Three B’s Bistro: Do three B’s equal an A?

in LOCAL/REVIEWS by

Three B’s Bar & Bistro is Lakehurst’s newest dining experience at the newly constructed shopping center on Rt. 70. It has opened to much hype and curiosity, but does that hype translate into something worthy of your hard earned cash?

When you enter you can either go to the left and have traditional restaurant style seating with wait service, or head to your right where you’ll find a typical sports bar, assuming of course that your typical sports bar includes a sushi counter.

Service can be slow at Three B’s but despite long waits the servers are very personable.

The menu provides a wide variety of food.  You can go traditional American with burgers or steak, try Italian with various pasta dishes, or go for the sushi flair.

“Why not?” restaurant manager Ron Rinaldi says when asked why open restaurant like this in Lakehurst.

“There isn’t a restaurant like this.  We’ve got a lot of Italian pizzerias, but not a full menu restaurant that supplies sushi,” said Rinaldi, who has owned and managed restaurants since 1972.

On a recent visit I ordered the eel roll.  It took 13 minutes after placing the order before my roll was put in front of me, a little long for one single roll.  The sushi bar is definitely not for show, as the rolls come out fresh.  However, fresh sushi does not necessarily mean great sushi.  Unfortunately the cucumber in the roll left more of a taste in my mouth than the eel.

After the sushi I placed an order for a simple Italian favorite, penne pasta with vodka sauce.  And of course, no pasta dish is complete without some salad first.  Within two minutes of placing the order, I had a plate of caesar salad in front of me.  Although there was a catch for that speed.  The caesar salad tasted like nothing more than lettuce, croutons, and dressing hastily thrown into a plate with little regard for the final product.  There wasn’t even cheese on it.  It left quite a bit to be desired.

Still, there was a pasta dish coming.  Could this be the plate that would give a reason for a return trip to Three B’s?  The resounding answer to that question, was no.  The sauce used was creamy, and that was about the only memorable thing.  The pasta did not taste like any seasoning was used at all and was exceptionally bland.

Even though the meal to this point was nothing to write home about, it still was time for dessert.  And for as much as the meal up to this point failed to wow, the dessert was a complete 180.  First, ask them for their dessert menu.  They won’t just bring you out a dessert menu, you get a nice tray with everything they have.  Ok, maybe not that unique, but their desserts actually taste as good as they look.

I placed my order for a tiramisu and some cappuccino.  As the tiramisu was being prepared, my server brought out the cappuccino, which had just the right amount of cinnamon flavoring on top.  Also, they serve it the perfect temperature so you get a nice warm dessert drink that doesn’t scald your tongue.

Then came the tiramisu, which was heavenly.  Usually when you order tiramisu you get stuck with a tiny little cup.  But at Three B’s you get a nice, large, filling, chunk of dessert. It tastes rich with a hint of mint.  This is truly one of the better tiramisu’s out there.

This is when the check arrived to the tune of just under $30, tax and tip included.  Overall, a reasonable price for the amount of food, even if it was sub par.  My advice: if you are looking for a certain type of food, stick to the restaurants that specialize in it.  Go Italian if you want pasta, go Japanese if you want sushi, and find a salad specialist if you want caesar salad.  If, however, you are looking to go out with a group and everyone wants something else, and you find yourselves willing to sacrifice taste for the convenience of everyone getting what they want, then Three B’s is just right.