I don't normally go out to eat when I'm down the shore, because I love homemade meals, especially when it revolves around the bbq. We usually stop by White's Barnegat Light Market for some steaks or Surf City Seafood market for some fresh seafood. The only exception to this is The Chicken or The Egg which is hands down my favorite restaurant. Not only can you BYO, but they serve up the best chicken wings I've ever had. I usually go to the "Chegg" atleast once every time I'm down LBI. Sometimes we even stop here on the way back from AC if our wing cravings are strong enough. Although, I have never ordered anything other than wings, people have told me that other menu items are equally as delicious. If in the LBI area, you HAVE to stop by!
My only other dining experience during my week off in LBI was at Yellowfin. My dining experience started at Yellowfin while trying to make a reservation over the phone. After calling a few times with no answer, a man picked up the phone and helped me book my reservation. The guy was a bit arrogant when pretty much laughing at me when I asked for a 7:00 reservation the day of. "We're the best restaurant on the island", he assured me. He went on to tell me that I'd have to call 2-3 weeks out to get a reservation like that. I ended up taking a 8:30 reservation.
Yellowfin was unlike any other restaurant I've been to in LBI. Again, I haven't been to a ton of places, but Yellowfin definitely stood out. Personally, I like going down to the shore for a dining experience less formal than my normal routine; but the inside of Yellowfin reminded me of NYC. Mirrors gave the appearance that the 15 table restaurant was bigger than it was. I think one server was holding down the whole place as many of the tables were 2 or 4. Yellowfin is BYO, which definitely saves money. The service was good, but the food is why you go. I couldn't believe the amount of specials the server rattled off at each table. I like the idea of having specials, but too many specials could be overwhelming for both the staff and the guests. The menu is dominated with fresh seafood, but also has something for a meat lover whether its chicken, lamb, or beef.
My mother started off with crab cakes while I opted to get the foie gras and lobster special. The crab cakes were delicious and had a nice spicy kick to them. The foie gras and lobster sat atop garlic mashed potatoes with a port reduction. The dish was a bit on the heavy side for an appetizer, but quite tastey. I was just surprised to be eating foie gras in LBI while my mom was surprised I was eating foie gras at all. For our next course, my mother got the seafood paella while I got the Halibut. Her paella came with shrimp, lobster, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari, and chorizo. The paella was very flavorful and had a distinct flavor unlike the more traditional Spanish paella. My mom likes this dish because it gives a variety of delicious seafood. Although I liked her paella, I was happy with my halibut. The delicate fish was so fresh and flavorful that I couldn't stop eating it well after I became full. We got so full that we passed on dessert.
I think Yellowfin is a great spot. Granted the atmosphere isn't something I usually look for when at the beach, but the food is. This would be a great spot to take a date. The space is dark and cozy, which could translate into romantic if with the right crowd. Or you could take your mother out for the night and she'll remember when you're her favorite!
I don't usually make it to the bars that often as many of the bars are located on the other side of the island and we usually host a better party around the pool. I did go out to Joe Pops and Nardis during my week off. Nardi's was a waste of time. It was so packed that it was hard to move, let alone have fun and talk to your friends. The bartender was also very light on her pours. She would pour a tooth-full of tequila in a plastic cup and charged $7. I even called her out and she just laughed and said thats the standard. The band was also kind of whack. Nardis is a waste of money and time. Joe Pops on the other hand is the place to be. We go here every year and just take over the bar. We usually don't leave the dance floor till they kick us out. Definitely go to Joe Pops if you're looking for a good bar down in LBI. The only other bars that could come close are the Shell and Marlin.