The other day in a doctor' waiting room I read a NJ magazine piece about a place in Red Bank called The Downtown. The reviewer liked the place and gave it three stars for food. So, of course, tonight I had to try it out for myself.
The menu is certainly interesting enough, with several kinds of fried food on sticks, called "pops", and other small plate fun foods like mini fish tacos and lots of different sliders. On the advice of the review I read we tried the baked potato pops, mini fish tacos, short rib nachos, and lobster roll sliders. We also shared a bowl of miso soup.
I have to digress for a moment and mention that the downstairs where we ate is mainly a bar area. If you want to get a really strong drink, get the pamarita. There had to be at least two or three shots of tequila in it.
With that impairing my tastebuds I moved onto the food. We weren't thrilled with the miso soup. Not that it was bad, just alright. The potato pops, on the other hand, were deep fried balls of artery clogging goodness. The nachos were also pretty good, from the chips to the two kinds of cheese to the shredded short rib meat. The lobster roll sliders were also good on their teeny brioche buns and had enough lobster to make them worth the $18.
The mini tuna tacos, on the other hand, were marred by dry tuna. Odd in our food culture of raw tuna everywhere that the tacos had overcooked tuna in them. But it was enough to make them just this side of bad.
On the whole I am mixed in my impression. Although it sounds to me reading this that I liked most things, that was not my feeling at the restaurant. I was more thinking that three stars was too many and I would have gone for two. Either way, I am curious to try things without the tequila haze.