Mrs. Silverstone and I returned to Cape May last week. My primary reason was to interview 3 very special guests who can be heard chatting with me on the current edition of my show: Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker who most people remember from “LA Law”; and music legend Barry Miles.
We returned to the Peter Shields Inn at 1301 Beach Ave. Cape May, N.J,, which boasts nine beautifully decorated guest rooms, and ocean front views. Once again, we stayed in room 9, on the third floor tucked away down the hall to the Hospitality Room with 24-hour “complimentary” soft drinks and snacks. The Inn’s outside porch and private second-floor veranda are perfect for quaffing some of the brilliant Cape May area wines which are now at their most impressive after years hiding in the shadows for fear of ridicule from wine snobs. Peter Shields’ outstanding restaurant welcomes BYOB patrons and they feature a selection of Cape May wines if you want to leave the choice to them. Just let me recommend 2 stunning entrees on their dinner menu. To pair sumptuously with a robust red you must have the Grilled Hanger Steak, Wild Mushrooms Swiss Chard, Parmesan Risotto, Bordelaise ($34) but make sure you’re really hungry since it’s a Fred Flintstone-sized portion. And for a medium bodied white wine pairing, the Pan Seared Free Range Chicken Breast, Potato Gnocchi, Spinach Oyster Mushrooms, Prosciutto, Rosemary Shallot Jus ($29). I have no idea how they manage the amazing flavor from their chicken. It is historic! For information, call (609) 884-9090 or check petershieldsinn.com.
We popped along to the Pilot House Bar & Grille the next day, now under new management. The establishment is at 142 Decatur St. The wine list is modest, but has a diversity of flavors for all palates and the beer list has a well chosen selection of craft beers and the cocktails are brilliant. As for the food. Not to be missed: The Pilot House Burger ($10) is the best in the entire region and the Fish & Chips ($17) beer battered cod is without doubt the tastiest I’ve tasted outside of the UK. Try the Clean Slate, Riesling (Mosel, Germany) 2012 $7 glass/$28 bottle with the fish and chips and Stump Jump, Shiraz, 2011 (McLaren Vale, Australia) $8 glass/$33 bottle with the burger. For information, call (609) 884-3449 or check www.pilothousecapemay.com.
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) has some seriously nifty eating and drinking events on the Cape May calendar in the coming month. Too many to list here but I will touch briefly on a couple. For information and a full schedule, check http://www.capemaymac.org.
The Cape May Food & Wine Celebration Sept. 13-21, is now in it’s 18th year. Visitors can enjoy winery tours and tastings, a beer tasting dinner, a harvest food and wine tasting, lunches at some of Cape May’s best restaurants, chefs’ dine-arounds, and more. Just be aware that most festival events cannot accommodate children.
You can spend an afternoon visiting Cape May County’s wineries and sampling the unique flavors of each. First, enjoy lunch at one of Cape May’s fine restaurants, and then board the MAC trolley, which will shuttle you to three local wineries — Willow Creek Winery, Hawk Haven Vineyard and Natali Vineyard — and learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. Cost is $75 per person (includes wine-tasting glass). Dates will be found on the MAC website or by calling (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278.
My equivalent in the beer world (irreverent, humorous, highly knowledgeable, but not so good looking) Gary Monterosso is hosting a Beer Tasting Dinner at 7 p.m., Sept. 16. Monterosso will pair beer with food in this four-course dinner at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May. He appears on the History Channel special, “The Epic History of Everyday Things.” The event is limited to 50 people and cost is $65 per person (gratuity included). For information, call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278.
If you have a desire to nip off for some grape picking at Natali Vineyards, it’s being held September 16 at 8:30 a.m. A shuttle will transport you from the Physick Estate to Natali Vineyards where you’ll become part of the wine-making process as you pitch in and pick grapes. You will enjoy lunch on the patio and, of course, a glass of wine. Cost is $10. For information, call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278.
Enjoy Cape May while the sun shines. Cheers!
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in this publication. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining