On our most recent trip to Ocean City over the Thanksgiving weekend, we were floored to see the place was mobbed. Coastal Highway, which had been deserted two weeks before, was crawling with cars. Was it the holiday weekend? Was it the mild weather? Was it the Winterfest of Lights? We were there to winterize our condo (check it out if you’re looking for a place to stay in OC!) and see the light festival. We had been watching the progress of the one million lights being put up in Northside Park ever since the middle of October. I definitely didn’t want to miss out on the spectacular light show only a few hundred feet from our condo.
Of course since there were so many people in town for the weekend, finding a place to eat that wasn’t crazy crowded was a challenge. Since a large percentage of the restaurants close their doors in the off season, this proved an even bigger challenge. Driving past a couple of our choices on Coastal Highway at 7:30 on a Friday night (the light festival took longer than we anticipated), we saw everything was packed. Luckily, I remembered a restaurant café tucked in the back of a shopping center that we had discovered when we went to Sweet Frog, a yogurt shop that my daughter has been dying to go to for years (Here’s the scoop on that place—it’s nothing special). But the restaurant, Longboard Café was something special.
It was crowded as well, but we were led upstairs to a small loft area where there were four tables. It was cramped, but not so much that you couldn’t move around. The waiter immediately came over and apologized because they had ran out of several items since they were so busy, and he wanted to make sure we didn’t get our hearts set on those items while looking at the menu. I had been looking forward to the Chef’s Risotto, but there were so many other delicious sounding dinners to choose from. But first…our drinks. Hubs got some boring million year old scotch 🥃 and I got a white cranberry cosmo:
very good. The drink menu was really tantalizing so I also had a PomTini 🍸 and a Chocolate Martini for dessert. I forgot to take pictures of those because I was feeling quite relaxed at the time and not even thinking about this blog. I assure you they were gorgeous.
Anyhoo..back to the food. Since we had a larger party this time (the kids AND the in-laws joined us for this trip), we got to sample a lot of the choices on the menu. My daughter had her heart set on the shrimp and scallop appetizer which we told her was going to be her meal, not an appetizer. She agreed to that rule and said it was delicious and worth it, but was still hungry afterward. (Hence why it’s called an appetizer—didn’t Cartman from South Park say an appetizer is what you eat before you eat to make you more hungry?) 😂😂😂
My mother in-law had a tomato soup that was seriously chunky—this was no soup from a can. She also got an appetizer as a meal—the Crabby Flat bread—crab dip, cheddar-jack, sriracha, bacon, and Old Bay. 🦀 She ate both before I could even take a picture so I guess they were tasty.
My father in-law and son both went with the Seafood pasta, fettuccini, OC dayboat scallops, tail-on shrimp, lobster, lobster cream sauce and a baguette. It had to be good because my father in-law almost ate the whole thing (he gave my daughter some because she was shooting him puppy dog eyes across the table and he felt sorry for her). This is quite the feat for him because he usually orders half a sandwich for a meal and takes half of it home. 🙄
Can you believe it? Neither the hub nor I got dayboat scallops. I was too torn between the salmon and the coffee-rubbed ribeye which is what the hubs got. He said it was melt in his mouth awesome and bursting with flavor. (Sorry, my picture taking skills are crap. I think I need a new phone for Christmas…hint, hint Hubby.)
And finally, my salmon. Teriyaki sriracha lacquer, field greens, avocado, roasted corn, grape tomato and a balsamic drizzle. Hubs makes really great salmon at home. I’ve gotten salmon countless times at restaurants and I’m always disappointed because his is so much better. I even swore I wasn’t going to order salmon anymore so I don’t know what possessed me to get the salmon (I guess I’m a glutton for punishment?), but I’m glad I did. This salmon put the hubby’s salmon to shame. I was halfway through my second cocktail when I finished it so I even told him that to his face…ooops.
I think I may have licked the plate. My only complaint was the chef went a little heavy on the balsamic. But I did soak it up with all the field greens so no harm, no foul. By the way, I want to note that our waiter was fabulous. Very personable, helped us make decisions when we were torn between dishes, and even gave recommendations to some of the other restaurants in the area that we might want to try (I guess you can’t always eat in one place).
Everyone agreed it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had (and definitely the best in OC) and they demanded I blog about the place immediately. Believe it or not, despite being full, we even got dessert. (I don’t think any of us wanted to leave!) The kids split a chocolate brownie and the adults went with drinkable desserts (sometimes the best kind). I told you about that Chocolate martini. I wish I had remembered to take a picture to share with you—I’ve been seeing it in my dreams and I wish you all could see it too. Oh well, you’ll have to check it out yourself the next time you’re in the neighborhood. Why not go visit for the Winterfest since the lights are up until New Year’s? And don’t miss the fireworks on New Year’s Eve!
Atmosphere: 9 forks out of 10 (I liked the casual, yet classy decorating)
Value: 9 out of 10 forks (a little on the pricey side but SO worth it)
View: 5 out of 10 forks (there really isn’t a view but I’m almost convinced that the chefs in restaurants without views consciously make up for it with their delectable dishes) There is also outside seating with a fireplace that I would have loved to try, but it was too chilly for that.
Food: 9.75 out of 10 forks (I would seriously need to want to leave my husband for the chef to give a restaurant a complete 10—I was close to asking the waiter to get his number for me)
***P.S. There’s a kids’ menu and also daily specials to check out.