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May 9, 2007 01:36 PM

Cape May / Wildwood - Anniversary dinner

My husband and I are celebrating our 5-yr anniversary in Cape May this weekend and would love to have a nice dinner in the area. We're from NYC and get enough over-the-top service and foam-reduction-molecular gastronomy at home... we just want a good meal, good service, romantic location, and a special, Cape May experience.

Any suggestions? Union Park? Tisha's?


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  1. The only restaurant I've been to in Cape May is the Mad Batter. But that was a long time ago, and I have no recollection of the food though I recall that the ambiance was very nice.

    On other threads, two Hounds have made recommendations. Striver has raved about the Washington Inn, and HillJ thinks The Ebbitt Room is one of NJ's best. From what I know of them, they may be fancier than what you have in mind.

    Whever you end up dining, I wish you a Happy 5th Anniversary and Bon Appetit!

    4 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Hi RGR - yes, after many a summer at Cape May Point, we finally got around to dining at the Washington Inn back in March (Cape May is particularly lovely when no one's around!), and I welcome the opportunity to praise it once more. Everything about the meal was excellent, and the ambience - while not what I'd call 'intimate', is charming. The food is not from the WD-50 style chemistry lab - more new American/Continental - my wife had a prosciutto-based salad followed by New Orleans-style crabcakes (a special that evening); I had cencioni (pasta) with braised lamb followed by a 5-spice duck breast with perfectly cooked polenta (somewhere just between soft and firm). Desserts were fine, too (I had a "tropical" bread pudding special because I love bread pudding - this very tasty one was made with bananas, coconut, and a slice of carmelized pineapple).

      They're also well known for their winelist, which is extensive and has good choices at just about any price point starting at about $40 (and prices are more than fair). Service was warm and appropriately attentive but never intrusive, and although they "prefer" jackets for men, they don't insist on it - nice business casual will do just fine for everyone.

      If the OP is looking for a Cape May experience, this one - in a "plantation home" that dates back to 1840 - should definitely be on the list. Here's a link:

      1. re: Striver

        Henry's on the Beach has been getting good reviews too, its RIGHT on the boardwalk. Have not been myself. WI gets great reviews always. Enjoy!

      2. re: RGR

        I would suggest the Ebbit Room at the Virginia Hotel... great hotel/lounge with piano and the food is delicous, with good service.

        1. re: RGR

          I love Mad Batter for breakfast, would not go for dinner.

          A couple we've enjoyed are Washington Inn - very romantic. Try and get a table in the "orchid room" (you'll know what I mean when you see it). We also really enjoyed our meal at the Peter Shields Inn (where we also stayed). Also romantic, and I'm pretty sure there was live music in one of the rooms which filtered into the other areas. Freda's Cafe is wonderful - but not really romantic and very small, but if you can get in for a lunch I'd recommend it. We also had a very nice dinner in Aleathea's (I think I spelled it wrong). Very good Italian was found in A Ca Mia and we also enjoyed the Merion Inn as well.

          I think if you're looking for a Cape May kind of experience, going to one of the older victorian hotels that have restaurants on the premises is probably the kind of place you're after. Peter Shields is across from the ocean, is in one of the historic homes (it's quite something in fact and like I mentioned, the food was wonderful and very romantic atmosphere. If you're considering staying there, it's very well run - although I have to warn you the bathrooms are minute :-)

        2. Also, not sure if 410 Bank Street is open, but we had a wonderful meal there last season.

          3 Replies
          1. re: BRI328

            I believe they're open, at least on weekends, and I love their blackened prime rib - but I wouldn't call it a "romantic location".

            1. re: Striver

              I do agree about not being romantic, but the food is very good.

              1. re: BRI328

                Thanks all! We made reservations at the Washington Inn. We'll see....

          2. Just back from Cape May. Dinner at the Washington Inn was fantastic. The restaurant is in a charming old house on a beautiful street. The food was uniformly delicious. I had fennel-dusted seared scallops with a parmesan risotto to start and an amazing vanilla-hazelnut crusted halibut with a coconut/passion fruit glaze. My husband had pork medallions with cabbage and a bacon-vidalia sauce. Really quite delicious. For dessert, we had a lemon cake filled with a coconut cream; superb. The only downside were the cocktails... the Ruby Red and Tropical Martini were bland letdowns.

            Service was fantastic... it started pouring rain just as we were leaving and our waitress offered us umbrellas for the walk back to the hotel, telling us to just drop t hem off the next day. Of course, we forgot to do so and now have to mail them back!

            3 Replies
            1. re: kapuku

              Thanks for the report, kapuku. With the rave from Striver and now your very positive experience, we really must make it our business to get down to Cape May again to try the Washington Inn.

              1. re: kapuku

                I'm delighted that you had such a fine time, confirming our recent experience there. Thanks for reporting back!

                1. re: kapuku

                  One of my favorites in Cape May - glad to hear you enjoyed your meal. Not that this has to do w/the food - but did you sit in the orchid room?