I searched on here and couldn't find a thread about this establishment so I figured I would share my experience of last night.
American Hotel in Freehold NJ I have been here a few times strictly for cocktails but never for dinner before last night. I had a business dinner last night and this was the selection of the person taking me to dinner so I had no reason to decline the offer or location.
I liked the dining room upper level of booths which are comfortable with ample space for 4 people if need be. It is raised and over looks the main portion of the dining room which is mostly tables….subdued lighting and a “cozy” environment.
The waiter greeted us took our cocktail order we were drinking martini’s which came to the table in individual shakers giving you about a drink and a half worth in each shaker, I like that it is my preferred way to be served a Martini. The Metro about 5 location over from the American Hotel does the same thing but with noticeably smaller shakers and glasses. Served with fresh large olives for maximum flavor which again is a favorite of mine.
For starters we ordered a ravioli appetizer with sautéed spinach and garlic in a white wine sauce….fried oysters….and cold seafood platter which consisted of shrimp cocktail, lump crab meat, oysters, clams and half a lobster. (there were three of us) The ravioli app was ok…nothing wrong nothing special either. Store bought ravioli’s in a decent sauce but nothing to write home about. The fried oysters while good/fresh were rather bland….the breading was just breading…..no real flavor to it. They were served over a cabbage salad which was tasty…but the oysters themselves were just blah. The cold seafood platter was fresh….genuine crab meat….the shrimp and lobster were cooked just right not over cooked or mushy. My only criticism of the seafood platter was they did not have any spicy or hot horseradish in the entire restaurant. I like to spice up my cocktail sauce with hot horseradish but they were unable to supply any so I had to use Tabasco instead. Not a big deal…
For entrée’s we had; Filet Mignon medium rare with cream spinach and mac and cheese as sides, Veal Porterhouse over wasabi mashed toped with mozzarella and drizzled with a balsalmic reduction and myself had Lamb Chops medium rare, encrusted and served with grilled asparagus. Filet Mignon speaks for itself and is something you can’t really ruin except by overcooking which this was not it was a perfect medium rare. The person who ordered it enjoyed it and said the cream spinach was among the best he has ever had. I did not sample it however I have some high standards for cream spinach so I don’t know if I would have held up to my taste test!! Mac and cheese was standard with bread crumb crust on top. The Veal Chop was cooked excellent and the chop itself was wonderful as I did sample a piece. As far as the rest of the ingredients they were all fine individually….but there was nothing really carrying the flavors over….hard to explain but there was no continuity to the flavors is the best I can put it. My lamb chops were cooked to a perfect medium rare and were very good. Regardless of how lamb chops are prepared I always like to have either or both mint jelly and/or Dijon mustard. They were not able to offer either. Again not a big deal that’s just my particular choice of flavors to go with lamb chops. Same as with the Veal Chop while the Lamb Chops themselves were delicious there was no combination of flavors…..the bread crumb crusting was fine but rather flavorless and the asparagus was fresh and crisp in texture but besides the slight grilled/charred taste no real flavor. Not trying to be critical just pointing out that there was no “wow” factor to the dishes.
We skipped desert and went to the bar for an after dinner drink. By this time it was about 9:30pm and a DJ was setting up and people were starting to come in for whatever entertainment they had for the night. The bar crowd was “interesting” to say the least. I ordered a Grand Marnier and received a VERY generous pour. As a complete side note one person had to leave so it was just myself and one other at the bar after dinner. He ordered a Blue Moon (I am not a beer drinker so this was the first time I noticed) but Blue Moon is an orange based beer and it is actually served with a slice of orange as a garnish. Grand Marnier is an orange based cordial…..let me tell you if any of you are Grand Marnier or Blue Moon drinkers out there….but having a nice sip of Grand Marnier with a swig of Blue Moon chaser is actually a very delicious combination.
Overall there is nothing offensive about the place. The service was excellent the food was above average and the crowd was “interesting” to say the least. I was a guest at dinner last night so I’m not sure what the check came out to judge the perceived value vs. quality aspect of things but over all it was an enjoyable experience. Not a place I’m ever going to request to go to for a birthday etc. but if I’m in Freehold and am looking for a decent meal I would certainly go back.