SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY DINING
Philadelphia's signature soul food extends its dominion all the way to the Atlantic. One noted outpost is Luigi's Steaks & Hoagies in Wildwood (4500 Pacific Avenue; 609-522-7644). In Atlantic City, the White House Sub Shop (2301 Arctic Avenue; 609-345-1564) has served cheesesteaks since 1946. The Beatles ordered from there. For a high-end interpretation--tastier cheese, gutsier bread--duck into the Highlander Pub & Grill at Scotland Run Golf Club.
(Italian/American) 111 South Albion Place, off Pacific, Atlantic City; 609-345-2022. $$
Legendary for being legendary. At one time the address and phone number were secret, and there is still only a small sign in front. Good home-style Italian cooking, plus an epic banana cream pie. BYOB.
THE CLAM BAR
(Seafood) 910 Bay Avenue, Somers Point; 609-927-8783. $
There is no better binge than the fried oysters here (close second, the fried flounder), preferably eaten at the wraparound outdoor counter and washed down with a BYO beer. The scene alone is worth the trip.
410 BANK STREET
(Eclectic) 410 Bank Street, Cape May; 609-884-2127. $$
A perennial on any list of best in the state. Inside an unprepossessing Victorian bedecked in ivy and hydrangea, chef Henry Sing Cheng pulls off an intensely flavorful French/Asian/Cajun/Caribbean juggling act. The oyster stew is crunchy, creamy and delicate all at the same time.
(Mediterranean/American) 2111 North Bremen Avenue (at the Tuscany House Hotel), Egg Harbor City; 609-965-2111. $$
Blueberry champagne?Made here at the Renault Winery, it's a refreshing aperitif, nicely balanced between champagne crispness and subtle blueberry flavor. Move on to fresh meat and fish entres.
THE RAM'S HEAD INN
(American/Contemporary) 9 West White Horse Pike, Galloway Township; 609-652-1700. $$
Despite the chicken potpie with dumplings, the Ram's Head menu isn't entirely traditional--although at this late date in culinary history, perhaps marinated Saku tuna with wasabi, pickled ginger and mint cilantro olive oil is traditional. Jackets required at dinner.
SEAVIEW MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA
(American/Contemporary) 401 South New York Road, Galloway Township; 609-952-1800. $$
The crab cake in the Grill Room would pass muster in Maryland. And if you are one of the few, the proud, who confess to a fondness for creamed chipped beef, the extensive breakfast buffet is your Shangri-la.