As you know, Asbury Park now rivals Jersey City as one of the culinary capitals of the state.

So when Medusa Stonefire Kitchen opened on Main Street, I was one of the first people there and enjoyed that restaurant immensely. I was also one of the first to cry when it unceremoniously closed. That’s why I am so excited about the new restaurant by the same owner opening.

If you were a fan of Medusa Stone Fire Kitchen on Main Street in Asbury Park and were sad when it closed, there’s good news! Chef Aimee McElroy is back with a new pizzeria in town where pizza is made with "love" in a wood-fired oven.

What’s even cooler is that having been a graduate of Asbury Park High School, I was always a fan of Sunset Landing, the unique, legendary Restaurant/boathouse on Sunset Avenue and right on Deal Lake.

SEE MORE: Popular NJ pottery studio, Blue Skies, coming to Long Branch

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That’s why it’s so exciting that the owners of Medusa’s new spot, Catbird, are located there! At 1215 Sunset Avenue, it's a year-round, casual dining experience featuring artisan wood-fired pizzas, seasonal menus, and non-alcoholic spirits and botanical beverages.

Chef Aimee McElroy, who previously ran Medusa Stone Fired Kitchen, opened Catbird for a soft launch last week in the space formerly occupied by Sunset Landing.

The ordering process at Catbird is designed to minimize wait times and keep things flowing smoothly. You place your order and pay at the counter by the front door, then get a table marker and find a seat.

A drink server will greet you as you settle in, and your meal will be brought out in courses. When you're done, there's no need to wait for the check—you can just leave.


The place has a cozy vibe with tables on the deck, a fireplace in the dining room, and an herb garden outside. It almost feels like a charming home along Deal Lake.

As their website explains, the Catbird is a bird that lives in the hedges and shrubs around town, and once you spot one, you'll start seeing them everywhere.

Check out Catbird for a delightful pizza experience with a touch of homestyle comfort
In one of Asbury parks coolest venues.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Cookman Avenue, the bustling downtown shopping dining district in asbury park, but parking there on a Saturday night has become pretty dicey. and of course that’s where the crowds are.

Catbird's location can’t be beat with the gorgeous view and a more peaceful atmosphere. Make sure you check it out.

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Gallery Credit: Dennis Malloy

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

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