Fare: New American
Food Quality: For this class of upscale restaurants, not one of the best, though above average for Asbury Park
Service: Knowledgeable, friendly, attentive.
Ambiance: Trendy, rustic, contemporary, upscale yet casual.
Overall rating: 3 stars --- mainly driven by upscale, rustic ambiance, their vibrant bar scene, and it's selection of wines, beers, and speciality cocktails.
Note: Four star Rating System from 1/2 stars = poor to Four stars = Best in Class
Recommended For: Diners who enjoy an attractive, rustic upscale, yet casual, setting with an above average menu, and vibrant bar scene.
Not Recommended For: Diners who prefer a more traditional, less expensive, low key, family casual restaurant.
Recommended dishes: When available, The Halibut, The Mahi, and the Filet Mignon.
Alcohol: Full bar service, bar scene is vibrant.
Noise Level: Moderate to High
The Iron Whale, the latest of Tim McLoone's restaurants that are located in New Jersey and Maryland National Harbor, is a welcomed addition to Asbury Park boardwalk dining scene, located adjacent to two of his other Asbury Park restaurants: The Robinson Ale House and its second-story Supper Club.
The Iron Whale is a popular restaurant, frequented mostly by millenials who come to enjoy a Jersey Shore dining experience in an attractive, rustic upscale, yet casual, setting with an above average menu, and vibrant bar scene.
The decor is done up with reclaimed wood, ropes, and gas lanterns.
The main dining room seats approximately 100 people with an additional 34 seats at the bar, 36 in a private dining room. and an outdoor boardwalk dining seating for approximately 85.
There is an open kitchen viewable from the attractive copper bar, a fireplace, and outdoor viewing of the boardwalk from several the big, roped round booths with seating for six facing the windows,
The kitchen is run by Executive Chef Michael Dolan who has previously served as the executive chef at Tim McLoone's Rum Runner in Sea Bright, and The Robinson Ale House in Red Bank.
The seasonal menu offers some well executed items with a good selection of seafood options, supplemented by the "Taco Bar" --- the "Whale", and a selection of meat items --- the "Iron".
Vegan options and complimentary bread servings are not available, though a limited supply of paper wrapped bread sticks are available.
During the warmer months there is outside dining on the Boardwalk with seating on a first come first serve basis.
They are child friendly with a Kids menu
The Iron Whale is open seven days/week serving Brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 on weekdays, and Friday& Saturday to 11 p.m
Happy Hour is available Mondays 11am - 10pm, Tuesdays - Friday 4pm - 7pm, at the bar & cocktail tables.
Note: Parking in Asbury Park can be troublesome. There is on street metered parking, however on busy weekend nights and during the peak season, expect to walk several blocks to find a spot. For a higher cost, there is more convenient parking in a lot located on Fourth Ave, about 1-1/2 blocks away.
(updated: November, 2019)
New Jersey Leisure Guide strives to provide analytic restaurant reviews.
The methodology used is research, analysis driven --- as opposed to that of a single restaurant critic or a social media platform, viewer comment posting board.