Continental, Atlantic City NJ

Sometimes, all you need is a good Date Night!

While my boyfriend Dave and I love being with my entire family at the shore in the summer, sometimes it gets to be a little much!  Dave had spent the week at the shore at Adam’s house, so I hadn’t really seen him much either.  He was so sweet and asked me out on a date night!  

After an hour on Yelp, we couldn’t decide where to go.  We ended up waiting so long that most places had a huge wait.  We ended up picking one of the most dependable restaurants we know:  Continental.

Continental is one of Stephen Starr’s restaurants, and also happens to be the first one ever!  Stephen Starr restaurants are pretty much all fabulous.  Maybe a little overpriced, but you can always count on interesting, fresh, and really really delicious food.  His restaurants are all themed and beautifully decorated too, which makes for a great atmosphere.  He’s got Sushi, Asian, French, British, Steakhouse, Burgers, Italian, Mexican, and a ton more.

“Global Tapas” is the theme for Continental which also has some pretty fabulous cocktails.  One of my favorites is the “Twizzle”:  Smirnoff Citrus, Strawberry Puree, Lemon, and garnished with a red licorice wheel.  It’s adorable.  On this particular night, I decided to change it up and order the “Champagne-O-Rama”: Smirnoff Raspberry and sparkling wine with a grenadine-sugar rimmed glass.  It was REALLY strong, maybe even too strong!

Loved the rim!

Dave and I were actually not that hungry but we ordered some great stuff!

French Onion Soup Dumplings: gruyere cheese

These are awesome!  You have to be careful when you go to eat them though, they are HOT.  We popped the dumplings out of their little holes and let them cool first.  It tastes exactly like french onion soup.

French Onion Soup Dumplings baked in its’ very own crock!

MMMMM!

Jumbo Lump Crab Pad Thai: rice noodles, tofu, egg, scallions and peanuts

While I still think that the best Pad Thai is at Silk Cuisine, my favorite Thai restaurant… Continental’s Pad Thai is pretty high up there on the list.  First of all, it was huge.  The sauce was really good, not too salty, not too sweet.  The entire thing was covered with crab meat.

Pad Thai

Crispy Calamari Salad: chopped greens, carrots, tomatoes, sprouts and soy-sesame dressing

I absolutely positively cannot go to Continental without ordering the Calamari Salad.  It is actually on my own personal “Best Thing I Ever Ate” list… as well as Anne Burrell’s!  She picked this salad as her favorite thing in the “…to eat with Chopsticks” episode.  It is freakin’ amazing.  The calamari is only lightly coated and is perfectly seasoned.  The dressing… wow… it’s a little tangy but very light, and is the perfect compliment to the salty calamari.  WOW.

Check out alllllll the good stuff in this salad. WOW

Although this was all we ordered this time around, I of course have to recommend a few other items for you:

Szechuan Shoestring Fries: drizzled with Chinese mustard sauce

Orange-Chile Glazed Calamari: papaya salsa

Chilean Sea Bass: miso glaze, Chinese broccoli and sweet potato mash

Cheesesteak Eggroll: crispy onions and sriracha ketchup

Amazing Sea Bass.  Also, voted one of the top French Fries in Philly!

Smitty’s Clam Bar, Somer’s Point NJ

A few things you need to know about Smitty’s Clam Bar:

There will be no less than a 1.5 hour wait to eat here.

Bring booze… everyone here will be tailgating during that 1.5 hour wait.

Dress casually.  If you aren’t already sweaty from drinking outside during your 1.5 hour wait, you will be once you sit down at your plastic-covered chairs.

Since you’re already sweaty, you might as well go all in and order Clam Chowder.  Get it mixed… as in:  1/2 Red, 1/2 White.  You won’t be disappointed.

The most important thing to know about Smitty’s:  They have the best seafood at the shore, at a great price.

Smitty’s is always one of my favorite dinners at the shore, and I’m hoping we get to go back before the season is over.  We did get to go a while back in June this year, my parents took Dave, Adam, and I.

Smitty’s is right along the bay in Somer’s Point… this is the view from the parking lot. Gorgeous!

While you’re waiting with your BYO Booze, they will come around and give you a bucked of ice and cups to use.

MMM Corona Lights!

The best parents in the world!!

The boys 🙂

After our wait, we were finally seated and ordered some apps.  We tried the fried calamari and some raw clams.  The clams are awesome here, I can always count on my dad to order a half dozen.  The calamari was fair.  I mean all fried calamari is delicious but theirs is heavily breaded.  It could have been anything in there and it would have tasted good.

The specials are always listed on white boards throughout the restaurant. They usually have some pretty interesting stuff and lots of sides to choose from.

Not my favorite type of Calamari, but it was still tasty

I happen to like RAW clams more than cooked ones! They aren’t as chewy and they aren’t as big and scary as raw Oysters.

The soup is fabulous.  You cannot go here and miss the soup, no matter how hot it is.  It’s that good.

MMMMMMMM!!!!!!! I sometimes even order a BOWL!

For our meals, Adam ordered Chicken Parm (he is a very picky eater, but is trying new things these days!), my Dad ordered the Seafood Alfredo, and Mom ordered the Broiled Seafood Combination w/ the Ginger/Garlic/Soy/Wasabi Sauce.  Both Dave and I picked the Tuna in the same Asian sauce.  Everything was fantastic, with the exception of our Tuna coming out to us completely cooked through, after requesting it to be rare.  Despite our terrible luck with service this summer, our server took them back right away and brought us an entire new platter properly cooked.

OH, I almost forgot to mention… you get to pick two sides with your meal.  The french fries come in a HEAPING pile, so if you’re craving them, totally get it!  The sides change everyday too, which is exciting to see what they come up with next.  My favorite is their corn salad which wasn’t available this particular night.

Adam’s Chicken Parm… sooooo cheesy!

Our tuna… it was a ton of meat. Loooooove Tuna. I believe this is the one that was over-cooked… I ate the next one so fast because I was starving!

Dad’s ridiculous Seafood Alfredo

Mom’s Seafood Combo came with Shrimp, Scallops, and Fish!

Yama, Ventnor City NJ

Back in JUNE for my birthday, we had dinner at Yama, a Sushi Restaurant in Ventnor City, NJ (next to Atlantic City, where we stay “down the shore“).

While Yama is certainly not my favorite sushi place ever, it is pretty decent, especially for the shore.  I thought all of the sushi was really tasty and fresh.  My only complaints were that it was a little on the expensive side (I mean, for sushi, that’s like $1 or $2 more per roll… but it adds up), and the service was god awful.

The highlight of Yama, besides their amazing Tuna-Avocado Roll?  It’s BYO!  The boys bought some Sake and had a lot of fun!!

We were really excited about the BYO!

SAKE BOMB! I was too chicken to try it…

Pat (Patrice) and Regan getting ready for their Sake Bombs!

WOW, I always like to order a special roll and this one was really tasty. I love the avocado ontop!

Matt trying sushi for the FIRST TIME EVER! … he didn’t like it.

A nice assortment! Like I mentioned, amazing Tuna-Avocado roll! Look how fresh that tuna is 🙂

“Down the Shore” Week 2

The shore was EMPTY this weekend.  I’m so glad we made the decision to go to the shore this weekend despite the weather report.  It ended up being beautiful!  No one was down, the streets were empty, there was parking everywhere, and the wait at Smitty’s Clam Bar was only 1.5 Hours.  Perfect.

Here’s what you missed this weekend via Instagram & PicMonkey Collage

1.  Sat at the pool with Dave & Adam… 18% done new book Rob Lowe’s “Stories I Only Tell My Friends“.   It’s fab, he’s the Forrest Gump of Hollywood.
2.  Shopped for my first bike!  EEE!
3.  Drank some Corona Lights @ Maynard’s in Margate, a great outdoor bar for people watching.
4.  Found my dream shore house in Longport.  It’s beautiful… ahhhh!

Beautiful Beach Weekend

You can’t lick our clams! Smitty’s Clam Bar post to come soon!

5.  Saturday night dinner @ Smitty’s Clam Bar in Somer’s Point.  Smittys sits right on the bay… what a gorgeous view.
6.  Adam joined us for family dinner & Dave wore his new shirt only to get sauce on it (we got it out, don’t worry!)
7.  The 1.5 hour wait is perfect to join everyone else in the waiting-line tailgate.  Everyone brings their own booze… Smitty’s provides ice and cups… and you just hang out and drink until you’re called!  So fun.
8.  Thanks to my Mom & Dad for the best seafood dinner!  They’re the best 🙂

Love my “big girl” Dani!

9.  Dani was cold after jumping in the ocean with Dave… she came to me to warm her up!  OH, and yes that is a seagull flying over us at the exact moment the picture was taken… ahhh!
10.  Dani was really into hanging out with Dave this weekend… how precious is this picture?

“Down the Shore” Week 1

So it’s Friday of Memorial Day Weekend and I’m stuck in traffic on the way “down the shore” (what all good Philadelphian’s call the Jersey Shore).  Every year I forget that I promise never to drive down this Friday!

Despite being stuck in traffic for over an hour, Dave and I finally made it down for our first official weekend at the shore this Summer.

Some “shore” geography:

Point A:  Seaside Heights.  Jersey Shore crew.  NOT my Jersey Shore.  Definitely Not.

Point B:  Ventnor City, NJ… my beach.  We are the beach sandwiched in between Atlantic City to the North, and Margate to the South.

We are about a half hour North of Ocean City, famous for their “family-fun” boardwalk of rides, hermit crabs, mini-golf, and fried food.

My grandparents have owned their Ventnor beach house 3 blocks away from the beach since before I was born.  I grew up vacationing here in Ventnor, and remember even writing a short story or poem in middle school about how the porch swing at the house is my “happy place”… it still is!

This long Memorial Day Weekend at the house was the best!  We had the most beautiful weather I can remember for MDW.  We spent all 3 days- Sat, Sun, & Mon on the beach.

Beautiful beach day!

My cousin Aidan getting ready for the beach

Besides my family & my Aunt Lyn’s family, we spent our time with one of our closest family friends (“Aunt” Cindy, “Uncle” Sammy, Becky, and Josh).  We had such a great time.

Dani and I are silly 🙂

Friday night, Dave and I went to a small little dive bar in Ventnor.  This is about as close to a dive bar as you’ll get in this town, but I love it!  The restaurant is really small, the menu is really small, but the drinks are delish and we can walk home if we wanted!  We devoured a bowl of mussels in red and a fresh made bloody mary.  MMM…

fresh blood(ies) !

Saturday, Dave and I took a 5-mile run on the Boardwalk, reaching the first casino of Atlantic City.  Although I made us stop a few times to walk a block or two, we did really well!  It isn’t easy for me but I’m trying to teach myself how to run.

Later on, we watched the Phillies game and had some drinks at our friends’ house.  We ordered a BBQ feast from the Back Bay BBQ on the way to Somers Point (south of us… if you’re still paying attention to your Geography lesson).  Before I tell you about how delicious it all was, which it was of course… I have to tell you that all FIVE Chicken halves that we ordered were NOT COOKED.  EW!  I’m so glad we checked instead of just digging in.  We had to cook them in the oven for at least 20 minutes longer… they were really not finished!

Once they were cooked though, the chickens were my favorite part of our meal.  They were seasoned really well and the BBQ sauce on the side was so tasty.  We think there is cinnamon somewhere in the sauce, which added to the unique flavor.

Sunday night we made the trek to the end of the Atlantic City boardwalk to the new casino, Revel.  It’s really a must-see.  It’s beautiful.  We had Margarita’s at Distrito & ate an unbelievable dinner at Village Whiskey (both Jose Garces’ places!).  More on that later.  Trust me, you’ll want the juicy details.  

Mom & Mel sipping on Distrito Margaritas

Becky & Josh excited to be at Revel. Yes, there was a DJ in the lobby.

Fishy faces @ Village Whiskey

Mel (my sister), Becky, and I at Village Whiskey

Foggy night driving home from AC

Monday was a more relaxing day, with a long walk on the beach.  We tried a new hoagie place, took a nap, and drove home at 10pm to avoid traffic.  Great move.  

My little cousin Dani loves her Ice Cream Sandwich from John the Ice Cream Man!

Keep your eyes open for the Village Whiskey post – you won’t be sorry! (or if you’re like me, maybe you will because that will mean you’re going to have to go gain 5lbs next weekend and go yourself. )