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Lubrano’s Trattoria in Manasquan


One of the hidden gems at the Jersey Shore is Lubrano’s Trattoria. One of the main reasons I call this a “hidden gem” is because if you don’t know better, you might dismiss it as just another pizza parlor – and while they do serve a large selection of delicious pizza, it is so much more. This family-owned restaurant, located in the Shoprite plaza on Route 34 in Manasquan, actually has some of the best Italian dishes in the area.

We were shown to a table where a warm loaf of rosemary bread and olive oil awaited us. There were many different salads to choose from, but I started my night with traditional mozzarella caprese: four slices of homemade cheese served with Roma tomatoes and seasoned with olive oil, basil, and vinegar. We then ordered a couple of appetizers for the table: Spicy Shrimp, Mussels Marinara, and Lobrano’s Cutting Board – a combination of Italian meats, cheeses and olives. All three dishes were delicious, and it was plenty of food for the 6 adults at the table to share.

Then, the main course – there were so many appealing options to choose from including pasta, fish, steak, and veal dishes as well as gluten-free options. I decided on the Steak Murphy: a NY strip steak in a spicy Murphy sauce and smothered in peppers, onions, and potatoes. This steak was cooked to perfection, and had the perfect spicy flavor. Also at our table were the salmon special, seafood Fra Diavolo, and a few of the pasta dishes – all of which looked and smelled awesome and were enjoyed to the last bite. After dinner, we enjoyed coffee, cappuccino, espresso, and traditional Italian desserts including cannolis, chocolate cake, and ice cream.

Overall, this was a great meal and an excellent dining experience. The only drawback is the wait – it’s difficult to get in on weekends and the service is also a little slow since the dining area is usually packed and all the meals are made freshly to order. The place is BYOB and very kid friendly. If you’re looking for great food at an unassuming and convenient location, look no further!