New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.
Summer is (unofficially) here and couples in New Jersey find themselves with the urge to see something experience something new. The yearning to get away is strong, but the desire to keep it close is even stronger.
Luckily for us, taking a road trip is easy in our state. With so many unique towns with so many exceptional offerings, how do you choose? This week we’re narrowing it down to Asbury Park, a town that offers so many activities to enjoy.
Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night that reminds you that life is a beach.
Cups will Overflow
There’s nothing more romantic than watching the waves hit the shore, and that’s just one of the many great things served up at Watermark. You and your date will fall in love with this perfect location above the Asbury Boardwalk, which offers panoramic views of the Atlantic, including the landmark Carousel, Empress Hotel and the Stone Pony.
When it comes to flavor, you’ll find it in spades here with choices including their Cracker Crust Pizzas (asparagus, porcini, mozzarella topped with truffle oil is amazing) and their artisanal grilled cheeses like spicy Italian sausage and provolone on ciabatta really hit the spot. You might want to try their Greek shrimp empanadas with potato, artichoke, feta and kalamata yogurt.
As for cocktails, the choices are many and they include regular, low-alcohol and no-alcohol options. Who needs booze when you can enjoy a Blueberry Faux-jito (muddled blueberries and mint with fresh lime, simple syrup and club soda)?
For more information, visit www.watermarkap.com
C’est si Bon!
Dinner, lunch or even a late-night snack for two at Pascal and Sabine is guaranteed to frappe tes chaussettes, or as we say in English, knock your socks off. This French bistro is located in the historic NJ Natural Gas building and features an interior that rivals even the chicest bistro in Manhattan.
The classic French fare is sure to impress, ranging from steak frites (steak with fries) to coq au vin (chicken in wine sauce). Their 14-ounce pork chop served with confit fingerling potatoes, red pepper relish, charred scallions and pork jus is beyond worthy of consideration. Their late-night menu, served from 11 p.m to 1am, includes some tasty burgers and a few scrumptious options of classic vol-au-vent.
Be sure to save room for dessert because you won’t want to miss their crème brûlée or the milk chocolate pot de crème.
For more information on Pascal and Sabine, visit www.pascalandsabine.com.
Up on the Roof
You and your date could take the ladder up to the roof to see heaven much better … or you can simply take the elevator to the rooftop of the Asbury Hotel. Once you arrive at the top you have two different rooftops from which to choose.
Baronet offers magnificent views of Asbury and the Atlantic Ocean, and with 4,300 square feet of space you’ll have ample room to enjoy the sunshine. When the sun goes down, Baronet is the host of a “carless drive-in” featuring a variety of movies projected on a 20-foot wall. Popcorn, snacks and wine are available for enjoyment while you take in a flick. Check their Facebook page for times.
Your other rooftop choice is Salvation, a hip yet casually sophisticated lounge featuring amazing ocean views and incredible cocktails. Salvation’s DJ is one of the best in the state, and you’ll definitely be entertained by the music.
With these options, you might just need to plan two date nights! For more information on the Asbury Hotel, visit www.theasburyhotel.com.
A Slice of Heaven
Sometimes after a day at the shore the best way to cap off your date is with pizza. Talula’s is a choice guaranteed not to disappoint. You and your date will be amazed at the goodness that comes from their brick oven, as each and every pizza and bread celebrates local flavors.
You can keep it classic with the Margie pizza (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil) or you can be a little more adventurous and try one of their custom-made recipes including the Beekeeper’s Lament (tomato sauce, hot Calabrian soppressata, fresh mozzarella and New Jersey honey).
If you and your date want to keep it vegan, it’s easy to do at Talula’s. Give their Pesty Vegan a try (vegan mozzarella, vegan ricotta, basil mint pesto with Calabrian chilies and arugula). Be sure to check out their cocktail menu for some bespoke drinks sure to please, including the Gin and Jam (Asbury Park gin, lemongrass, and homemade seasonal jam topped with lime).
For more information on Talula’s, visit www.talulaspizza.com.
Buckle Your Seatbelts!
Nothing says fun quite like a road trip, but nothing says love quite like a road trip to Asbury Park. A little change of scenery is always fun for a date night and an adventure to a shore town takes it from date night to great date night. Pack up some sunscreen, bring your appetite and let Asbury Park handle the rest.
Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of “The 49th Challenge,” Rogers has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about him, visit CraigRogers.nyc.
What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date? Tell Craig all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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