We were lucky enough this June to kick off the official start to summer in Long Beach Island. NJ. Every Philadelphian loves a summer weekend at the Jersey Shore and Fearless Restaurants treated us to a overnight at their boutique hotel the Daddy O Hotel, Restaurant & Bar complete with lunch, and then dinner at both Plantation Restaurant, and Tucker’s Tavern. You’ll recognize Fearless Restaurants group from their local restaurants in the Philadelphia area like White Dog Cafe, Moshulu, and Autograph Brasserie.
Daddy O Hotel, Restaurant & Bar
When you’re looking to escape the city, Daddy O is the perfect little retreat 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. Plus Daddy O has its own restaurant, bar, outdoor dining and even a rooftop bar, “O Bar”.
On the rooftop, “O Bar” offers some of the best views of both sides of Long Beach Island. 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 weather permitting. 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.
Whether you’re stoppping by for a drink or a snack, Daddy O offers a menu of contemporary American Cuisine and lots of hand-shaken tropical cocktails. Feeling adventurous? Try a group-sized Fishbowl with 51 oz. of boozy juice. We also loved the Tiki glasses and seasonal inspiration to our drinks like toasted coconut. With long bendy straws these drinks are totally Insta-worthy and fun!
For appetizers we love to enjoy refreshing fresh seafood dishes like Crabcakes, Mussels, and Shrimp Tacos. Other small plates we enjoyed include 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. If you’re craving a classic be sure to check out the Kobe Beef Hotdog which is sure to rival anything you’re used to getting at a family cookout.
Our first dinner brought us to Plantation Restaurant, arguably one of the more formal dining options on Long Beach Island, located in heart of the borough of Harvey Cedars. Open year round for lunch, and dinner, Plantation is popular happy hour destination and has been completely renovated to serve its guest. Chef Jeff Alberti crafts a contemporary American menu inspired by the flavors of the islands. Live music is showcased throughout the week and acoustic artists on the weekends with a full service bar downstairs and upstairs holds their intimate Monkey Bar and private space for events or addition seating.
The interior of the restaurant features a bright inviting décor with vibrant colors and a hint of Miami Beach. The green and white frond leaf wallpaper, new lighting, flooring and playful artwork brighten up the space. We started off our evening with The Wicked Wench of the North made with Cacacha, lime, agave, and fresh blackberries. Another cocktail we enjoyed was a Spicy Scoundrel made with Hendrix Gin, cucumber, cilantro, lemongrass, jalapeno, lime, agave, and soda. We snacked on small plates like Spicy Tuna Nachos served on taro chips, with avocado, and sweet soy drizzle; plus Jumbo Lump Crab Bruschetta with 25 year balsamic, and micro basil.
For the main course we adored the special Truffle Crusted Halibut with wilted greens and gnochhi. The Thai Steak & Noodle Salad was a nice choice for our guests who don’t each much seafood. This salad was quite filling made with udon noodles, julienned vegetables, tomato, avocado mixed greens, peanuts, and a thai vinaigrette. The Local Tuna with crispy rice cake, mango salsa, and green onion-soy vinaigrette is also a very popular dish for guests to enjoy. How else could you end dinner by the beach but without a slice of Key Lime Pie!
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 offered 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.
During the day we recommend taking a seat on thier outdoor deck overlooking the bay, we trying a with Tuckers Tikitini made with Ciroc Coconut and Pineapple Vodkas, Pineapple Juice, Toasted Coconut or maybe you’re more interested in 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 or other raw bar selections like Shrimp Cocktail.
The entree selection can be as casual as you’d like with lots of sandwiches or more adapted for dinner. The Tucker’s Burger is made 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. (Pro tip: swap this side of french fries for the lager battered onion rings.) When you want to enjoy something something healthy and delicious, we recommend the Wood Fired Salmon Salad with quinoa, arugula, olives, artichoke, pickled red onion, feta, and herb vinaigrette or Gulf Shrimp Scampi with bucatini pasta, zucchini noodles, cherry tomato, broccoli rabe, and lemon garlic broth.
For dessert you can even enjoy a classic Warm Chocolate Brownie Sundae that brings back the nostalgia of dining out as a child. And yes it comes with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top!
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. Julty 4th is around the corner and before you know it’ll be Labor Day! Don’t delay, you’re going to want to check out Daddy O Hotel, Restaurant & Bar, Plantation Restaurant, and Tucker’s Tavern in Long Beach Island, NJ this summer.