Monmouth EatBeat - 618 Restaurant
618 PARK AVENUE
FREEHOLD, NJ 07728
Chef Christopher Dutka became a household name in western Monmouth County about six years ago when he opened his own catering business. Now, he invites you to dine on his unique cuisine at 618 Restaurant, which opened last November on Park Avenue in Freehold.
Inside the spacious, rustic dining room accented with earthy-toned wood, stone fi replaces and modern lighting fixtures, patrons can order up a serving of their favorite Italian dishes, or delve into one of the many menu items that reflect Chris’s extensive background of cooking across the country.
“All of my cooking experience has been hands-on, working in different restaurants, mainly in South Florida,” Chris says. “The menu is a combination of what I learned from cooking for many years down there. Some of the dishes are also popular choices that I offered from my catering company.
We run daily specials, which could be something like macadamia nut-encrusted grouper with a vanilla rum butter sauce. That’s something you don’t normally see up here.”
Chris’s fusion of the cooking ingredients and techniques that he learned are evident in the crab cake appetizer, served with mango ginger relish and chipotle aioli, or the skirt steak entrée with an Argentinean-style chimichurri sauce.
“We have some tropical touches to the menu, some of my Italian background, some influences from Spain. “We have a good mix of everything,” he says.
The vision behind 618 Restaurant was to offer some of the diverse and eclectic cuisine served in restaurants along the shore area. So far, Chris says the response from the local community has been “overwhelming.” He admits that he thought bringing his menu to a sit-down restaurant might have been challenging, but ultimately decided to continuing cooking the food that he loves.
“I love cooking like this, because this is what I excel at and enjoy,” he says. “There was a definite need in this area to have an eclectic, creative restaurant. We incorporate some local ingredients and change the menu several times a year.”
618 Restaurant cooks with and serves some items from Beach Haus Brewery in Belmar, Asbury Park Brewery, and Kane Brewing Company in Ocean Township. A diverse wine list is available and showcased by the wine room constructed in the middle of the dining room.
Live entertainment is offered on the weekends in the form of soft music played in the downstairs dining space that seats 150 patrons. Food specials are offered daily and wine specials are offered on the weekends. Happy Hour specials at the bar are offered all day long on Fridays and Saturdays, which include $3 - $5 appetizers, cocktails and house wine. Upstairs, 618 can accommodate 175 people for private events and parties for every occasion.
Stop into 618 Restaurant for a different type of dining experience, and see why Chris’s cuisine has been popular everywhere he’s been cooking for the last 20-some years.
Owner | Christopher Dutka
Seating Capacity | Dining room: 150, Catering room: 175
Signature Dish | Cajun BBQ Shrimp and Grits
Chris’s Favorite Dishes | Skirt Steak and Grilled Branzino
Hours of Operation | Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm,
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am – 11pm, Sunday: 4pm – 9pm.
618 RESTAURANT | 618 PARK AVENUE, FREEHOLD, NJ 07728 | (732) 577-0001 | WWW.618NJ.COM