And the Beat Goes On...

Chef Jacquie with lifelong family friend, Tony Luke, Jr.

How many of you are enjoying fantastic musical concerts this summer? I know I am, thanks to my birthday and holiday presents from my hubby: 6 tickets to 2012 concerts, including Roger Waters, Stevie Nicks, Boston, The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen; still waiting on Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary tour dates.

You are probably wondering what music has to do with food. Well, that’s exactly what I want to talk about, the meal before the concert…

I started out this concert season at a new venue, Citizens Bank Park; it reminds you of the old time ballpark – red bricks and a feeling of nostalgia. You know they don’t just serve hot dogs and pretzels anymore; although I did opt for the best hot dog and an ice cold beer. A few side notes: why does the hot dog at the ball park taste so much better than anywhere else and how do they get the beer so cold?

The old, standard ballpark fare no longer applies; now it varies from Tony Luke’s sandwiches, Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries, Harry the K’s char grilled black bean burger to Gina’s Homemade Cupcakes. I was impressed and look forward to future visits!

Atlantic City seems to be another great concert and food venue – when was the last time you were there? Food choices are endless; I chose two of my favorites; Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille in Borgata Casino and Smith’s Clam Bar in Somers Point, New Jersey. What are your favorites down the shore? Let me know and I will send you a gift.

American Grille is consistently good. We started out with a few appetizers for our Girl’s Night Out dinner/concert. Our meal began with the sweetest and juiciest Heirloom tomatoes along with a few other varieties of tomatoes – grape, yellow and cherry tomatoes – served with Prosciutto and Burrato Cheese. I like to compare Burrato cheese to a molten lava cake; when you cut in the middle, liquid fudge pours out. Just imagine a fresh homemade ball of mozzarella cheese and when you cut into it a river of mozzarella cream oozes out! Does that alone make you want to run down the shore? I also recommend the crab cakes, halibut, and steaks. I tried a few signature cocktails that were potent and very tasty, Blackberry Margaritas and Black Martinis (pineapple and pomegranate juice and vodka).

Of course no trip down the shore would be complete for me without a stop in Somers Point for a quart of Schmitty’s New England clam chowder made fresh daily with plump and juicy clams, chunks of firm potatoes and rich creamy broth.

I am looking forward to the rest of my concerts and all of the great meals that go along with them!