Getaway: Long Beach Island, NJ
Every Philadelphian loves a summer weekend at the Jersey Shore. So we headed down to Long Beach Island, NJ to check out some of the great accommodations and restaurants beach-side. Fearless Restaurants not only has dining establishments in the Philadelphia area like White Dog Cafe, Moshulu, and Autograph Brasserie, but also on Long Beach Island, NJ. They’ve reinvented neighborhood favorites with Daddy O Hotel, Restaurant & Bar, Plantation Restaurant, and Tucker’s Tavern.
Daddy O Hotel, Restaurant & Bar
Daddy O is the perfect boutique hotel for your next getaway located just five doors from the ocean in Brant Beach on Long Beach Island. With only 22 rooms this hotel boasts a modern, urban chic interior decorated with vintage imagery. Daddy O has its own restaurant, bar, outdoor dining and even a rooftop bar, “O Bar”.
“O Bar” offers some of the best views on Long Beach Island, both the ocean and the bay. Guests can kick back, catch some rays, sip a martini and unwind. During the summer season they’re open daily on weekdays at 4 pm and 1 pm weekends serving Sushi weather permitting. Named one of the Top 10 Rooftop Bars in America by thedailymeal.com!
Inside the hotel interior you’ll find hallways with “runway” style wall mounted led light fixtures, flat screen televisions and wireless internet connections in each guest room, along with luxurious amenities including rain showers in the marble and natural wood decorated bathrooms. Outside, the vintage seashore architecture is visible in the cedar shingles, red roof, white board and batten-like, old-time construction with a wrap around porch. An outdoor secluded Garden Patio and Bar with umbrellas is the perfect place to relax or dine, and available for private parties and receptions.
Due to some rainy weather we missed out on the rooftop, but stopped by the bar inside the Daddy O bar where they offer contemporary American Cuisine and sushi.
We started off with the Mother of Dragons Fishbowl (51 oz.) filled to the brim with Jalapeño Infused Tequila, Q Ginger Beer, Muddled Cucumber, Strawberry, and Sprite. These boozy beverages are great for sharing and also available on the rooftop. They’re totally Insta-worthy and fun to drink with bright long bendy straws.
And of course we had to try some Spicy Mango Crunch Roll with spicy tuna, tempura crunch, mango topped with ponzu sauce and The 44 th St. Roll with shrimp tempura, wrapped with salmon and avocado topped with eel sauce from the sushi menu. Next time we’ll be sure to enjoy our sushi on the rooftop.
Other small plates we sampled at the bar included the Buffalo Wingless with spicy Thai chili sauce (almost like a General Tso’s sauce) with candied celery, and maytag bleu cheese crumbles and Ale Battered Wisconsin Cheddar Curds with a horseradish dill aioli for dipping. These plates were just the right size not to fill us up before dinner.
For dinner we stopped by Plantation Restaurant, located in heart of the borough of Harvey Cedars. They’re open year round for lunch, dinner, and as a popular happy hour destination. Chef Jeff Alberti crafts a contemporary American menu inspired by the flavors of the islands. They have live music throughout the week and acoustic artists on the weekends with a full service bar downstairs and their intimate Monkey Bar upstairs, as well as private rooms available for any celebration or catering a memorable meal.
The new interior of the restaurant features a bright inviting décor with vibrant colors and a hint of Miami Beach. They’ve added green and white frond leaf wallpaper, new lighting, flooring and playful artwork brighten up the space. One of the newest drink additions is the Water Tower, a 51oz rum punch cocktail served in an oversized fishbowl like glass with colorful straws, perfect for sharing with friends!
We started off our evening with a Dirty Blue Hog Martini with Ultimat Vodka, Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and The Angry Sombrero with Patrón Silver & Citronge, Watermelon, Fresh Lime Juice, Agave, and Muddled Jalapeño. Our specialty cocktails were the perfect accompaniment to starters of Short Rib Wontons with char siu sauce and the Soup of the Evening which was a creamy potato and bacon soup, perfect for a chilly rainy evening.
For the main course we sampled the Pacific Halibut with kale dumplings, farm stand vegetables, and gribiche,Centercut Filet with whipped potatoes, asparagus, and stone fruit steak sauce, and Mezzi Rigatoni Pasta with Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, charred tomato, garlic confit, and ricotta. At Plantation the menu changes seasonally, but you can always find plenty of fresh fish, vegetarian options, and something meaty for all you carnivores.
For us, the most stand out dish of the evening was most certainly dessert! We tried the Sandy Coconut, a half coconut shell filled with whipped coconut and chocolate mousse topped with toasted coconut shavings and sitting on a bed of crushed graham crackers. This dish was not only unique and flavorful, but a large enough portion to share!
Tucker’s Tavern has re-opened after Hurricane Sandy with a restoration inspired by classic American taverns and English Pubs with a new Gastro-pub menu, raw bar, and ever-changing selection of craft beers. There are local music acts performing at the bar on weekends as well as a special Live Jazz Brunch on weekends at 10:30 am. Happy Hour is Sunday – Friday at the bar from 3 to 6 pm with specially priced Bar Bites, $3 select drafts, PBR cans and wine, $4 Well drinks and $5 select craft drafts.
With an outdoor deck overlooking the bay, we started our lunch with Tuckers Tikitini made with Ciroc Coconut and Pineapple Vodkas, Pineapple Juice, Toasted Coconut and a Strawberry Basil Mojito made with Rum, Fresh Muddled Strawberries, Torn Basil, Agave, Lime, and Club Soda. These drinks were very refreshing, especially accompanied by a dozen fresh shucked East Coast Oysters.
For our entrees we tried the infamous Tuckers Burger with a fresh Hereford burger topped with shredded short rib, aged cheddar, caramelized onion, garlic aioli, and a side of french fries. This burger was huge, but not as big as the Thick Cut Meatloaf Sandwich topped with crispy onions, portobello, and bleu cheese that could barely be contained inside its brioche roll. We chose to swap this side of french fries for the lager battered onion rings. And since sometimes we enjoy something healthy, we tried the Wood Fired Salmon Salad with quinoa, arugula, olives, artichoke, pickled red onion, feta, and herb vinaigrette. This salad is a great entree size for anyone who usually might not get filled up when ordering a salad.
For dessert we satisfied our sweet tooth with the Warm Chocolate Brownie Sundae that came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry. This was all we needed to wrap up our visit to Long Beach Island, NJ.
Whether you’re looking for a quick escape or weekend getaway its only a short drive from Philadelphia to find yourself relaxing at the beach or fishing on the bay and then dining in restaurants that offer the fine cuisine you’re accustomed to in the city. Forget that Labor Day is only days away, there is no excuse not to make a visit down to Daddy O Hotel, Restaurant & Bar, Plantation Restaurant, and Tucker’s Tavern in Long Beach Island, NJ.