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Eat This: Family Style Dining at Cape May Café

Cape May has always been a family favorite so when we found out that they were reopening in ANY form we were quick to grab reservations for opening night. I’m always hesitant to review a restaurant in its early days because it’s hardly fair to praise or critique it before the kinks are out, but in this case I was so eager to see how they were approaching things that I was knocking on the door on (re)opening day.

Like so many buffets that have reopened, Cape May has shifted to family style dining where favorites from the usual buffet are brought to the table and replenished on request. They are offering up both breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is $25 for adults and $14 per child, while dinner is $42 for adults and $25 per child.

Snow crab legs and whole Maine lobster are purchased separately – one pound (about 3 clusters) of legs will run you $29 while the lobster is $35. We commiserated with our wonderful waitress about how much we all missed the all-you-care-to-eat crab legs. They are so expensive to source these days that including them just wasn't possible. Here's hoping that changes in the not too distant future. That said….our meal was so good that one pound did us just fine and truth told we probably wouldn't have missed them if we'd just eaten everything else.

Dinner consists of (1) salad – arugula, romaine, red onion, orange segments, tomatoes, dried cherries, and citrus vanilla vinaigrette, (2) rolls and cornbread with butter, garlic butter, and cheddar cheese spread, and (3) a huge spread of surf and turf.

The surf platter is a seafood boil with PEI mussels, peel-n-eat shrimp, Cape May clams, a sustainable catch of the day (ours was mahi-mahi), red bliss potatoes, and corn on the cob. Everything was excellent. The mahi-mahi was cooked perfectly, the shrimp were huge, and the clams and mussels were sweet.

The turf platter is slow-roasted strip loin with chimichurri and house-made steak sauce, oven-roasted lemon-pepper chicken, mashed potatoes, and farmer’s market vegetables. You can request white or dark meat chicken if you have a preference. I loved the strip loin with chimichurri and would take a bath in the mashed potatoes if I could.

They’ll also serve up some very tasty lobster mac n cheese. 

If you would prefer a meatless meal, portobello steak or a tofu platter are available on request.

If you’re with kids or other picky eaters, they’ll bring you off menu chicken tenders, fries, and regular mac n cheese. (My kids were relieved.) These are also “all you can eat” style and replenished on demand.

If you’re still kicking after all of that, you’ll get a lovely little plate of assorted house-made desserts. Ours included oreo bon bons, a raspberry cream puff (so good), no sugar added lemon cheesecake, eight-layer chocolate cake, lemon curd with strawberry pound cake, and a macaron with pineapple mousse (my other fave).

The final verdict? I’m so happy to be back. The staff was so attentive and happy to have life back inside and the food didn’t leave us wanting. If you liked Cape May before and that didn’t hinge completely on an endless supply of snow crab legs, you’ll leave happy.

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