Monday, January 24, 2011

Basie Bytes: "CHICKEN & BROCCOLI SALAD" at Front Street Trattoria

This Week's Best Bet:
Chicken & Broccoli Salad at Front Street Trattoria


We recently attended a meeting one morning at Front Street Trattoria and as it was wrapping up, we realized it was close to lunch time. We admit we hadn't been to the restaurant in quite some time so we decided to take a peek at the menu. We were so impressed with the choices! Front Street Trattoria's menu was filled with unusual offerings such as "Grilled Cheese" Ravioli, Balsamic Roasted Fresh Beets, Chicken Sausage Foccaccio sandwich, Mexical calzone, stuffed pizza, Thai grilled shrimp and more... but one item was calling our name: Chicken and Broccoli salad.

The title grabbed our attention at first because we were expecting it to have an Asian influence but upon reading the full description, it had a whole different vibe to it:
"Grilled-to-order chicken and broccoli with cucumber, tomato, celery and caramelized walnuts over mixed greens with mustard tarragon vinaigrette."
We knew we had to try it! Unfortunately we don't have a photo of it in this post because it was only after we finished it that we realized we should write about it in our next post. But trust us, it's delicious! The chicken was cooked perfectly and the fresh broccoli stayed nice and crunchy. The tomato and celery complimented the dish with bursts of flavor and kept the salad interesting with each bite. The mustard tarragon vinaigrette was one of the best homemade dressings we've ever had, and went perfectly with the chicken. The strangest element would have to be the caramelized walnuts... wasn't sure how they would play into the flavors, but to our surprise, it was very harmonious! Their slight sweetness cut the tang of the dressing and the savory flavors of the chicken.

It was the perfect lunch. Not to mention at just $10.95, the portion size is great as well.

Front Street Trattoria has been a part of the Red Bank family for a long time, and they keep their menu fresh and inviting. Next time you're looking for a cozy spot to grab lunch or an intimate dinner, check them out! Outdoor seating available in the warmer months.

Front Street Trattoria Hours of Operation:

Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30am - 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30am - 10:00pm
Sun: 4:00pm - 9:00pm

Front Street Trattoria
31 West Front Street | Red Bank, NJ 07701 | (732) 747-9569

Friday, January 7, 2011

Basie Bytes: "CUPCAKES" at Sugarush: A Sweet Experience

This Week's Best Bet:
Cupcakes at Sugarush: A Sweet Experience


Because we're cupcake connoisseurs here in the marketing department, and we've been waiting for a place like this to satisfy our sweet tooth... but we don't settle for just anything!

Sugarush cupcakes are the perfect size (not too big, not too small; they embody the original idea of what cupcakes once were when their history traced back to 1796 says "a cake to be baked in small cups").

They have just the right amount of icing (which in itself is the perfect consistency, whether its buttercream or whipped cream or any of their other specialties), all while being not overly sweet.

The cakes are never dry... they are fresh and moist, light and airy, and all those other delectable adjectives you would want to describe the ultimate treat. Some of them even come with various smooth and creamy fillings (such as mint buttercream, raspberry coulis and more), not to mention all kinds of toppings beyond the realm of generic... Puh-lease, plain ol' sprinkles are SO last year...

When you visit Sugarush, it is obvious that the owners, Chris & Jesse (who are totally awesome, by the way), are fully aware that everyone eats with their eyes first. The shop itself is a feast for the senses, artfully decorated in candy colors and textures from floor to ceiling to suggest a sense of fun and whimsy. The artistic value carries over, of course, into their cupcakes, cakes, and various other goods which are dressed in all kinds of trendy details right down to the adorable plaid cupcake liners! By the way... they also carry scrumptious cakepops... We're just saying...

Another cool concept that Sugarush employs is the idea of a "cupcake bar" wherein you the customer gets to select an un-iced cupcake, and then customize the icing, toppings, and any other embellishments you'd like! Fabulous.

Also featuring a large selection of vintage/retro candy as well as neato soda flavors (such as Jelly Belly jellybean flavored sodas), Sugarush: A Sweet Experience is really living up to its name! And with plenty of press lately from locals like our friends at Two River Theater Company and among others, it seems many people are sure to RUSH over for their fix.

We sampled 3 varieties of cupcakes when we stopped in last week: Red Velvet (amazing), Oreo Explosion (a taste replica of the cookie), and Sugarush (their signature colorful confetti cupcake of which they donate part of the proceeds to charity). How SWEET is that???

Sugarush: A Sweet Experience really is just that. We've been waiting a long time for a cupcake place to open in Red Bank so we just have to add: it's about time. Join us in welcoming them to town!

Sugarush Hours of Operation:

Hours temporarily varying as they move towards their GRAND OPENING at the end of January. Visit them on Facebook for the most updated info.

Sugarush: A Sweet Experience
37 East Front Street | Red Bank, NJ 07701 | (732) 414-9044