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Restaurant happenings and changes in the culinary scene on the Jersey Shore.

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Recently it was announced that Ama Ristorante at Driftwood in Sea Bright has a new Executive Chef, Charles (Chuck) Lesbirel. Lesbirel has been Chef de Cuisine since 2012 when the Stavola family purchased the restaurant and moved it from Atlantic Highlands to its current location at Driftwood Cabana Club.

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Prior to joining Ama, Lesbirel was Executive Chef at Raven and the Peach, Fair Haven, and is a former Sous Chef at David Burke Fromagerie in Rumson. Lesbirel also served as Chef Tournant at david burke & donatella in New York City. Chef Lesbirel replaces former Executive Chef Pat Trama who opened Ama with his skillful direction of the kitchen for the past 18 months.

Ama Ristorante is recognized as one of the best Tuscan-style restaurants on the Jersey Shore. Ama offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Shrewsbury River in a warm and elegant setting inspired by the Tuscan countryside. Patrons can enjoy a large, full-service bar with four flat-screen TVs; comfortable leather banquettes, and a private dining room with ocean views, a wood-burning fireplace and a hand-painted mural of a Tuscan farmhouse landscape.

Hours for dinner are 5 p.m. Tuesday – Friday; 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed Monday. Complimentary valet parking, wheelchair accessible and major credit cards accepted. Private dining room available for up to 60 seated guests. Ama at the Driftwood Cabana Club, 1485 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright, (732) 530-9760.

Blend on Main, Manasquan opened March 1. According to Chef/owner Lou Smith, Blend on Main is a modern American Bistro with a farm-to-table concept committed to using as many sustainable, local products as possible from farmers, artisans, and fishermen. Blend on Main, 152 Main Street, Manasquan, 732.223.0030.

David Burke Fromagerie offers a specially priced tasting menu every Wed. and Thur. night through May 24. The weekly five-course tasting menus features dishes influenced by ingredients that Chef Phil finds freshest and most inspiring each week. For the week of March 10’s special menu, jump here. $35 per person exclusive of tax and gratuity.
Whiskey Tasting Dinner on Thursday, March 13 at 7 p.m. - a five-course prix-fixe whiskey tasting dinner. $95 per person exclusive of tax and gratuity. David Burke Fromagerie, 26 Ridge Road, Rumson, 732.842.8088.

Dauphin Grille at The Berkshire Oceanfront Hotel, Asbury Park, has closed.

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