Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Apr 6, 2009 05:57 AM

Cape May

My husband and I are travelling to Cape May in mid-May for the Spring bird migration. It also happens to be my birthday weekend. We've been to Cape May before but did not concentrate on the dining experience during that visit. On this visit, we are looking to go to a very nice...the very in Cape May. We are not concerned with cost. We appreciate nice ambience - no heavy lighting, tables not too close together, nice features (like view, fireplace, etc), we need courteous service but we will compromise on any of that if the food is just too superior in one establishment despite a compromise in the other aspects of our experience. We love all types of food, but would love some french influence if possible. If a restaurant uses organic meat, that would be the deal breaker for us. We despise corn fed cattle, for example, and likely wouldn't order beef if it wasn't grass fed raised by an organically inclined farmer. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The first place that comes to mind is Union Park Dining Room in the Hotel Macomber on Beach Ave. It's very beautiful inside and from what I remember having eaten here twice, excellent food. Has a fireplace inside as well and very elegant decor.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dani0622

      Looks yummy. You don't happen to know if it's organic, do you? Also, not to be utra picky, but we hate going to restaurants that put WAY too much food on the plate. We like smaller servings of delectable food, rather then heaping plates of mediocre, poorly presented food. Thanks for your post.

      1. re: nyawira

        Sorry not sure if organic. The platings are definitely smaller here.

    2. Have not been to Cape May recently but some might argue it is the restaurant capital of New Jersey.

      You will not go hungry! (especially if you each some of the three course breakfasts they serve LOL)

      Suggest you contact the restaurants directly about off season hours and whether or not they use organic meats. Do not know that information.

      Some suggestions to consider

      The Washington Inn

      Ebbitt Room

      Alexander Inn

      Enjoy your Birthday!

      4 Replies
      1. re: shabbystorm

        Thanks much. I have made reservations for one night at the Washington Inn and one night at the Union Park. Although the alexander inn looks yummy too. What's a girl to do?

        1. re: nyawira

          Life is short! Have no regrets! Enjoy yourself!

          1. re: shabbystorm

            We've gone to Union Park consistently during annual jaunts to Cape May, and have also had great experiences at the Ebbitt Room and a few others, Union Park is our favorite. Hope you enjoy it.

            Seasonal note... a few years ago we were there in mid-April and stopped at the Blue Pig in Congress Hall for lunch, where we had perhaps the best strawberry shortcake for dessert. Seasonal fruit, handmade and real shortcake biscuits (no faux biscuit, pound cake or angel food cake there)... the rest of the meal was so-so, but that dessert has stuck with us.

            1. re: aklein

              I think we could probably swing by there for lunch...:^) I may have to go on a serious diet after all this eating I plan to do. Thanks.

      2. Sounds like you would really like Sea Salt in Stone Harbor, a small BYO that specializes in world cuisine. Can't swear that everything is organic, but he uses local organic produce and only sustainable seafood.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Rocket88

          Wow, that sounds perfect. We kinda wanted to hang out in Cape May, but I did a google search and it's only about 25 minutes away. Something to think about. Thanks so much.

          1. re: nyawira

            Went to Sea Salt last August after seeing all the glowing reviews and found it was vastly overrated and overpriced, even if it was a BYO. Also, no ambience and tables very crowded and noisy, service so so. The Washington Inn is your best bet for dinner in CM if price is not an object. Lovely ambience, great service and excellent wine list. Union Park I like but it can be hit or miss. Its a BYO which is a plus. I've had excellent meals there and just so so. Last one was so so. Pig is good for lunch but not dinner. An alternative is Marie Nicole's in WW Crest. I only ate there once but thought it was excellent. Hope it still is. Black Duck has been a favorite over the years but had a really mediocre dinner there last month so hope its not on the downhill. Duck is supposedly their specialty but it was just terrible. Lobster potstickers were mediocre too. Only bad meal I've had there so I will give them another shot. Copper Fish is another one to avoid. Another good lunch place is Lucky Bones for good salads and very good wood fired pizzas.

            Sorry I can't be more definitive but I think CM restaurants are living on their reputation. I've been going there regularly for 20 years or more and have a house there but I find fewer and fewer reasons to go out for dinner. I'm really hoping a new chef comes to town. We need it.

            1. re: Ellen

              Thanks, Ellen. We will stick to our two recommendations of Washington Inn and Union Park. Maybe the poor economy will remotivate the service industry and all it's participants to redouble their efforts in order to draw business. Who knows. But, we will make the best of our weekend - Lucky Bones sounds like a good option for lunch. But we will be eating a big breakfast at our bed and breakfast so my guess is we'll be going light for the noon time meal.

              1. re: nyawira

                I second Lucky Bones for lunch. I've had some pretty good pizza there as well.

              2. re: Ellen

                Just for the record, I strongly disagree with the above post regarding Sea Salt. Four of us went last year and had an amazing meal - a 13-course Chef's Tasting Menu. Anyone interested can read about it here:

                (warning - long post


                Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

          2. nyawire, Here is an article you might like in preparation for your trip:

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lewes17266

              Very cool. Thanks for sharing. I can't WAIT to see all the birdies!

            2. The original comment has been removed