Pirate’s Cove Take Two

A few weeks ago I had reviewed Pirate’s Cove on the Bay in the Belford section of Middletown, NJ. We had a pleasant dinner there and I had anticipated returning here soon. Sure enough, we found ourselves back at this great little spot on the water for a special event – a Chef’s Tasting. How could a foodie not want to go to this? This was a seven course pre-fixe meal for $45.00 a person.

We were promptly seated and were brought delicious, warm bread with a fresh herb butter. Up first, Lentil Bisque. I would say of all the courses, I was apprehensive about this one the most. I loathe lentils. I figured I’d be nice and taste it once it arrived. I was here for courses 3 through 7! More on the second course later….

When the Lentil Bisque arrived, it was a cup of the soup topped with a dusting of Parmesan and fresh parsley. That first spoonful was…..amazing! I immediately fell in love with this smoky, flavorful, creamy concoction. I loved it so much I asked our waitress if there was any left because I’d like to purchase some to take home. After checking with the chef, she let me know there was some left and I could purchase a cup, bowl, or quart. Well, I took the quart for $8.00 and enjoyed it for the next few days!

Second course was a roasted beet with raspberry vinaigrette and goat cheese. Alas, I also loathe beets, just not as much as I thought I loathed lentils, so I wasn’t crazy about this course. Sure enough, I still loathe beets. Also, as I’ve mentioned on here before, not a fan of goat cheese. The vinaigrette was very fruity, tangy and flavorful though.

For the third course we were served grape leaves stuffed with ground beef with fresh herbs. This reminded me of stuffed cabbage. The grape leaf was ok as a wrapping but the real deliciousness was the filling. It was sweet and savory and you could really taste the fresh herbs and some sort of citrus flavor that sounds odd with ground beef but worked.

Fourth course was grilled shrimp over artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and feta with a vinaigrette. The two shrimp were plump and juicy.  They had that nice, crisp bite from the grilling then the sweet, succulent meat within. The other flavors combined well and it reminded me of a Greek salad.

Moving along to the fifth course, we were served seared ahi tuna with a mustard parsley glaze over roasted garlic mashed potatoes. This was good, but not great. I found my tuna to be slightly over-cooked. The mustard parsley glaze, however, was a nice touch. And those roasted garlic mashed potatoes were heavenly.

The sixth course was roast pork loin stuffed with pancetta, apricots and  over a white wine parsnip puree. By this time, I was starting to get full, despite all the previous portions being small-sized. I did manage to get a few bites in and thought this was also very good. The stuffing of pancetta and apricots actually worked well together and had a nice taste. And the parsnip puree was creamy and good.

The last course, dessert, was a half-moon creme brulee – one side traditional and the other Godiva. Although I had no room for the roast pork, I did manage to find a wee bit of space for this perfect brulee. The traditional side had just the right amount of sweetness without being overbearing and the caramelized sugar topping was nice and crispy. The Godiva side of the creme brulee was rich and chocolately.

Afterwards, the owner stopped by each table to get feedback and talk a little. This place hasn’t even been open a year and I think they are doing great. According to the owner, they plan on having the chef’s tastings each month. I think it’s a great value for some great food. Even better, the owner mentioned I should sign up for there newsletter because they send out coupons. Sure enough within a few days I received a 25% coupon for this month! Pirate’s Cove on the Bay is a great, little place and I’m already making plans to return.

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6 Comments »

  1. Howser said

    You went to a seafood restaurant, had 2 shrimp, and overcooked tuna, and rave about it?

  2. The food sounds amazing, but the name of the restaurant sounds like a miniature golf course I used to play when I was little!

  3. The entire meal sounds fantastic!! I would have loved every course. 🙂 And $45 per person is nothing for all that food – what a bargain!

  4. foodiedani said

    Howser – I’m guessing you’ve never done a chef’s tasting before? Chef’s Tasting are normally multi-course meals featuring a sampling of the chef’s creations. Chef’s Tastings are also considered fine dining. So yes, I raved about my two shrimp because that was expected. This wasn’t Red Lobster’s All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Fest. And the only negative to my experience was my “slightly” over-cooked tuna which otherwise tasted fine. So YES, I am raving about it.

    Black Coffee- I think my husband wanted to go to this place originally because of the name, but yes, it does sound like it could be a mini-golf place! lol!

    Home Cook – thanks! It definitely was a bargain. We are fortunate in our area to have many fine dining restaurants and many feature chef’s tastings for around the same price. And the funny part was noticing how full we became throughout the meal!

    dani

  5. Howser said

    Actually, you didn’t like the salad either. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate your blog, (thanks) but it only seemed like you enjoyed the soup, shrimp, and dessert. I also think that $45 is an awful lot of money for a tasting that included lentil soup, pork loin and ground beef.

  6. foodiedani said

    Your right, I forgot about the salad. But I knew I probably wouldn’t like it since it had beets in it. But of the seven courses, I disliked one and one was medicore (the tuna), but I did enjoy the other five. Based on other chef’s tastings in the area, $45 is one of the lower prices. But if I had taken pictures you’d would have seen that there was a nice, sized portion to each course and I think it was a good price.

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