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Anniversary dinner in Atlantic City vicinity

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My husband and I are going to be across the bay from AC this weekend and want to make reservations for a special meal on Sunday night. We ate at a few of the Borgata places a few years ago - Suilan (which I believe is gone) and Specchio. We would like to try something new and it doesn't have to be at the Borgata or even in AC. We just want great food and nice atmosphere that isn't too far away. Is there any place worthwhile with a water view? Or worthwhile without a water view would be good too. Price isn't really an issue.

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  1. I just got back from AC. Had a spectacular dinner at Bobby Flay Steak. The lobster avocado cocktail was one of the best things I ever ate. The spice-rubbed steak was terrific too -- I had the NY strip and my sister had the ribeye. Both had a beautiful char and were perfectly cooked to order. I didn't care for the (very sweet) steak sauce, but IMO it wasn't necessary. We were both stuffed, couldn't even look at dessert. The restaurant is very striking and very comfortable. We didn't linger, but the lounge looked like a great place to hang out as well.

    We also went to the Old Waterway Inn, which was recommended by someone on this board. It has a nice deck overlooking the water, but the food wasn't anything special. Pretty good lobster bisque, average crab cakes, massively overly garlicked mashed potatoes, your basic steamed veggies.

    1. Worthwhile, not in a casino, no water view (you won't miss it, there's enough atmosphere inside) and afterwards the boardwalk is right there.
      Girasole at the Ocean Club. Romantic, elegant atmosphere, family-owned italian.. but amazing fresh ingredients, very, very good italian.
      Favorite dishes..
      the eggplant appetizer. I know, doesn't sound glamorous.. but trust me it is unbelievable, layered with fresh cheese and sauce... it's light and delicious. I have had friends that don't like eggplant, that love this dish after a bite.
      the carpaccio (girasole is my fav)
      spinach ravioli.. homemade pasta, melt in your mouth.. not heavy at all.
      brick oven pizzas are delicious, and the brick oven fire adds to the ambiance. The foccacia served at every table is a nice taste from the brick oven.
      Fish dishes are excellent. whole fish served table side. the staff is great, mostly family and the bar is a perfect place to have a cocktail.
      They also just opened for late night lounge and bites.
      just make sure you make a reservation! Girasoleac.com

      A completely romantic, but a little more casual atmosphere... is Lucy's Grill which is right at the beach and directly at the feet of Lucy the Elephant in Margate. It is al fresco dining under the stars at it's best, candlelit and on a deck on the beach.. the food is from the same owners of Mojo's and you'll see favorites from there. Mojo's was upscale, fine dining.. so it's a nice change of scenery to have a similar fine dining menu.. out on the beach!
      Dominick is one of the best chefs at the jersey shore. If you don't get there for your anniversary.. understandable, not everyone likes al fresco on a special date.. definitely get there sometime. it's amazing food and romantic, if you love the beach. and byob!!
      i think they are open wed to sunday 5:30-10pm

      1 Reply
      1. re: belleocchio

        If I suggested Lucy's Grill for an anniversary dinner I'd be divorced before I hit the ground!

        It's really not one of my favorites, but for a special occasion I'd recommend Chef Vola's.

      2. How about the Ram’s Head Inn in Absecon, NJ http://www.ramsheadinn.com/ ? I haven’t been there myself, but have heard about it for years. Apparently, it’s owned by the same group that owns the Manor in North Jersey. I’ve heard some people say that it’s eloquent, while others called it old fashioned and stodgy. I guess like beauty, ambiance is in the eyes of the beholder. Maybe someone who has been there recently could provide us with a current review.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TomDel

          I haven't been there in a few years, but Rams Head is lovely. Yes, a bit stodgy, but it is elegant dining. Great service, and I have always enjoyed my meals there. One of their specialties is the Chicken Pot Pie, which is excellent. The Beef Wellington is great as well. I like the fact that they have many 'old fashioned' types of things on the menu that are well prepared and almost impossible to find at other restaurants.But they also have more up to date choices as well. Great appetizers and starters too.
          Jackets used to be required for the men; not sure if that is still the case.

        2. Thanks for everyone's suggestions. Unfortunately, I didn't get them until after our trip. But we are making another trip in late July so I will keep these posts and give one or more restaurants a try. We ended up eating at the Seaview restaurant (where we were staying) the first night we were there. It was a seafood prix fixed meal with wine pairings. The wine was good, the food was decent although the bottom line was kind of high for the overall quality of the food. But it was not a bad meal and we did enjoy ourselves.
          We took someone's advice at the resort and went to a seaside restaurant for our actual anniversary. I wanted something more casual and my husband was perfectly fine with that. We went to a place in Brigantine called the Laguna Grill. We sat in the Martini Bar area where the windows were opened and we could feel the sea breeze and listen to the breakers. The service was good but the room was quite noisy and not at all attractive. However, there is a restaurant portion that is not noisy and more of a classic dining room but you also don't get the open air effect of the windows. I am not sure how they call themselves a martini bar because there are only like 6 choices and the only one that appealed to us was the classic with vermouth and olives. The food was ok. The entrees were much better than the appetizers. The mussel appetizer was cooked in a lackluster broth and a silly, very stale piece of thin overly brown toast. Both of us had fish entree specials. They were quite expensive but the portions were large and pretty tasty. I don't know if I would rush back there because there are other places to try in the area. But I wouldn't necessarily steer people away either.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mary0201

            Having lived in Margate years ago, I would consider the area a cultural wasteland. That said, there are several decent restaurants that have opened in recent years that are worth noting.
            Margate has Tomatoes, Steve and Cookies and another one I can't remember near the bay. In Atlantic City, many of the celebrity chefs have opened branches in the casinos. Check out The Latin Quarter at the Tropicana for some interesting eats. Girasole is an old favorite, as is Chef Vola's. Savarradio's is another locals favorite. In Pomona, we would often eat at Tre Figlio - an upscale red sauce Italian restaurant.
            Hope this helps.