Eat, Drink, and Have a Merry!
By Joanna Heston
Some of the seasonal offerings from the Avalon Brew Pub such as the pumpkin chowder and the roasted turkey with giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and potatoes.
Homemade pappardelle pasta with jumbo shrimp and
mushrooms in a white wine sauce from Polpo Ristorante.
There is something truly special about Seven Mile Beach during the holiday season and there is no better time than now to experience its charm. Pair that charm with the variety of restaurants that are open, and your dilemma of what to cook, how many people are coming, and cleaning up the mess afterwards is solved. Whether you choose to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s or all the above in town, these restaurants are ready to serve you and your party, no matter how big or small! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so gather your loved ones and head to our wonderful island to experience all the good food and great memories just waiting to be shared around the table. Happy dining, friends!
7849 Dune Drive, Avalon • 609-551-0101 • iconaavalon.com
Spend the holidays in one of the 159 rooms available at the luxury oceanfront resort, ICONA Avalon. With overnight packages and several dining venues available, there is something for everyone to indulge in. The Avalon Brew Pub will be streaming football games from Wednesday to Sunday while offering beer and food specials.
Make reservations to enjoy a classic Thanksgiving buffet with the entire family. Served from 1-6pm in the Seaglass Ballroom, all are invited to fill their plates with offerings from appetizers and salad choices, a carving station, chaffers, and a dessert display. The cost for the buffet is $39 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Reservations are strongly suggested.
Following Thanksgiving, ICONA will participate in the town-wide Festive Friday event. The resort converts into a winter wonderland overnight, complete with a special visit from Santa’s elves. From 11am-4pm on Friday, Nov. 23, families will enjoy complimentary cookie decorating with Santa’s elves at the Winter Beach Bar at Sandbar Village. Lounges will be available with firepits to cozy up with warm drink specials including hot cocoa for $2 and spiked hot cocoa for $5, as well as a variety of other $5 drink specials. All the fun leads up to a special tree-lighting ceremony outside of the Avalon Brew Pub at 7pm.
Thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve, ICONA has several options for partying your way into 2019. Hotel guests can choose from the one-night celebration package for two, the one-night celebration and dinner package for two, or the three-night dinner and celebration package. Non-hotel guests also have options, such as the party package with a 4-hour premium bar, live entertainment, dancing and more, and the NYE Dinner and celebration package. For a complete list of options and pricing, check out ICONA’S website, iconaavalon.com, and ring in the new year oceanfront.
3250 Dune Drive, Avalon • 609-830-2904 • polporistorante.com
Chef Bujar Daku’s new restaurant, Polpo Ristorante, is a welcome addition to the fall dining repertoire. Open year-round Thursday through Sunday, the restaurant will also be serving a special menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve with comfort Italian cuisine, seven fishes and more.
And as the holidays approach and you’re looking for a space for your party, look no further. With a beautifully remodeled space decked to the nines for the holidays, Polpo can cater to both small and large parties up to 100 people. The company’s sister restaurant in Sea Isle City, La Fontana Coast, also is open year-round and available for parties. Work with Chef Daku to create a unique menu for lunch or dinner that will have your guests talking about your party well into 2019. Choose from signature dishes such as the “Polpo al Grigalia” appetizer and the “Al Polpo Nero” dish, both featuring fresh octopus in honor of the restaurant’s namesake.
For New Year’s Eve, Polpo will host seatings at 4pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm so you can enjoy a nice dinner before the ball drops at midnight! A special menu is also planned for New Year’s Day, so skip the cooking and let Chef Daku and his team serve you. Details will be shared on the restaurant’s website, polporistorante.com.
Open-faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce from the Concord Café.
7800 Dune Drive, Avalon • 609-368-5505 • concordcafe.net
The Concord Café will be open Thursday through Sunday until it closes for the season on Nov. 25. Serving everything from gourmet pizza, burgers and salads to pasta, chicken and seafood dishes, the restaurant continues to be a family favorite. Make plans to stop by on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 21, for dinner, or pick up some takeout and enjoy special savings on two large pizzas for $22 before 6pm.
In addition to serving its regular menu, Concord Café will be dishing out seasonal specials each night of the week such as chicken pot pie and grilled pork chops, but be sure to get there early as both are sellouts as specials. The little ones will enjoy options such as chicken fingers, raviolis and grilled cheese from the kids’ menu. No matter what you are craving this holiday season, Concord Café offers casual family dining and something for even the pickiest of eaters.
Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 21, the Concord Café will join its sister restaurant in Avalon, Marie Nicole’s Grill, in promoting its seasonal gift card promotion. For every $100 spent on gift-card purchases over Thanksgiving weekend only, customers will receive a free $20 gift card. Be sure to stock up before the restaurant closes for the season on Sunday, Nov. 25.
The house nachos from Fred’s Tavern.
314 96th Street, Stone Harbor • 609-368-5591 • fredstavern.net
For generations, families have dined at Fred’s Tavern in Stone Harbor, and this holiday season will be no exception. The restaurant, open year-round, will be offering its winter menu, so you can pick a fireside seat and enjoy lunch and dinner daily from 11am to 10pm. The bar is open until 2am for specialty cocktails and an upscale bar menu as well.
Need a night out? Fred’s Tavern will host live entertainment every Saturday night through December. Fred’s is known to host some of the best entertainment on the island, so call a sitter and put on your dancing shoes.
Although the restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, Fred’s Tavern is a hot spot for friends to gather on Thanksgiving Eve. Catch up with old buddies and get ready for a weekend packed with food, family and fun. For entertainment, Fred’s will host Matt Quinton on Friday, Nov. 23, followed by One Fish, Two Fish on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Mark your calendar for the “Go Elf Yourself” party on Dec. 22. This holiday party will begin at 9pm and will host a toy collection for local underprivileged youth.
Looking for a place to ring in 2019? Fred’s will be open for New Year’s Eve and will feature live entertainment beginning at 9:30pm. Dance and sing along to the music as you wait for the ball to drop at midnight and toast to 2019!
The Filet DelMonte with jumbo lump crabmeat, Yukon Gold whipped potatoes and sautéed seasonal vegetables from Marie Nicole’s Grill.
Marie Nicole’s Grill
7900 Ocean Drive, Avalon • 609-368-1919 • marienicoles.com
Open Fridays and Saturdays in November, Marie Nicole’s Grill invites you to enjoy fine dining this holiday season. Serving seafood, steak and pasta dishes that are sure to warm you up, the restaurant also features specials and seasonal offerings.
Throughout the month of November, the restaurant’s popular “Burgers, Beer and Bourbon” special moves from Wednesday to Friday nights! Enjoy specialty burgers, craft beers and bourbon all night long! New to the bar menu this year is Marie Nicole’s “Thanksgiving Burger.” A turkey burger with cheddar, cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, herbed-garlic mayo, sweet potato fries and slaw, this is the perfect combination for all who love the thanksgiving fixings.
The restaurant also offers a three-course menu featuring a starter, entrée and dessert. Choose from the soup du jour or the Caesar salad, entrée choices such as the herb-roasted chicken, pasta with sausage and sautéed broccoli rabe or the fish of the day, and finish with a sweet treat from the daily selection of desserts. The three-course dinner costs $30 before 6pm and $35 after that, and is offered each day.
Customer favorites include the Bone-In Veal Parmesan and the Filet DelMonte topped with jumbo lump crabmeat in a Gorgonzola cream sauce. And don’t skip dessert: How does the homemade warm apple crumb topped with ice cream and caramel sound?
As with Concord Café, its sister restaurant, Marie Nicole’s has a gift-card sale offered only on Thanksgiving weekend: For every $100 spent on gift cards, you will receive a free $20 gift card. The promotion will only be available through Nov. 24, so be sure to get a head start on your Christmas shopping before Marie Nicole’s closes for the season. Don’t fret, it will reopen in April!
The Surf and Turf New Year’s Eve special from The Reeds at Shelter Haven.
The Reeds at Shelter Haven
9601 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor • 609-368-0100 • reedsatshelterhaven.com
Situated bayside, The Reeds at Shelter Haven has all you need to enjoy the holiday season this year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas and looking ahead to New Year’s, The Reeds has planned events and menus to keep the entire family cheerful all the way into the new year.
Cozy up every Friday through Nov. 30 as The Reeds hosts its popular Fire Pit Fridays at the Water Star Grille. Featuring live music and food and drink specials while you sit back and enjoy the warmth of the fire pits, Fire Pit Fridays give you a chance to unwind from the week and kick off your weekends in Stone Harbor.
Reserve a table for Thanksgiving among family and friends at The Reeds. The restaurant is offering its traditional Thanksgiving dinner buffet on Thursday, Nov. 22 from noon to 6pm. Sample seasonal favorites from the carving table such as roasted turkey breast and smoked glazed ham, paired with warm pumpkin rolls, harvest pumpkin soup and more. The options are endless! The full menu is available online at reedsatshelterhaven.com. The cost is $38 for adults, $19 for children 4-12, and free for ages 3 and under. Reservations are required.
Plan to stay the weekend and enjoy all the fun activities in town with overnight and weekend packages available. On Friday, Nov. 23, the property converts into a winter wonderland complete with a holiday sing-along at 4pm and The Reeds’ annual tree-lighting ceremony at 5pm leading up to Fire Pit Friday.
Following Thanksgiving weekend at The Reeds, Christmas cheer is full speed ahead! Santa will join his elves at The Reeds for holiday brunches the first two Sundays in December. Enjoy a festive holiday brunch on Dec. 2 or Dec. 9 from 10am to 2pm. There will be an omelet station with made-to-order omelets, traditional breakfast staples such as eggs, sausage and bacon, potatoes and more, or lunch options such as Caesar salad, roasted pork and pasta Bolognese. Don’t forget gingerbread men and other favorites for dessert! Brunch costs $30, $20 for children 12 and under. Reservations are required.
Celebrate at Stone Harbor’s only indoor/outdoor fireside cocktail party on Friday, Dec. 14 as The Reeds hosts its annual Holiday Bash by the Bay from 7-10pm. Take a break from the holiday shopping to mingle with friends, family and co-workers while enjoying seasonal-inspired menus, drink specials, live entertainment and dancing. The cost is $29 per person and there will be a cash bar.
Delight in the glow of the holidays with dinner at The Reeds’ SAX restaurant on Christmas Eve and Christmas from 5-9pm. Choose from a special holiday entrée or a daily SAX menu entrée. Reservations are suggested.
Unsure how to ring in 2019? Make reservations to join The Reeds for its ultimate Saltwater Soiree. Held from 7:30pm-12:30am, the event will feature a 5-hour premium bar, entertainment and dancing, a welcome reception with passed hors d’oeuvres, a three-course plated dinner featuring filet mignon and lobster tail, and more! Of course, there will be a champagne toast at midnight as you party into the New Year! Overnight packages will be available.
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