Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ryan Michael's

Last night we had plans with Matt's sister and her husband to check out a new restaurant they've been wanting us to try, Ryan Michael's. It's an unassuming little place right on the water in Brick, a town about 15 minutes from our house. We had a table near the windows where you could see the boats docked at the marina, which I'm sure would be an even better view during the summer.

The atmosphere wasn't fancy, but the food was delicious and the staff was really warm and welcoming. We had a great time!

Ryan Michael's is BYOB, which is a plus unless I'm in the mood for a fancy cocktail (rare), so we brought a bottle of Cabernet from a vineyard we recently visited. While we sipped on our wine, they brought out warm, crispy sesame bread with herbed butter. I am a total sucker for compound butters, so I loved this.

Apparently the menu changes based on the season, which I really like. We were all starving when we got to the restaurant, so we went a little nuts on the appetizers. The four of us shared plates of crab & avocado bruschetta, lemon butter fried artichoke hearts, and calamari with a creamy, spicy dipping sauce – which we devoured before I snapped a picture. The bruschetta was probably my favorite thing all night; the avocado was perfectly ripe and creamy, and the crabmeat was fresh and bright.

For my entrĂ©e, I chose the Asian salmon with mashed potatoes and crispy spinach. Everything tasted great. The crispy spinach was like a veggie potato chip – not so healthy, but a really fun way to eat your greens. Free Smileys

We also ordered a side of mac & cheese for the table to share. It was creamy, cheesy and covered with a crispy breadcrumb topping. Nothing not to like about this!

You would think we’d be too stuffed to go for dessert, but you’d be wrong. Free Userbars  We only ate half our entrees so we wouldn’t feel nauseous at the thought of looking at the dessert tray. Thinking ahead!

We ordered carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and homemade rice pudding. I happen to be a carrot cake snob so this wasn’t my favorite, unfortunately; the frosting was good (made with butter and not shortening – a must!), but the cake was a little dry. If you’re a rice pudding fan, though (I am not), I’m told it was top notch.

The evening was really fun, and although we ate some of practically everything on the menu, we surprisingly left feeling comfortable and not overstuffed. Now please excuse me while I head out for a run to burn off the pound of butter I ingested last night.

Off to enjoy this beautiful day!

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