Last evening I gathered a group of former colleagues of mine for a get together. Based on my son and his girlfriend's recommendation, we tried a new restaurant in Belmar called Twisted Tapas. The restaurant is open just 12 days, as one of the owners, Carey Martin, mentioned to us, and I hope it goes for 12 years and more! Twisted Tapas in is the former Tulipano space on Main Street. What a delightful space. The tables are well spaced and as added bonus, they take reservations, a must during the summer at the Jersey shore, and it's BYOB.
When we arrived, the first couple in our group was already there. One of the owners, Carey Martin, was showing them their outdoor patio behind the restaurant. I had heard that Tulipano's had a garden, but I didn't realize how big it was and the beautiful tree in the center, which cools off the patio. Our server, Brian, was most congenial and promptly set us up with wine glasses, a water pitcher and soft drinks for those of not drinking wine.
As we were a group of seven, we were able to sample quite of few menu items. Based on my son’s recommendation I had the Firecracker Shrimp ($12) and the Mac & Cheese Bowl with Smoked Bacon ($8). The Firecracker shrimp was in a delicious, but not too spicy type of cream sauce, excellent. The Mac and Cheese was tasty and creamy. Both portions were enough to fill me.
Other menu items sampled were the Calamari ($12) with sweet chili, carrots, cabbage and shitake mushrooms, different and delicious! Twisted Salad ($7), burger sliders ($8), Bacon Fries (I heard Carey mention that they use Neuskes’ bacon for this tapas) scrumptious, Shrimp Tacos ($11), smoked chicken wings with a bourbon bbq glaze($9), coconut shrimp ($13) and scallops $12 (only three scallops here, but scallops are selling in for approximately $19/lb. in this area). I may have missed one or two items that people had, but overall our group enjoyed this outing.
Brothers Carey and Kevin Martin own Twisted Tapas. Carey runs the front of the house and Kevin is the chef. It appears to be a hidden gem for the moment in Belmar. I recommend that you give Twisted Tapas a try before word spreads and reservations are hard to come by. Congratulations and best of luck the Carey and Kevin!
Photo of Twisted Tapas Garden and Menu are my from their postcard, which was obtained at the restaurant.
Food photos courtesy of P. Walsifer
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.