Here’s the super exciting post I have been talking about! I am PUMPED to share this with you to say the least. AND, not only is this post extra special because of the food, but it is ALSO extra special because it is a part of the first ever Red Bank Blogger Crawl!
Allow me to explain. A family friend of ours, Carrie Drazin, of the blog, It’s Droolworthy, organized this event for all her blogger friends. On June 6th, everyone met at Carrie’s house, except for myself and a few others (I sadly wasn’t available that day! I did my share of the crawl last weekend). Everyone then dispersed throughout Red Bank to their respective establishments. Red Bank was the perfect location to explore. I have spent many an evening with friends doing everything from painting pottery, to getting awesome new clothes at consignment shops, to of course… eating! Lots of eating! All of the bloggers involved have written exciting and interesting blog posts about the places they visited, and links to all of our posts will be published in some local magazines and newspapers! Here are the links to all of the blogs that participated. Go take a look! :
Magnificent Temptations: http://www.magnificenttemptations.com/red-bank-blogger-crawl
Amy Believes in Pink: http://www.amybelievesinpink.com/2015/06/red-bank-blogger-crawl.html
It’s Droolworthy: http://wp.me/p6nL5k-2Hd
A My Name is Amy: http://amynameisamy.com/i-went-on-a-bl…-this-happened/
Daily Dose of Dawson: http://dailydoseofdawson.blogspot.com/2015/06/red-bank-blogger-crawl.html
Now, for the food!
We were going to be normal people and have dinner first and dessert second, but our dessert location was closing at 7:30 and we couldn’t get a reservation at our dinner location until 8:15. And I have no problem with dessert first! With a brigade of foodie friends by my side, we entered the delightful French bakery, Antoinette Boulangerie. This little patisserie embodies elegant Parisian charm. All of the pretty pastries in their pretty case were so perfect and dainty that it reminded me of a dollhouse.
I had a very nice cup of coffee–just strong enough and very smooth– and a Paris-Brest, a dessert made of Pâté à Choux pastry piped into a donut shape and filled with a decadent hazelnut creme. Pâté à Choux is the same light pastry dough that is used to make profiteroles (cream puffs), eclairs, and French crullers. My Paris-Brest was dusted with powdered sugar and sprinkled with slivered almonds. It was positively lovely!
My friends ordered some delectable desserts as well! Lemon meringue tart, coconut macaroon, and pot de creme!
Fancy pastries also come with a fancy price. Most of the pastries were around $5 to $7, which is certainly a little steep for a small dessert. It’s definitely worth it for an occasional treat though, and I will definitely go back!
After strolling around Red Bank for a little bit, we went to dinner at Runa, a Peruvian restaurant across from the Count Basie Theater. I kid you not– new favorite restaurant. I am in love with Runa Peruvian. IN LOVE. It was absolutely spectacular. Never tried Peruvian food before? I hadn’t either! Go on an adventure! Give it a shot! This was a perfect first experience. I’m ready to move to Peru right now, actually. WAIT– Maybe not. Because Runa is in Jersey and not in Peru, and if I moved to Peru I wouldn’t be able to eat at Runa. I’ll stay here.
So wanna hear about the food now? I thought so! We ordered about a billion things (aka four large entrees and an appetizer) to share for our table of four and devoured all of it. Maaajor food babies at the end. But worth it.
First, they brought some thinly sliced fried potatoes with an addicting, garlicky pepper dipping sauce to the table in lieu of bread. Yumyumyum…
Then, our appetizer! Carne empanadas! The perfectly flaky pastry was filled with warm, juicy ground sirloin, and they were served with a different sauce than the potatoes that was similarly garlicky and addicting!
Pollo a la Brasa. Crispy, golden brown, roasted chicken served with rustic potatoes. The meat was so tender and well seasoned! We decided to go for the whole chicken instead of the half, and of course… ate it all!
Seafood Cebiche. My first cebiche experience certainly did not disappoint! Cebiche is raw fish which is cured in citrus juice– lime in this case! The acidic citrus causes the seafood to be almost cooked. The mussels, squid, shrimp, and fish, marinated in rocoto pepper were so bright and fresh. It woke up my palette and brightened up my life with citrusy flavor! The only part that I didn’t care for was the large kernels of corn on the side which was served both crispy and soft. I thought they were a little mealy both ways– just not a texture I was used to. It was interesting, but definitely an acquired taste. I totally forgot to ask what the fish in the cebiche was since it was labeled ‘catch of the day’, but this mystery fish was actually my favorite component of the dish. The cooked sweet potatoes on the side were perfect too! I ❤ cebiche. I ❤ this cebiche!
Lomo Saltado. This was fantastic. Tender meat swimming in a delicious sauce with a stir fry of tomatoes and red onions, and topped with a stack of more of those yummy rustic potatoes and served with a side of rice! Mmmm…
Arroz con Pollo. Bright green, cilantro infused rice was a gorgeous and flavorful bed for some perfectly cooked chicken topped with slivered red onions. Lots of people hate cilantro. I really do not understand. It is one of my favorite herbs, and it made this rice a superstar BFF for the delicious chicken!
After all this food, we were stuffed. Really stuffed. So, when offered dessert, we said we absolutely could not fit anymore food. But The waiter brought us quinoa flan as a complimentary dessert! So how could we not? It was an exceptional flan doused in dark sugar cane sauce. There’s always room for dessert when it’s this good!
Aside from the incredible food, Runa shines because of its people. The chef and the waiters were warm and friendly, and it is easy to tell that they really care. They put a lot of heart and soul into their food, and they clearly work hard to make this restaurant as wonderful as it is. I could not have been more happy with this restaurant and can’t wait to go back. Hooray for Runa!
These restaurants were truly spectacular! From oui to sí I say yesyesyes to both Antoinette Boulangerie and Runa Peruvian. Once again, please go check out all the blogs involved in the blogger crawl! I’m so happy to have this opportunity to get to know all these awesome blogs and to share mine with the world! Thanks, Carrie!
* I made an Instagram… finally!! GO FOLLOW @theperkyfoodie !!!!!!!!!!
**If you are new to my blog, please go and like The Perky Foodie’s Facebook page so you can get updates whenever I post! Do it now! Gogogogogo!!
*** Most of the pictures for this post are mine, but some of the photo creds go to my friends, Becky, Sam, and Daphne as well as some of Carrie’s pics from when she went to Antoinette Boulangerie!
Enjoy! Love, The Perky Foodie