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A Dinner With A View


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Dinner at The Breakers on the Ocean (1507 Ocean Ave, 732.499.7700) is an experience that transports diners to the glory days of Spring Lake’s landmark resort era.

 

From the spectacular oceanfront view to the restrained luxury of the dining room with its calming soft peach and creamy pale yellow palette, and high-backed upholstered chairs reminiscent of scallop shells, the formal dining room creates mise en scene for leisurely and elegant meals in the Continental tradition. 

 

Dine early for the gorgeous seascape, an expanse of flat, shimmering water stretching as far as the eye can see. Linger through a multi-course meal that defines what dining can and should be – gracious, well-executed and satisfying.

 

The menu features traditional Northern Italian fare as well as timeless seashore inspired classics such as Surf and Turf ($39) or New Zealand Rack of Baby Lamb ($34). The chef offers daily specials which reflect an on-going passion for culinary art. Entrées are accompanied by  creamy mashed potatoes and a house salad of crisp fresh greens, tomatoes, and shredded mozzarella dressed with an Italian vinaigrette. Each plate is garnished with an edible orchid.

 

We were in the mood for pasta and were in no way disappointed with our selections: plump cheese-stuffed tricolore tortellini ($12) and a lush lobster ravioli ($24), both served in a fragrant basil-flecked pomodoro sauce. At the manager’s suggestion, I had a glass of pinot noir that had a subtle nose, a round, fruity flavor and a soft finish. The pinot noir ($8) paired well with my dish, balancing the rich tomato and delicate lobster.

 

Service was impeccable and unassuming. Our waiter was pleasant and generous in accommodating my indecisive 10-year-old, something parents who enjoy dining out and who wish to educate their children in the etiquette of fine dining truly appreciate.

 

Dessert can be enjoyed in the dining room and diners have a sweet selection to choose from including Tartufo ($6), gelati and ice cream as well as a variety of pastry possibilities ranging from the richly decadent chocolate molten lava cake to the berry-filled Frutti di Bosco (both $8). Have dessert in the piano bar accompanied by live music and an espresso or wind down with a digestif or a brandy.

 

The gracious top-down management style of The Scardino family, the Breakers hoteliers for more than 30 years, is amply reflected in their restaurant where food and beverage manager James E. Vazquez keeps the flow smoothly and quietly efficient.

 

An evening at the Breakers is meant to be spent leisurely in the company of good friends or loved ones. The rhythm of the meal is ordered and paced, but diners don’t feel pushed. Their knowledgeable staff makes diners feel reluctant to leave, a far cry from the table turning experiences in other lesser establishments.

 

This is fine dining the way it’s intended.

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