Cardinal Provisions: A Homespun Eatery Fit for Gourmands
Laura Brahn and Grace Crossman grew up in Spring Lake and worked together at local restaurants for years. Today they run their own eatery, serving breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch in downtown Asbury Park. That spot, Cardinal, is a homespun place with a seasonal menu that will satisfy gourmands, vegans and the hung-over alike.
Sit at the counter and watch cooks assemble your Pan Bagnat—Italian tuna with piquillo peppers, herbs, olives and capers on a garlic-rubbed baguette. Or snag a table for two in a sunny window and order a Big Sketchy Bagel with cashew cream cheese. You could also slouch into an oversized booth and dig into chicken and waffles topped with a fried egg.
If you just need a pick-me-up, stop in for a cup of coffee and something sweet. We especially like the xuicho (a Spanish fried pastry stuffed with lemon cream that you’ll have trouble finding anywhere else) and the chocolate croissants.
There’s a charming, handmade atmosphere at Cardinal. With the help of a few carpenters in the family, the co-owners renovated the restaurant themselves. They scavenged for mismatched chairs and mugs, salvaged the antique windows and even sanded the paneling. “There’s a lot of heart and soul in this place,” Crossman says. “And elbow grease.”
Once a month, Cardinal stays open late to host a BYO, prix-fixe pop-up dinner. “We give a line cook the opportunity to plan the menu and take the lead for the night,” Crossman says. To stay in the loop about upcoming dinners, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be put on the mailing list for announcements. Cardinal also provides full staffing and original menus for its catering service, which is perfect for those upcoming holiday parties. —Katherine Rapin
Cardinal Provisions & Catering
513 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park