Congratulations, Drew!

Yesterday, I was thrilled to learn that Andew “Drew” Araneo, of the eponymous Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, in Keyport, NJ, is a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. Well, I don’t need me no James Beard committee to tell me what a terrific chef Drew is. From the moment we first tasted his food not long after he opened his sweet little spot several years ago, we were totally hooked!

The one thing our area definitely did not need was yet another Italian restaurant. Even though Drew is Italian, he made what I consider to be a brilliant decision to go in a very different direction. I’m sure if he had decided to cook Italian, his food would have been wonderful and far superior to the myriad of mediocre Italian spots that, unfortunately, dot the landscape. However, lucky for us and his now countless fans, he is using his superb cooking skills to serve some of the most delicious Cajun- and Creole-inspired cuisine you will find anywhere. And, again, lucky for us, it’s just a short 20-minutes from our house.

A few photos from past dinners:

Drew's Bayshore Bistro:  Crawfish Cake
Crawfish Cake

Drew's Bayshore Bistro:  Empanada

Drew's Bayshore Bistro:  Gumbo

Drew's Bayshore Bistro:  Jambalaya
Jambalaya Topped with Shrimp Creole

Drew's Bayshore Bistro;  Grilled Salmon
Grilled Salmon, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Vegetables

Drew's Bayshore Bistro: Grilled Pork Chop
Grilled Pork Chop, Smashed Potatoes and Vegetables

Drew's Bayshore Bistro:  Warm Apple Crisp
Warm Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

I must add that Drew is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth and generous person you will ever meet!

We’re way overdue for a visit to the bistro. After we go, I’ll be back with a full-fledged review.

Drew, M and I extend our heartiest congratulations to you for achieving this well-deserved honor!


5 Responses to “Congratulations, Drew!”

  1. Bgut1 Says:

    Well said. My DW and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner there on Friday. We had an opportunity to try some items from his Mardis Gras menu including boudin balls, muffelatta salad and chocolate zombie cake.

  2. thewizardofroz Says:

    b., Glad to hear you had another great meal at Drew’s. Those mardi gras specials do sound wonderful.

    I sent him a congratulatory e-mail. When he responded, he mentioned that he enjoys reading my blog. That’s truly an honor for me! 🙂

  3. Ambrose Says:

    I guess by now you’ve noticed that your message on Chowhound about Drew’s (Beard nominees) has been deleted. In fact, the entire topic has been deleted!

    I posted twice to this topic and the first post, in which I specifically mentioned Drew’s, was deleted. Here’s what I was told by one of the moderators:

    “Hi ambrose, you’ve been sent the following by a Chowhound moderator:

    Sorry about this, but we’re not accepting any posts about Drew’s for the time being, so we removed your post [below] from the New Jersey board.

    The Chowhound Team
    For Those Who Live to Eat

    Your post:

    Romanowski is the chef at Bay Avenue Trattoria in Highlands; Araneo, at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport.”

    Any idea what’s going on?

  4. thewizardofroz Says:

    Hi Ambrose,

    It was actually bgut1 who started that thread. And, yes, I did see that it had been removed. In fact, I put up a post on it this afternoon, and just a little while later, when I went back to see if there were any responses — Poof! The thread was gone!

    The over-moderation at Chowhound is ridiculous! It’s the reason I’ve pulled back drastically on posting there.

    I think the removal of this thread is directly connected to a thread last year which the moderators removed. That one contained a heated discussion among several Hounds, some of it pertaining to Drew’s. Based on the message you received, it sounds as though any discussion on Chowhound about Drew’s is now verboten.

    Although Drew deservedly has a huge following, what is truly a shame is that since all of NJ is finally on one board, there may be those who never came to the Mid-Atlantic board before, are not familiar with Drew’s, and could now find out about him. As a result of this stupid decision by the moderators, those Hounds are the ones who will be missing out.

    Btw, thanks for visiting my blog. Don’t be a stranger! 🙂

  5. Scargod Says:

    My Facebook Group “Chowhounds Disaffected Speak Out”!/group.php?gid=119903464700160
    I started this when Chowhound Moderators unjustly banned me and my Significant Other. The problem: two identities coming from one IP address!
    Join us! There are other food writers there.

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