Toast to good health!
Q&A with owner of Toast in Red Bank, Amy Russo Harrigan.
Harrigan also owns Toast in Montclair, the original location which opened in 2007 and another location in Asbury Park.
Q: After opening so many successful Toast restaurants, why open a location in Red Bank?
A: My father and his partner owned this location when it was the Broadway Diner. He and I were very close. He’s the reason I am a restaurateur. When he died, I inherited his half of the business. It was as much a tribute to him as it was a sound investment decision to buy out his partner and reopen as Toast.
Q: what makes the Red Bank location different from all others?
A: Architecturally it is very different. It is a classic American diner and we renovated it with the intention of preserving its history while giving it a more updated and modern look.
Q: What is the most popular item on the menu?
The California Scramble —scrambled eggs with grape tomato, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, served with sour cream and pico de gallo.
Q: Do you consider yourself a diner? How does Toast differentiate itself from all the other restaurant offerings in Red Bank?
I don’t consider Toast a diner. While our building may evoke a diner feel, our food is more elevated than typical diner fare. We have a smaller menu so we can take the time to perfect and refine our dishes. We are very serious about breakfast, brunch, and lunch. We do serve a few items that are a nod to our building’s past, like Disco Eggs, but they’re made from scratch with mozzarella curd. We use the freshest ingredients possible and make most of our menu items from scratch.
Q: What is the inspiration behind your menu offerings?
We offer classics with a twist. When designing the menu 10 years ago I wanted it to be as innovative as possible, while not coming off as pretentious. Over time we have edited the menu to make sure we’re putting out food that is fresh and interesting but also keeping it familiar to our regular patrons.
Q: What are some goals for Toast as it goes through the first year? What are some things you would like to see happen?
I would like to expand our catering and private events. We close at 3 pm every day, so the place can be reserved for private events in the evenings. We are about to host a 1950’s diner-themed party—we’ll be serving burgers, fries, and milkshakes and our staff will be wearing paper hats, white shirts, and bow ties. The restaurant has such a fun and retro vibe that it really lends itself to parties and I would love to explore the different ways we can promote that.
Q: Tell me more about any events/parties/ holiday things happening … also please feel free to include additional items or topics of promotion that you would like me to write about..
We offer catering off-site and private parties at the restaurant. Consider hosting your business meeting, office party or simply feeding a houseful of out of town guests in for the holidays at Toast Red Bank.