First ‘Baby’ of the Year: Modine Takes Low-Country Road to Asbury Park

A much-anticipated new restaurant opens its doors.

Tonight, there will be the sounds of friends and family talking about Southern cocktails and their first bites of Hoppin’ John, shrimp-and-grits and Frogmore stew in the historic Post building in Asbury Park.

Tomorrow night—that is, Friday, January 5—the doors at 601 Mattison Avenue will be open to the public from 4 pm to midnight as the long-awaited Modine stages its grand opening.

Modine, the new project from the team behind nearby Talula’s, Shanti and Steve Mignogna, and their partners Chris Davin, Jill Meerpohl and Andrew Rasizer, is about Low Country fare, Southern charm and hospitality, and modern sensibilities.

Davin and Meerpohl are the primary architects of the menu.

We’re going to combine all the warmth of classic dishes like fried chicken and seafood boil with the freshness of local produce and Southern-sourced staples like Sea Island Red Peas for our Hoppin’ John,” Davin says.

Rasizer will serve as general manager, overseeing the front-of-the house operations as well as the bar program that will feature Southern-inspired cocktails, bourbons, craft mocktails, craft beer and natural wines. Modine’s sous chef will be Matt Carmona.

What to expect from décor? Art Deco meets Southern elegance.

The scene, a collaboration between the partners and the Brooklyn-based architectural firm Space Exploration, puts brass and green leather in the spotlight. Think marble pillars and tables and lots of greenery to give Modine the look of, say, Charleston.

Says Shanti Mignogna: “The restaurant is so bright and open after the renovation. …For us, it’s all about relaxed elegance, friends, family, conversation and outstanding food.”

The menu? Here’s a peek, with commentary from the partners.

* Smoked Fried Chicken: “Modine’s Smoked Fried Chicken took six months to develop and is a mix of buttermilk and pickle juice brined then cold smoked. Served crispy with a hot honey drip and a cathead biscuit.”

* Hoppin’ John (vegan): “Carolina peas and rice, chopped onion, sliced bacon.”

* Devilish Eggs: Smoked trout deviled egg, paddlefish roe, chive.”

* Not Quite Crabby Soup (vegan): “Coconut-cream based soup with hearts of palm, celery, and sherry reduction.”

* Roots and Greens (vegan): “Root vegetables, herb pesto, coconut Carolina rice, curried kale, Sea Island red peas.”

* Cornmeal-crusted Seasonal Catch: “La ratte potatoes, nasturtium salad.”

* Fossil Farms Pork Chop: “Antebellum grits, aged cider vinegar pork sauce, collards.”

* Coconut Layer Cake: “Modine’s Coconut Layer Cake is worthy of any special occasion. With sweetened flaked coconut in the filling and sprinkled on the top and sides of the cake, it makes a striking presentation.”

Speaking of the coconut layer cake, Meerpohl will be directing Modine’s “layer-cake program.” (Don’t you think all restaurants should have a layer-cake program?)

Modine will be open for dinner and weekend brunch. A lunch counter and takeout section called “Mo” will be located at the back of the restaurant and be in service Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Modine’s hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 10 pm, Saturday from 10 am to midnight, and Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm. Modine will be closed on Wednesdays.

For more information, call Modine at 732-893-5300 or email [email protected]. The website is

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