For my birthday, my very sweet boyfriend got tickets to see one of my favorite comedians, Louis Black, at the Count Basie Theater. We wanted to go someplace close and casual for dinner and Peter suggested Jamian’s on Monmouth Street just less than a block from the theater. Jamian’s is the new name for the spot that used to be called Echo. The new owners have spruced up the place and added some cool new features, like the large glass garage style doors at the front of the restaurant which were wide open when we got there at 5 o’clock. When I say casual, I mean it. Seating consists of a bar and bar tables. Booths flank the wall opposite the bar and a few table at the front of the restaurant along the windows.
We started our tour through the menu with the Mac & Cheese Crab Dip. Are you kidding me? I just had to try it. It is served with toasted Jalapeño baguette slices. The ultimate comfort food. I could easily just eat a bowl of crab Mac & Cheese myself. Our friend, John, who joined us, recommended the stuffed Portobello Mushroom appetizer which I can say without any doubt was the most delicious Portobello dish I’ve ever had. Sharing it with two other people was not easy.
For dinner the waitress recommended the Shrimp Scampi Pizza. I was told by one of the owners and chef, Junior (Laercio) was that the Shrimp Scampi Pizza is a recipe they kept from the former Echo Menu because it was so popular. It really was delicious. I later learned that Junior spent 5 years working at Doris and Ed’s and spent his last two years there as they’re Head Pastry Chef. He is from Brazil but came to America in his teens and loves it here in New Jersey. Go figure, Jersey over Brazil, really? Who knew? All I know is, I’m glad he stayed. Junior is responsible for about 90% of the unique creations at Jamian’s.
He gave me a run down of their most popular dishes. The chicken nachos with shredded chicken and 5 different types of cheeses
is a hot item as well as their wings. After hearing Junior describe how he cooks the wings on slow and low in the oven for hours before frying them, I am going to have to get back there to give them a try.
I was invited back into their tiny kitchen to see their talented team in action. While I was there Cheese Steak Empanadas were heading out the door and Junior was preparing grass fed hanger steak for a customer. Their menu, which you can see HERE, (and is still located on the old Echo Website) is full of new takes on old favorites like Sauteed Chicken Breast over Andouille hash and asparagus and Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto and Brie.
We finished our meal with tempura fried Cheesecake. You heard me. Fried cheesecake. My 44 year old arteries were thanking me big time, let me tell you.
Jamian’s is a must try the next time you are in Red Bank looking for a casual hang out with great food. One thing sounds yummier than the next if you ask me. They also host weekly open Mic nights that look like a lot of fun and they circulate different art exhibits each month, so the place is always buzzing with something for the eyes and ears as well as the palate. Jamian’s offers Happy Hour and nightly drink specials including $3 Drafts and $5 Drinks. Live local music and entertainment every night of the week. No cover.
I will definitely be back especially for the chicken nachos, wings, and oh, that stuffed portabella mushroom. To die for.
Jamian’s Food and Drink
79 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701