NJ restaurants: 13 new restaurants at the Jersey Shore

Sarah Griesemer
Asbury Park Press

Each new month brings new restaurants at the Shore, and August is no exception.

From Latin American cuisine and over-the-top pizzas to pour-over coffee and Lebanese food, here is a look at more than a dozen new and coming restaurants. 

Joe's Rotisseria, Asbury Park 

Joseph Brignoni isn't afraid to go big.

At the age of 21, he used his savings to buy a pizzeria he found on Craigslist. He named the restaurant after himself and started cooking rotisserie chicken and "crazy" pizzas. There is his signature pie, an all-in-one pizza, calzone and garlic knot creation called the Triple Threat, and the slider pizza, which has bite-sized chicken Parmesan sandwiches baked into the crust.

The Triple Threat at at Joe's Rotisseria is a combination of pepperoni pizza, calzone and garlic knots.

And let's not forget the penne sampler, a a cheesy crust topped with penne vodka and penne alfredo, with a line of pizza pinwheels down the center. 

Brignoni's over-the-top culinary creations have paid off: He placed 17th in this year's International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas – in the nontraditional category, of course – and will open a second location this fall, at Main Street and Summerfield Avenue in Asbury Park.

"I just really wanted to be a part of the change that's going on down there," said Brignoni, now 26. "There's nothing down the Shore like my pizza place, and Asbury Park is basically becoming the restaurant capital of the Jersey Shore." 

Go: 547 Westfield Ave., Roselle Park; 908-245-9003, joes-rotisseria.com.

The Galley Pizza & Eatery, Asbury Park

What do you get when a culinary school-grad-turned-charter-fishing-boat owner opens a restaurant?

The Galley Pizza & Eatery, opening next month in Sunset Plaza on Memorial Drive in Asbury Park. Kris Black's forthcoming restaurant, which joins Local 130 Seafood, Ada's Gojjo and Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co., will serve pizza, house-smoked prime rib and pastrami, dry-rubbed wings, fries and burgers.

Black, an Ocean Township native who attended the culinary program at Brookdale Community College in Asbury Park, owns the charter boat Fish Stix. He fishes out of Shark River Inlet in Neptune.

Go: 1313 Memorial Drive

Matiz Shore House, Long Branch

A flank steak entree at Matiz Shore House in Long Branch.

In early July, a former bar and pub grub spot on Long Branch's Brighton Avenue became home to the second location of a popular Latin American restaurant in Queens, New York. 

Matiz Shore House, owned by Alfredo Quesada and Oscar Cano, takes the place of the former Draft House. Its sister restaurant, Matiz Latin Cuisine, opened four years ago in the Forest Hills section of Queens.

The new restaurant, bar and lounge, which serves dinner Tuesdays through Fridays and lunch every day but Mondayss, offers empanadas, platains, ceviche, skirt steak, Brazilian shrimp and paella – plus cocktails – in a hip space.

Go: 100 Brighton Ave., Long Branch; 848-888-3813, matizlatincuisine.com.

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Berritazza Café, Point Pleasant Beach 

John Bezerra owns Berritazza Cafe in Point Pleasant Beach with his wife, Sabrina.

Hand-roasted, pour-over coffee made with beans from around the world, acai bowls made from berries grown in the Amazon, and house-made gelatos and sorbets are on the menu at this cafe, which opened earlier this summer on Arnold Avenue. 

Owners John and Sabrina Bezerra, who are investors in The Bonney Read in Asbury Park, also serve waffles, oatmeal, avocado toast, smoothies, shakes, frittatas, salads, pastries and Brazilian cheese bread. Aside from acai, the cafe offers bowls made from the tropical fruits graviola, cupuacu, pitaya and maracuya.

Go: 506 Arnold Ave., Point Pleasant Beach; 732-206-6334, berritazza.com.

Ruocco's on 9, Manalapan

Ruocco's on 9 of Howell has opened a second location in Manalapan.

A passion for cooking most often begins at home, and for Stephen Ruocco, it was no different. The Brooklyn native learned to cook in his grandmother's kitchen, and these days, he shares family restaurants with patrons of his two restaurants. One opened in Howell in 2017 and the other in Manalapan in late July.

The new Ruocco's on 9 is in the Design Centre Shopping Plaza, in the space previously occupied by Mamma Mia Focacceria. The menu includes classic Italian dishes  —pastas, chicken, meat and fish, plus a traditional Sicilian chickpea fritter called panelle that is served with ricotta and lemon – and Ruocco's own spin on tradition: french fries topped with Gorgonzola cheese and fried garlic chips, and seven-layer cookie crumb cake.

Go: 345 Route 9, Manalapan, and 4344 Route 9 in Howell's Roseland Plaza; 732-851-5359, ruoccoson9.com.

High Tide Tea Co., Ocean Grove 

Jared and Nicole Lowry are the owners of High Tide Tea Co. on Pilgrim Pathway in Ocean Grove.

Owners Jared and Nicole Lowry are putting the finishing touches on their tea room, which they hope to open later this month. Their business, which will occupy the space previously held by Davison Rugs, will carry more than 60 varieties of hot and iced tea, plus sweet and savory baked goods, tea accessories and local art. Customers also will be able to purchase loose leaf teas. 

Go: 39 Pilgrim Pathway; 732-455-2730, hightidetea.com.

Other restaurant news:

  • Gabriella's Italian Steakhouse, Middletown: The owners of Italian restaurant Patricia's of Holmdel opened this restaurant in early July in the former Bonefish Grill space. Specialties include steak, a raw bar, and Italian dishes. 447 Route 35, 732-456-6699, gabriellasnj.com.
  • Incredibowls, Stafford: This is the second location for this smoothie bowls spot; the first opened in Surf City in 2017. The business opened in the space previously occupied by Philly Pretzel Factory, which relocated to East Bay Avenue in the township this spring.  31 N. Main St. in the Manahawkin section; incredibowls.com.
  • JamaGrill, Neptune: Previously on Route 34 in Wall, this Jamaican restaurant has moved to Neptune. The restaurant, which serves oxtails and curried goat, is  now in the ShopRite plaza. 2200 Route 66; 732-919-5262, jamagrillnj.com.
  • Joe's Bagel & Grill, Toms River: This will be the sixth location for Joe's, which has shops in Brick, West Long Branch, Belmar, Point Pleasant, and the Cliffwood Beach section of Aberdeen.  The bagel shop will open in a former Burger King location. 931 Fischer Blvd.; joesbagelandgrill.com.
  • Koy Pita & Bowl, originally slated to open at 58 Main Ave. in Ocean Grove, is no longer opening. 
  • Manera's, Brick: This is the second location for this steak and seafood restaurant; the first is on Route 72 in Stafford. Manera's will open in the space previously occupied by Famous Dave's BBQ in the Town Hall Shoppes. The owner hopes to open early next year. manerasrestaurant.com.
  • Ranoosh, Long Branch: This Lebanese restaurant will open in the space previously occupied by barbecue restaurant Lava Pit, which closed in the spring. 75 Brighton Ave.
  • Una Pizza, Atlantic Highlands: Jersey Shore pizza prodigy and New York City pizza legend Anthony Mangieri, currently the owner of Una Pizza Napoletana on the Lower East Side, plans for a summer opening in the space previously occupied by Julia's Restaurant. 91A First Ave.; unapizza.com.
  • West Side Eatery, previously The Danish Cafe in Red Bank's The Galleria, has closed. 
  • Siam Garden, a longtime Thai restaurant also located in The Galleria, has closed.  

Sarah Griesemer joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey more than 15 years ago and has held a variety of positions since, but the work she does now is her favorite: food writing. Her favorite stories to write are the ones that make a difference for the Shore’s mom and pop restaurants. See her in the video above, write to her at sgriesemer@gannettnj.com and follow @jersey.shore.eats.