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Cape May - Fresh local seafood places?

I've looked anew at the CH threads on Cape May and gather some places to go for seafood include 410 Bank Street, Copper Fish, The Lobster Place, etc - but there are various ups-and-downs to them...e.g. I read that 410 Bank tends to have somewhat fussy dishes and also doesn't seem to put out "local" stuff from their menu, Lobster Place gets some really bad knocks from some, Copper Fish gets some 'Meh's etc.

Are there any local places for good fresh seafood, preferably with stuff caught that day, served in simple, clean preparations? Both fine dining scenarios and more 'rustic' scenarios are good.

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410 Bank Street
410 Bank Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

Copper Fish
1246 Route 109, Cape May, NJ 08204

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  1. For fine dining, Washington Inn may be your best bet. Peter Shields, Ebbitt Room are all swell. I like the Lobster House. It is simple, noisy, but a few raw clams on the boat with a cocktail before dinner makes any small missteps irrelevent.

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    Washington Inn
    801 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

    Ebbitt Room
    25 Jackson Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

    The Lobster House
    906 Schellengers Landing Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204

    1. There was a fish market on the main drag in town that looked pretty good. I did not get a chance to eat there though, looked pretty simple. Might have been the Cape May Fish Market not sure though. The Blue Pig Tavern in the Congress Hotel was really good though. They have their own farm for sourcing vegetables. The best meal we had down there was at the Blue Pig, besides Georges which was a good greek diner.

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      Blue Pig Tavern
      251 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204

      1. Thanks to both of you.

        Would others have any comments to add?

        6 Replies
          1. re: JNB757

            Second Axelsons Blue Claw. Nice athmosphere. Good preparations of classic seafood dishes.

            1. re: brookquarry

              Thanks, JNB & brook. I'm going to be there in early June, still time to decide...

              1. re: huiray

                If it is your first visit to Cape May a few don't misses IMHO brunch on the porch of the Mad Batter, Burger and a beer at the Ugly Mug, Clams and cocktails on the boat at the Lobster House (great afternoon warm up for a fun evening). I try to always get to the Washington Inn, even if it is to sit at the bar and enjoy the new bar room menu,.

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                Washington Inn
                801 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

                Mad Batter
                19 Jackson St, Cape May, NJ 08204

                Ugly Mug Bar & Restaurant
                426 Washington St, Cape May, NJ 08204

                The Lobster House
                906 Schellengers Landing Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204

                1. re: Picnicchef

                  Pinicchef, thanks. No, I've been to Cape May a few times before but for short periods and have never really explored the culinary scene there. I've been to some places before - e.g. Ebbitt Room/stayed at the Virginian; Peter Shields; Union Park; lunch at Avondale-by-the-Sea; etc - without referring to CH. This time I'll be passing through just for the evening/night, leaving fairly early the next morning, on my way from Frederick (Volt Table 21) to Neptune NJ via Lewes.

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                  Union Park
                  727 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204

          2. re: huiray

            The Blue Pig was hands down my favorite dinner in Cape May. The outdoor patio is pleasant at sundown. If you have youngsters, they will enjoy the "Blue Pig" himself who comes around to the tables to greet diners young and old..the staff is predominantly Eastern European with heavy accents so be sure to speak clearly when ordering..they try very hard, are very professional and aim to please...management came to our table to make sure all was in order...start with guacamole and chips for the table..the fatty chips with no salt give new meaning to guacamole...yum!!! The buffalo burger with a portabello mushroom was delicious as was the rich and meaty pappardelle bolognese.....The crabcake appetizer with avocado and crispy hazelnuts is a must try although difficult to share....The Heirloom tomato salad is a modern twist on bread salad - served in a tumbler...I would pass on the fried calamari..

          3. The Lobster House has been mentioned with recommendations to get a drink and app on the Schooner America.
            I recommend avoiding the inside restaurant all together and opting for the raw bar on the docks out back. You can still experience the schooner, but the raw bar and dock tables offer a view and fun atmosphere where you can order a la cart from a fun menu including crab soup, clams casino and lobster among other things.
            It gets crowded but orders come up in a timely fashion.
            I never miss it when I visit!
            Try it for lunch or dinner and enjoy a beer with horseradish slathered OTC's.

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            The Lobster House
            906 Schellengers Landing Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204

            1 Reply
            1. re: monavano

              Thanks.

              I am inclined to swing by the Lobster House sometime during my evening there. Would you (or others) know for sure if they would have their "own" Cape May Salts (oysters) available, even out of normal season, as they say (on their website) they have their own oyster beds to supply the place with?

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              The Lobster House
              906 Schellengers Landing Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204

            2. I ended up eating "dinner" of sorts at the Lobster House. The place was packed (Thursday night). I just didn't feel like eating off styrofoam and sitting on plastic chairs that night, so I passed over the raw bar on the docks outside. Besides, they had only oysters from mid-Jersey. I went into the restaurant, put myself down for a table and got one of those vibrating pager thingies, had a drink at the bar, checked out the Oyster Bar in the corner across from the hostess station, asked the hostess if it was conceivable I might get a window table (answer - VERY unlikely)(and the wait would still be probably long-ish), surrendered the pager and instead stood at the Oyster Bar and made my way through 2 dozen Cape May Salts (plump, juicy, briny, delicious!!!) and a half dozen clams (meaty & wonderful!!!) shucked with amazing speed and ease by the guy in charge of the oyster bar (my namesake, it turned out) and chatting with him. Yum. Cash only. (Oh, got another drink from the bar, took it over to the oyster bar to drink.)

              Wandered back out and onto the Schooner (still at Lobster House). Surly lady barkeep. Sat at the end of the bar; had the chilled crab fingers (smallish crab claws with the shell body removed, one held it by the claw itself - still attached - and pulled off the meat of the claw body with your teeth) and shrimp cocktail. As it happened the people who "gathered' there on the immediate seats were young ladies and a guy (opposite them) trying to hit on them. Sorry, but they could have been extras on Jersey Shore (the TV show) with clothes/jewelry/hair/mannerisms and speech straight out of there. :-) It was entertaining, actually, and the guy (with his more surly, older, rough-edged friend) exchanged good-natured pleasantries with me at the end after said ladies, uh, turned away.

              Drove back downtown & took a walk around afterwards, finally found Louisa's Cafe (couldn't find it earlier), looked at the menu (they were already closing and I would not have been able to get in to eat earlier anyway). Drinks at the Rusty Nail before hitting the sack.

              Breakfast at Mad Batter the next morning after a long early walk on the beach. Eggs benedict w/ 3 eggs and a salad. (I actually wanted the variation with crab meat but what appeared was ordinary eggs benedict). The eggs were perfectly poached. The rest (incld coffee & the salad) was less than good, quite unremarkable, nothing that would make me fancy them again.

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              Mad Batter
              19 Jackson St, Cape May, NJ 08204

              The Lobster House
              906 Schellengers Landing Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204

              1 Reply
              1. re: huiray

                Thanks for your report back! Sounds like you hit the highlights at Lobster House. I ate at Louisa's once after reading some high praise here and around. I don't get it. The food was very basic, boring even. I get it. It's fresh. But it's too minimal an approach for me, and the place is just too small. You need to use lube to shimmy between tables into your seat!

                Their desserts are the only thing that always look good.

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                The Lobster House
                906 Schellengers Landing Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204