Out of Town: Black Trumpet in Spring Lake, NJ

Total Bill: $103.79 for two

So our final night in town led us to the Black Trumpet — a cozy seaside restaurant in the Grand Victorian Hotel. Its warmly-lit porch seemed to draw all of town to its welcoming scene amid the dim streets and expansive pitch-black ocean.

Acoustic tunes from the guitarist seated by the hostess on the porch lends to the overall serenity. Despite the name of the hotel, the venue is actually quite contemporary with more seafood selections than Whispers. This restaurant is also bring-your-own and be sure to make reservations in advance.

Considering we were sitting by the ocean with the warm salty breeze, we felt some fresh east-coast oysters were in order.

Next came the creamy avocado dip with lightly glazed pita chips. The guacamole was scooped out of the shell and blended smoothly with tomatoes and topped with lump crab meat.

The portion is perfect for sharing to ensure you don’t overload before the main entrees arrive.

That’s where we made the mistake of ordering the starter pasta as well. Don’t get me wrong — the dish was great, with fresh corn mixed in with two types of pasta. But relative to other options on the menu, don’t take up room in your stomach with useless carbs.

But from there, it’s was all worthwhile. Our two main fish courses were light yet flavorful. I had the local bluefish filet atop a bed of chorizo sausage, fingerling potato, grilled corn and baby spinach. Jay had the sliced tuna steak, seared lightly on each side and perfectly pink on the inside.

Of our two dining experiences, I’d say the Black Trumpet offers a more fitting atmosphere. When you go to the shore, you’ll more likely be looking for a laid back seaside meal with an array of local catches to choose from.


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