We Missed A Few: More of the Best Atlantic City Area Restaurants
We thank you for your readership regarding our recent coverage of our 10 Best Restaurants in the Atlantic City area (non-casino) compilation.
We’re very proud of our initial list, however, we believe that we missed a few restaurants and feel a sense of duty to revisit this, again.
Our second 10 Best list below was compiled in consultation with several more area food and beverage experts, along with immediate family members, who are objective, “Fabulous Foodies” in their own right.
1. STEVE & COOKIE’S BY THE BAY - MARGATE
Our committee of judges said “Steve and Cookie's not only is number one on this list of top Atlantic City area (non-casino) restaurants, but rivals any top ten list in any state in the country.
There is no better example of farm-to-table cuisine as Steve and Cookie's now works in synergy with Reed's Farm, bringing its customers the freshest, locally farm-sourced foods possible.
Close your eyes next time you are there and point anywhere on the menu and you will not be disappointed with your selection.
The exceptional hospitality staff was just nominated for the restaurant's second James Beard nod, the first going to Cookie herself as a restauranteur.
2. DOCK’S OYSTER HOUSE - ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
Since 1895, this longstanding Atlantic City institution, Dock's Oyster House received an incredible makeover in recent years, under the direction of The Dougherty Family.
Dock’s has also elevated the ambiance to match the quality of food that has made Dock's famous for generations.
Dock’s seafood-heavy menu is wonderful, but don't let that make you miss the steaks, which are perfectly cooked and seasoned every time.
It has arguably the area's best happy hour and the live entertainment at the piano bar makes Dock's atmosphere light and lively.
Somehow, Dock’s didn’t make our first list. We did not miss them this time.
3. LA CUCINA RISTORANTE- NORTHFIELD, NEW JERSEY
Situated in a Northfield, New Jersey strip mall, La Cucina is a local restaurant that is small, but mighty.
Lovers of Italian cuisine can expect their pasta made fresh in-house and their dishes are hearty and plentiful.
The open kitchen allows diners to watch and often interact with Chef Ronald Poulin, who brings a creative flair to traditional Italian food, but also includes staples sure to please everyone.
La Cucina Ristorante is a real underrated gem.
4. TOMATOE’S - MARGATE, NEW JERSEY
If you are a sushi lover who also enjoys fine dining, Tomatoe's in Margate is the restaurant for you.
The menu is extensive and sure to please with great bar bites and handcrafted cocktails at Happy Hour, a renowned sushi bar, and a favorite dish: the Lemon and Soy Chilean Seabass that stacks up to any entree in the area.
Come for the food and stay for its bustling nightlife scene with a DJ and dancing that keeps Tomatoes a local spot to see and be seen year after year.
5. THE KNIFE AND FORK INN - ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
There is no more authentic Atlantic City dining experience than ordering the Lobster Thermidor while seated in the old front porch now bar area at the Knife & Fork Inn. Jim Huntzinger in the kitchen is Atlantic City culinary royalty.
The Dougherty Family has not only maintained the excellent reputation of this fine establishment they’ve actually succeeded in taking it to the next level.
6. Café 2825 - ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
Every item on the menu has a story. A wonderful story of where it came from, why it's on the menu and why you should order it.
According to our good friend, Peter Caporilli, ask for anything with anchovies, along with every crepe they are serving on any given night.
If you want to put your Italian grandmother to shame, order the Tripe a la Romana.
Caporilli says … You're welcome!
7. ANGELONI’S II RESTAURANT & LOUNGE - ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
Owner Alan Angeloni is a legendary Atlantic City restauranteur for the past four decades. He is well known and respected for the high quality and uniqueness of all of his offerings.
Ask any Atlantic City Casino President and they’ll tell you that Alan has the finest and most elaborate wine list in all of Atlantic City.
Over the years, there have been times when Alan has had more than $ 1 million worth of wine on hand. The selection is extraordinary and unprecedented in Atlantic City history.
In addition to having one of the most interesting wine lists with some exceptional values, Angeloni's II does the one thing that all local, street corner Italian restaurants should do; they make all your favorites and they are all delicious.
Caporilli asks that you please order the long-hots. They may not be on the menu but, Angeloni’s has them.
If the question ever comes up, "Where can I get some great Italian seafood?" Ask Alan Angeloni for his Clams Posillipo, recommends Caporilli.
8. DOCKSIDE KITCHEN - OCEAN CITY, NEW JERSEY
Brunch lovers rejoice, Dockside Kitchen is an Ocean City restaurant located directly on the bay with open-air, water views, and an inventive menu.
Traditional brunch items like Eggs Benedict are elevated with the coastal additions of lobster and crabcakes and the cinnamon vanilla dipped French Toast on Brioche is not to be missed.
Dockside Kitchen added a Dinner Club in recent years on summer evenings with a menu fit for foodies that is always changing.
Its paid memberships allow guests to BYOB in America's Greatest Family Resort.
9. ROBERT’S PLACE - MARGATE, NEW JERSEY
Owner and operated by Robert Sutor, Robert’s Place earns entry to our revisited 10 Best list.
Margate's Robert's Place is much more than a dive bar. Robert's has stepped up its culinary game in recent years and locals can enjoy fresh seafood, Mexican food, and even sushi on special nights of the week.
Its very popular Sushi Night recently featured a jumbo shrimp fried sticky rice that would stack up to any gourmet Asian fusion restaurant for a fraction of the price.
The steamers are the finest in the area, brought in from Randall's Seafood daily and served on nostalgic, bright orange platters that will take you back to your school lunch days.
Robert's classic wings and tenders with a side of Old Bay fries are always a must. The staff is friendly and treats customers like family because many of them are family, the Sutor family who has owned and operated this local gem since 1977.
10. (TIE) WATER DOG SMOKE HOUSE - VENTNOR, NEW JERSEY
Owner Steve Marchel and his group have implemented one of the most unique dine-in and take-out establishments in the Greater Atlantic City history.
The quality of the products are at the highest level and the variety is exceptional.
Do yourself a favor and please try the Lobster Roll, which is my favorite. It is comprised of the contents of an entire lobster and served on the perfect Hudson Bakery Brioche torpedo roll.
Capirilli says, that sometimes he thinks about how less enjoyable Sundays would be without Water Dog.
“It is a mystery to me how they are able to smoke meats, fish, and poultry and allow each to preserve their individual, distinctive flavor but they do,” said Caporilli.
10. (TIE) CHEF VOLA’S - ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
This is another of the Atlantic City area gems.
This is a legendary restaurant that you actually step down to enter. It’s not easy to get a reservation. But, when you do, it’s well worth the effort and wait.
Peter and Sara Caporilli and many others missed dining in the restaurant during COVID-19.
Chef Vola’s continued to do a robust take-out service and things are back to normal.
The Caporilli’s missed the wonderful aromas of garlic and tomatoes loaded with fresh-made Italian seasoning poured over some al dente pasta with Chicken Parmigiana. They missed the Banana Cream Pie.
They missed Louise and Louie. Things are really good again at Chef Vola's.
In conclusion, our second “10 Best Restaurants (non-casino)” effort in no way takes anything away from our initial list.
It is meant to complement it and it gave us the opportunity to recognize some additional outstanding Atlantic City area restaurants.
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