Basic, Good Food Brings Out Smiles at OceanView
by Alex D. Peters
CAPE MAY- This charming city has become so renowned for its creative cuisine, it's easy to overlook restaurants
that just provide a good meal at a reasonable price. But sometimes you just want dinner, not a culinary adventure.
For those days when you don't care to max out the credit card on truffle risotto, consider the Oceanview Family Restaurant. The Oceanview is basically a diner with a view. The mauve, green, and beige decor is unassuming,
but pleasantly comforting. The staff, dressed in khaki skirts and chambray shirts, is friendly, fast and efficient. On a recent spring Saturday night, the restaurant handled a steady crowd without breaking a sweat. The hostess escorted us to our booth and gave us menus. Our server appeared quickly to take drink orders, and returned almost immediately with beverages and bread. Dinner rolls were chewy and warm.
Most dinners include everything - a choce of soup or salad, entree, two vegetables and dessert, all for less
than $20, perfect for those experiencing a la carte overload. The salad was basic greens, mostly iceberg lettuce,
but nicely crisp and fresh. The Manhattan clam chowder was an acceptable mix of clams and potato in a rich tomato broth. My dining partner's prime rib ($14.95) made him smile. An almost inch-thick slab arrived moist, juicy and medium rare as ordered. He barely needed a knife to cut it, and was able to eat only half.
Veal Napolean ($14.95) was several generous cutlets sauteed with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers and topped with just a dusting of melted mozzarella cheese. No knife needed again on the tender veal, and the dish had just the right proportion of ingredients to enhance rather than drown the cutlets. I took a bite, and also smiled.
My dining partner's side dishes were the basic baked potato and unexciting mixed vegetables that were cut too perfectly to have come from anywhere but a factory. I opted for the spaghetti, which was served nicely al dente, with
a simple marinara sauce.
The dessert included with dinner was a choice of pudding or Jell-O. I was satisfied with my rice pudding and my partner's bread pudding also was fine, though had it been heated a bit before serving, would have been better.