Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

I thought about some of my favorite places in Ocean County to enjoy a romantic night out. Then I thought about putting together a perfect list of those restaurants that would be considered great places to go for a Valentine’s Day celebration.

I thought about my personal favorites, and the favorites of my friends, co-workers, foodie lovers, and neighbors.

I usually do Valentine’s Day at home if it falls on a weekday. I’m not really big into exchanging V Day gifts and cards, but I am definitely into romance.

If you have someone special to share your life with, you shouldn’t celebrate just one day out of the year.

I know quite a few people who are planning to take their beloved out on or near February 14th to enjoy an extra special date night.

I like places where you can have a conversation with little to no distraction. I don’t mind a little background chatter or background music.

Personally, I like places that are quaint, as well as places that take you back in time with specific old world period décor.

Everyone needs a little romance and time away from the kids.

I really did my best to come up with a short list of restaurants with the assistance of friends, foodie pages on social media, and my personal suggestions for places that offer great food, great service, and some ambience.

In some cases, where you eat is less important than who you are dining with.

There are a several of restaurants that meet my criteria. It’s more than a handful, but enough for all of us to keep in rotation for at least a year before more new restaurants pop up.

If you’re on the hunt for a romantic eatery this Valentine’s Day, this list might be just what you need.

Let’s take a look at 7 restaurants in Ocean County that would make your Valentine’s Day Extra Special.

  • Morningstar Cafe - 1001 Fischer Blvd Suite 5, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Located in Fischer Bay Plaza, this fairly new restaurant has quite the buzz going on in both Monmouth & Ocean County. My friend Lisa’s daughter, Alaina was one of the first people to tell me about chef Alex and how vibrant her vision is for this breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner establishment.

    The dishes are not run of the mill fare, they are more in line with some of your favorite dishes elevated by chef Alex and her staff. This is on my list of places to try.

    My favorite baking Goddesses, Lisa & Amy from “Must Get Sconed” have a collab going on with Morningstar Cafe. Finish off your meal with a sweet treat from the kitchens of Must Get Sconed. I hope they have one of their chocolate peanut butter confections when I get there.

  • Ott's Good Earth Garden - 771 S Main St, West Creek, NJ 08092

    Geoff Johnson is a masterful creator of elegant yet approachable dishes at this gorgeous upscale restaurant. I’ve had the pleasure of dining here a few months ago for a Murder Mystery dinner. The dishes are well thought out creative masterpieces.

    Geoff is all about farm to table dining.  The decor is romantic, the food is impeccable, and the service is terrific. Max’s Crispy Lobster Tail is a stand out dish. Make you date night reservation asap, you’ll thank me.


  • Rue 561 Bistro - 561 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Several people I know have gone here for anniversaries and other special occasions. Dishes mentioned in conversation were the 45 day dry aged tomahawk steak, truffle mac & cheese, and the wedge salad topped with micro greens and frizzled onions.

    The menu changes from time to time at this farm to table place. Another place that made my list of places to try.


  • Daniel's Bistro - 115 Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

    An intimate dining experience along with top notch dishes made with local ingredients. Chef Moussa Bass runs the kitchen with an incredible crew working together like a well oiled machine.

    Some of the appetizers look out of the ordinary. I’m looking at the Spicy Duck Meatballs to start my meal, made with ground duck, foie gras, natural duck jus, baby spinach, egg. 

    I like the fact that there’s nothing on the menu over $50 with the exception of the filet mignon. I like having as much information as possible when making reservations at upscale eateries. Great food and amazing service are what you’ll get at this lovely Point Pleasant Beach eatery.  Bravo, Chef Bass.




  • Spanish Potato Grill - 55 Brick Blvd, Brick Township, NJ 08723

    Bruce & I really enjoy this place. It’s in the same shopping center as Burlington and Stop & Shop. If we’re not going to our favorite Portuguese place in Long Branch, we opt for the Spanish Potato.

    Excellent quality food, and personal service bring us back a few times a year. They have a clam, garlic and white wine appetizer that we just love. We love to mop up the sauce with bread.

    For dinner, Bruce almost always gets the Flank Steak with their freshly cut Spanish Potatoes. Me, I change it up every now and again. I do love the Paella though.

    Spanish Potato Grill | Portuguese Restaurant | Brick NJ

    Spanish Potato Grill is a Spanish and Portuguese restaurant in Brick NJ. We specialize in Spanish and Portuguese cusine and the best seafood on the new jersey shore.

  • Chef Mike's ABG - 10 24th Central Ave, Seaside Park, NJ 08752

    Food with a view all year long!  Chef Mike’s personality is in the food. This chef’s passion for creating incredible food is evident the minute your fork hits your mouth.

    Big food, big flavors, and a big heart are what chef Mike is all about. The man is constantly giving back to the community and satisfying palates 5 days a week.

    Open Thursday through Sunday, check out Chef Mike’s ABG.  My choice: The Horseradish Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with artichoke hearts, charred Japanese eggplant, with crispy fried leeks and a romesco sauce.  For an app, get the Hot Sampler.


  • Captain's Inn- 304 E Lacey Rd, Forked River, NJ 08731

    I love this place because of it’s old school feel. I also love it because it’s casual and romantic. The chowders, bisques, seafood, steaks, the apps, and the cocktails are fantastic. Whether we dine alone or with friends it’s always a great time at Captain’s Inn.






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