The Other Critics

Philippe Chin Down the Shore: ‘Expensive’ and ‘Dated’; La Locanda’s ‘Got Seafood Game’

• In part two of his “downa’shore” dining guide, Inky critic Craig LaBan assures us that “endangered species” “Smitty’s” Clam bar in Somers Point “remains true to the spirit of the straight-ahead, no-frills seafood shack.” In Cape May, he finds “ggod things” “perking again” at revived The Red Store. Nearby at the The Magnolia Room he begged for more of the restaurant’s “delicious decades-old mistake,” vanilla ice cream laden, hand-shaped dinner rolls. Dinner at Ventnor’s Salt Ayre “was only a partial success,” while Philippe Chin’s new digs with its “expensive menu that was too broad, dated, and poorly cooked” was “anything but grand.” [Inquirer]

• Over in Vorhees, N.J. Adam Erace finds La Locanda, the “ristorante-cum-pizzeria” that serves as a reincarnation of shuttered BYOB Laceno, has steep prices, but the “food usually lives up the cash it commands.” Grilled artichokes were “tender, lemony and smoky, supporting a smattering of diced sauteed shrimp, fresh arugula and shavings of parmigiano” made him “overlook the $15 tag,” but with the “puny beet salad” that followed did not. Pizzas, he adds, are “a better bet.” A mix of mussels and clams showed “Locanda’s got seafood game” too. [Courier-Post]

Philippe Chin Down the Shore: ‘Expensive’ and ‘Dated’;