June 03, 2015
Everyone has their go-to shore destinations for fried seafood, hot doughnuts, pizza by the slice and the occasional big-ticket meal. Here are seven new or revamped favorites to add to your list:
This bakery offshoot of the restaurant institution Steve & Cookie's by the Bay is somewhat ironically located in a former gym. But since calories don't count away from home, you can enjoy –– guilt-free –– a range of treats, from breakfast “cookies” and orange-currant scones to double chocolate espresso mini muffins and gluten-free strawberry muffins. Pair the goodies with cup of espresso or a cappuccino made from George Howell Coffee, a small-batch artisan roaster based in Boston.
Must order: Cookie's famous blueberry pie
7311 Ventnor Ave., Margate
You can say “wilkommen” to summer –– Bavarian-style –– at this sprawling beer hall, which consists of a 9,000-square-foot outdoor roof garden and 6,000-square-foot indoor area. The bar specializes in German, Belgian and American craft beers and offers 25 beers on draft and 50 in bottles. The kitchen is cooking up traditional favorites like bratwurst, schnitzel and cheese spaetzle.
Must order: Bavarian pretzel with mustard, Liptauer cheese and gherkin
527 Lake Ave., Asbury Park
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The Boiler Room, the late-night bar/nightclub in the basement of the upscale Congress Hall hotel, has fired up a new wood-burning brick oven for authentic Neapolitan- and New York-style pizzas. The pies source some of their meats and veggies from owner Curtis Bashaw's Beach Plum Farm. Pair your pizza with a signature cocktail like The Boiler, a mix of bourbon, apple pucker and cranberry juice, or a draft beer, like the specially made Blue Pig Ale, made for Congress Hall by the Flying Fish Brewery.
Must order: Berkshire Ham pizza topped with fontina, ricotta, Beach Plum Farm ham, roasted broccoli rabe, caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms and white truffle oil
200 Congress Place, Cape May
As its name suggests, this 30-seat watering hole puts the spotlight on oysters, both raw and cooked, as well as Barnegat little neck clams, “U-peel” shrimp and house-smoked fish. The menu also offers sandwiches, hot appetizers like shrimp tempura and steamed clams and a few surprises (Thai duck wings anyone?). Wash it all down with a dozen beers on tap.
Must order: “Buck-a-shuck” oysters during 3-6 p.m. happy hour
3211 Long Beach Blvd., Beach Haven Terrace
Britsh-born celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, known for schooling befuddled restaurant owners on various reality series, is showing 'em how it's done at this new upscale pub at Caesars in Atlantic City. The pub's head restaurant chef is Season 13 "Hell's Kitchen" winner LaTasha McCutchen, who is dishing out British pub standards like bangers and mash, beef Wellington and ale-battered fish and chips. The bar stocks 26 beers on tap, as well as an additional 40 in bottles and cans. This being A.C., you can opt to dine on the "patio," which overlooks the casino floor.
Must order: Sticky toffee pudding with "double-cream" vanilla ice cream
2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City
Founded as a mobile business for festivals and farmers markets, this shop specializing in ice cream sandwiches has opened its first real store in Cape May. The signature peace pie starts with two housemade cookies, which can be sandwiched with pie filling and ice cream. Options include blueberry tart filling with cheesecake ice cream and two graham cracker cookies and chocolate turtle filling with coffee ice cream and two chocolate cookies.
Must order: Key lime pie filling with vanilla ice cream, bound by two cinnamon shortbread cookies
326 Carpenters Lane, Cape May
This newly updated boutique hotel restaurant will offer a nightly, changing pop-up prix fixe menu from June 29 through Aug. 30. The $79-a-person tasting will feature choices like lobster Caesar salad with fried caper dressing and halibut with truffled Parmesan broth, gnudi dumplings and pea leaves. Meanwhile, the hotel's casual Water Star Grille will serve breakfast through late night, with dishes including a peanut butter and banana sandwich, Kobe beef sliders and tuna tartare nachos.
Must order: Foie gras with apple compote, sherry gastrique and spiced-rum brioche “French toast”
9601 Third Ave., Stone Harbor