Restaurants & Bars

Pearl of the Sea, Ocean Ave., Long Branch, NJ

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Restaurants & Bars 6

Pearl of the Sea, Ocean Ave., Long Branch, NJ

Deb Van D | Apr 13, 2003 08:57 PM

I had occasion to try this recent Portuguese incarnation for dinner with friends a week ago, and liked it very much. The food is honestly cooked and it was very good. There are two reasons to take this mention with some grains of salt; we, each of the three of us, had the selfsame food (shameful, I know, by Chowhound standards, but there you are); in addition, I was at the end of a 7-day “cleansing fast,” that meaning Without Food, so I would have probably loved anything. Still, this was worth the visit.

We all had bbq chicken and ribs, succulent and lovely. Portions are large, and we fed on them for days thereafter. Too, an ex-faster has to love a place that serves rice (with olives) and fries on the same capacious plate. Apart from the largesse, I would have a word in praise of those fries. They were like those my mother used to (oh, so rarely) make…straight cut, shiny, and tasting of the essential earthiness of potatoes and the freshest oil.

It is not a large place and we were seated at 7 on a Sat. night in the miserable teeth of early April. We would not count on that in the warming weeks to come. It is a family restaurant, with full bar and interesting wine list. I would like to go back and try some of the fish another time. Service was warm but sketchy. Took us some time to get our check and settle, apologies all around, and no big deal. Still..

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