Friday, November 5, 2010

Jersey Shore Restaurants, TOUCH OF ITALY



Touch of Italy
6629 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
(609) 646-1855

Scarborough Inn Bed and Breakfast guests frequently ask about Jersey Shore restaurants that feature Italian food and drink, and Touch of Italy certainly fulfills those requests, plus the restaurant is only about 12 miles from the inn.

Ambiance - The restaurant is nicely maintained with traditional decor and includes a bar/lounge area, several separate dining rooms - one with a fireplace for cool nights - and soft lighting.

Service - On a recent visit, our experience was stellar thanks to the pleasant, proficient, and professional service provided by our server. She was unfailingly cheerful and interested when offering suggestions, explaining specials, or checking back as to our satisfaction with the meal. Yet, she was never intrusive or overly familiar. (Guess I'm showing my age, but I dislike being addressed as "guys" or having the server sit at the table to take our order - horrors!)

Food - The food is described as being, "cooked to order," and I think it was. Everything arrived hot and tasty, but without any embellishment or garnish. We selected a three-course meal from the Prix Fixe Menu. It includes several choices of Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert in full-size portions.

Gus selected Provolone wedges with Roasted Peppers and I chose Cherry Peppers stuffed with Cheese and Prosciutto; both starters were drizzled with olive oil and served with a basket of hot bread and rolls. Eggplant Rollantine was the entree-of-choice for both of us. Three plump rolls of eggplant stuffed with ricotta and bathed in a rich tomato sauce were served with a choice of side dish. Gus had the traditional accompaniment - pasta, but I choose "Italian Potatoes." This was tender cooked potato rounds lightly dressed in herbed tomato sauce and was delicious. For dessert, Gus had a Cannoli filled with Ricotta and Chocolate Chips that disappeared quickly and I had a seasonal cake selection, Pumpkin Praline, that was both unique and delectable.

Each of us had enough food remaining to make a yummy "reprise" lunch the following day. No leftover dessert, however.

Price - Prix Fixe dinner for two, plus wine (additional cost) was $65.00, plus tax and gratuity. The food at Touch of Italy features a wide variety of traditional Italian meat, seafood, and pasta dishes at all price points; the Prix Fixe Menu is available Monday through Thursday at $25.50 per person (as of 10/2010).

Details - Located on a "commercial corridor," there is plenty of free parking and easy street level access - but no outdoor ambiance. There's Happy Hour in the bar Monday through Friday (4:00 - 6:30 PM), daily food and drink specials, and (very talented) Live Music on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Families with children might especially enjoy the 3-course Pork Loin Dinner on Sunday. Credit cards accepted.

Innsider Tip: Ask to be seated at a distance from the restrooms. And, if you want to enjoy dinner table conversation, at a distance from the live music.

The Scarborough Inn Bed and Breakfast offers complimentary concierge service. We'll be happy to help with directions to the restaurant and/or reservations, just inquire when you visit the inn.

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