Shipwreck Grill

When you go for dinner in the middle of the week and the parking lot is full, the bar crowded and all the tables occupied, it’s a pretty good tip-off that the food is going to be good and the Shipwreck doesn’t disappoint.

It’s become kind of the “go to” place for locals, a restaurant that delivers consistently and one where you are likely to run into some friends. Trying new restaurants is fun, but when you want to be guaranteed a delicious meal, you won’t go wrong here.

The feel is casual with a touch of elegance. A soft color palette and exposed ceiling duct work are coupled with linen table cloths and china. The bar, which occupies almost half of the space, is always lively and the bartenders are competent and friendly. There’s an open kitchen and some interesting artifacts on the walls and in display cases from Bill’s salvage dives.

This is the place to enjoy extraordinary seafood from salmon to tuna to lobster and more. Chef Terry is a master at taking a piece of fish and creating a masterpiece of flavors and textures around it. It is the only local place that serves fresh Dover Sole and it is priced below market at $39.

There’s an excellent raw bar with varieties of oysters and clams and fat jumbo shrimp. Try the Ship Wreck Shellfish Sampler. You can get lobsters fresh from their own tanks, a number of different cuts of beef and lamb. The beef is marinated and served with garlic mashed potatoes, onion rings and creamed spinach.

The wine list is about 50 bottles strong with some good choices and excellent values. There are plenty of options under $50.

The bar, the food, the service and the ambiance all combine to make this a must stop when you are at the Jersey Shore.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Not so much. Can be loud.

winner for:
Outstanding Restaurant: Fine Dining
Outstanding Restaurant: Seafood
Outstanding Restaurant:Cocktail Program
Outstanding Restaurant: Wine Program
Chef of the Year
Surf ‘n’ turf “done at an elevated level” is the lure at this “only-game-in-town” Brielle seafooder with “driftwood”-enhanced decor and “pleasant” service; although it’s “priced like Manhattan” and “noisy” at the bar, distractions include “exceptional views of the boats” sailing on the Manasquan River. ZAGAT