Neighborhood Tour: Avalon & Stone Harbor
Provence has bouillabaisse. San Francisco has cioppino. And Avalon has the Jersey Kettle at Sorella Rose (Eighth Street between Dune Drive and First Avenue, Avalon, 609-967-7708). Tucked into a beachy condo low-rise, the cozy BYOB (an offshoot of the Flourtown, Pennsylvania, original) simmers this smashingly aromatic tomato-and-fennel stew with tons of shrimp, scallops, littlenecks and lobster. As if that’s not enough, it arrives over what has to be a pound of linguini, enough for a whole table of hungry fishermen.
A Dude’s Day Spa
When the weather won’t cooperate, make an appointment for the 7-Mile Man package at guy-friendly Spa Avalon (2488 Dune Dr., Avalon, 609-368-3400). The two-plus-hour retreat at this whitewashed Dune Drive cottage begins with a deep Swedish massage followed by a GQ Facial designed to counteract sun damage and improve elasticity. The service ends with a warm paraffin hand treatment.
The Princeton’s (2008 Dune Dr., Avalon, 609-967-3457) free-of-charge P-shuttle chauffeurs revelers to and from the iconic Dune Drive restaurant and club. With deals like $3 Margarita Mondays, you’ll need the ride.
Definitely not your average rack, the fish ribs at Quahog’s Seafood Shack (206 97th St., Stone Harbor, 609-368- 6300) are cut from pacu, a piranha cousin native to the Amazon. Settle in among the bluebloods wearing madras shorts and dishtowel bibs in the restaurant’s backyard and tear into the double-cut racks bathed in orange-chipotle barbecue sauce. You’ll marvel at the taste and meatiness.
The tidal estuaries and bays of the Shore are a kayaker’s paradise, and the Jersey Island Blueway map charted by Stone Harbor’s Wetlands Institute (find it at wetlandsinstitute.org) is as essential as lifejackets and sunblock. Launch off at 81st Street and paddle as far north as Ocean City and south as Cape May.
Beach babes flock to She Be Surfin’ (2516 Dune Dr., Avalon, 609-967-3110), a shop dedicated to the fairer sex. Inventory often includes Havaianas sandals, fl ouncy Double Zero sundresses and jewel- toned Rip Curl board shorts. There are actual boards for sale as well, and you can sign up for lessons with a team of experienced female instructors.
photograph by padraic sheehan