Tomatoe's renovated interior post-Sandy.
While Amherst Avenue mainstay Tomatoe’s may look a bit different than it did this time last year, there’s no doubt that the passion and personality behind the beloved haunt is stronger than ever. “We are now a brand-new us—basically the same, but with a few cosmetic changes,” says owner Karen Sherman, who along with husband and business partner, Carmen, was able to get Tomatoe’s in Margate restored and running just five weeks after Hurricane Sandy.
The newly mended eatery exudes the same character it once did, though with a couple of updates to modernize the interior. One of the dining rooms now has a more casual design, with communal tables and booths, and the sushi bar was given a stylish makeover.
Something that hasn’t been altered despite the damage caused by Sandy is the quality and creativity of the ever-evolving menu. “It’s a balancing act to keep people intrigued—you must somehow change and yet stay the same,” Sherman says. Though she likes to keep the offerings interesting by varying the menu, Sherman knows not to mess with a few favorites. “Certain dishes are sacrosanct: Chilean sea bass in miso glaze with littleneck clams, Long Island duckling in Marion blueberry sauce—these items must remain constant or guests threaten us!”
Tomatoe’s may be well on its way to recovery, but many other businesses are still striving to get there. “I just hope that this summer lets us all remember what it is about the shore that we love so much.” 9300 Amherst Ave., Margate, NJ, 609-822-7535
photography by adam green