By Maddy Vitale
From crab cakes to pancakes and from steak to shrimp, Ocean City restaurants have something for everyone.
Whether tempting your palate with a new entrée, or sticking to your tried and true favorite dish, diners will have plenty of choices during Ocean City’s Restaurant Week, which runs from now through June 14.
Customers on Friday called the week a great time to go out to explore new delicacies and catch the discounts.
Participating restaurants offer special fixed-price options for the event. Some of the rates are for two people, others are prices for one person with an all-inclusive meal, from drinks to desserts. Prices vary. Restaurants and specials are listed at www.eatinocnj.com.
Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, said Restaurant Week offers a great way to try new places and enjoy old favorites.
“Ocean City has fabulous food offerings. Restaurant Week gives us the opportunity to showcase this important business segment on our island,” Gillian noted. “We encourage you to support your favorite restaurants, but also to go out and try something new. The restaurant owners put together great specials that will surely bring you back for more.”
Friends Janet Cook, of Ocean City, and Beth Little, of Margate, sat down for a bite at Jon & Patty’s Coffee Bar & Bistro located on Asbury Avenue, Friday afternoon.
The eatery is part of Restaurant Week and the friends decided to each get quiche with a side salad.
Cook summed up their thoughts of the food: “Scrumptious,” she said.
Patty Talese, co-owner of Jon & Patty’s, with her husband, Jon, said they always participate in Restaurant Week to give people an added incentive to try out their restaurant.
Talese, who heads the Downtown Merchants Association, said that not only is the weeklong event important for connoisseurs, but also for business owners.
“The price points are affordable and there are all different menu items to try out,” she said.
While some restaurants priced their dinners for two people, Jon & Patty’s stuck to a price of $22 for a single person with a meal that includes soup or salad, an entrée, dessert and a beverage.
Bill McGinnity, president of the Ocean City Restaurant Association, said Restaurant Week in Ocean City is a bit more varied than in other communities.
“We can do a lot of different offerings for guests. We have breakfast specials and lunches. We adapted to what fits our community,” McGinnity said. “We are family-oriented.”
McGinnity, owner of Cousin’s Restaurant on Asbury Avenue, explained, for example, how he offers a two-dinner special for the week. A cost of $40 will give two customers choices of selections such as pasta and clams and crispy eggplant ricotta.
Among the reasons why Restaurant Week is special in Ocean City is when it is held.
McGinnity noted, “We have it early enough in the season so the locals can be a part of it before the summer chaos.”