Bites Nearby: The Downtown
Bar and Restaurant in Red Bank serves up "Posh Pub Grub" with daily specials and live music.
I had only been to The Downtown one time for a few drinks when it opened. I remember it being pretty packed with a cover band playing. The downstairs is mainly tables and the bar, while upstairs, is more of a lounge area.
I met a longtime friend there the other night for a little dinner and time to relax and catch up. They have happy hour every day until 7 p.m., boasting $5 wine and $2 off beer, and "M.A.D. Wednesdays" featuring local music, local artists, and $3 domestic drafts starting at 8 p.m. Considering its a hot spot for the Red Bank bar scene, I had honestly never given the food there a thought until my friend highly recommended it.
Serving what they consider "Posh Pub Grub," they offer Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and a featured sushi menu. I ordered off their dinner menu, given the time of day, with your typical soups, appetizers, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and large plates. We order the spinach and artichoke dip served warm with homemade tortilla chips -- a bar staple.
Other notable appetizer items that looked delicious were the Hummus, Olives, and Flatbread, the Mac N Cheese Pops, Braised Short Rib Nachos, or an order of 12 wings with a choice of either BBQ, Thai Basil, Chipotle Maple, or Buffalo sauces.
I was definitely in the mood for a sandwich, which you can opt to come with fries or a side salad. I was torn between the Pulled Pork sandwich (with strawberry chipotle BBQ sauce), Blackened Chicken Wrap (Cajun season grilled chicken with lettuce, tomato, onion, spicy pecans, pepper jack cheese and avocado ranch dressing in a warm tortilla) or the Mediterranean Chicken (grilled chicken, spinach, goat cheese, eggplant, sundried tomato-olive tapenade and lemon rosemary aioli on a grilled pita).
I went for the Mediterranean Chicken, as it was highly recommended to me by my friend, and I was not in any way disappointed. It was filling enough, also, that I was able to save half for lunch the next day. My friend ended up ordering the Grilled Chicken Club, chicken served on Ciabatta bread with avocado, bacon, onion, tomato, and lettuce. She opted for the side salad which came with the House Strawberry Vinaigrette.
The salads also look very appetizing if you are in the mood for something lighter (think the Thai Chicken Salad or Chicken Cobb Salad). The large plates are definitely a treat as well, including Shepherd's Pie (Braised Lamb, carrots and onions, Lamb gravy and creamy mashed potato crust with a choice of one side), Pesto Crusted Salmon (oven roasted salmon, heirloom tomato salad, aged balsamic vinegar and your choice of two sides), or Chicken Under a Brick (French chicken breast, cumin, orange juice, garlic marinade and fennel black olive relish with your choice of two sides).
Another feature on their menu that is unlike others I see a lot of -- a soup assigned to a specific day of the week:
Monday: Tomato-Roasted Garlic with Pesto Cream
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla
Wednesday: Curried Cauliflower with fried chickpeas
Thursday: Moroccan Red Lentil
Friday: New England Clam Chowder
Saturday: White Bean, Escarole, and Chorizo.
Their brunch menu features a $12 all inclusive meal on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can choose from a variety of eggs, waffles, french toast, steak and eggs, and even smoked salmon, and every meal is served with your choice of coffee or tea, and your choice of a bloody mary, mimosa, bellini, or fresh squeezed OJ.
I am debating actually going here for brunch one time, considering they can offer me BOTH my coffee AND a mimosa -- what a perfect Sunday!
As I also mentioned, The Downtown has an extensive sushi menu, lunch menu, and Kids menu. They have weekly events, and also can book private parties up to 150 people.