Cape May restaurant...which one?
What is the best spot in Cape May for a special Saturday night dinner special occasion type place? I was thinking 410 Bank, but some of the reviews are rather luke warm, saying it ain't what it used to be. Full service bar preferrred.
Ate at 410 Bank this past weekend with some couples (ages ranged from 30s to 60s) who are all very experienced "Jersey Shore" eaters. Unanimous verdict: still very good, but not cheap. You said you prefer a full service bar -- 410 is a BYO so if that's an important issue for you, look elsewhere. If still interested in my take, read on...
If you watch Gordon Ramsey's "Kitchen Nightmares" you know that his solution to every restaurant he visits (after basics like hygiene...) is to simplify and focus on what you do best. 410 does not boast a "simple" menu, and when you add nearly a dozen specials (apps and entrees), well, you can have some trouble keeping track. And, while nearly every dish is still mostly based on New Orleans "style" cooking, the restaurant also prides itself on local seafood, so you have a bit of a meld between southern Louisiana and southern New Jersey.
All of that said, our table covered a wide variety of the offerings, from specials to menu stand-bys. All of our fish was cooked very well (and in the case of the tuna ceviche, not cooked at all) and had excellent flavor. The portions are also very generous, so even if it's expensive, you get value for your $ (again, the BYO helps). The place was packed but service never suffered, and in fact, was quite well paced yet still fun/relaxed. To be honest, looking at the size of the kitchen, I'm amazed they can pull off the number of covers that they do.
My main criticism remains that the menu is probably too big, and the meals, while again, generously sized, are too busy with sauces and sides and "busy" flavors; some of which work and some of which do not. That said, if you want broiled flounder with a baked potato, there are plenty of other options that are both closer and cheaper. 3/5 stars for this diner.
Agree on Washington Inn for a special occasion restaurant that's got a liquor license (and an outstanding - and reasonably priced - wine list). That said, our current favorite restaurant in Cape May is Union Park, which is BYO. Bank Street's blackened prime rib is still one of my favorite major hunks of meat, but I agree with the opinion that the restaurant, while still very good, is not as excellent as it's price point warrants (although for a normal eater, that prime rib lasts two days and makes for some great sandwiches ;)).
727 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204
801 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204