window for beachgoers who are looking for grab-and-go salads, ice cream, burgers, sandwiches, and more. You can also stop by the Promenade’s boutique to find any beach essentials you need. The Promenade is BYOB and will be open for dining from 7am to 11pm Sunday – Saturday through September 15th. 


{38 South St, Freehold; 732.780.2427}  This traditional steakhouse has a modern twist, serving the finest meats and is located in the heart of Freehold. The dining experience is unique and exciting with an additional upstairs loft style dining space. They have a covered outside deck and patio for the summer. “Handcrafted by artisans, their one-of-a-kind oven cooks using oak cherrywood that is known to smolder at high temperatures to create the perfect Char-Kol crust on each unique piece of meat.”  The wood fire pizzas menu offers options with sausage, caramelized shallots and ricotta, or choose the sesame seed crust, grilled eggplant, kalamata olives and shaved parmesan pizza. Salad, soups and chowder is on the menu. For their House Specialties try the Gumbo with shrimp, lump crab and charred grilled bread or the Volcano Shank with confit lamb shank, corn, coconut puree and roasted mirepoix. From the Butchers Block there are delicious choices of premium had cut steaks or dry aged steaks such as Cowboy Ribeye, and NY Strip Steak. Ordering for two give you an option to choose the Dry Aged Tomahawk for 2 or the Dry Aged Porterhouse for 2. Char-Kol is a BYOB open Mondays through Fridays from 11:30 AM–3 PM for lunch, and 5PM–9:45 PM for dinner. Saturday and Sunday lunch hours are 11:30 AM–3 PM, and dinner is served 4:30–9:45 PM. 


{1055 NJ-34, Aberdeen Township; 732.696.8517}  Lita is an Iberian Restaurant and bar with style.  The story of Chef David Viana’s family describes how the restaurant is named for his mother, Rosa Lita. It’s a celebration of the culinary legacy of his family, who immigrated from Portugal to Newark, New Jersey in the 1970s. Most of the food on the menu is cooked in the open fire hearth oven that anchors the restaurant–it sits in the middle of the dining room. For those unaware, Lita operates with a unique team structure and business model. Every team member is fully cross trained and rotates between front of house and back of house positions on a weekly basis. This model prioritizes equity across the team by ensuring equal pay and eliminating the industry’s outdated FOH vs. BOH hierarchy. All of their team members are hospitality professionals. Managing Director Neilly Robinson states, “Lita is a place to gather with friends and family to break bread with great shareable plates (paella being a highlight) cocktails by our talented beverage director Ricardo Rodriguez (who hails from the Broken Shaker down in Miami) and warm hospitality by our team.” Delicious Essenciales menu choices include Camarão Alhinho a Portuguese garlic shrimp, or order Albondigas the Spanish meatballs in sherry almond sauce or try Mexilhões, the mussels in tomato broth. On the Especialidades menu choose Carne de Porco “Alentejana” iberico pork secreto, razor clams, pickles, and potatoes, or Bitoque with steak, fried egg, shishito peppers, french fries. Lita’s signature paellas are classically prepared in the hearth oven for the very best crispy crunchy socarrat. The wine list at Lita features exclusively Iberian selections from across Spain, Portugal and neighboring islands. Serving from 5pm-10pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 4pm-8pm on Sundays.


Subscribe Now & Win!

It's 100% Free.

Subscribe Now!

Send me a digital magazine!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. Plus if you sign up now you’ll be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 restaurant gift card.