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Historic Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern

26 Feb
Jennifer

Jennifer

It’s Jennifer again!  My husband and I recently spent a few days down in Atlantic City for the annual NESPA (Northeastern Spa and Pool Association) convention.  My husband and I go every year since he works on pools.  We had a lot of good meals that I will blog about eventually.

First up is Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern.  Angelo’s isn’t in a casino, which is unusual in AC for a decent restaurant.  If you’ve ever been to AC, you know the actual city outside of the casinos can be a little dicey.  Angelo’s has been open in Atlantic City since 1935.

Angelo’s is known for their house wine, which is homemade.  So, of course, that’s what we started with.

Jennifer

Jennifer

Full disclosure, I had a $75 gift certificate to Angelo’s that I won from work, so we decided to splurge a bit…

The server then brought some Atlantic City bread.  What’s Atlantic City bread, you say?  Well, there’s another classic restaurant in AC called White House Sub Shop.  It’s historic and delicious!  I suppose I can put together a post about them too…  Anyway, the bread that is used to make the cheesesteaks and hoagies at White House is made at Formica Bros. bakery across the street.  Anytime you get bread from a restaurant in or around South Jersey and it’s on Atlantic City bread, you know you’re about to get a great meal.

Ok, now that you understand Atlantic City bread, we can move on with the rest of the meal!

Jennifer

Jennifer

We started with the eggplant rolintini and spicy clams.  I loved the clams, really spicy and delicious.  I wouldn’t order the eggplant again, it was just ok.  The best part of it was the red sauce.  Angelo’s is best known for grandma’s sauce.  It’s awesome.

Jennifer

Jennifer

Jennifer

Jennifer

The special of the night was a veal chop with crab, artichokes and peppers.  That’s just a few of my favorite things on one plate.  It was incredible.

Jennifer

Jennifer

My husband went with the filet with crab and shrimp with homemade ravioli.  The filet was great, but I could have lived without the ravioli.

Jennifer

Jennifer

We ended our meal with the apple crumb pie.  At that point, I didn’t have much room left, but I wanted something sweet.  Pie and an espresso finished out a great meal at a great place.

Jennifer

Jennifer

Angelo’s is an old piece of history in Atlantic City, you should give it a shot if you’re ever in town.

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Homemade Italian Giardiniera

19 Nov

Giardiniera

Giardiniera is a cured, spicy, vinegary vegetable mixture that my father in law makes.  This year, I helped him make a lot for himself and I made a small batch for me and my husband.  You can eat the giardiniera on pasta, bread or just by itself.

To make the giardiniera, start with vegetables.  Green tomatoes, carrots, celery, cauliflower and eggplant.  It helps to have some long hots too.  I like to add them whole.

To begin, cut up all the vegetables into pieces roughly the same size.  Then find a bucket.  Put the veggies in the bucket layering veggies and coarse sea salt.  Weigh the veggies down and cover the bucket.  Leave the veggies for 24 hours and then rinse and drain them.  Layer the veggies again with salt, weigh them again and leave it alone for a month.  The salt cures the vegetables, so they don’t go bad.

Once a month has past, rinse the veggies really, really, really well.  I rinsed mine about 3 times, this is where all the salt comes off.  Drain in a colander and sprinkle on some white vinegar.  Let that mixture sit for about 15-20 minutes.

Giardiniera

Giardiniera

After about 20 minutes, it’s time to press the vegetables.  My father in law has an old press that his father used to use to make his giardiniera.  If you’re not lucky enough to have an Italian press, simply add some weight to you vegetables.  It’s not an exact science.  Simply get as much liquid as you can out of the mixture.

Giardiniera

Giardiniera

Last thing to do is pack the giardiniera in resealable containers.  Pack the veggies in and cover in canola oil.  We use Mason jars.  It will last forever as long as there is always oil above the vegetables.

Enjoy!

Giardiniera

Stone Harbor, NJ in the Off-Season

28 Oct

Source

Hi again, it’s Jennifer.  Welcome Bestie Bites contributor Amy!  A great first post, don’t you think??  I can’t wait to make that cornbread…

My in-laws have a house in Stone Harbor on the Jersey Shore.  They rent it throughout the summer, but after Labor Day (when the weather is really nice!) it’s usually open for us to enjoy.  This is (IMO) the best time at the shore.  All the crowds have gone home, no more traffic, no more kids…  My husband and I enjoy going down in the off-season just as much as in the heart of summer.  Most of the businesses close their doors at the beginning of October, but there are a few places that stay open year round.  One of them is the Windrift Hotel and Restaurant.  It’s technically in Avalon, the shore town next to Stone Harbor, but close enough.

We stopped by a few weekends ago and enjoyed dinner and a few drinks.  We started the night off with some edamame.

Jennifer

Served warm with plenty of sea salt, it was delicious.  I wasn’t too hungry, so I picked a light dish as my entrée – white bean dip served with mini toasts.

Jennifer

I thought it was going to be a pureed dip, but it was whole white beans, roasted red peppers, basil and black olives.  Tasty and light.

My husband opted fo the clams.  Another light entrée.  I think we were anticipating some adult beverages later in the evening and we didn’t want to feel too heavy….

Jennifer

Spicy, brothy and perfect for dunking toasty bread.

The Windrift just went through a huge renovation and it looks great!  The downstairs is closed in the off-season, but the brand new upstairs has a lot of tables, two bars and a stage for bands.  It’s a landmark in Avalon and a great spot for those of us that frequent the shore in the Fall and Winter.

Another spot, this one in Stone Harbor proper, is 96th Street Bar and Grill.  It’s open year round on the main street in Stone Harbor.  It’s a great bar with lots of TV’s and great food.

Source

We headed over early for lunch and to watch some football.  My husband got the wings – they’re really good.  Curry, cinnamon?  There’s something interesting about them, but really good, nonetheless.  I always want to try something new, but I can’t get away from their Buffalo Chicken Salad.  The sauce is totally different from the wings and so good!

Jennifer

It’s served in a taco shell, which is always weird to me.  I don’t mind it, but I never eat it.  Does anyone?  As a restaurant, I would think serving anything in a taco shell would be a waste of money,.  But what do I know!

Anyways, it’s a huge salad with lots of chicken and veggies.  I prefer my buffalo-anything served with ranch instead of blue cheese.  Though my husband thinks I’m crazy…  I think it’s a Southern thing, but again, what do I know!

Both the Windrift and 96th Street Bar and Grill are good options for the Jersey Shore in the off-season.  Good drinks at both, though 96th Street has better food.  Enjoy our Jersey Shore, a much nicer place than our ‘Jersey Shore’ neighbors to the North…

Girls Night at Modomio

16 Oct

It was restaurant week last week in Philadelphia, so all of us girls got together for dinner.  We picked Modomio in Fishtown, not because of restaurant week, but because they offer a pre fixe menu all the time.  4 courses for $35 and to top it off, it’s a BYOB!  I’m the one on the bottom right, the only one without zombie eyes….

For my first course I ordered the scallops with polenta and tallegio cheese.  Of course, I forgot to snap a picture.  That happened with the main course too…

The pasta course (I remembered the picture!), I decided to go with the buccatini, long hollow pasta with a spicy tomato sauce and pancetta.  This may have been my favorite dish of the night.

Buccatini

I ordered the veal special for my entrée, but no pic.  I did snag a picture of the zuppa de pesce.

My friend Kristi ordered it and it was fantastic.  The server brought out a dessert plate with 8 different options.  We shared all of them.  Everything was fantastic, I will definitely be going back.

My Life Instagrammed

7 Sep
Espresso

Jersey Georgia

Is Instagrammed a word?  It is now.  I haven’t posted in a hot second, I apologize.  I’ve been quite busy.  Enjoying things like cigars, figs and Mexico!  And espresso.  I can’t get enough!  This little stove-top espresso maker (with the cup and saucer) was our wedding favor.  How Italian, right??  I love it and use it just about everyday.  It makes two perfect cups of espresso, or one large one if you really need a pick-me-up!  (Follow me on Instagram at GeorgiaJen)

Cigar and champagne

Jersey Georgia

My husband and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary in style!  We headed off to Mexico for a little R&R.  We stayed at the Ocean Coral & Turqusea resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.  It’s an all inclusive resort, so I drank and ate my little heart out.  It was wonderful!

Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Jersey Georgia

Have you ever seen those lists that float around – How can you tell you’re really Southern?  How can you tell you’re a Yankee?  Well, you can tell you’ve married into an Italian family if you randomly see your Italian father-in-law tending to the two fig trees he has planted in your backyard.  We had a huge fig tree 3 years ago, but it got to be too big.  So, we planted two new ones a couple years ago and this is the first year they will bear fruit.  This beautiful gem was out first fig of the season.  I ate it with some cheese.  Italian, of course.

First fig of the season

Jersey Georgia

After we came home from Mexico, my very Italian father-in-law taught me how to make giardiniera.  (Full post coming soon!)  Giadiniera is a pickled, cured vegetable mixture.  We made a huge batch together and then I (attempted) to make a smaller batch of my own at home.  So far, so good!  I’ll keep you posted!  We enjoyed homemade wine and peppers fresh from my FIL’s garden with lunch that day!

Wine and peppers

Jersey Georgia

Obviously I’m embracing the Italian side of my family.  The MIL & FIL are going to Italy in a few weeks and I can’t wait until they get back.  Why?  They will bring cheese, torrone and Calabrian Bomb (which isn’t a bomb, lol, it’s a spicy, peppery, vinegary condiment!)

Mussel Bar at Revel

27 Jun
Mussel Bar at Revel

Jersey Georgia

I live about an hour away from Atlantic City, New Jersey.  I actually work just outside of AC in Northfield at Cat Country 107.3.  So, whenever I have to work at a concert or event in Atlantic City, my husband and I try to make a night out of it.  We’re not huge gamblers, but we enjoy playing.  And you can’t beat AC for the dining options.  Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck and Joses Garces are among some of the celebrity chefs with restaurants in AC.

A couple of days ago, Sugarland played Revel, the newest casino on the strip.  We didn’t have reservations anywhere and it was a Friday night, so we weren’t expecting much more than a taco from Jose Garces’ Distrito Cantina, a Mexican “take-out” window inspired by the popular Guapos Taco Truck in Philly.  Much to our surprise, Distrito had a line the length of the casino….

So, we opted to wait for a table at Mussel Bar.  We figured we could have a glass of wine and survive the 45 minute wait.  Just as we got to the bar to order a drink, some cocktail seats became available, so we snatched them up.

The picture above is a view of the kitchen from our seats.

At a place called Mussel Bar, we figured we HAD to order some mussels.  So we did.  We got a half order (means they are served alone, not with frites) of mussels with wild mushrooms, applewood-smoked bacon and truffle cream.  We also got an order of the spicy gulf shrimp, they were good, but it was pretty damn hard to beat the mussels.

Mussels and shrimp

Jersey Georgia

I don’t know where the mussels came from, but they were white, not orange.  I know you know what I’m talking about….  Maybe you don’t!  Anyway, I prefer white mussels to orange mussels…..

For our entrees, my husband ordered the Mussel Bar steak frites.  Because, why not?

Mussel Bar Steak Frites

Jersey Georgia

I ordered the beef shortrib carbonnade.  According the menu, “Belgian beer braised shortribs, black kale, Gruyere grits and creme fraiche. Oh my.  This was heaven.

Shortribs

Jersey Georgia

Everything was delicious!  I highly recommend checking out Revel when you come to Atlantic City.  Make a reservation at Mussel Bar, gamble for a few hours and then grab a taco from Distrito.  That sounds like a perfect night!

Botto’s Italian Line

25 May

Botto's Italian Line

Botto’s Italian Line is a strange name for a restaurant, don’t you think?  It has something to do with a freight liner or a cruise ship…..  just look at their logo.

Anyway, Botto’s is a landmark in Swedesboro, New Jersey. If you live in or near the Northeast United States, then you have seen Botto’s Italian sausage in your grocery store.  You should buy it next time, it’s fabulous.  Botto’s restaurant is connected to their market (aptly named Botto’s) and you can purchase lots of Italian specialties including their sausage.

From around April until around October, Botto’s restaurant has a seafood buffet on Wednesday nights.  This is when we frequent Botto’s the most!  My husband loves seafood and this buffet is to die for.  I know what you’re thinking…. a buffet, really?  Gross.  I know, I know, I felt the same way.  But tell me another buffet that has 2 carving stations, steamed crabs and a raw bar?  And it’s fresh seafood (we’re about an hour from the ocean) and it’s delicious.  And not crazy expensive, either.  For $29.99 you get a salad or soup, the buffet and dessert.

For me, and my small stomach, I always order off of the menu.  A huge buffet is too much for me.  It’s just not worth it.  But thankfully Botto’s has the best calamari I’ve ever had in my life.  That’s a VERY bold statement considering I order it whenever I see it on a menu.  It’s fried perfectly crisp with thin slices of mushrooms, banana peppers and tomatoes.  It’s called Calamari ala Botto’s, appropriately.  I get it each and every time and I always walk away with enough food for the next couple of days.  The portions are huge!

Next time you find yourself in sleepy Swedesboro, NJ, give Botto’s a try.  You won’t be disappointed.