In it’s fourth season, The Poached Pear Bistro is a BYOB fine dining establishment whose mission is to offer familiar dishes presented in innovative ways. As their website describes, The Poached Pear draws influence from its namesake – a delicate, flavorful element that can be used in any dish from appetizer to dessert. The bistro embodies this notion of simplistic versatility by providing guests with an inviting yet upscale environment where they can enjoy bold, imaginative plates influenced by comforting classics.
Russ sits in our little alcove by the window with some namesake artwork adorning the wall.
This would be our last night dining down the shore for the season, and just walking into the large vestibule—appointed with a modern vibe dressed in dove grey walls, crisp white trim, and avant-garde lighting—we could sense this was going to be a memorable dining experience. Seated at a cozy nook, a two-top right by the front window, in fact, the only table next to a window, our perky waitress opened our Gnarly Head Red, (a retirement gift from coworker Wendy) and recited the night’s specials.
Noticing the restaurant was split into two separate dining spaces with two front doors (one now unused), our waitress confirmed my suspicion that it originally opened with just the one area, the other room added a few years later. With my decor curiosity in check, it was time to examine the menu, modest in length, but powerful in offerings with 9 starters, 5 soups/salads, 13 mains, and a list of a half-a-dozen sides. There is also a tempting mouth-watering dessert menu, but after dinner we were too full to even entertain the thought.
My starter, one word “Ah-maaay-zing!” Simply called Garlic Shrimp this work of art was plated with three stacks of toasted reggiano parmigiano crostini, sumptuous oven-dried tomatoes, topped with micro basil and surrounded in a moat of silky something-or-other that made my taste buds sing. Russ saw me swoon as I took my first bite and politely asked if he could have a taste. Being the sweetheart that I am 😉 of course I gave him a smidgen 😉 and he concurred, it was out-of-this-world good!
Not that his generous appetizer was second-rate by any means. He ordered a special of the night, Mussels and Clams in a sumptuous broth (we can’t remember the ingredients) with diced tomato and topped with a toasted crostini, frizzled carrots and micro cilantro. He all but licked the bowl clean.
Could our Entrées top our Firsts? That was going to be a difficult task in my opinion. My choice was a duet of perfectly formed Crab Cakes, chock-full of jumbo lump floating in a sea of exquisite Meyer lemon aioli, accompanied by crisp-tender green beans and fingerling potatoes. While exceptionally good and among the best crab cakes I’ve ever had, I was still so enamored of my shrimp appetizer that I had to take the majority of my entrée to go. (I actually enjoyed my leftovers as lunch a few days later as I was writing this blog.)
Mr. Russ? He was drawn to a personal fave of his, duck. But this innovative rendition, Duck Breast and Foie Gras, was topped with Vermont maple roasted butternut squash, and sautéed spinach, all generously drizzled with a blackberry duck jus. And yes, he also kindly shared a taste of his with me, and yes, it was amazing.
The prices are what you would expect for an upscale establishment, but the servings are more than ample and well worth it. If you ever find your self in Point Pleasant for dinner, do yourself a favor and make an advanced reservation at the The Poached Pear Bistro, you won’t be sorry…
About the Chef/Owner:
A year after opening, both the restaurant and the chef owner, Scott Giordano, won “Outstanding TASTE Awards” in 2015. His earliest memories recall the aromas of his grandmothers’ cooking and images of family gathered around the dinner table. Growing up in a tight-knit family where most occasions revolved around food, the culinary life came naturally to Scott.
He attended the Culinary Institute of America straight out of high school and, after graduating in 1988, began working as the Sous Chef under Chef Hans Egg at the Saddle River Inn in Saddle River, NJ. He then went on to serve as Executive Chef at The Park Restaurant in Park Ridge, NJ followed by Whispers Restaurant in Spring Lake, NJ.
Scott founded The Poached Pear Bistro in 2014 as a means of bringing people together in the same way his grandmothers’ cooking brought his family together. With his own personal flair, Scott adds a contemporary twist to the bistro’s dishes, showcasing the creativity and variety fine dining affords both chef and patron. Scott’s culinary upbringing, eclectic tastes, and wide range of experience have embedded themselves in The Poached Pear, inspiring the bistro to consistently deliver fresh, unexpected dishes in an open, welcoming environment.