Last week we took a few days and went down to the shore. Our first official vacation of 2017. That’s right, we didn’t really go too many places this year. Nowhere that required flying. Basically short day/weekend trips here and there. So when we had an opportunity to visit a few places on Long Beach Island at the Jersey Shore, we jumped at the chance. We stayed at Daddy O Hotel Restaurant & Bar in Brant Beach, which I’ll have more about soon.
We arrived on LBI around 3PM and promptly checked into our plush king-sized room at the chic boutique hotel located in the middle of the island. After resting for a bit and briefly exploring Daddy O, we ventured down to Beach Haven, a 15 minute drive, for dinner at Tucker’s Tavern.
Tucker’s Tavern Beach Haven, NJ [Credit: Tucker’s Tavern]
Tucker’s Tavern (101 S. West Avenue) is a bar, restaurant, and event space serving high-quality pub grub and craft beer on the bay side of the island.
Tuckers Tavern Entrance Inside [Credit: David Johnson]
After sustaining considerable damage during Hurricane Sandy, the previous owners sold to Haverford, PA’s Fearless Restaurant Group in 2012, embarking on a complete renovation inside. It should be no surprise that the result is a charming gastropub with a sophisticatedly rustic decor and beach-friendly style. A superb dining destination for couples, large groups, and families alike.
Tuckers Tavern Bar [Credit: David Johnson]
The wrap-around bar is quite large and welcoming for those in search of a cold beer or creative cocktail. They also have a respectable wine list if a glass of red, white or bubbly is more your speed.
Tuckers Tavern Back Dining Room & Event Space [Credit: David Johnson]
There’s also a back bar and dining room which serves as a space for special events such as wedding rehearsal dinners, parties, and other private events. There are kitschy nautical themes throughout, but they’re not overdone. A generally cozy vibe sure to put you in a relaxed mood.
Tuckers Tavern Menu and Drinks [Credit: Marilyn Johnson]
We enjoyed some drinks and bread while we perused the menu. David had a local brewski – “The Shack” IPA by local brewer Ship Bottom Brewing Company – and I opted for the Strawberry Basil Mojito. Yum!
Tuckers Tavern A Lil Each Raw Bar Platter [Credit: David Johnson]
We started our dinner with a selection from the Raw Bar – A ‘Lil Each – 3 clams, 3 oysters, and 3 shrimp ($20). A scrumptious platter of locally harvested, east coast shellfish. Delightfully served with a tangy cocktail sauce and shallot mignonette. A splendid start!
Tuckers Tavern Lacquered Chicken Wings [Credit: David Johnson]
We couldn’t resist ordering the Lacquered Chicken Wings ($12). So glad we did! These were flavorful, smoky, and stick to your ribs wings served with a unique and winning combination of Thai chili mayo, crumbled bleu, sesame seeds, and scallions. A must order as far as we’re concerned!
Tuckers Tavern Flash Seared Tuna [Credit: David Johnson]
The Flash Seared Tuna ($32) sounded absolutely lovely, so that’s what I got. Served with stir-fried seasonal vegetables, Thai peanut sauce, wood grilled pineapple, it was a delicious and colorful plate. The Thai peanut sauce was mild, yet flavorful. I really enjoyed it and should have asked for more. The tuna was cooked to my desired medium to rare; a bit more on the rare side, but that’s how I like it!
Tuckers Tavern “Butchers Cut” 16 oz. Prime Ribeye [Credit: David Johnson]
David spied the “Butchers Cut” (MP) on the menu and inquired. When he heard it was a 16 oz. Prime Ribeye, he was sold. It was a remarkably large piece of cow, much to his carnivorous delight. A savory herbed compound butter threw it over the top. He was one happy steak lover that evening.
Tuckers Tavern Shrimp Orzo Mac and Cheese & Asparagus [Credit: David Johnson]
It came served with a super creamy and rich orzo mac and cheese with shrimp on top and crispy asparagus spears. Heavenly!
Tuckers Tavern Chocolate Torte [Credit: Marilyn Johnson]
We had to end on a sweet note. We got the Flourless Chocolate Torte ($9) which came with an amazing espresso salted caramel sauce and whipped cream. I could have drunk a whole cup of the caramel sauce alone!
Tuckers Tavern GM Pete Palladino and Marilyn Johnson [Credit: David Johnson]
I have to admit, I was a wee bit giddy when I found out that the GM of Tuckers Tavern was none other than Pete Palladino, lead singer of 90s hit band The Badlees. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania and they were a HUGE name up there and I was definitely a fan. They also found some mainstream success in 1995 with the MTV and radio hit, “Angeline is Coming Home.” I was a bit starstuck, to be honest. Anyways, you might remember the tune…
Tuckers Tavern is a casual, yet classy dining destination on Long Beach Island. If elevated pub grub is right up your alley, you can’t go wrong here. We highly recommend checking it out if you find yourself in Beach Haven. Just tell them Philly Grub sent ya. 😉
Stay tuned for our thoughts about Daddy O and Plantation Restaurant & Bar in Harvey Cedars… coming soon. 🙂
*Special thanks to Jaimi Blackburn of Fearless Restaurants for arranging our visit. Our opinions are our own.