Shore Bets

Coastal New Jersey beckons with sea­side eater­ies that taste of sum­mer.

Where Philadelphia - - News -

Coastal New Jersey beckons with eater­ies that taste of sum­mer.

HOOKED UP SEAFOOD

With its straw­berry-red roof adorned with a cutout of a gi­ant crab and sign ad­ver­tis­ing, “We kill it, we grill it,” this sea­sonal seafood mar­ket/no-frills restau­rant isn’t ex­actly aim­ing for ob­scu­rity, but the place still feels like a de­light­fully un­der-the-radar dis­cov­ery. A dry-erase board lists the day’s catch plus sides, like su­gar-bomb corn on the cob, sautéed sum­mer squash or gar­licky Cae­sar salad, all served on paper plates. 1044 W Rio Grande Ave., Wild­wood, N.J., 609.522.2722, hookedupseafood.com

OLÓN

Any sense of time or place fades as you wan­der from the park­ing lot of the Trop­i­cana in At­lantic City, into the Quar­ter, the ho­tel’s Cuban­themed en­ter­tain­ment com­plex. When you round a bend into this Jose Garces restau­rant, there’s no mis­tak­ing where you are. An un­in­ter­rupted row of floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows frames the din­ing room re­veal­ing ocean views. On the menu, find hits from Chifa, the Pe­ru­vian restau­rant Garces closed in Philly years ago—like pan­debono, cheesy Colom­bian yucca-flour rolls, served with sticky, hot-and-sweet guava but­ter. 2831 Board­walk, At­lantic City, N.J., 609.340.4050, olon­restau­rant.com

THE DIV­ING HORSE

The blue bloods of Seven Mile Is­land, the bar­rier atoll that com­prises Avalon and Stone Har­bor, turn out in print-and-pas­tel droves to this lovely beachy-chic bistro with an out­door pa­tio and citi­fied seafood menu. Here, the kitchen sends out dishes that re­volve around Jersey’s finest: corn, scal­lops, peaches, toma­toes, oys­ters and clams. 2109 Dune Drive, Avalon, N.J., 609.368.5000, the­div­inghorseavalon.com

CAR­DI­NAL BISTRO

At this BYOB, chef Michael Bren­nan and his fa­ther, Thomas Bren­nan, a casino food-and-bev­er­age vet­eran, fill the menu with fine-din­ing am­bi­tion. Dishes change from week to week and in­volve ingredients like roasted hare and sal­sify foam. 6525 Vent­nor Ave., Vent­nor City, N.J., 609.541.4633, no web­site

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