It’s probably hard to believe but it’s time to start thinking about where to take mom for Mother’s Day. Remember, it’s on May 8th which is almost here!

You’d be crazy, living in this state, not to consider taking mom for a fabulous meal at one of New Jersey’s magnificent waterfront restaurants.

And, even though we have 130 miles of coastline here in New Jersey, there are rivers and lakes that are also beautiful to dine alfresco by.

You know we have some of the greatest dining in the northeast right here in New Jersey, so why not take advantage of that and couple it with a gorgeous view to boot.

Mom will thank you for the rest of the year.

Here are some of New Jersey’s finest waterfront waterside and water-view restaurants.

The Pearl at the Oyster Point Hotel, Red Bank

In classic Red Bank style, the Oyster Point Hotel is historic and beautiful. Its elegant restaurant, The Pearl, shows off all the gorgeous views that Red Bank has to offer. The location and view are spectacular and the décor is very stylish. People love the short rib sandwiches and the oyster on the half shell.

And, you will be absolutely spellbound by the breathtaking view of the Navesink River spread out before you. Try it out for Mother’s Day and you will keep on coming back.

The Proving Ground, Highlands

The Proving Ground is named for the very special history of this area. Established in 1874, the Sandy Hook proving ground was the first US army proving ground to test artillery and other materials. Its eponymous restaurant reflects that feeling in its adventurous cuisine: It’s all about testing new menu items and chef Bobby Higgins does it very well.

They have the newest craft beer and cocktails and have events, music and a great experience to always keep things fresh and fun.

Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant, Long Branch

OK, full disclosure. I am a frequent customer of Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant. A VERY frequent one. But you’ve must try it. Since 1995 Rooney’s has been a unique dining experience with a beautiful picturesque location on the ocean in Long branch.

A huge bi-level outdoor deck brings diners even closer to the breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. The décor is designed to give patrons a sense of closeness to the sea. The heart of its cuisine are the diverse dishes with the concept of fresh seafood-and much more. The relaxed setting and creative menus make this year-round oceanfront restaurant a favorite on the Jersey Shore.

Beach Tavern at the Channel Club Marina, Long Branch

Beach Tavern is fun. It can get pretty active during its busy times and that’s what I love about it. This waterfront restaurant serves steaks, seafood, a raw bar, pizza & pasta. Everything here is delicious, but people always marvel over the fried cauliflower on the appetizer menu. Service is always spot on as are the drinks. Beach Tavern is a definite must try.

Sirena at Pier Village, Long Branch

Serena, located in the beautiful pier village long branch is upscale and chic with a stunning ocean view. The food is absolutely to die for and the bar area is also beautiful.

The bar at Serena is the place to be on a Saturday night. For an elegant special dinner with food to die for and an extensive wine list, consider Sirena for mom this year. If the weathers nice you can eat outside hanging over the beach.

Drift House by David Burke, Sea Bright

Chef David Burke never disappoints with his contemporary approach to cooking and is elevated local area classics. All of David Burke’s fan favorites like clothesline bacon are included on the drift house menu but now you can also enjoy new dishes with a more Mediterranean twist like seafood scampi linguine clams casino and wild mushroom Cavatelli — with locally sourced mushrooms, of course.

Don’t forget to try the shaved artichoke salad and the ribeye halibut. The view, of course, is gorgeous.

Stella Marina Bar and Restaurant Asbury Park

Unique oceanfront dining is exactly what you will get at Stella Marina Bar and Restaurant. Found right on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey, it is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner on Mother’s Day.. Breathe in the ocean air while dining on the boardwalk or enjoy a relaxed dinner in one of their two dining rooms at.

The staff here is helpful and amazing and they have everything from entrées to sandwiches and salads for lunch. Try their pizza figi: A pizza served with goat cheese, caramelized onions, dried figs and rosemary.

Battello, Jersey City

Absolutely the best spot for New York City views, Battello serves lunch, brunch, dinner, and a light bar menu. This is Italian fair done right. The Executive Chef Ryan DiPersio, who is also at the helm of their sister restaurant, the Kitchen Step, does Italian right.

Battello is one of the greatest aspects of the “New” Jersey City, and probably one of the top reasons that Jersey City is noted across the country for its fine cuisine.

Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn, Lambertville

The entire town of Lambertville is perfect for a Mother’s Day-day. Spend some time strolling the neighborhood, window shopping and then really shopping and end your day at the quaint and beautiful Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn.

This restaurant and inn is legendary, with diners coming back again and again and recommending it to their friends. It offers American cuisine, served on the banks of the Delaware River. Housed in a renovated 19th century train station, this scenic spot is a local favorite.

Robin’s Nest, Mount Holly

You may not have ever heard of the Robin’s Nest, but anyone who lives in the area of Mount Holly certainly has. As a matter of fact, people travel from all over the state to experience it. The Robins Nest restaurant is a beautiful and historic eatery where you can enjoy a delicious lunch, intimate dinner, relaxing Sunday brunch or an evening cocktail at a quaint an old-fashioned bar. They have unique and eclectic cuisine with a French American flair.

Meals, cocktails or even a light snack or dessert can be served at their old-fashioned bar, or in one of their several elegant dining rooms. But the real treat is their outdoor patio overlooking the serene Mill race waterway. It’ll be a beautiful tranquil meal that mom will never forget.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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