We recently dined al fresco at Domenico’s in Ventnor City, NJ. The quaint, white table cloth restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine with subtle touches of Asian flavor is a byob restaurant. This alleviates the unpleasant task (usually assigned to me) of monitoring the liquor and wine tab; allowing us to indulge on the culinary creations offered by the chef!
In its fifth season, the chef/owner prepares the dishes served, making dining at this tiny, but charming jewel of the Jersey shore, feel like a “chef to table” experience for everyone! You can feel the love and taste the passion infused in every dish that arrives at your table!
Our first time, sans reservations, with a bottle of red in tow, three of us showed up on a Saturday evening.
It is no small feat to avoid the wave of tourists retreating from a hectic life, on a June summer night at the Jersey shore and probably foolish of us to think we could saunter in and expect to be seated immediately, but, we tried anyway!
Graciously greeted at the door of the buzzing establishment, we could not help to satisfy our curiosity and mostly hunger, but to accept one of the three tables outside. Good choice! Our evening was accentuated by a stunning sunset and stellar service.
The server immediately impressed us with her witty but warm banter and tended to our wine bottle with a quick slick wrist.
Quenching our taste for the red grapes and recanting the detailed specials of the evening as brilliantly as reciting a Shakespeare soliloquy, we were dazzled with her speech. However, she really impressed when appearing with a much coveted Sprite, for my very, cranky , very thirsty minor-age daughter (I guess they don’t carry Sprite and to avoid being arrested, I refrained from serving her wine).
Mesmerized by the eclectic ingredients in the specials, the meager balance in my checkbook stopped me from running amok with it and ordering one of each!
My husband’s entrée was loaded with seafood and the pasta was cooked just right. My chicken dish was moist and had a healthy array of the toppings listed on the menu, while I even managed to save some for lunch the next day. My daughter’s panko-encrusted buffalo mozzarella appetizer was a great beginning to a fabulous meal.
Unfortunately, we did not make it to round 3 for one of their homemade desserts. The famous and long time Mentos (5304 Ventnor Ave) Ice cream sign, diagonally across from the restaurant seemed to flash subliminal messages and lured us away after the dinner plates were removed and our leftovers delivered to us.
We shall return with more wine and reservations to eat inside!
Domenico’s Restaurant is located at 5223 Ventnor Ave Ventnor City, NJ 08406 609.822.1300