"What do you think? Do you think I could fit a whole body in there?" owner Chris Wood joked on Saturday as he pointed to two man-sized coolers filled with ice at his Sea Bright restaurant.
The place was packed at dinner time and the fresh ice, juices and sodas were flowing along with an uncompromised menu that included iced oysters and assorted raw bar features.
"It's all fresh ice and bottled water, juices and sodas we're using," Wood added, speaking about the precautionary boil-water advisory Sea Bright was placed under, along with 21 other towns, on the heels of the water main break at the water treatment plant at Swimming River Reservoir in Tinton Falls.
The treatment plant, via NJ American Water Co., provides water to Sea Bright and surrounding communities, including Sea Bright, Rumson and Fair Haven.
Before opening on Saturday, Wood had purchased 200 bags of ice, and 10 cases of each soda (Sprite, Coke, Diet Coke) and juices. He was doubling up on Sunday. That was all in time for his dinner crowd and before he knew the ban was officially lifted at about 6 p.m.. Wood was "doubling up" for Sunday night, he said.
"It's crazy," Wood said as he made the rounds to all patrons with a little sweat on his brow and a smile. "We're good, though."
And all was definitely good at the restaurant, as the crowd seemed perfectly pleased with the meals and precautions taken.
Patch can attest to the good meal and service, as we partook in our own dinner at the popular Sea Bright eatery that Wood, a fellow R-FH grad, used to frequent with all other classmates when it was Ichabod's.
The Tiajuana Scallops dish was a special worth Wood revisiting. The melding of fresh tequila-infused tomatillo dressing drizzled on meaty, sweet sea scallops atop tomato and mozzarella with a side of sliced avacado good enough to take the words right out of this writer's mouth — mmmm is all I could come up with.
The Islander Pork Plate was plentiful and interesting, with pulled pork wrapped in banana leaves and served with hot flour tortillas, pickled onions, green salsa and hot sauce. Very unique hint of infused banana in this.
Chicken fajita ingredients were plentiful and fresh. And, we couldn't help but stare at our neighbors' towering plate of seafood raw bar items dubbed the The Big Kahuna. Not only was it pretty, they said it was scrumptious and had no leftovers to spare their longing onlookers.
That's the scoop on good meals amid an area crisis ...