Drew’s Bayshore Bistro is another one of Keyport, NJ’s culinary secrets starting to get out. Drew’s is one of the trio of fantastic restaurants (McDonagh’s and Trinity) in a row on the same street in Keyport. I’ve been wanting to try Drew’s after reading much positive hype on nj.com and chowhound.com. It’s a tiny, little place you could miss if you weren’t looking. Reservations are a must on the weekend as the place is small and tables fill up fast. The cooking pays tribute to Cajun and Bistro-style food and the owner/chef Andrew Araneo, a native of Keyport, can be seen in the kitchen upon entering. Reservations were for a Saturday night and the place was packed. Not an empty table or seat in the house. And each time a table left, it was quickly filled up.
We started off the evening with two appetizers. First was the BBQ Pork Strudel, a house specialty. I can’t tell you how many times on the various foodie boards I read that I’ve seen this item mentioned with rave reviews. Well, they were all right. It’s BBQ pork with cheddarjack cheese in a crispy phyllo with pickled jalapeno coleslaw on the side. Tastes like a pulled pork sandwich with warm, melted cheese surrounded by the crisp, buttery crust. Outstanding. I didn’t really taste the coleslaw when I read it had jalapenos in it though. But this was a great start to the evening.
We also had the Clams and Andouille, pan-roasted little neck clams and andouille sausage in a garlic tomato broth. Again, wonderful but the broth was a little spicy. The sausage-clams combo is a winner.
For our main entrees, my husband had the Chipotle Braised Short Ribs- slow braised beef ribs with smashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The meat was amazingly tender and full of flavor, but not too spicy.
I went with the Blackened Salmon with garlic crawfish, smashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. As much as I love salmon, I chose this because I wanted those crawfish. Well….I could eat a bucket of those garlic crawfish (hint hint…make this an appetizer!!). They were amazing. The salmon was perfectly blackened, moist, and delicious.
For dessert, I went with the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding which was heavenly. And the husband had the brownie special. Another wonderful ending to a fantastic meal.
Overall, Drew’s lived up to all the hype I’ve been reading about. I feel fortunate to live nearby Keyport and have three great restaurants in a row to pick from depending on my mood. Check out Drew’s if you are looking for a top-notch dining experience.
****Side note…Stopped by Trinity in Keyport for lunch this past Saturday after the St. Pattie’s Day parade. All I can say is if you go there, get the garlic bread….It’s fresh garlic bread with pancetta bakedin it topped with fresh herbs and fresh mozzarella. Also tried the Kobe burger. yum…. And don’t forget to stop by the bar and try one of their new creations – a Peanut Butter Cup Martini…It just goes down toooooo easy….