Plate and More - LBI Report
Not much good news -
Mustache Bill's continues to be great for breakfast (they won a James Beard Award this year in the American Classic category, and deserve it!).
Off the Hook still has great fish takeout, and still wins the award for most overstaffed and yet least organized take-out place ever.
Lobster Claw in Surf City was much nicer and better than Harvey Cedars Shellfish as a general beach seafood place - good lobster, a few non-seafood things, good service.
Carousel Ice Cream place is now Poppy's, serving Jack&Jill ice cream - good flavors. Big Dipper Ice Cream in Surf City was very mediocre. Udder Delight closed.
Fat Cat's is now High Point Cafe - similar breakfast/lunch type selections (bagels, baked goods, salads, etc). Had an excellent latte there.
Blue has closed, and been replaced by Sandpiper Cafe - we did not go there.
Plate - a new white-tablecloth place - just opened in Surf City. It was pretty disappointing. The reach definitely exceeded the grasp there. We shared Peking Duck Confit - came with 2 dry, cold tortillas and shredded lettuce. The confit was OK, but was accompanied by a very nice black bean salsa. My husband had Duck Breast which was totally bland. It came with a 3-cheese potato pave, which I thought was greasy. I had Sockeye Salmon with supposedly crispy skin - it was OK, but like everything else, was very underseasoned. It seemed like the chef only had salt, which was underused, and pepper, which was overused, and no herbs or spices. The dessert, however, was fantastic - poached pear tart with bleu cheese-walnut ice cream. It was perfect - the short crust was delicate, the pastry cream was just right, the ice cream in a ramekin just in case it didn't suit you, but I ate all of it. Nice foccaccia, nice service. Maybe they will work out the kinks.
re: AC Captain
Very, very sad to see Blue close! We did go to the Sandpiper the first week that they opened and had a dismal experience. The food was obviously reheated frozen fare (not very well reheated, I should add), the rolls were frozen in the middle, the service was good. Maybe in time things will get better but we have not ventured back since.
My boyfriend and I were very excited to go to Blue last year. To our dismay Blue had closed and in it's place we found The Sandpiper. Hoping for another great restaurant we decided to give The Sandpiper a try. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. From the start the evening was a disaster....of course excluding the company and the wine (it is BYOB).
The hostess was rude. No one came to take our drink or appetizer order. We had to open our own wine bottle (and have a second bottle when our dinner took forever). The food was ok, but, my chicken was under cooked. Nothing was served at the same time. When my chicken was finally served it was the same piece that I had cut into. When we went to stay something to the owner we were basically told that the restaurant was new and just opened? The fact that the restaurant had just opened seemed to be a valid reason for undercooked food and horrible service. There was no apology or please have a dessert on us. The owner was beyond rude. If the restaurant survives another season it would be shock.
Plate has become of my favorite restaurants and I ate there as recently as last night. The July 14, 2009 review comes as a bit ot a shock to me. Chef Kevin is one of the most creative chefs I have experienced in a long time. He brings a passion and incredibly diverse culinary background to this location. You will find unique flavor combinations and extra preparation in everything he does. Plus, he likes to walk the dining room and talk to guests. Not sure if he will be able to be so free in the busy season, but this is a must restaurant to try. It is a BYOB with very good glassware.
Plate is a classic "we're great becase we say we're great" place. Nothing impressed me especially considering the high prices.
Our duk was cold and dry. Salmon was overcooked too and bland. And wait till you see the bill!
Plantation is much better and classier too.
Returned to Plate this year because of the comments above and was very pleasantly surprised. Both the escolar and salmon we had were perfectly cooked. The crab and corn bisque was nicely flavored. Even the lavendar creme brulee, which could have been a disaster, was delicious and delicately flavored. I would definitely go back.
Black-eyed Susan's is a new place where Fat Cat's used to be in Harvey Cedars. It is great! Alot of vegetarian and vegan breakfast and lunch entrees. The only disappointment was the granola, which was not nearly as good as Fat Cat's was and was burnt tasting. We tried dinner there also, which they have just started serving. It was pretty good.
Otherwise, there is not much new. The Lobster Claw was very good again - my friend had fresh Dungeness Crab - she said it was not frozen, and it was a whole crab for $19!