Tonight, we were just driving aimlessly out of Toms River NJ looking for dinner options. Unimpressed by Seaside Heights after our last visit, we decided to drive north of Seaside Heights. We then came to another beach community, Point Pleasant (about 20 minutes from our hotel), which is much nicer than Seaside Heights. We enjoyed strolling along Arnold Avenue which is lined with shops and restaurants. It was the wood fire BBQ fragrance that brought us to this restaurant. As usual, we forgot to get a bottle of wine from a liquor store. We are still not used to the BYOB practice here in New Jersey because this is definitely not the practice in California where almost all restaurants got liquor licenses.
I ordered the Surf & Turf special ($50) and my colleague ordered the whole sea bass. Tonight's dinner had to be the best meal I've had since I arrived at Toms River 2 months ago. My filet mignon was cooked perfectly to my preferred doneness and was very well seasoned. The lobster was very fresh and tasty. The wood fire added a lot of flavor to my grilled entree. My colleague's sea bass was also very fresh and delicious. I wasn't aware that I needed to pay to add sauce and toppings to the steak, so I didn't even ask. But the filet came out very flavorful without any additional purchased sauce or topping. That was simple cooking with very high quality ingredients, which we experienced the first time tonight here in New Jersey since we left California.
The chopped salad that came with the dinner special was very refreshing and well dressed with the house made vinaigrette. It was very crisp and flavorful without soaking in store-bought dressing. Since I arrived at New Jersey, this was the first salad that I had that reminded me of those from back home. I hate wilted salads dredged in bottle dressing from the supermarket, yet this seems to be the popular style of salad that are served in a lot of restaurants in Toms River and Manchester Township. Every time when I asked about the not so fresh salad and the heavy supermarket quality dressing, I was told, "all our customers here love the salad this way.." Seriously?? Finally I got my good salad tonight.
The dinner roll was very good also. I am happy to have found this restaurant in Point Pleasant that focuses on the quality and freshness of the ingredients. This is why even though the restaurant is on the pricey side, it's packed full of customers. Low-price low quality restaurants are everywhere but people are always willing to pay for good quality food. Instead of eating 3 lousy dinners in a low price low quality restaurant, I'd rather eat only one good meal in a good restaurant. I'd rather stay home and cook simple stuff than going out to eat lousy food regardless of how cheap it is, unless when I'm out of town like now when cooking is out of the option.
Restaurant: Prime 13
Address:710 Arnold Ave, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742