Restaurants & Bars 3

Pleasantville, NJ Report (near AC, NJ)

bcnstony | May 31, 2008 05:24 PM

I just spent a few days in Pleasantville, NJ, visiting family, and as there wasn't much on the boards for this area, I thought I'd add something. Pleasantville is exit 36/38 on the GSP.

Short version: Avoid Tilton Inn. Definately go to Bonefish Grill (Pleasantville) and Ventura's Offshore Cafe (Northfield)

Our first stop was the Tilton Inn on Tilton Rd. It was a gloomy sports-bar / restaurant. My Aunt ordered a cheesesteak with extra oil, and I ordered the Grilled Veggie Wrap. Whether the fault of the waitress or the cook, the extra oil ended up in the veggie wrap, leaving me with one of the least appetizing meals I've had in a long time. The wrap dripped oil like a fresh plum drips juice. Oh - and my Guinness tasted funny, and the service was off. If in doubt, avoid, or confine your selection to bottled beer.

We went to the Bonefish Grill the next night. It looked nice enough, but I'm always suspicous of strip-mall restaurants which usually turn out to be just mediocre. I was shocked and happily surprised by Bonefish, which was so good we headed back the next night as well. I sampled their Crab Cakes (4.5 stars, with Thai sauce that made them 5 stars), Salad (3.5 stars), Crab Meat Corn Chowder (totally 5 stars), Grilled Tilapia (4 stars with 5 star veggie sides), and Shrimp Diablo (4.5 stars, a bit heavy on heavy cream but oh so good). Even their free bread with oil included an added dollop of top notch real pesto to flavor the oil (4 star bread, 5 star oil).

Their drinks were both tasty and interesting (one cocktail included a glowstick) and their servers' uniform was a chef's shirt, perhaps emphasizing the importance of cooking. Expect to pay between 14 for Shrimp Diablo and 25 for Lobster Tails / Seasonal Fish.

For lunch we went to Ventura's in Northfield. Ambiance was nice for a bar / restaurant, and I was also very happy with the food. Specials included a chicken/pesto/arugula wrap and a mahi-mahi dish, and I told them to substitute the Mahi-Mahi for the chicken, which they happily did. The result was a shockingly messy wrap containing complementary flavors of fish, vinaigrette, pesto, and arugula. The dishes on nearby tables looked tasty and well prepared. My aunt had a Blue Cheese Bacon Burger, and (a fan of burgers) was very happy as well.

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