News & Barn notes

Monmouth Park’s Blu Grotto Restaurant Set to Open July 2

June 23, 2016

Blu Grotto 391 x

Oceanport, N.J. – Monmouth County’s most anticipated new restaurant, Blu Grotto, located on the grounds of Monmouth Park Racetrack, is set to open on Saturday, July 2. 

            “Blu Grotto continues our commitment to building an expansive entertainment destination at one of New Jersey’s most recognizable landmarks, Monmouth Park,” said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development LLC, operators of the racetrack.  “This new restaurant offers a unique dining experience as it offers views of the iconic picnic area and the top of the homestretch.” 

            With conservatory dining, multi-tiered outdoor seating and a large beer garden, Blu Grotto will offer modern and classic adaptations of regional Italian favorites, hand-made pastas, fresh seafood and prime steak, coupled with a deep and eclectic wine list and artisanal cocktails. 

            Among some of the featured menu offerings from Chef James Corona are bistecca fiorentio (Italian style T-bone steak), Jersey scallops and Skuna Bay salmon.  A full slate of raw bar offerings join a long list of appetizers, salads, soup and an antipasto misto to suit any sized party.  

            A Batali and Bouley alumnus, Chef Corona has extensive experience in the culinary industry including roles as executive chef at Doris & Ed’s in Highlands and most recently at Bocca Restaurant in New York City.  His work has earned numerous accolades including the James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence, New Jersey Monthly Magazine – Best of Best Seafood and Gourmet Magazine’s America’s Top Tables. 

            “It’s been a wonderful experience bringing this new restaurant and menu to fruition,” said Thomas Barone, who will oversee operations.  “With an intimate bar, a completely unique beverage program, one of a kind dining room and spacious patios, Blu Grotto has something for everyone, while providing unparalleled ambience and spectacular food.”  

            The restaurant, which has its own entrance from Port Au Peck Avenue, will be open six days a week (Tuesday through Sunday) for dinner, with an eventual expansion into lunch.  Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 732-571-7900 or via Open Table.  A new website, will launch in the coming weeks. 

            Monmouth Park’s live Thoroughbred racing season runs through Sept. 25.