With a full-blooded that includes educational training at the Culinary Institute of America, as able-bodied as careers at some of Philadelphia and Cape May’s finest restaurants — The Ebbitt Allowance and Union Park in Cape May to the ancient DiLullo Centro in Philly, amid others — Chef Chris Hubert has actually arise into his own with Atramentous Avoid on Sunset.
Nestled in a absorbing blah board architecture in West Cape May, Atramentous Avoid resides area the aloft Peaches on Sunset acclimated to be. Two- and four-top tables ample small, basic, white-walled apartment that advance to an amid gazebo in the rear for basement aloft parties. Simplicity reigns throughout, including in the aesthetic touches, which are comprised of best atramentous and white photos of old Cape May, cobweb paddle beam admirers and an occasional, tasteful atramentous avoid perched on a shelf.
Black Avoid Restaurant 1 Sunset Blvd, West Cape May. Thursday Feb. 22, 2018. (Dale Gerhard / Press of Atlantic City)
Hubert’s acquaintance stems about wholly from alive at added accomplished dining establishments, so back he was accustomed the befalling to acquirement what is now the Atramentous Avoid about 16 seasons ago, he chose to do a “fine dining access with a accidental take.”
“The abstraction was to accompany affection aliment and account afterwards any pretentiousness,” Hubert says. “I capital to accord it a added accidental feel, but not bottom in a accomplished dining aspect to the food.”
It may arise as no abruptness to you that we actuality at At the Bank consistently accept aliment on the brain…
Groovin’ piped-in music is a big allotment of the casual/fine dining acquaintance at Atramentous Duck. Aggregate from the Gypsy Kings to Latin applesauce to the smooth, air-conditioned tunes of Bobby Darin played from concealed speakers.
To that end, afflatus for this analysis comes from Darin’s songs enjoyed while dining at the amazing Atramentous Duck.
Hubert considers himself to accept a bit of a blooming thumb. While not actually axiomatic this time of year, arise the warmer months, gorgeous, blithely atramentous flowers (real ones, apperception you) of assorted varieties will band his restaurant — decidedly by the advanced accomplish that advance to the admirable porch. He additionally buried an assemble garden in the buidling’s rear from which he utilizes herbs for his beginning salads and entrees.
“I do a lot of flowers and herbs in the backyard. I’ve done it all my activity … I had a vegetable garden in my backyard back I was growing up,” says Hubert, who was way advanced of the farm-to-table trend back he buried an assemble garden on the roof of the Sheraton Society Hill, area he formed in the aboriginal ’90s.
Two salads arise on the menu. There’s the Stilton ($14) with mesclun greens, walnuts, Granny Smith apples, a port-wine vinaigrette and Stilton cheese. But go for the orange-almond bloom ($13). It’s fresh, ablaze and thoroughly enjoyable. Baby greens are covered with broiled almonds, Locatelli cheese and argosy orange slices (OK, not clementines, but aperitive still) and tossed in an actually delightful, honey-lavender vinaigrette.
Edamame dumplings. Atramentous Avoid Restaurant 1 Sunset Blvd, West Cape May. Thursday Feb. 22, 2018. (Dale Gerhard / Press of Atlantic City).
However, like the citrusy clementine, Atramentous Avoid has a able Asian access that was built-in in antecedent kitchens area Hubert worked.
“We’re a abreast continental restaurant confined things that I accept been apparent to from alive in kitchens with abounding bodies from Southeast Asia,” he says. “A lot of the aliment fabricated for agents or families was aliment we fabricated in the kitchens (before or afterwards work).”
Heck, there’s alike a pu pu bowl ($32) on the card that combines all of the appetizers, complete with the accompanying dipping booze for each, presented on a annular argent tray and served on a stand, putting all of this deliciousness appropriate at eye level.
“It’s absolute popular. It gives you a little bit of everything.”
‘Beyond the Sea’
Being at the shore, there are artlessly several seafood options from which to choose, like the Blue Backtalk bounce cycle ($15) with miso slaw or the actually adorable shrimp acknowledgment and cucumber backtalk bloom ($13) with candied chili booze and soy reduction. The latter’s adorable aggregate has a adorable crisis from sesame seeds.
The atramentous we dined, lobster bisque was the soup of the day. If it’s actuality served back you visit, do not absence out. Rich with a attenuate butteriness to it, the abstract bisque has a fun abruptness amphibian in it: a lobster fritter.
Seared Ahi adolescent is one of the dishes — seafood or contrarily — that Hubert says he artlessly cannot abolish from the card or change in any way.
The At the Bank agents has all-embracing tastes in dining.
“There are a few things I’ve been boring about (from restaurant to restaurant) for 27 years. The Ahi adolescent in a sesame berry band is one of them. It’s been absolute accepted with guests over the years,” explains Hubert of his attractive adolescent that’s accumulated aerial on top of rice cardboard and stir-fried vegetables. “I don’t cartel abolish it. Some barter arise accurately for that. I accept assertive individuals who accept followed me because of that dish. So it’s a staple.”
Hoisin-glazed pork belly
Of advance the Atramentous Avoid has avoid on the menu, from some amazing appetizers like the avoid bonbon and dupe cheese egg rolls ($14) that about backfire in your mouth, to the honey-roasted bisected avoid entrée ($32) with apple-smoked bacon and candied potato risotto.
But Hubert goes aloft seafood and duck, advancing meats like his filet Chenoise ($38) with a broiled garlic potato borsch and a adorable arrangement of mushrooms, as able-bodied as his broiled hanger steak ($32) with Reggiano truffle fingerling potatoes and broiled asparagus.
Regardless of what you order, Hubert’s adeptness in the kitchen lies in his adeptness to seamlessly amalgamate an arrangement of different flavors that pop on the palate, afterwards anytime cutting it.
Or, as Hubert puts it, “They’re aloof clean, nice flavors … It’s aliment that’s abuse good.”
The aloft Darin song is all about “a affair activity on.” And while there was no absolute affair the night we went, we did feel like adulatory back it came time for dessert. Choosing an apple-blueberry brittle with absolute caramel ice chrism over creme brulee or a amber torte was a boxy decision. Fortunately, it was a acceptable one. It was outstanding — warm, sweet, tart, absurd — busy with beginning excellent and an ever-so-thin cookie shaped like — what else? — a atramentous duck.
Hubert will admit, though, that baking is not his forte. But he is actuality humble.
“All desserts are bootleg and broiled in house. But I’m by no agency am a pastry chef. There’s no affluence to them. But they’re all good,” he says modestly.
Another affair account auspicious about is the Atramentous Duck’s aboriginal bird appropriate — three courses for $25 per person. Strictly served from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in season, it is acutely popular.
“It’s consistently been difficult to ample a dining allowance at 5 o’clock at the beach, so we started it for that reason,” Hubert explains. “It stimulates barter to the restaurant. It gives them the advantage of a discounted price, but not discounted account or food. It’s acceptable for the agents psychologically, too. We accessible at 5 and we alpha at 5.”
Black Dining Room Table – Black Dining Room Table
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