Pirate’s Cove on the Bay, Middletown, NJ

After saying for several months I would try this place, we finally made it to Pirate’s Cove on the Bay in Middletown, NJ. My parents, whom I trust their dining recommendations, had been here before over the summer and had a wonderful meal served on the outside patio with fabulous views. Pirate’s Cove is mainly a seafood restaurant and is actually connected to a fishery. It’s a small, quaint restaurant located right next to the Belford Ferry (Belford is a section of Middletown, NJ) right on the water.

For our party, there were five of us, my husband, myself, my teenage sister (who does not eat seafood) and my mother and step-father. We arrived for our reservation and were seated promptly. Most tables in the house were occupied as well. For appetizers, we ordered the Clams Casino (cherry stone clams in a bacon, garlic, cherry pepper and white wine broth), Fried Calamari (traditional style, may also be ordered Buffalo style), and for the carnivore the Blackened Sirloin Strips (Sirloin smothered with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions).

The clams were large, plump, and juicy and they weren’t cooked the traditional way Clams Casino are. The rest of the ingredients were tossed together with the clams which was very good. The calamari wasn’t the best I’ve had but it was still good and I would probably order it again. I did not try the Blackened Sirloin Strips since I don’t like blue cheese, but my husband and step-father finished them off and gave it a thumbs up.

Our entrees were also served with a house salad with a balsamic vinegarette which was tasty but had the mushy, pale pink tomatoes I detest. The warm, crusty bread was served with a fresh herb butter that was wonderful.

For entrees, both my step-father and I choose the Stuffed Shrimp (served with crab cake mixture over wild rice). I substituted horseradish-mashed potatoes for the rice. The shrimp was grilled and very meaty and the crab cake mixture contained large, sweet chunks of crab. We both enjoyed our choice. The mashed potatoes had just the right amount of horseradish and were heavenly.

My husband went with the Seafood Paella (scallops, shrimp and clams over saffron rice with artichokes and chorizo) which was my second choice. This was a generous portion and they weren’t stingy with the seafood. I gave it a bite and thought it was perfect as did the husband.

Mom had the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (with Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette and Rice Pilaf). Again, two very large portions of crab cakes. She enjoyed them and noted the roasted red pepper sauce was also very good. Our little carnivore, my sister, went with the Chicken Cacciatore Panini with fries. She didn’t like it at all citing the chicken was dried out. For dessert, the girls shared an enjoyable, warm Apple Crumb Tart with vanilla ice cream.

I would love to go back here when I’m in the mood for seafood. In fact, there is a chef’s tasting coming up I’m thinking about going to! I can’t wait for the summer to head here to eat some fresh seafood on their deck. I highly recommend this little hidden jewel! Arrgh! (And not because I love Pirates, I mean Johnny Depp, I mean Captain Jack Sparrow…)


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