Water Star Grille
When people make fun of Avalon for being bougie, they’re talking about places like The Reeds, which is about as fancy a hotel as you’ll find on the Jersey Shore. But unlike Sax, the super-upscale hotel restaurant where they probably ask if you’d prefer your water filtered or straight from the mouth of a glacial river, Water Star Grille is a much less formal spot in the back of the hotel where you’ll actually want to hang out. The huge deck is covered in turf and looks out over the bay, and during lunch hours, the tables are covered in umbrellas so you don’t melt into your chair. The best time to come here, though, is as the sun’s going down for dinner. The views are great, the small-plates menu rarely has a miss, and the whole place feels like what the Hamptons would be if the whole island somehow migrated 200 miles south for the summer.