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Summertime at the shore is lots of fun. Officially most of its beaches, boardwalks, and restaurants opened this past Memorial Day. Smart locals like hubby and me let the tourist Bennies enjoy weekends through Labor Day and visit instead on weekdays. We savor less hectic, leisurely personal service and no traffic jam.
Things haven’t been easy here since Hurricane Sandy devastated Ocean County’s coast. We live on the mainland a mile from the bay. So many houses here are vacant, deserted. Now yesterday was clear, warm, and sunny–absolutely perfect weather for a drive, time to check out how the towns on the barrier strip were recovering, and lunch at the Grenville, a historic 120 year old Victorian B&B.
It certainly is a quaint inn rumored to be haunted. We decline seating on the veranda.
Instead we opt to dine its charming main dining room. Unfortunately the noise from sixteen women seated at the next table disturbs any quiet conversation.
The small, intimate Grenville does not cater to large crowds. Accordingly its menu although seasonal is limited American cuisine.
Since Artisan Cheese and Fruit Plate appetizer is unavailable, we begin with side salad and French Onion au Gratin Soup du Jour (French Onion au Gratin). Vegetables are fresh and crisp. Broth is not too salty and exceptionally tasty.
Hubby orders his usual BEEF. The steak sandwich is properly cooked and tender; its roll bakery fresh. Too bad the menu does not show it is served with sauce. (Hubby likes his meat nude.) The fries are fresh, browned to perfection.
I order Pan Seared Lump Crab Cakes with a caper remoulade instead of the fresh sea bass catch of the day. My mistake! Jersey crabs are not what they once were…. The rice pilaf is moist, fluffy, flavorsome.
Hubby and I decide the Grenville is the perfect setting for a romantic fall evening in front of its light fireplace finishing with its specialty decadent New Orleans inspired Bananas Foster and good coffee.
The Grenville is located at 345 Main Avenue (Route 35N), Bay Head, New Jersey 08742. Its telephone number is 732-892-3100. Summer hours are 11:00 A. M. -10:00 P. M. Monday through Thursday, 11:00 A. M. -11:00 P. M. Friday, 9:00 A. M. -11:00 P. M. Saturday, and 9:00 A. M. -10:00 P. M. Sunday.