Published with permission from LuxuryWeb.com
In an unexpected find and a charming revelation, Long Branch, situated on the New Jersey coastline, boasts an entire beachfront village.
Just a stone’s throw from the ocean, you’ll find condos, hotels, classic beach stores, pathways, and fast-food joints. A grand gazebo graces the boardwalk, adjacent to the “Avenue, Le Club”, a contemporary restaurant. Its floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interior with light, offering panoramic ocean vistas. The restaurant’s minimalist design highlights a few floral accents and that breathtaking view.
Guests are treated to numerous tables with plush chairs, cozy banquettes, a generously stocked bar, and an enticing seafood (raw bar) display on ice. Our visit coincided with their Sunday Jazz Brunch, and neither the tunes from “A Real Human Jazz Band” (playing every Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m.) nor the culinary delights left us wanting. Executive Chef Eric Guerin helms the kitchen, proving that one doesn’t need Michelin recognition to produce scrumptious meals.
The diverse menu caters to every taste; from classic Mac & Cheese to adventurous Ceviche and Crudo. Traditional brunch favorites like Eggs Benedict, Pancakes, and French Toast sit alongside unique dishes like Escargot and Steak Tartare. The “Avenue” truly showcases its seafood prowess.
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Our drink of choice was a Bloody Mary. I wished for a tad more horseradish, while Barbara favored a bit more tomato juice, but these are individual tastes. From the raw bar, Barbara savored the West Coast Oysters, a creamy and rich delight.
We then indulged in Tuna Crudo, adorned with parsnip crisps, delicate cucumber, and edible flowers in a zesty sauce. The Salmon Ceviche, with a creative avocado mayo twist, was both visually and gastronomically pleasing, crowned with edible flower petals and surrounded by avocado mousse and colorful Tobiko.
Our transition to appetizers led us to the LLC, a lobster-centric salad bursting with flavors from avocado, gem lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and blue cheese, all melded together by a cilantro buttermilk dressing. Barbara’s entrée was a sumptuous Lobster Roll, while I relished the Moules-Frites, reminiscent of a dish I once enjoyed in a quaint bistro in Saint Marie de La Mer, France. The only distinction was the charcoal-toasted baguette in France which was missed but not necessary to enjoy the flavorful sauce.
But no meal is complete without dessert. The Dark Chocolate Pot De Crème and Crème Brule were unparalleled, with the Warm Chocolate Sauce for the Profiteroles being simply irresistible. If desserts aren’t for you, a creamy Cappuccino or a robust espresso makes a fitting finale.
For us, we indulged in these sweet delights, confident that any choice from their dessert menu would be just as rewarding.
Avenue, Le Club
23 Ocean Avenue
Long Branch, New Jersey 07740
Tel: (732) 759-2900
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