We bellied up to a high top at the recently opened B2 Bistro & Bar on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank. This building once held an old fashioned Italian restaurant so beloved by locals that they still talk about it today. It was at Sal’s that we shushed our babies while trying to enjoy pasta puttanesca and veal parm. Two or three other restaurants took over the spot and failed. This one, B2 is gonna stick.
The decor is brick-wall rustic in a contemporary teak-wood-and-burlap way. It is how I’d like to decorate my next house. The open kitchen makes sitting in the bar area appealing. Views of a massive pizza oven and the crowd at the bar keep site lines interesting and lively.
If decor alone could keep a bar in business, this place will have no problems, but it’s the food that will put B2 on the Red Bank map of great restaurants.
Competition is steep in this town full of excellent cuisine so what will set B2 apart? Attention to detail. Gourmet, fresh ingredients prepared with care, imagination, and nerve.
When a food writer wakes up in the morning thinking about a meal from the night before, you know there is something special going on. The bento box style bread service alone will have me coming back. Fermented, salted butter served with perfectly textured bread and a dish of pickled cucumbers comes to the table as a complimentary feature. It’s memorable.
The pizza is worth a bite too. Bechamel covered, laden with bits of chewy clams and topped with watercress, it was creamy, crispy, chewy, salty and had a wonderful peppery after taste. We ate every last crumb.
The menu will be changing on a regular basis I’m told. We’ll be back to see what they’re cooking up next and to try a few of those cocktails we’ve been hearing about.
Thought you’d like to know…there’s a new restaurant in town and it’s terrific!