Finally, spring has arrived. After that long hard winter, everyone is looking to get out of the house and smell the hyacinths.
Time for a change in our eating habits, too. Local oysters and asparagus along with seasonal favorites such as baked ham are back in favor. Area restaurants and casinos eagerly await the return of our seasonal visitors, welcoming them back with tables overflowing with offerings, a la carte, buffet and brunch menus for the Easter holiday.
Be sure to make a reservation early at your favorite restaurant. Easter is only the beginning of the summer season 2014.
Tomatoe’s, 9300 Amherst Ave., Margate, 609-822-7535. Easter menu served from 3 p.m. Appetizers: spring pea and lemon soup ($5.50); salad of roasted carrot, avocado, queso fresco and sunflower seeds in a citrus yogurt dressing ($8.50); spring plate of pickled cucumber and fennel, red quinoa, watermelon radish, fresh mozzarella, hardboiled egg and crostini with an eggplant and yogurt dipping sauce ($12.50). Entrees: Whole roasted branzino with a preserved lemon, pine nut and caper relish and a ragout of white bean ,escarole and roasted tomato ($31); pan-seared rack of lamb with shallot mustard sauce and roasted fennel risotto ($36); Berkshire pork chop stuffed with dates, pistachio and goat cheese, apple rosemary sauce, chickpea fries and broccolini ($32). Strawberry rhubarb pie ($8); coconut cake with lemon curd ($8).
Union Park Restaurant, 727 Beach Ave., Cape May, 609-884-8811. Easter Sunday from 2 to 7 p.m. First course: soup du jour, Caesar salad or deviled eggs. Second course: Australian lamb with garlic rosemary au jus, St. Laurent salmon with sauce verte or short rib with bourbon glace. Third course: fruit tart or ice cream. $39 per person, plus tax and service.
Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant, 1301 Beach Ave., Cape May, 609-884-9090. Easter Sunday brunch served 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Three-course, prix-fixe. Appetizers and salads: spring garlic soup; Bibb “wedge” salad, marinated jumbo grilled prawns; Yellowfin tuna tartare; Cape May salt oysters; “bacon & eggs,” slow braised pork belly, 63-degree egg, grilled asparagus, shaved grana padano; Hudson Valley seared foie gras ($15 supplement). Breakfast and more: 1301 eggs Benedict; house omelet; roasted Scottish salmon; pan-seared Australian sea bass; Australian lamb loin, gremolata, mint barley “risotto,” haricot verts, lamb jus; Lancaster chicken breast; “steak and eggs,” hanger steak and fried eggs. Desserts: deconstructed banana; vanilla panna cotta, blueberry syrup, lemon whipped cream, coconut green tea ice cream; chocolate lava cake, cocoa nibs, roasted peanut anglaise, berry puree, pistachio ice cream. $40 adult. $25 children under 12.
The Smithville Inn, 1 N. New York Road, Smithville, 609-652-7777. Easter Sunday buffet begins 10 a.m. Last seating 6 p.m. Bacon and sausage, cheese blintz, popular chef’s entrees such as salmon, chicken, pork. Carving station: top round of beef, ham with fruit sauce, white meat turkey. Mashed potato bar. Omelet station. Bread station. Antipasto bar. Pasta station. Waffle station. Fish: smoked white fish, smoked salmon. Wide selection of desserts. Reservations accepted for parties of 10 or more, smaller parties on first-come, first-served basis. Adults $33.50. Children $16.75
Fred and Ethel’s Lantern Light Tavern, Route 9 and Moss Mill Road, Galloway, 609-652-0544. Saturday, April 19. Easter bunny breakfast.
The Iron Room at Atlantic City Bottle Company, 648 N. Albany Ave., 609-348-6400. Serving Easter brunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Main courses: eggs Benedict with choice of green salad or hash browns ($12); eggs Benedict florentine with choice of green salad or hash browns ($12); eggs Benedict with Nova Scotia salmon and choice of green salad or hash browns ($13); smoked duck and manchego omelette with choice of green salad or hash browns ($13); goat cheese, manchego and fine herb omelette with choice of green salad or hash browns ($11); buttermilk white chocolate pancakes, comb honey ($10); brioche french toast, maple syrup, fruit compote ($11); croque-monsieur (or croque-madame with sunny side egg) with choice of green salad or hash browns ($12); flat iron burger with belgian-style fries ($14). Sides: merguez sausage ($4); thick-cut bacon ($4); belgian-style fries ($3).
Seaglass, Golden Inn, Oceanfront at 78th Street, Avalon, 609-368-5155. Easter brunch served 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Three seatings: 10 a.m. to noon, noon to 2 p.m., and 2 to 4 p.m. Seasonal fruit salad, fresh-baked pastries, danish, muffins and assorted breads, homefries, pork sausage, applewood-smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, assorted smoked fish, biscuits and gravy, waffle station, omelets your way, traditional Caesar salad, individual chicken pot pie, roasted salmon, lasagna with meat sauce, mashed potato bar, seasonal vegetables, carving station with bone-in smoked ham. An assortment of desserts, pies and cakes. Adults $32.95. Children ages 4 to 10, $14. 3 years and under are free. Easter egg hunt, Easter bunny arrives at 11 a.m., Easter egg hunt begins at noon.
New Jersey Motorsports Park, Finish Line Pub, Millville, 856-327-7204. Easter brunch buffet served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef-attended omelet station, scrambled eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, fresh fruit tower, chef-attended prime rib carving station, homemade macaroni and cheese, grilled marinated vegetables, marinated shrimp, baked ham with grilled pineapple and stuffed white fish with spinach and rice. Homemade dessert display included. $20 adults. $10 children under 12 years. Children under 3 are free. Easter egg hunt for brunch guests begin at noon and 2 p.m.
The Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar, 19 Jackson St., Cape May, 609-884-5970. Easter brunch served 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes breakfast and lunch menu with entrees available. Fixed-price menu served from 4 to 8:30 p.m. with regular menu also available. Choice of crab and mascarpone cheese tart, chicken liver mousse, beet salad on spring greens or burrata and prosciutto. Entrees: pan-seared scallops with leek risotto and white truffle oil, braised short ribs, grilled tuna with a spicy Romesco sauce, fried oysters and steamed clams with fettuccine, pan-roasted Arctic char with a champagne beurre blanc. Chef’s selection of homemade desserts. $30 per person.
Ram’s Head Inn, 9 W. White Horse Pike, Galloway, 609-652-1700. Offering two options for Easter. Brunch will be served 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ballroom. Omelet station, eggs Benedict, smoked salmon, carving station with beef and pork, fresh fish, soup, salads, sushi, clams and oysters on the half-shell and desserts. $39.95 per person. Children ages 4 to 12 $29.95 per person. 3 years and younger eat free. The a la carte dining room features a prix-fixe menu 1 to 8 p.m. First course: house-smoked salmon, smoked duck breast, lobster bisque, escargot in puff pastry, crab meat brulee, seafood macaroni and cheese and traditional jumbo shrimp or colossal lump crab meat cocktail ($6 supplement). Second course: Boston lettuce with arugula and fresh pear. Entrée: pan seared salmon ($49); rainbow trout ($52); sautéed shrimp with scallops and clams ($49); traditional roasted duck ($54); chicken pot pie ($46); grilled filet mignon ($59); maple cured ham ($48); rack of lamb ($59); prime rib with au jus ($52). Selections from the dessert cart.
Luke Palladino Seasonal Italian Cooking, 60 Central Square, Linwood, 609-926-3030. Easter brunch served noon to 3 p.m. Starters: torta pasqualina ($9); truffled grissini (three for $12); Scotch eggs ($9); spring vegetables fritto misto ($10); asparagus crudo ($9); Jah’s organic greens ($9); artichokes alla romana ($9); crisp calamari ($9); zuppa del giorno ($9). Organic eggs: Italian eggs Benedict ($14); asparagus in bed ($13); frittata ($12). Main plates: buttermilk waffle ($10); chicken piccata ($16); grilled ribeye steak insalata ($18); griddled fish ($18); fazzoletti pasta ($16); sweet pea tortelli ($16); gnocchi ($16).
Nero’s Chophouse & Sushi Bar, Caesars, 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 609-348-4411. Serving Easter brunch 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Smithfield ham, lobster-crusted wild-caught salmon, medallions of filet mignon au poivre, miso-glazed wahoo, crab cakes, leg of lamb, desserts. $59 Total Rewards card, $64 for non-Total Rewards card holders.
Latz’s By the Bay, 801 Bay Ave., Somers Point, 609-788-8838. Drew’s Creperie 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. will offer their complete creperie menu. Omelets du jour ($9); egg white omelet du jour ($9.50); creperie seasonal salad ($10); grilled chicken mozzarella salad; Latz’s homemade quiche ($8.50); Easter ham luncheon ($23.95). Dinner at Latz’s served 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. with complete dinner menu. Easter ham dinner ($32.95); stuffed flounder ($33.95); coconut basil mussels over scallion rice ($26.95). All dinner entrees served with house salad, home-baked bread and dipping oil.
Morton’s, The Steakhouse, Caesars, 2100 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, 609-449-1044. Easter special steak and lobster ($55) served 3 to 9 p.m. Other seasonal specials available include bone-in filet, prosciutto-wrapped Alaskan halibut, and seared ahi tuna. 20 percent off all bottles of wine on Sundays in April.
Harry’s Oyster Bar & Seafood, Bally’s Atlantic City, Atlantic City, 609-431-0092. Brunch menu served 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fresh fruit salad ($7); buttermilk pancakes ($10); Cape May-style french toast with strawberries, bananas and walnuts ($12); The Junior ($9); The Scrambler ($9); Creole eggs ($11); Maryland style crab Benedict ($13); seafood omelet, shrimp, crab and tomatoes ($15). Photo op with the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunt in the courtyard at noon.
Knife & Fork Inn, 3600 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City, 609-344-1133. Serving dinner 2 to 8 p.m. Regular menu plus holiday specials include Wayne’s wild asparagus, prosciutto, parmesan crust ($12); crab, artichoke and spinach dip ($14); grilled halibut with corn pudding ($32); braised lamb shank with stewed white beans ($32).
Dock’s Oyster House, 2405 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City, 609-345-0092. Easter dinner served 3 to 8 p.m. Full menu plus holiday additions. Rack of lamb with mint pesto ($33); half duck with raspberry demi-glaze ($28); 10-ounce ribeye with gorgonzola mashed potatoes ($34).
Congress Hall, 251 Beach Ave., Cape May, 609-884-8422. Easter brunch in ballroom 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef-attended omelet station with smoked ham, mushrooms, sausage, and bacon. Assorted freshly baked breakfast pastry display. Biscuits and gravy, egg dishes, salad station, charcuterie display, assorted salads, assorted cheeses. Hot entrees include grilled chicken breast, shrimp and grits. Carving station: maple-glazed ham, slow-roasted turkey breast with pan gravy. Housemade dessert selection. $38 adult. $13 children ages 3 to 12. Under 3 free. The Easter Bunny and Blue, the mascot of the Blue Pig Tavern, will host lawn games such as potato sack races and touch football
Steve and Cookie’s, 9700 Amherst Ave., Margate, 609-823-1163. Serving 3 to 8 p.m. Regular menu plus Easter specials. Rack of lamb with smashed goat cheese potatoes au gratin ($41); seafood pan roast ($37); cornflake-crusted halibut ($35); 2-pound whole Maine lobster ($37).
Shore Diner, 6710 Tilton Road, Egg Harbor Township, 609-641-3669. Easter specials noon to closing. Virginia baked ham ($14.95) or slow-roasted leg of lamb ($17.95.) Entrees are served with a Greek salad or soup du jour, rosemary red bliss potatoes, sautéed string beans, freshly baked bread, unlimited coffee, tea, or iced tea. Italian rum cake for dessert.
North End American Grill, 206 Olde New Jersey Ave., Wildwood, 609-435-5691. Serving 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A la carte Easter brunch includes pancake roll stuffed with Greek yogurt and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and homemade granola ($11.99); roast turkey and sweet potato hash with fried egg ($11.99); chicken and waffles ($13.99); stuffed fried french toast ($12.99); steak and mushroom pot pie ($18.99).
Cattle ’n Clover, 3817 Pacific Ave., Wildwood, 609-522-3800. Dinner from 2 p.m. with a la carte and prix-fixe menu. Choice of appetizer: tater tots, pub eggs, fried pickles, buffalo chicken meatballs. Choice of entrée: mustard-crusted rack of lamb, pomegranate BBQ diver scallops, 12-ounce NY strip, Black ’n tan beer can chicken, pistachio-crusted salmon. Choice of apple cobbler or pretzel bread pudding. $29 per person. Easter bunny 3 to 7 p.m. for free commemorative photo and frame.
A Touch of Italy, 6629 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, 609-646-1855. Serving from 1 p.m. 3-course prix fixe menu. $23.50 per person.
Casa Di Napoli, Showboat, 801 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 609-343-4340. Appetizer: lamb shank croquette with port wine risotto. Entrée: lamb tenderloin and lobster medallions over a potato galette. Dessert. $65 per person.
6ix, a Bistro, Bally’s, 1900 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 877-346-4642. Fresh-carved, pineapple-glazed ham with roasted fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus with a lemon torte. Complimentary mimosa. $24.99 per person.
Arturo’s Ristorante, Bally’s, 1900 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 877-346-4642. Insalata: Caesar salad. Pasta: gnocchi alla caprese. Entrée: lamb chop scottadito. Dolce: Napolitano: pastera ricotta cheese cake with orange and zabaglione sauce.
Washington Inn, 801 Washington Ave., Cape May, 609-884-5697. Easter brunch 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Assorted bagels, muffins, danish pastries, smoked salmon, smoked bluefish, fruit salad, scrambled eggs, classic eggs Benedict, french toast casserole with banana foster sauce, bacon and sausage, mahi-mahi with tomato, capers and artichoke, walnut chicken, cavatelli pasta with braised lamb and broccoli rabe. Carving station: brown sugar- and mustard-glazed country ham, roast turkey breast with herb stuffing, sweet potatoes. Mini crème brulee tart, chocolate apricot bread pudding, chocolate mousse cups, mixed berry short cake. Adults $28. Children $16. Dinner 4 to 7:30 p.m.
Renault Winery, 72 N. Bremen Ave., Egg Harbor City, 609-965-2111. Grand Ballroom buffet 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Assortment of garden fresh salads and antipasto, roasted salmon, fresh mozzarella, cheese display. Fresh-baked breads and breakfast pastries. Herb-crusted chicken stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella, roasted pork loin with pineapple salsa, roasted turkey breast with rosemary pan gravy, herb-crusted basa fillet with saffron red pepper cream, penne pasta with shrimp, scallops and crab in a parmesan cheese sauce, tortellini with tomato basil sauce, saute of spring vegetables, bacon and sausage, Viennese sweet table. Carving station and omelet station. Kid’s Corner: french toast sticks, chicken fingers and fries, baked mac and cheese, assorted cereals. $31.95 adults. $14.95 children. Renault’s special 3-course Easter dinner 1 to 6 p.m. Appetizer, pasta, sorbet, choice of entrée starting at $35. Joseph’s Restaurant 1 to 6 p.m. Seafood, hand-trimmed steaks, veal, lamb and Italian pasta. Full selection of wines, beers, and spirits. Entrees from $16.
Harbor Pines Golf Club, Egg Harbor Township, 609-927-0006, ext. 23. Made-to-order omelets, carving station with prime rib, bananas foster and homemade cheesecake. Reservations required. $28.95 adults. $12.95 for children. Plus tax and gratuity. Bring a camera for a picture with the Easter bunny.
The Grand Hotel, 1045 Beach Ave., Cape May, 609-884-5611. Breakfast buffet 8 to 11 a.m. $17 adults. $9 kids. 5 and under free. Omelet station, smoked salmon bagels, waffle station, Greek yogurt with seasonal berries and fresh fruit, selection of pastries, breakfast breads and biscuits. Steel-cut oatmeal. Assorted cereals, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and local Cape May honey. Scrambled eggs, s’mores french toast, bacon and sausage, chipped beef, sausage gravy, pancakes, eggs benedict. Brunch served 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Carving station features prime rib, ham and turkey. Roasted leg of lamb with feta cheese and spinach orzo. Shrimp and scallops with broccoli rabe and fusilli pasta. Salmon smoked with tomato sauce and parmesan. Caesar salad station. Gratin potatoes, cheese and scallion biscuits with seafood gravy and roasted asparagus. Assorted desserts. $29 adults. $12 kids. 5 and under free.
Sultan’s Feast, Trump Taj Mahal, 1000 Boardwalk at Virginia Ave., Atlantic City, 609-449-1000. Easter brunch served 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sultan’s Feast buffet includes all-you-can-eat choices, omelets made to order, carving stations, pasta and assorted desserts. $19.95 per person. Easter dinner 1 to 8 p.m. Carved turkey, honey glazed ham, lamb, and steaks grilled to order. Shrimp, crab legs, salmon, international favorites and a grand Easter dessert buffet. $27 per person.
Atlantic City Country Club, 1 Leo Fraser Drive, Northfield, 609-236-4465. Easter Sunday brunch includes imported cheese and fruit display, Applewood-smoked salmon display with garnishes, grilled and fresh vegetable crudité display, antipasto display, bread and bagel display. Omelet station. Eggs Benedict, beef bourguignon, Chef Ed Daggers’ sherry pepper chicken breast with wild mushrooms, grouper Francaise with lemon white wine butter sauce, red curry shrimp and Belgian waffles. Carving station: roast prime rib of beef au jus, roast turkey with natural gravy, molasses and spicy mustard-glazed spiral ham and boneless stuffed leg of lamb with roasted pepper spinach and garlic stuffing. Children’s station with chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, assorted cereals and fruit, mini hot dogs in pastry. Dessert station: assorted pastries and desserts, bread pudding, cheese blintzes, cakes, tortes, mini pastries. Giant chocolate bunny display with Easter eggs and candy. Take a picture with the Easter bunny.
Tisha’s, 322 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-884-9119. Easter brunch served 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner from 4 p.m.
Rio Station, Grande Center Shopping Mall, Rio Grande, 609-889-2000. Easter dinner served noon to 8 p.m. Easter specials and regular menu available.
The Crab Trap, 2 Broadway, Somers Point, 609-927-7377. Easter dinner reservations start at noon. Easter bunny 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Grapevine, 364 Main Street, Tuckerton, 609-296-7799. Easter Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Regular menu includes spiral ham and rack of lamb entrees.
Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis, 261 Country Club Blvd., Little Egg Harbor, 609-296-2137. Easter brunch at three seatings: 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m. Easter dinner served at two seatings: 3:30 and 4:45 p.m. Reservations required. $21.95 per person.
Bocca Coal Fired Bistro, 7805 Ventnor Ave., Margate, 609-823-3663. Easter specials include cherrywood-smoked ham hand sliced with pineapple stuffing and a dark cherry and pineapple glaze ($18.99); honey peppercorn turkey breast with orange blossom honey and cracked black pepper with cranberry cornbread dressing and pan gravy. Dessert: carrot cake ($6) and the big kahuna ($6) made with two layers of vanilla cake soaked with coconut rum.
Café Roma, Caesars, 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 609-348-4411. Special Easter menu: spring mixed greens, honey pineapple-basted smoked ham with pineapple honey glaze, baby carrots, buttered fingerling potatoes and buttermilk biscuits. Carrot cake. $35 per person.
Fin, Tropicana Casino and Resort, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-348-8767. Three-course menu served 5 to 10 p.m. First-course choice: Fin’s House salad or traditional Caesar salad. Second course: herb-crusted rack of lamb with spring vegetable medley, roasted fingerling potatoes and merlot demi. Third course: chocolate turtle cheesecake. $58 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Il Verdi, Tropicana Casino and Resort, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-348-8767. Three-course menu served 5 to 10 p.m. First-course choice: insalata caprese or insalata Cesare. Second course: herb-crusted rack of lamb with broccoli rabe, roasted fingerling potatoes and barolo demi. Third course: limoncello cheesecake. $58 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Fiesta Buffet, Tropicana Casino and Resort, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-348-8767. All-you-can-eat breakfast includes omelets made to order and fresh baked pastries served 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. $18.95 per person plus tax and gratuity. Surf and Turf buffet served from 2 to 8 p.m. All-you-can-eat seafood featuring snow crab legs, U-peel shrimp, stuffed flounder, steamed clams and mussels, hand carved prime rib, baked ham and assorted desserts. $27.95 per person plus tax and gratuity.
The Flanders Hotel, Emily’s Restaurant, 719 East 11th Street, Ocean City, 609-399-1000. Easter brunch served 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast station with omelets to order. Cold food display with fresh fruits and salads. Risotto station. Carving station: pesto marinated leg of lamb, herb roasted sirloin, and sweet glazed ham. Entrees: pan-seared breast of chicken, oven-roasted salmon, four cheese sacchetti and shrimp, penne marinara. Kid’s menu: chicken fingers, french fries, macaroni and cheese. Cake lollipop dessert station: assorted cakes, tortes, pies, fruit cobbler, fresh berries and Easter candy. Visit from the Easter Bunny. Adults $33.95. Children 4 to 12 years $15.95. Children 3 and under free. Reservations required.
The Buffet at Resorts, Resorts Casino Hotel, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 800-772-9000. Carrot bisque, carved bone-in ham, carved leg of lamb. Golden fried chicken, baked salmon, turkey Tetrazzini. Italian side buffet menu: seared chicken, seafood scampi, braised beef Stroganoff, stuffed manicotti. Line three: golden fried sweet chili shrimp, Swedish meatballs, cinnamon chipotle roasted red bliss. $19.99 per person.
Gourmet Italian Cuisine, 324 South Pitney Road, Galloway, 609-652-1398. Offering new menu on Easter Sunday.
The Grapevine, 364 Main Street, Tuckerton. 609-296-7799. Special holiday menu Easter Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Regular menu includes spiral ham and rack of lamb.