For the past month, I’ve mistaken every Thursday for Friday. To counteract the crushing disappointment that comes with realizing I have one more day at the office, I go out. My most recent excursion took me just over the bridge into Cape May to Lucky Bones Backwater Grille.
Right on the bay, Lucky Bones blends three different atmospheres into one brilliant establishment. One side is home to an open brick oven pizzeria where you can enjoy such gourmet combinations as shrimp and lobster on your pie. The other side hosts a bright, spacious dining room humming with conversation and softly clanging forks. The two are separated by romantic lighting at a rectangular bar which ebbs and flows with the Happy Hour and late night crowds.
I’d describe the cuisine as a Cajun-Cubano fusion. The menu features lots of Cuban spices and blackened fish and chicken. Lucky Bones makes everything from scratch without trans fats. They cut their own fries, mold their own burgers and even make their own desserts, which is surprisingly rare around here. Everything tastes clean and fresh.
The waitress seated me and my date. He started us with the Maine Mussels. She brought out a huge bowl filled with aromatic mussels in a pool of tomato and gorgonzola. They were perfectly done- tender, juicy and devoid of that ocean flavor standard of shellfish.
I ordered one of the specials- Chipotle Cinnamon Mahi Mahi. It arrived in a bed of asparagus and arugula salad with a side of strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. The fish was not the explosion of sweet and hot spices I was expecting. Instead, the subtle tastes of the chipotle and cinnamon enhanced the flavor of the fish. It was pleasantly surprising without overpowering my palate.
My date had the Cuban Spiced Pulled Pork Sandwich, served with cole slaw and perfect French Fries- cut skinny and made crispy outside without being greasy. He enhanced his sandwich with cole slow on the pork and drowned it in red wine au jus.
Dessert: Ecudorian rainforest chocolate decadence cake. Anything with a name that incredible must be equally delicious. Served with a puddle of raspberry sauce, a strawberry & whipped cream, the thick wedge of rich chocolate did not disappoint. My date and I had a fork-duel over the last bites of our cake (I won).
Lucky Bones Backwater Grille
1200 Route #109
Cape May, NJ 08204
Alison Heller is the Jersey Bites Cape May County Regional Editor. She also writes for Examiner.com and TrendHunter.com. She grew up on the beach in Wildwood Crest and currently works in advertising. After earning her Master of Fine Arts in English and Creative Writing in New York City (a place that was essentially Food Rehab), she stopped putting ketchup on everything and started experimenting with flavors. She loves sushi and cupcakes, sushi that looks like cupcakes, but never cupcakes that look like sushi. www.superalzy.com