Atlantic County Magazine – GACCA Article
Print Date 8.12.2022
By Judy Brenna
Catering and Special Events Director, The Deauville Inn
(Judy begins singing “Food Glorious Fooooooood!”)) Often, I discuss the various and awesome venues to grab the best bites. But seldom do I reflect on the various options when it comes to sweet endings. Which is, to be quite frank, abnormal and shameful for me, considering I used to make desserts for a living. So, I’ve decided to dedicate this entire thing to sweets ((#fatgirlproblems)).
Now, granted, I am a food traditionalist, in that I think courses should totally complement each other. I’m a believer of experiences, as opposed to grabbing dinner and then satiating that sweet fix at the end with something that has a potential mediocre factor. Not that I don’t “grab dinner”, because I do often, and usual end up with something sweet after that kind of has an argument with my dinner in my stomach. But I do think we deserve to “experience” food too. My point is… Dessert should in theory complement the savory goodness you just had prior, which, in general has become “the norm”. It wasn’t always the case. The history of desserts is more than just a mere recounting of the first ice cream cone, or the first-time meringue was served. Sweets date back to ancient civilizations where people enjoyed fruits and nuts candied with honey. However, desserts commonly known today became popular through an evolution of technology and culinary experimentation ((because science!)). I’m going off topic. Apologies… below is a list of my most favorite sweet spots you might want to consider hitting whilst in town.
If you’re looking for true boardwalk / carnival / high caloric goodness, then you should consider Funnel Cake House, located at 1307 Boardwalk, between Ocean and South Carolina Avenues. They offer everything from traditional funnel cakes and fried oreos to funnel cakes and fried oreos on steroids. That’s right! You can order a funnel cake or fried oreo sundae! They also offer ice cream, water ice, gelato, and monster sundaes galore. Also note their milkshakes are pretty phenomenal. This straightforward sweet shop focuses on great quality staples and executes them perfectly each and every time. Check them out.
Another place you MUST check out is Ventnor No. 7311, located at, you guessed it, 7311 Ventnor Avenue. This small Coffee and Bake Shop specializes in small batch, carefully crafted sweet treats, focusing on cakes, sweet loaves and bundts, scones, bars, biscotti, and ((as I clutch my pearls and bite my knuckle)) pies. Their whipped cream is so delicious you can buy it by the pint! Owned by Restauranteur, Cookie Till, and baker, Kim Richmond, Ventnor No. 7311 offers fresh and innovative baked items paired with fair-trade coffee and organic teas. As an added huzzah, everything is baked on site, including paleo, gluten-free and vegan options, which change daily, highlighting local seasonal ingredients. These ladies genuinely care about what they produce, and what you put in your bellies. And it’s impossible after taking your first bite to not sense that. Go now.
I’ve mentioned this place in the past, regaling you with tales of my college days, and how my college mates and I would commandeer the dining room at Serendipity in NYC and randomly break out into song in multiple part harmony ((really sorry for everyone around us at the time dining… #theatrekidsaretheworst)), and how a certain super awesome late 90's movie took place there starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, AND how super stoked I was they were opening a location here in Atlantic City. Well, I can say now, it is JUST like I remembered in NY. Famous for their Frrrozen Hot Chocolate ((that was not a stammer, that’s how you spell it)), their food is a New York Experience, comforting and delicious, and their desserts are the truest sweet ending to an awesome dining experience. From delicious cakes and whacky sundaes to iced and frozen beverages, and spiked dessert cocktails, they literally have it all. Go there post hence.
Lastly, I thought I’d break down my quick list of favorite singles. My favorite slice of Carrot Cake still goes to The Palm in the Tropicana. I don’t know how they do it but it makes me swoon every time I have it. My favorite cannolis are at Angelo’s Fairmont Tavern. If I could eat them by the fistful without drawing attention I would. My favorite red velvet anything goes to Kelsey’s. My favorite Key Lime Pie is at Morton’s The Steakhouse. THE best ricotta cheesecake within a 100-mile radius is at Chef Vola’s ((unless you’re in my kitchen… insert wink emoji here)). And this doesn’t necessarily go into a category because it stands on its own, but when you get a chance, go to Knife and Fork and try their Banana Chocolate Burrito. You guys! You’ll thank me later.
And yes, I always name drop my job, and yes, we’re celebrating our Apres Beach Happy Hour event this Sunday from 3 to 6 pm, and yes, it is totally awesome, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about. I must mention our dessert. Our Deauville Doughnuts are out of this world. They’re these light and fluffy puff balls of ricotta doughnut dough, fried to sheer perfection, rolled in cinnamon sugar to give that extra sweet crunch, and served with a Triple Sec Sabayon ((insert drool emoji here)). If I indulged as much as I really wanted to, I’d be 50 lbs. heavier because I would not be able to stop eating these. These are little sweet pillows sent from angels. Come and taste for yourself.
That’s all I got for now. Until next week, folks… #stayjerseystrong!