Tomatoe’s in Margate, NJ

Just a few weekends ago, my Mom and my friend Genna and her Mom- Penny, went “down the shore” for a weekend away.  The best thing about going to theJerseyShorein the off season (besides being able to take Stella to the beach) is that you can get “in” at any restaurant you normally can’t during the summer season.

Tomatoe’s in Margate, NJ is the hot spot we chose this time around.  Tomatoe’s is a hoppin’ bar and “Exquisite California Cuisine” restaurant, which also happens to have the best sushi in town.

the restaurant was so pretty and huge

We were first served warm, crusty bread with a side of olive oil dipping sauce complete with whole hunks of roasted garlic.

Check out all of that roasted garlic... mmm!

Most of us ordered the salad special for the night, and it was amazing.  Set atop a heaping pile of spring mix was fig-balsamic dressing covered roasted butternut squash, apple slices, crispy bacon, and Manchego cheese.

Genna and Penny must have been cravin’ crab, because they split both the Crab Pasta (Spaghettini tossed with jumbo lump crab in a marinara sauce) and the Crab Cakes (Jumbo Lump, baked golden with a chipotle aioli sauce).  The crab pasta was loaded with huge pieces of crabmeat, it was very impressive!

This dish had so much crab meat you could hardly see the pasta...

Humongous crab cakes!

Mom and I had to take a chance on the sushi menu, since we had heard such good things in the past.  The sushi came out on a huge platter, and it was all so fresh and delicious.  We thought the menu had a bunch of different, very creative rolls.  We ordered:  a classic Yellowtail Roll, the Naruto Roll (Tuna, Salmon, Crab, wrapped in Cucumber), the Atlantic City Roll (Spicy California Roll topped with Shrimp), the Autumn Roll (Crab, Peppercorn Salmon, Avocado, topped w/ Spicy Tuna), and finally… the most interesting of them all, the Margate Roll (Salmon, Crab, Shrimp with Roasted Peppers, Mozzarella and Spicy Sauce… tempura-ed)!  The sushi was fantastic.  I’ll definitely try it again!

What a gorgeous spread of sushi.

A close peek at the Margate Roll

Dessert was spectacular.  OMG.  We ordered the Smores dessert, not really knowing what to expect.  The dessert came layered in a cocktail glass.  Starting with graham crackers, then peanut butter mousse, light chocolate ganache, vanilla ice cream, and topped with marshmallow fluff… lightly burned on top, just like crème brulee.  WOW.  This version of the campfire treat is for sure one of my favorite desserts, ever.

Layers of Smores making for the perfect dessert

Gooey melted marshmallow made it difficult to eat without getting a little messy... but it was so worth it!

We also spent the afternoon at the movies, seeing My Week With Marilyn.  I was blown away by this movie.  The story of Marilyn Monroe is so compelling, and Michelle Williams could not have played Marilyn any better.  Sometimes, I had to think about it to remember that it wasn’t Marilyn herself.  I highly recommend this one!

Gypsy Saloon

What every girl needs sometimes is a GIRLS NIGHT!  Lucky for me, one of my girlfriends Colleen is in agreement that every good girls night should start with some GOOD FOOD!

Colleen took me to a small bar in Conshohocken called The Gypsy Saloon.  We got there pretty late, so there was already a DJ blasting some dance music.  There were still a few tables left for dinner service, so we picked one in the corner so we could chat.

With the exception of the LOUD music, the place was awesome.  It took us forever to decide on what to order since everything on the menu sounded delish.  We started off with drinks and an order of the Island Grill’s Crabby Fries.  The fries were unbelievable.  I actually can’t stop thinking about them!  I’m afraid to say it but they are better than Chickie’s and Pete’s FAMOUS Crab Fries.  They’re that good!  The fries were perfectly hot and crispy, and they were tossed with huge pieces ofOldBay sautéed crabmeat.  Colleen had been here before and made a special request to add the “Italian Fondue” side of cheese dip that comes along with the other type of fries.  MMM!

Unbelievable Old Bay Fries WITH tons of Crabmeat

For our main dishes, Colleen ordered the Blue Cheese Flatbread and I ordered the Blackened Salmon.

The size of the serving of salmon on my dish was huge!  It was blackened and served over lobster mashed potatoes and sautéed baby bok choy.  They also topped it off with a reduced balsamic drizzle which was a nice tangy counter to the overpowering flavors from the blackening seasoning.

Blackened Salmon w/ Lobster Mac & Cheese and Baby Bok Choy

Colleen’s Blue Cheese Flatbread was mouthwatering.  Literally- I was still on my no-cheese diet and refused to try it.  I LOVE blue cheese and this flatbread had my name written all over it!  The flatbread was smothered with melted blue cheese and topped with caramelized onions and roasted red grapes- how interesting!  Colleen said it was really yummy.

Blue Cheese Flatbread with Roasted Grapes

I loved girls night, and we plan to have another one soon (so we can try Gypsy Saloon’s signature Lobster Mac & Cheese) !!