Had dinner at Joe and Maggie's Bistro in Long Branch, NJ last night, expecting from its high Zagat ratings to have a nice meal. We should have checked with you guys first.
The food ranged from OK to pretty icky. We got two appetizers: A "selection of imported cheeses and olives with warm olive herbed bread"--or something like that--was a (cold) round Boboli-type bread
with generous dollops of olive tapenade, hummous, an eggplant spread, and a very mild (read: bland) goat cheese. It was OK--but the kind of thing I could have made picked up myself from the prepared foods section of the supermarket.
And French onion soup which was OK--but nothing special.
Main courses: Miso grilled salmon with kimchee vegetables was grilled salmon covered with a strange sweet white sauce on a bed of sweet veggies and noodles--like an "oriental-style" TV dinner. And roasted chicken with pancetta was rubbery and bland.
Service was barely adequate. They didn't spill anything on us, but then they didn't do the "How is
everything" thing either.
Overall, so not worth it. We were looking for a "nice" place to eat down the shore--not a seafood place or pancake house. Anyone think we could have done better? Suggestions are welcome--and we'll post as we find 'em.