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All right, we don’t exactly have a beach in Montclair, so it’s not that local, but barely an hour away is the fabulous *Long Branch Beach in Monmouth County! On Saturday afternoon, having entertained new neighbors with a barbecue lunch, we drove straight to Long Branch and enjoyed a lovely stroll on its boardwalk and beach, where, as massive Hawaii Five-O-sized waves pounded the shore, two couples pledged their troth to each other, with sand betwixt their toes.

Long Branch has a huge array of restaurants there and apparently a thriving night life (which we might have been tempted to find out more about had we not had kids with us and enjoy our early bedtimes too much!). Instantly – and this is why I married my husband – we both had the same idea: Why not book a sitter and come out to Long Branch on Saturday nights? With Him Indoors’ birthday coming up very soon, I think a reservation somewhere tasty in LB is in order!

Well, the kids will use any excuse for sushi, so we wound up at Sawa – a Japanese restaurant which offered hibachi, sushi as well as cooked starters and entrees. Son #1 ordered a Philadelphia roll (salmon, cream cheese and scallion), Son #2 a tuna sushi and they shared an adult entree of Atlantic salmon, glazed with miso, on a bed of crisp beans and courgette (that’s zucchini). My husband had a Japanese red snapper with yakiniku sauce, and I and had the most mouthwateringly tender pan-seared black cod, with crisp seasonal veg and a miso glazing. All our entrees were divine, as you might be able to tell by the photos 😉

And they were easy on the wallet, too!

Place your dibs now, who wants to join us the next time we go?!

*The town of Long Branch has a rather interesting history; first, having been popular with celebrities, then being run over by the mob. It was finally cleaned up and, extremely controversially, the town took advantage of the eminent domain statute to take over private property for public development.