Lately, I’ve been hearing great things about a new restaurant in town called Daniel’s Bistro. First a realtor friend told me what a great meal she had, then the Chairman of Jersey Shore Restaurant Week and then finally the woman who owns the salon I go to. Everyone’s raving about this new little place on Broadway in Point Pleasant Beach. It was time to see for myself what all the fuss was about. When I called Saturday the hostess was fielding two phone lines at once. They were slammed and I didn’t want to risk a wait, so I booked a table for two on Sunday night.
The restaurant is located in what used to be a real eye soar building. The new owners, Karen and Daniel Pichard, put a lot of blood, sweat and elbow grease into turning this eye soar into an elegant home for their new restaurant.
I was amazed at what they had done with it the moment I walked in the door. They added outside dining on a brand new patio and completely overhauled the interior. We were greeted by the owner, Karen, who also works as the hostess along with her daughter Rachel.
At 6 o’clock many of the tables were already occupied. Some with rather large parties. I remarked to the owner later in the meal that it was wonderful how quiet the restaurant was despite the large parties. “Low ceilings and carpeting she said, plus the curtains, helps to keep the noise level down.” It sure works. It was lovely not to have to shout to our servers.
We were visited immediately by our waitress, Elizabeth. It was obvious from the start their wait staff has been trained to serve with style. No stacking dishes on the tables, a fresh set of silverware between courses, water and wine glasses continually filled. When the expensive, craft beer my boyfriend brought started to foam the minute the cap was removed, Elizabeth quickly whisked it away to the kitchen to avoid a mess and any embarrassment on our part.
The specials sounded delicious as did the entire menu and we really had a tough time choosing. On the list of specials for appetizers was Buffalo mozzarella with fresh heirloom tomatoes and a pan fried soft shell crab lightly dusted with semolina. We chose the soft shell crab and the infamous Tuna Tower from the regular menu. The tuna tower as you can see, is layered sushi grade tuna, roasted red peppers, and
avocado. Served with dollops of wasabi and ginger and a spoon full of soy sauce.
The soft shell crab was done perfectly much to our delight, crispy yet tender. There was not one speck of the little guy left when we got through with that dish.
For dinner there were many, many interesting choices. Click here for their full menu. Peter went for the Hudson Valley Duck Breast pan roasted with seared foie gras, black currants in a Pinot Noir reduction. I have one word for this dish, divine. He just kept saying, I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.
I chose the fish special which was Barramundi sauteed in Chardonnay and served with Chanterelle mushrooms over risotto and two jumbo shrimp on the side. Truly one of the best fish dishes I have ever had.
As we finished our meal, I saw Karen wheeling a cart past our table. I had to follow to see what was cooking. In old school fashion, she was preparing Banana’s Foster table side.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a restaurant that prepares Banana’s Foster table side. It is always fun to watch and the smell of brown sugar in butter, oh my. Their desert menu does’t stop there. Some of the more interesting selections are chocolate flourless cake, ricotta cheesecake and berries flambe′.
Daniel’s Bistro has more than just fantastic food going for it. The service is impeccable and the added touches like extra pairs of reading glasses for forgetful patrons and the assortment of warm rolls presented with tongs while you wait for your first course, is old fashioned service at its best. It helps that the owner is ever present on the restaurant floor keeping a very watchful eye over her employees.
Daniel’s Bistro is a BYOB. Reservations are recommended on the weekends. You can read many more wonderful reviews on Chowhound and on Yelp.
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Credit Cards: Yes