When the air gets chilly and the yuletide season busy, these restaurants offer the perfect setting to cozy up while dining out. With the fireplaces roaring and holiday decorations abounding, some area restaurants seem to come to life with the holiday season.
“We look forward to the holidays all year long. The Christmas season is a special time for us,” says Tony Coppola Jr., partner and general manager at the Smithville Inn and Fred and Ethel’s Lantern Light Tavern.
The Smithville Inn
Established in 1787, the Smithville Inn has multiple wood-burning fireplaces, dark wood accents, expertly placed holiday decorations and a history that can be felt, making it the perfect place for a cozy holiday dinner.
“We take great care to infuse all of Smithville with the holiday spirit. We want our guests to feel the warmth of the season when they shop the stores or dine in the restaurants,” Coppola says.
With selections such as chicken pot pie ($20), braised veal short rib ($29) and chipotle brown sugar rubbed pork chop ($27), the Smithville Inn combines romance with classic Americana.
The Smithville Inn is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m on Sundays and located at 1 N. New York Road in Galloway. For more information call 609-652-7777 or go to HistoricSmithvilleNJ.com.
For a more exotic, yet intimate repast, head to Sofia in Margate and experience the rich tradition of a Mediterranean holiday meal. Cozy up under their wall of fireplaces and take in the richness of Sofia’s dark wood accents, stone detail and iron fixtures. The beauty of European tradition creates a warm ambiance. Add in the abundant, designer holiday décor and Sofia’s is the perfect option for a delectable holiday meal.
“Dining with us, you will experience the feeling of epicurean hospitality in a warm setting through the holiday season,” says Angela Diamantis, managing partner at Sofia. For the complete European experience, let your taste buds transport you to Greece with dishes such as the mezethes, a dip trio featuring hummus, tzatziki and melitzanosalata ($18) served with pita bread, or the spanakopita; the spinach, leek and feta pie ($8); Keftethes, pan-fried Greek meatballs infused with mint and served with tzaziki ($9); or the lamb osso bucco ($36).
Sofia is open 4 to 11 p.m. daily (the kitchen may close earlier), and is located at 9314 Amherst Ave. in Margate. For more information call 609-822-9111 or go to SofiaOfMargate.com.
Wineries may be some of the coziest places on earth, and South Jersey happens to be home to one of the oldest, continuously operating wineries in America. Renault Winery has been making wine for over 150 years and is home to Joseph’s Restaurant and Renault Gourmet Restaurant.
With rich oak barrels, cozy alcoves, Tuscan-inspired decor and plenty of wine, Renault is a perfect place to snuggle up with someone delightful when the weather becomes frightful. Chef’s recommendations include chicken parmesan ($23) with whipped ricotta, tomato basil sauce, buffalo di mozzarella and wide-ribbon pasta; and the salmon piccata ($26) with pan-roasted Scottish salmon, lemon-caper sauce, white beans and spinach.
Renault is located at 72 N. Bremen Ave. in Egg Harbor City. For more information call 609-965-2111 or go to RenaultWinery.com.
Ram’s Head Inn
Tradition and history often lead the way for a memorable dining experience, and the Ram’s Head Inn in Galloway is a beaming example of history’s comforts. Ram’s Head Inn dates back to the early 1900s and imbibes the relics of that era. With cozy rooms, a warm fireplace and traditional holiday decorations, the Ram’s Head transports you to a storybook Christmas.
Dine on traditional favorites with a modern twist, such as the stuffed Cornish game hen ($28) with apple stuffing, cranberry glaze and served with a vegetable bundle; or beef Wellington ($38) seared filet with a mushroom duxelle, encased in a golden pastry and served with a fresh vegetable bundle and a cabernet reduction.
The Ram’s Head Inn is located at 9 W. White Horse Pike in Galloway. For more information call 609-652-1700 or go to RamsHeadInn.com.
The Chart House
Sometimes cozy restaurants can be found in unexpected places. Overlooking the Farley Marina, the Chart House at Golden Nugget Atlantic City offers some of the best views in Atlantic City. With their walls of windows, the Chart House gets cozy when the wintery weather rolls in, so snuggle up in a comfortable booth and gaze out at rain clouds, and maybe even some snow, over the marina.
Dine on the Chart House’s specialties: slow-roasted prime rib ($38 to $49) or the Alaskan king crab (market price) served with drawn butter and a baked potato.
For more information call 609-340-5030 or go to Chart-House.com.
Gallagher’s at Resorts Casino Hotel: Located at 1133 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-340-6555 or go to ArkRestaurants.com.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Located at 2020 Atlantic Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-344-5833 or go to RuthsChris-AtlanticCity.com.
The Palm in The Quarter at the Tropicana Atlantic City: Located at 2801 Pacific Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-344-7256 or go to ThePalm.com.
LB One: Located at 6605 Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township. For more information call 609-813-2092 or go to LB-One.biz.
Mays Landing Country Club: Located at 1855 Cates Road in Mays Landing. For more information call 609-641-4411 or go to MaysLandingGolf.com. Capriccio in Resorts Casino Hotel: Located at 1133 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. For more information call 800-334-6378 or go to ResortsAC.com.
Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa: Located at 1 Borgata Way in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-317-1000 or go to TheBorgata.com.
Blue Water Grille at the Flagship Resort: Located at 60 N. Maine Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-347-0770 or go to FantaSeaResorts.com.
The Iron Room Restaurant: Located at 648 N. Albany Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-348-6400.
Bonterra Market: Located at 3112 Fire Road in Egg Harbor Township. For more information go to BonterraMarket.com.
Cuba Libre: Located at 2801 Pacific Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information go to CubaLibreRestaurant.com.