Friday, August 22, 2014
I met a really lovely couple at a summer soiree my lifestyle expert friend Kathy Kaufman threw recently. Russell and Kay Davis really understand the joys of dining out, on top of which they are true wine connoisseurs, with a habit of bringing several wines when dining out at BYOB's, so as to match the grapes to the menu choices. This is who I want to be when I grow up! So I asked Russell and Kay if they would agree to guest blog. I really hope they agree to do it again! - Le Anne Lindsay, Editor
Shore Flavor : SeaSalt at the Ocean Harbor HotelBy: Russell and Kay Davis
Our visit to SeaSalt in Cape May (1035 Beach Ave Cape May NJ) was a surprise – this was not the same owners of the Sea Salt in Stone Harbor of a few years ago. As Sea Salt is not exactly a unique name, we should have realized it was an entirely different set of owners with a different style but we walked in with a set of expectations that were immediately challenged.
SeaSalt permits wine brought in for a corkage fee of $20 per bottle ($30 for Champagne/Sparkling Wine).
LOBSTER RAVIOLI WITH BROWN BUTTER, GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND GRAPE TOMATOES
With so many intriguing items on the menu we quickly agreed to order different items each and to permit liberal sharing. Appetizer highlights were the raw oysters- briny and fresh and just perfect with the dry J Vineyards sparkling wine, as well as the Lobster Ravioli with brown butter, grilled asparagus and grape tomatoes- a bit too rich for the well balanced Pinot Noir from Chalk Hill but paired nicely with the more tannic and full bodied Merlot from Pride Mountain.
The Smoked Trout with pickled beets and salmon roe was delicious as well and nice with the pinot noir, but was excellent paired with the sparkling wine.
CORIANDER CRUSTED TUNA W/ SHAVED ASPARAGUS&SWEET CHILI SAUCE
RED SNAPPER CEVICHE WITH SALMON ROE
BEER BRAISED LAMB WITH CREAMY POTATO, CHARRED CARROTS & PICKLED SHALLOTS
The Beer Braised Lamb was okay but not great- except----those carrots. Everyone at the table enjoyed a piece of what looked to be WAY over-charred carrots, and all agreed that while we were not crazy about carrots in general- you know, they’re CARROTS- these were Holy Cow delicious. Really. And best of all- the carrots were even more awesome with a little of that Pride Mountain Merlot to wash them down with.
We would recommend SeaSalt- but these are big flavors, not a lot of subtlety on this menu, so we recommend BIG flavors in your wine choices - dry (Brut) champagnes or sparkling wines, big bold tannic reds for the ribs, steak and veal dishes on the menu (Cabernet , Merlot or a cool weather Syrah) and bone-dry Sauvignon Blanc (French or New Zealand) for the seafood dishes. (We should have left the Pinot at home this time!) - Russell Davis
While You're Here
The Davis' love of fine things and good taste doesn't end there - Kay is a fashion designer with her own line - K. Riley Designs . Creating hand painted and hand crafted clothing and accessories.
Kay's work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of Art Craft Show, The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show (Nov 6 -9, 2014) and The American Craft Council Show, not to mention, being featured in Ornament Magazine. Here's just two examples of her exquisite talent from her Botanical Collection:
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