As summer becomes a distant memory and the abundance of melons and summer squash come to an end, there is one salad and restaurant I am going to be dreaming about all winter. The watermelon and feta salad from the Pier House in Cape May, NJ. This restaurant claimed a spot in my heart as my favorite place at the Jersey Shore.

Pier House Watermelon and Feta Salad.
The watermelon and feta salad was by far the essence of summer. It combines all of the freshest flavors of season summer ingredients into one dish. This huge tower was like a dream of refreshing, watery goodness: watermelon, creamy feta, cherry tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, arugula, walnuts and mint in a honey dressing. And if this tower is too much for you to handle and you want to share it, the restaurant will happily serve you a smaller portion.

Everything else at the Pier House was equally as good and it was an absolute pleasure to dine there. The service was, by far, the best I’ve experienced at the shore. The staff is patient, kind and attentive. The restaurant is even family friendly, with kids receiving perks such as fresh popped popcorn. 
The inside of the restaurant is clean and modern, but warm. The outdoor patio offers the perfect beachy atmosphere, with the ocean just a street away. They even have portable heaters and bug spray upon request, if needed!
Most importantly, the food at the Pier House was just out of this world and blew me away. The Pier House offers a lengthy menu of Mediterranean inspired dishes and reasonably priced in comparison to some other upscale restaurants in Cape May. Below are some photos from our visits to the Pier House
Pier House Bread Basket with house made Kalamata Olive Hummus.
Pier House Chicken Avgolemono Soup

Pier House Lumb Crab & Avocado Mangotini

Pier House grilled Octopus with lemon, oregano and olive oil.

Pier House Macho Tuna:
spicy seared tuna over a crisp wonton with wasabi crema, seasame vinaigrette, micro greens and tomato relish.
Mahi Mahi Plaki (greek soul food)
Lemon, xvoo oregano potatoes, 3 onion garlic tomato simmer, greek olives, baby arugula and a lemon.

Swordfish “Skaras”
Swordfish steak, lump crab meat, caper tomato avgolemono, asparagus and yukon gold mashed potatoes.

Sea Bass
Sea Bass steak with “diner” style stewed tomatoes, sauteed spinach, yukon gold crab mashed potatoes, sauce buerre blanc and a shrimp skewer crunch.

Slow Braised Lamb Shank “Kleftiko”
Four hour braise, mavrodaphne wine glaze, lemon xvoo oregano potatoes.

Chocolate Mousse Cake.
Key Lime Pie.
The Pier House is located on 1327 Beach Avenue in Cape May, NJ, at the La Mar Hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served and the restaurant is open year round. 

Here are a two more recipes to get your Cinco de Mayo celebration started this week! I love these recipes because they are healthful and delicious and not your typical taco feast! I hope you like them too!

Serves 4

4 8-inch whole wheat or multigrain tortillas
1 can black beans, washed and drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of orange juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
Handfull of chopped cilantro plus more leaves for garnish
2 limes
4 oz of cotija cheese
1 rotissieri chicken breasts, shredded
1 can of salsa verde (green salsa)

1/2 avocado
Dollup of sour cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

To make the black bean dip: Combine black beans, red onion, orange juice, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper, and the juice of one lime in a bowl. Puree in a blender until smooth. Put to the side.

In a separate bowl, place the shredded chicken and sprinkle with some of Emeril’s Southwestern Essence. Mix the shredded chicken with enough salsa verde to coat.

To assemble the tortilla pie: Coat a 9 inch round baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/4 of the black bean mixture onto a tortilla. Top with 1/4 of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle some of the cotija cheese on top. Repeat 3 more times. Squirt some lime juice on top.

Bake in oven about 20 minutes, until top is nice and brown and crunchy. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro. Optional: Place some diced avocado slices on top and a slice of lime on the side. Serve immediately.

Mexican Watermelon Salad
Serves 4

1 small seedless watermelon
4 oz of cotija cheese
1 cup of cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons of lavendar honey
1 tablespoon of orange juice
1 lime

Use a melon baller to scoop out balls of the watermelon. Place in decorative glass salad bowl. Crumble cheese on top of watermelon. Add cilantro.  In small bowl, mix lavendar honey, orange juice and lime juice.  Add to Salad. Mix well. Serve immediately.

Have a  Happy Cinco de Mayo! Enjoy! 🙂