I admit: I’m a sucker for a good theme.
Whether it’s a park, a party, a store, or a restaurant, I just love those little visual and sensory touches that bring an immersive design together. For me, a well-done, fun theme can make the difference between a good experience and an amazing one.
Trinity Restaurant in Keyport, NJ
I had heard a lot of good things about Trinity Restaurant (84 Broad Street in Keyport), so my husband and I decided to check it out. Talk about a well-done theme! Not only is the restaurant housed inside a beautiful little converted church, but the slightly cheeky religious motif extends into other details: the bible-black menus with section titles like “In the Beginning” and “Into the Fire,” the custom wrought-iron railings with tiny crosses, the sumptuous red draperies, and the intact hymn boards in the corners, to name a few. I could barely keep myself from gaping at the serene beauty of the place. It’s definitely a restaurant in which the building is part of the attraction – if you go, be sure to give yourself a tour.
All right, so enough about the surroundings. How was the food?
In a word, heavenly. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
We started with the Green and White Asparagus appetizer, which was drizzled with vinaigrette: delicious and perfect for a warm summer day. My husband then ordered the Hukilau Pot, a savory seafood stew with veggies and couscous. His exact quote was: “This is the best one of these I’ve ever had,” which definitely means something, since he is quite the seafood connoisseur.
In keeping with our predilection towards fruits of the sea, I had the Pure and Simple Broiled Monkfish. The citrus and basil oil was delicate and tangy, the fish was deliciously moist, and the vegetables were steamed to perfection.
Dessert was chocolate, as it usually is with us: Malted Milk Pannacotta with sea salt sprinkled on top. Kind of like a chocolate-covered pretzel in custard form. Delicious!
Throughout the meal, the service was friendly and quick, and we were lucky enough to have a chat with the owner and the chef before we left. It’s not often that you actually get to give your compliments to the chef, so we happily did so.
All in all, our dinner at Trinity was a real treat. After eating at so many chains from day to day, it seems like an almost spiritual experience to partake of food prepared by a real, honest-to-goodness chef with a focus on taste and presentation. It’s a theme restaurant, yes, but thankfully that theme is paired with a true dedication to cuisine and a great sense of customer service.
Our rating? Truly transcendental.
Rachael Citron lives in Matawan, where she owns Glass Slipper Weddings and Events, a full-service wedding and party planning service. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.