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What's cooking on the Jersey Shore this spring

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Spring is about to transition into summer and, after a brutally cold winter, everyone is ready for some quality beach time with gustatory delights at the Jersey Shore's fine restaurants. Here is a brief synopsis of what’s new and tempting for dining out.

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On May 24, Avalon’s popular The Diving Horse reopened for its fifth season. Co-owners Dan Clark and Ed Hackett have open their popular BYOB restaurant introducing a new Executive Chef, Palmer Marinelli, who has cooked at their seafood-focused restaurant for the past four years, most recently as Chef de Cuisine. The restaurant, featuring ample outdoor seating, a modern farmhouse interior with reclaimed fixtures and bright, oversized windows, will serve dinner nightly beginning at 5 p.m. and will remain open through Labor Day.
Chef Marinelli’s menu of new American fare will highlight coastal ingredients, many sourced from nearby farms and Cape May County fisherman. Menu items, set to change almost daily based upon availability, may include: Mussels and Clams with coconut, beach herbs and rice crackers; Barnegat Light Bay Scallops with Oak Grove toasted farro, English peas, wild nettle and rhubarb; Hudson Canyon Swordfish with sautéed greens, red lentils, oyster sauce served in a lemongrass and ginger broth, and Lancaster Chicken Breast with asparagus, roasted potato, hay jus and summer truffle. Dishes will range in price from $8 to $36. The Diving Horse - 2109 Dune Drive, Avalon, 609-368-5000

On May 30, acclaimed chef Scott Giordano opened The Poached Pear Bistro in the heart of downtown Point Pleasant Beach. The new American restaurant will present a compilation of Giordano’s signature dishes with an inventive culinary approach. Formerly the executive chef for more than a decade at Whispers, one of Zagat’s top-rated Jersey Shore restaurants, and named one of New Jersey’s leading chefs by Best Chefs America in 2013, Giordano credits his unique culinary style to influences that span his career at acclaimed restaurants in New Jersey and San Francisco.
Some sample items on The Poached Pear Bistro menu include: House-made Potato Gnocchi, Asparagus Fries, Duck Breast with Foie Gras, Rack of Lamb Persillade, Potato-Crusted Halibut, Apple Cider Brined Pork Chop, Crab Cakes and Vegetarian Risotto. There also is a variety of creative house-made desserts available.The Poached Pear Bistro is located at 816 Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. For more information, visit The Poached Pear or call 1-732-701-1700.

“Live, Cook, Love – Cooking with Marilyn & Friends” is celebrating the best of summer’s harvest in June with acclaimed Jersey Shore restaurateur Marilyn Schlossbach, along with chefs from the Gourmand Cooking School and Drew’s Bayshore Bistro. The special collaborative cooking class will kick-off at 6 p.m. at Langosta Lounge on Wednesday, June 18 and feature tips and techniques from the three chefs for choosing and preparing the best sustainable ingredients of summer. Items expected to be included on the evening’s menu include a watermelon gazpacho; cornmeal-dusted soft-shell crab; seared Yellowfin tuna; summer risotto; cast-iron steak and summer desserts. In addition to the demonstration guests will enjoy a five-course dinner paired with beer from the Flying Fish Brewing Co., wines and cocktails.
A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Savoring the Shore, a cook and memory book that celebrates all that is delectable at the Jersey Shore. Proceeds from the book will be donated to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and rebuilding the Garden State. Tickets to “Live, Cook, Love – Cooking with Marilyn & Friends” are $60.00 per person and include the cooking demonstration, a five-course dinner, beer from Flying Fish Brewing Co., wine and cocktails.
Langosta Lounge is located at 1000 Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park. Reservations to “Live, Cook, Love – Cooking with Marilyn & Friends” will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. For further information or to reserve a ticket to the June cooking demonstration and dinner, call 732-455-3275.

June 21-28 - Eat Drink Local Restaurant Week, the annual event celebrating the bounty of New Jersey farmers and the creative culinary skills of dozens of our state’s most talented chefs, will be held at restaurants statewide. This premier dining event will be featured at 50 of the state’s finest restaurants.
Presented by Edible Jersey, the award-winning magazine dedicated to promoting the local, seasonal foods of the Garden State. Eat Drink Local Restaurant Week will feature specially-crafted prix-fixe and supplemental menus that showcase the harvest of New Jersey farmers.
Among the restaurants taking part in Eat Drink Local Week are: Frog and the Peach, New Brunswick; A Toute Heure, Cranford; The Bernards Inn, Bernardsville; Elements, Princeton; The Ebbitt Room, Cape May; Light Horse Tavern, Jersey City, and Ryland Inn, Whitehouse Station.
“There are so many talented chefs in New Jersey who place a dedicated emphasis on working with local farmers and purveyors and featuring locally sourced ingredients on their menus,” said Nancy Painter, publisher of Edible Jersey. “A new component of the event this year is that we will be partnering local wine, brew and spirit makers as well as some local food artisans with many of the participating restaurants.”
“Eat Drink Local Week” is co-sponsored by Zone 7, a fresh-from-the-farm distribution service that connects local farmers and chefs by delivering high-quality ingredients from farms in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania to restaurants and grocers through NJ, PA and NY. For a complete list of participating restaurants, visit Edible Jersey.

New restaurant openings in Atlantic City:
Guy Fieri’s Chop House at Bally’s is opening July 4 - A unique twist on the classic steakhouse, the restaurant will feature a menu of popular signature dishes with New Jersey flare, such as the Java Rubbed Ribeye Chop, Filet with Roasted Garlic and Brown Butter, Jersey Shore Clams Casino and Cape May Fried Flounder. A mash-up of flavors and classic styles, Guy Fieri’s new restaurant will include a bevy of steak and seafood options inspired by a resort dining culture and Atlantic City overall.
Fieri's new concept promises 'simple with a twist,' not just a traditional steakhouse. The main bar, which spans the length of the entire restaurant, will include unique California-sourced wines, a robust selection of craft beers on tap, and spirits from a small batch distillery. The restaurant decor will be reminiscent of Guy's style with stainless steel and brass accents. Bally's Atlantic City is located at 1900 Pacific Avenue.

Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City has also announced an early summer debut of two additional restaurants: an Italian eatery Buca di Beppo on Bally’s 6th floor and over in the Marina at Harrah’s Resort an Italian-American restaurant Martorano’s.
“Steeped in authentic Italian tradition, Buca di Beppo not only delivers classic old-world flavors, but also serves each dish family-style, an inviting feature which we feel will resonate with our Bally’s customers,” said Kevin Ortzman, President for Bally’s, Caesars, and Showboat Atlantic City. Known for its vast selection of Italian dishes to suit every palate and its friendly, communal atmosphere, Buca di Beppo will not only offer a menu of traditional Italian classics but also dishes with a unique Atlantic City twist.

Martorano’s, helmed by culinary aficionado and Philadelphia native, Steve Martorano, will be the fourth restaurant in his expanding brand. The new restaurant at Harrah’s Resort will feature favorite dishes, such as Martorano’s signature Eggplant Stack, South Philly Cheesesteak, Rigatoni Sunday Pork Gravy, Bucatini Carbonara, and the chef's world-famous Homemade Meatballs. Harrah's Resort, 777 Harrah's Blvd., is at the Marina.

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