I’ve always been the type of girl who goes to dinner and gets the three-course meal of an appetizer, entrée and dessert. I can’t just eat dessert without dinner and I can’t eat dinner without an appetizer, it’s just not in my genes.
It’s been like this forever so I decided to go on an ‘app-teaser’ to some of my favorite Rumson spots.
I started off at Val’s Tavern. Val’s is the perfect place to grab a beer and a burger with some friends on game night and it’s also known for its old-fashioned menu and décor. Walking into Val’s is like visiting my father back in 1961, but with better hair and flashier televisions. I sat down in time for the lunch menu (served daily from 11-3) and made the difficult decision of deciding what to eat.
The eggplant fries and famous tortellini chicken soup called out to me like a lost dog on the prairie, begging for a savior. Before coming to Val’s I’d never heard of eggplant fries, I’d heard of zucchini fries, green been fries, but nothing of a purple color, so that grabbed my attention.
Evie’s famous tortellini chicken soup makes me wonder why we don’t use tortellinis in this world more often with soup base. I can’t describe the flavors and spices that created a vortex of joy in my mouth, but it comes close to how I felt when Santa showed up on Christmas morning.
Unfortunately money keeps me from eating everything in site, but the other items that crossed my path were the Maryland crab cakes, fried calamari always a favorite and the artichoke française.
All reasonably priced under 10 dollars, besides the crab cakes and shrimp cocktail, my ‘app-teaser’ only put me back a little over 10 dollars. Win!
The next stop on my journey was Barnacle Bill’sIf you haven’t noticed already, I love seafood and it’s one of my favorite places because of the yummy food and delicious view.
I wasted no time in immediately ordering Bill’s Manhattan Clam Chowder, which is funny considering I always preferred New England. But, there’s some sassy spice that Barnacle Bill uses that I love. Now I knew the hot wings were good, but I decided to get a little fancy and order the smoked salmon seasoned with sundried tomatoes and basil and… WOW.
Whenever I go to the same places I always get the same thing but I had to expand my horizon for my ‘app-teaser’ and it was well worth it.
Barnacle Bill’s has some of the seafood essentials on its appetizer menu like steamers, clams, mussels and shrimp cocktail, but it also brings its own little flavor with its smoked trout, fried zucchini, potato skins and mozzarella sticks.
Again these appetizers are all priced under 10 dollars, but I ran my bill up to about 20. Yikes, but worth the two hours of pay.
My last stop was McLoone’s Rum Runner and I didn’t have to hold out because luckily my partner in crime offered to pick up the check. This place is pricier than the other two restaurants so if you’re looking to splurge (even on apps) then stop on by.
Crab is my favorite crustacean so I ordered the lump crabmeat cocktail off the raw bar menu while I decided the rest of my stomach’s fate.
I finally settled on the Asian beef skewers, tuna taquitos and the lobster and shrimp bisque. When my food arrived my body was in flavorville and I was the chubby mayor.
Now I had to show some control when I ordered my appetizers because I had to say no to some other enticing choices like the angry crab dip, lobster dumplings, rock shrimp and veggie spring rolls.
It was really hard to make a choice here since it was my first time and the appetizer menu took up an entire page. But I made my choice and was not disappointed for the third time this week.
Through my ‘app-teaser’ journey I enjoyed some of my favorite place’s favorites and discovered some new tastes and textures to add to my palette.
Now when you get out to Val’s Tavern, Barnacle Bill’s or McLoone’s Rum Runner, you have a good idea of what I like, but I suggest exploring the menus and challenging your taste buds on your own. You'll be pleasantly surprised...