At La Piazza Cucina Italiana, owner Joey M. and his chefs want everyone to feel at home—so much so that they'll prepare anything their diners request as long as the ingredients are in the kitchen. But with their expansive dinner menu and tasting menus to boot, it seems unlikely that anyone would need to craft their own entree. Joey's team's penne à la vodka draws its name from a creamy blush sauce sprinkled with salty strips of prosciutto, and chefs garnish veal, steak, or chicken with ingredients such as artichoke hearts, olive oil, and white-wine sauces. To help encourage a fun, friendly atmosphere, Joey M. himself frequently opens for weekend live music by crooning Sinatra's greatest hits or leading the dining room in sing-along songs to bring flatware to life.
A block away from the original Lazy Lizard, de Lazy Lizard Brew Pub fills glasses with 20 draft microbrews, including four beers brewed in-house. Guests can pair their pints with gastropub fare such as bangers and mash or paninis as they sup in a separate dining area or at the spacious bar. 11 TV screens scattered throughout the space keep sports fans entertained as they steal sips from a 100-oz. beer tower or lob Old Bay chicken wings at the opposing team.
Tutto Gelato lavishes cups and cones with up to 20 flavors of creamy gelato and sweet sorbetto made fresh each day. Forged with natural flavors and fresh ingredients, each succulent scoop contains less fat than ice cream but more brain-freezing power than a city-council meeting at the North Pole. Nestle classic flavors such as cinnamon, peanut butter, and watermelon into a cup ($4–$6) to flaunt spoon technique, or crown a crisp sugar cone ($4.50) or waffle cone ($6.50) for a highly transportable treat. Tutto's gelato gurus routinely feature their more innovative concoctions, including honeymoon gelato, which hearkens back to decadent french toast breakfasts, and frutti di bosco, which teams strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry to form a smoothie-worthy super group. Frozen aficionados can saunter through the green door at Tutto's pale yellow, cottage-like storefront to grab take-home portions of tempting flavors by the pint or quart.
Salty breezes conjured from the North Atlantic can be a golfer’s worst enemy when traversing Avalon Golf Club. But for players who factor it into their swings, the breeze can help as much as it hinders as the course follows a path of narrow rye-grass fairways designed by Bob Hendricks in 1971. Hendricks incorporated eight natural lakes into the course’s layout, summoning the strategically timed squawks of gulls, hawks, and occasional bald eagles that soar overhead. Players looking to smooth out their swings can enlist the professional guidance of the club's resident PGA professionals, Ted Wenner and Dennis Jones, during lessons and clinics.
After rounds, golfers can lounge on Avalon Links Restaurant’s patio, which overlooks the 18th green. After refueling on sandwiches or fresh seafood, club-goers can discreetly drive their carts into the sprawling pro shop for apparel and gear from Ashworth, Life Is Good, and Titleist.
Course at a Glance:
Under the thatched roof of the Corny Island cabana, diners order from a small but hearty menu of roasted corn on the cob and loaded baked potatoes. After an ear roasts for 45 minutes, the charred black-and-yellow kernels?grown sweeter and more flavorful?withstand a deluge of flavored butters and seasonings. Butter comes in flavors such as garlic, spicy Cajun, crab, and sweet lemon-lime; customers can also adorn their cobs with a pat of plain butter. Next, they hold their buttered corn beneath a raining cloud of parmesan, lemon, or chili pepper. Potato-eaters can choose an extra large potato, then crown it with the likes of sour cream, cheese, bacon, and chives. A simple but filling menu, a whimsical stand on the boardwalk, and the opportunity to customize a whole meal or snack?these things and more keep fleets of fans returning to Corny Island.
It's not uncommon for a restaurant to use superlatives in their marketing, but when Cattle 'n Clover lays claim to making the world's largest shepherd's pie, they can back it up with an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day in 2012, the Irish steakhouse crafted a homemade shepherd's pie that tipped the scales at nearly 1,800 lbs. Their other traditional Irish eats??slow-cooked corned beef sandwiches, fish and chips, and pan-roasted rack of lamb??are bite-sized by comparison.
Each of Cattle 'n Clover's steaks is cut in-house. Diners can sink their teeth into a tobacco-topped New York strip steak rubbed with cinnamon and cocoa, or savor a buttery 10 oz. hanger steak. Corned beef and cabbage spring rolls, and apple brandy-glazed mahi mahi round out the inventive selections.