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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jul 05, 2017

Arts, Entertainment, and Dining Guide

By Lori Draz

Summer is here at the Jersey Shore! There is a reason this magnificent area is known all over the country as a recreation hotspot. Nobody does fun like we do. Dining, theater, thrills, relaxation, sports, surf, dancing: you name it, we do it – Jersey Shore style! This month, we present our arts, entertainment, dining guide to give you a sample of the many wonderful ways to celebrate a summer day and night. Get out and enjoy!


Allen Consulting, Inc.

Look for the name Allen Consulting when you are looking for the most exciting and entertaining events. Allen Consulting produces events from concept through to the finished product, including event planning, soliciting vendors/sponsors/volunteers, getting the crowds out, providing event logistics, onsite management, all marketing for the event (PR, social media, radio/TV/print), and post-event followup.

The driving force of Allen Consulting, Sylvia Allen, has been called diligent, pleasant, thorough, and efficient, as well as the world’s sponsorship expert and the “queen mother” of sponsorships. She can teach you her no-fail methods with a wide range of training, sales training, customer service training, and one-on-one coaching. Susan Ungaro, president of The James Beard Foundation, said, “We have implemented Sylvia’s suggestions for three years and it has dramatically increased our revenue. What she teaches works!” Dean D’Ambrosi, COO of Epicomm, stated, “Sylvia has a unique style that gets people to say yes. She is a definite closer. She will deliver 150%.”

Ms. Allen advises you to be the best at what you do and always go the extra mile while operating with honesty and integrity. “Producing events is not only exciting, but rewarding,” she explains. “Events are a nice break from daily life. People have fun and enjoy themselves without worrying about anything. Of course, winning awards with an event is like the frosting on the cake!”

Allen Consulting is open seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Call the office at (732) 946-2711 or the cell at (732) 241-1144. You may also visit or email


Bahrs Landing

When you think of a landmark, few places can compare to Bahrs Landing, celebrating 100 years as “the” seafood spot on the shore. Bahrs is a year-round tradition and a must-stop every summer. Its bright red sign, just under the Highlands Bridge, is a sight few have or can miss. Eat indoors or outside on the deck, inches away from the boats. There’s dock and dine, a take-out menu, choices for landlubbers, a happy tiki bar, live entertainment, and even a gift shop. Bahrs is famous for their chowder, lobsters, clams, fresh shucked oysters, and steamers, served with an ice cold beer. Its traditional seafood, friendly staff, and dependable menu have made Bahrs Landing a multi-generational favorite for years. It just isn’t summer without Bahrs, so cozy up to a refreshing cocktail, super-fresh seafood, and see history come to life at Bahrs Landing.

Bahrs Landing is located at 2 Bay Avenue, at the foot of the Highlands Bridge. They’re open seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Bar until 1:00 a.m.), and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Bar until 10:00 p.m.) Outside dining is offered through part of October, Monday through Thursday from 12:00 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 10:30 p.m. (Tiki Bar until 12:00 a.m.), and Sunday from 12:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Tiki Bar until 11:00 p.m.) Call (732) 872-1245 or visit


Channel Marker Café

The real spirit of the Jersey Shore awaits you at the Channel Marker Café. The casual, friendly, and delicious locale is right on the channel, behind the Ocean Beach Marina. They’re open again for the season with a new chef and an exciting new menu full of tasty treats, plus all your favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. Enjoy one of the most scenic locations and the most gorgeous sunsets in the area. Dine indoors, outdoors on the wrap-around deck, or even on your boat. The Channel Marker has plenty of choices for kids, dock and dine, daily specials, and live entertainment every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

You can have a quick bite to go, savor a seafood lunch or dinner, try out their signature burgers with a special blend of beef ground exclusively for them, share some tasty appetizers, and relax. The Channel Marker Café can even host your next party of up to 50, and your guests will never forget the easy, breezy waterfront fun. Here, you will surely love the food, the boats, the view, and lots more.

The Channel Marker Café is also home to the Guinness Book of World Record Challenge, Tri4Kids, where manager Lou Mucardo will set a new world record completing 51 triathlons in 51 days to raise money for children’s causes.

The Channel Marker Café is located at The Ocean Beach Marina, 3245 Route 35 South in Lavallette. Call (732) 793-7559 or visit BYOB.


Fratelli’s Pizzeria and Restaurant

Fratelli’s Pizzeria and Restaurant has been one of Monmouth County’s leading family-style restaurants for over 35 years. Whether it’s too hot to cook, you’re having a party, planning dinner with a group of friends, or you just crave the pure deliciousness of Italian, Fratelli’s will always satisfy.

Start with the freshest and finest ingredients and add the time-tested family recipes. The authentic wood-fired brick oven, imported from Firenze, Italy, delivers perfectly crispy pizzas and specialties. They also make grandma, Sicilian, and Neapolitan pies. Their homemade sausage and meatballs, as well as their wide selection of homemade sauces, have made them famous. In addition to the must-try pizzas, Fratelli’s also offers a full menu of entrees, including Weekend Dinner Specials and $5 Lunch Specials Monday through Friday. There are hot and cold subs, pastas, and a kids’ menu; they even have gluten-free choices and use no peanut oil.

If you’re having a special event this summer, their comfortable Tuscan-inspired party room can accommodate groups of up to 60. Fratelli’s Pizzeria and Restaurant is a real favorite, so let them then take the heat out of summer cooking. They also deliver.

Fratelli’s Pizzeria and Restaurant is located in 480 State Highway 35, Union Square Mall in Red Bank. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 to 11:00 p.m. Call (732) 747-4737 or visit


Gary Bilbao Photography

Gary Bilbao is one of the area’s busiest photographers, specializing in real estate photography, video, and aerial photography. He is sought out by businesses for his video productions, which are used by many realtors and interior designers as part of their websites and YouTube marketing purposes campaigns.

His mission is to provide each and every client with second-to-none service, to ensure that he meets the needs of all his clients. His pleased customers recommend him highly. “You photographed our home and the pictures were beyond our expectations. You made the house look better than real life. Thank you so much. We are proud to have your photos and many people have commented about the photography.” ~ Eden and Rich, Lavalette.

If you have something special to photograph, contact Gary Bilbao at (908) 915-9943. Visit and or email


Good Karma Cafe

Vegan, vegetarian, organic food, and healthy food fans are enjoying the good karma of dining at the Good Karma Café, every day. The Good Karma Café has combined a passion for cooking and a love of the earth and all its inhabitants to offer exciting choices using only the finest ingredients that are guaranteed to be at least 90% organic.

Gail Doherty and Tiffany Betts, both graduates from the Natural Gourmet Institute, assure you that all their vegetables, grains, beans, tofu, tempeh, and nuts are free of pesticides, and are not irradiated. Whenever possible, they use local and fair trade products. They further share that many items are gluten- and wheat-free and other dishes can be accommodated, as well. Additionally, they have live items on the menu and all items are dairy- and egg-free.

The Good Karma family has flavorful organic breakfast, lunch, and dinner selections, and special blended drinks, too, as well as special order cakes. Plus, they have daily specials like Mac and Cheese Monday, Taco Tuesday, Pizza Wednesday, and Phat Sandwich Thursday, and on the weekends, you’ll find a special appetizer and entree. The Good Karma Café even has a catering menu and can do local on-site catering.

The Good Karm Café is located at 17 East Front Street in Red Bank. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Call (732) 450-8344 or visit


Koi Asian Cuisine of Hazlet

The artful, flavorful taste of Asia awaits you at Koi Asian Cuisine of Hazlet. Top-rated on Yelp and Trip Advisor, Koi’s sleek interior design and elegant food is a true treat. Sushi leads the way at this authentic and attractive eatery. Choose from hand-made rolls, platters, and combinations, all made with the highest quality and freshest ingredients. Be sure to try their innovative dishes like Sushi Nacho, a creative dish of spicy tuna and spicy salmon served on a bed of fried wonton, or the Diamond Girl Roll, with its white tuna, tuna, and salmon, rolled in rare white seaweed, and topped with yellowtail, avocado, and a special mild spicy sauce. It’s one of their most popular selections.

Koi turns up the heat with two hibachi grills with all the entertaining show, Thai favorites like chicken lettuce wraps, lunch bento boxes, and dinner-sized Udon soups and Sukiyaki.     They are available for hibachi parties of up to 18.  BYOB.

Koi Asian Cuisine of Hazlet is located at 2780 Route 35 in Hazlet. They’re open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 3:00 to 9:30 p.m. Call (732) 888-7568.


Livoti’s Old World Market of Middletown

The family owned and operated gourmet Italian supermarket, Livoti’s Old World Market, announces the grand opening of their third location in Middletown this month. Livoti’s, with stores in Aberdeen and Englishtown, specializes in fresh, locally grown produce, fresh hand-butchered meats, hand-made fresh mozzarella prepared and smoked daily, fresh baked specialty breads, freshly prepared pre-packages meals (including a wide variety of gluten-free options), and catering for all occasions. Now all that is available in Middletown, as well.

You will also find a large selection of organic produce and premium meats, including organic and grass-fed options, and imported olive oils, vinegars, cheeses, meats, delicacies, and  coffee beans and ground coffees from around the world.

Leading the Middletown team is the winner of TV’s “Chopped,” Chef Franco Franzese. Chef Franzese trained in the culinary arts in Bari, Italy, and has earned more than 70 prestigious awards, including the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2002, the International Food Show in Milan, Italy in 2004, and the Cup of Nations Award in 2006 in Canada.

The new store will offer an in-house fresh fish market, a specialty Italian bakery, a Gelato station, pre-cut salads, lunch and dinner grab-and-go meals, and a pizza and coffee bar with ancillary seating for lunch and dinner. Whether you are celebrating, hosting guests, or taking it easy, let Livoti’s Old World Market share the best tasting food around. Voted #1 Caterer in Monmouth County in 2015 and 2016.

Livoti’s Old World Market is located at 1151 Route 35 in Middletown. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visit You can also download Livoti’s mobile app.


Monmouth County Park System

From Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch to Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold, the Monmouth County Park System offers more than 30 park areas to explore. The perfectly maintained parks are a lot more than just places to hike and picnic. They offer a diverse calendar of classes, events, activities, and recreation, including public golf, skating, living farms with animals, arboretums, horseback riding, historic demonstrations, nature programs and trails, biking, boating, art programs, music, and much more. And the fun doesn’t stop in the summer; the exceptional parks offer recreation, fresh air, and the opportunity to appreciate nature year-round. Many of the parks are free or charge only nominal parking fees.

All parks are open from 7:00 a.m. to dusk and change seasonally or depending upon special activities in a park. Learn about all the choices by visiting


Patricia’s of Holmdel

Traditional Italian dishes made in-house every day: that’s what has been making Patricia’s of Holmdel one of the hottest new restaurants in the area. Using the finest, freshest imported ingredients, the chef creates classics, plus daily specials, and clever twists on seafood and traditional Italian.

Parties of eight and up may also choose the friendly family-style menu, with three price choices of $45, $55, or $65. Make your own menu for your next family gathering or larger event. Patricia’s has a sound-proof ceiling and movable barriers to accommodate a wide variety of different sized parties and they love to help you host.

The Patricia’s team really prides themselves on treating each and every customer like family, saying, “We are beyond grateful to all of our customers who keep coming back and making Patricia’s what it is today. We want people to feel like they are at home, eating authentic Italian food in a comfortable environment.”

They also offer a variety of gluten-free and vegetarian options, and all pizzas and pastas can be made gluten-free. They take allergies very seriously and the chefs enjoy creating delicious custom dishes to accommodate any allergy. In the warmer months, you can even dine outdoors. Reservations are strongly recommended from Thursdays through Sundays and required on the holidays. BYOB.

Patricia’s of Holmdel is located in The Commons at Holmdel, 2132 Route 35 in Holmdel. They’re open for lunch and dinner seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call (732) 275-0234 or visit


Phoenix Productions

Phoenix Productions specializes in reviving proven Broadway hits – shows that have achieved critical acclaim and solid audience acceptance. They recreate these shows without compromise, with full sets and costumes, sophisticated sound and lighting, and always a full, live orchestra. They perform these shows at Red Bank’s fabulous Count Basie Theatre. It’s as close as you can get to the Broadway experience right here in Central New Jersey, at a fraction of the cost and inconvenience. The company customarily mounts four such productions each year. The remaining offerings for this season are “West Side Story,” “Into the Woods,” and “Seussical.”

A non-profit community theatre organization founded in 1988, Phoenix has entertained more than a half-million patrons while providing opportunities for thousands of local performers, musicians, artists, and craftspeople. What’s more, the vast majority of those thousands have been volunteers, working for the applause, the satisfaction, and the joy of bringing a script to life. Phoenix also operates a year-round arts education program for children and adults, including a summer day camp for kids who love to perform, at the Phoenix Performing Arts Center in Red Bank.

Tickets to individual shows are on sale at the Count Basie box office. Call (732) 842-9000 or visit For subscriptions, group sales, and information about arts education or volunteering at Phoenix Productions, call (732) 747-0014 or visit


Pinot’s Palette

Create a unique memory you’ll own forever at Pinot’s Palette. This fun, upscale painting destination lets anyone be a Picasso. The whole family will love it and you don’t need to be an artist to experience the joy of creative expression. In just two to three hours at Pinot’s Palette, you can create any number of festive, whimsical, and pretty paintings while sipping on your favorite drink and having a snack. It’s a perfect summer activity, a great place to bring your summer guests, spend a day with the kids, or get together with the adults for a glass of wine and real fine time. (No hard liquor is permitted, but guests are welcome to bring beer and wine. They provide glasses, corkscrews, and ice.)

Visit their calendar to see what is being painted each day and evening. Also feel free to ask about hosting your private event there. Ages 15-17 must be accompanied with an adult at evening events; all ages are welcome for daytime events.

Pinot’s Palette’s office is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and classes can be scheduled at any time. They’re located at 12 Broad Street in Red Bank. Call (732) 219-9222, visit, or email There is public metered parking on Broad Street, as well as in municipal lots accessible on White Street or Monmouth Street, and parking is free after 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day on Sunday.


Red Bank, NJ

With its stunning, picturesque views of the Navesink River, charming historic buildings and Victorian streetscapes, dining for all palates, theater, music, art, culture, boutique shopping, and seasonal celebrations, Downtown Red Bank comes alive each day and offers visitors an experience that is as unique as the town itself. In Red Bank, you’ll find just the right balance between atmosphere, amenities, and old-fashioned beauty.

Named the best downtown arts district by Discover Jersey Arts three years in a row, Red Bank can’t be beat for arts and entertainment. Whether it’s the Count Basie Theatre, Two River Theater, Bow-Tie Cinema’s arts movie house, one of the famed galleries, or a street performer on a summer Saturday evening, you’ll find culture, style, and elegance at every turn.

For information about everything Red Bank has to offer, all year long, visit, email, or phone (732) 842-4244.


Tuscany Italian Specialty

Authentic. Superior. Proven. This explains the outstanding success of Tuscany Italian Specialty Market and Catering, celebrating 20 years of preparing fine quality foods for a loyal and growing sphere of customers. With two locations in Marlboro and Manalapan, NJ, Tuscany blends flavor, freshness, and service to make them a high-caliber Italian emporium. Tuscany offers prepared foods and full-service catering for gatherings both small and large. Their signature flavors are evident in the pastas, meats, brick oven pizza (Marlboro location only), outstanding homemade mozzarella, imported cheeses, and the on-site bakery that bakes bread daily and offers a wide array of traditional pastries and custom cakes. This, and much more, makes Tuscany an epicurean marvel.

Since 1997, owners Vinny LaFranca and Sal Faenza have devoted their masterful culinary skills and penchant for quality to create and build Tuscany’s excellence. Vinny and Sal’s friendship began years ago in Brooklyn, NY, where their mutual interest in Italian food brought them together. Vinny, born in Sicily, came to America at age 11 and developed a food interest by watching his mother prepare family recipes in their Brooklyn kitchen. Sal was born in Brooklyn, NY, first generation born in America, and learned about Italian food from his father, who owned an Italian market in their Brooklyn neighborhood. From Italy to New York to the Jersey Shore, these Italian sons have journeyed far in miles, education, and dedication to bring delicious food from their table to yours.

Visit Tuscany today at one of their convenient locations, 130A South Main Street, Marlboro, NJ 07746 (732-308-1118) or 285 Gordon’s Corner Road, Manalapan, NJ  07726 (732-972-2500).  Hours for both locations are Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. See their website at


The Village East Conservatory of Music

No matter your age or experience, whether you have dreams of stardom or a just a burning desire to play an instrument for pleasure, let the Village East Conservatory of Music bring music into your life and home. For 35 years, they have been the “go-to” music education specialists, teaching all levels of students, recording artists, and other music teachers how to attain their musical goals. Their highly qualified and experienced teachers come to your home to give you fun, focused lessons, customized for you, that get you real results in a short time, using the music that students love. You’ll be playing and singing in no time as you develop an understanding of the art and science of music. The instructors are professional recording, performing, and touring artists who really get into the lessons, filling students with positivity, enthusiasm, and encouragement.

The Village East Conservatory of Music offers guitar, piano, bass, vocal, and drum lessons, as well as lessons in songwriting, and film and video game composition, along with music theory, and other related areas of interest.

The school is owned and operated by director of curriculum, producer, composer, studio musician, and educator Gregg Zubowicz, who has studied with iconic music legends from around the world. Many of the students have gone on to major careers in music. If you want to pursue a professional career or you just want to learn one song for a special reason, you will be amazed at what you can do. Their motto is “Start the journey today; we will get you there!”

Studio lessons are also available; lessons are available Monday through Saturday. Call (732) 546-0702 or visit for more information.