The Jersey Shore has wonderful romantic restaurants, and even if they are not the main thing that draws visitors to the beaches, they can really top off a wonderful vacation. There is something magical about being right by the water that ignites the romance in all of us. And of course, dressing up and spending quality time with our true love is even better when you are sun kissed and buffed from all that beach activity.
Whether you go out to eat every night, or barbecue at your rented house most nights, you will definitely want to save one evening for a lovely splurge on a romantic dinner. And that is so easy to do, all up and down the Jersey Shore.
Let's take a look at some of the best places to hold hands and gaze lovingly at each other, all the while being catered to by caring staff.
The entire town of Cape May is a romantic's wonderland, and so you can expect to find the number one romantic restaurant, according to a poll by Phl17, a regional TV station. That romantic spot is the Washington Inn, right in the middle of the historic district. In a beautiful Plantation style home, the Inn offers five dining rooms, each charming and romantic in its own special way. Choose patio dining if you are there when the weather is fine, but on a romantic winter getaway, nothing can beat a tete-a-tete by a flickering fireplace. The Washington Inn gets kudos not only for its ambiance, but for its fine food and top notch service.
It may seem like Cape May has a monopoly on romanticism, but another of the most romantic restaurants is Peter Shields Restaurant, also in the historic district. Its imposing entrance will make you feel as though you've entered one of the beautiful Antebellum mansions of the south. Dine on fine cuisine on the "front porch", with a stunning view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Wildwood Crest is the laid back cousin of the wild relative, Wildwood Beach, so you would expect to find at least one restaurant with sophisticated style and charming atmosphere, and that one restaurant is Marie Nicole's. The menu is haute cuisine, and the bar specializes in exotic drinks and offers an extensive wine list. Dine on the charming enclosed porch with its crisp navy and white decor or enjoy the action at the bar with its special happy hour menu. For the quality and ambiance, it is hard to believe that they can offer specials like 3 courses for $30.
You really can't beat Victorian gingerbread architecture for creating a romantic atmosphere, and you can't get a better example of it than The Gables in Beach Haven. The charming, turn of the century (that's 20th century, not 21st) dining rooms and the Rococo enclosed dining garden will transfer you to another era. Superb fine dining in a very unique locale, the Gables is a true romantic experience.
We all know that Asbury Park has been kicking itself upscale for a few years now, and one of the sure signs is the abundance of fine restaurants in Asbury. Count a bona fide romantic among them, with the lovely Moonstruck Restaurant.
Moonstruck is a three story Victorian mansion overlooking Fletcher Lake, which divides Asbury from Ocean Grove. It's not the ocean, no, but it is charming and if your timing is right, you can see the nostalgic swan boats being paddled around. Moonstruck says they are "all about the experience", and diners rave about the service almost as much as the food. Nothing like being spoiled with a velvet glove treatment for a romantic experience.
Scarborough Fair is a little off the beach path, but worth the 3 minute drive from Manasquan Beach. The multilevel seating arrangement in this unusual building lends itself to quiet, cozy corners for the diners. (And a lot of exercise for the servers!) The restaurant has received mixed reviews, especially for the service, but many of the dishes are highly praised, especially the scallop dinner and the duck special.
For such a sophisticated town as Spring Lake, you would think that there would be a surplus of fancy restaurants in town, but this is not the case. Guess all those rich brokers stay in the city to eat! One romantic star that shines is Whispers, one block from the ocean, and on Spring Lake itself. The atmosphere is charming and restful, with finely appointed decor, whether you dine in or out on the deck. The chef is imaginative and the service is top drawer, (as you would expect from the prices).
You can have pizza and burgers anytime; be sure to pick one romantic restaurant on the Jersey Shore to celebrate the right way!
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