CAPE MAY — Come to the City of Cape May, one of “America’s Best Food Cities,” according to “Condé Nast Traveler” magazine, ranking with cities such as New York and New Orleans, and experience the flavors of America’s First Seaside Resort during the 20th Annual Cape May Food & Wine Celebration, from Sept. 9 through Sept. 18, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). This annual 10-day extravaganza celebrates Cape May’s gourmet restaurants, local wines and beers, and talented chefs with wonderful flavors to enjoy. Discover why the American Bus Association calls it a “Top 100 Event in North America.”
Spend the afternoon visiting Cape May County’s wineries and sampling the unique flavors of each during the Cape May Wine Trail on Fridays, Sept. 9 and Sept. 16 from noon to 6 p.m. First enjoy lunch at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom at the Physick Estate, then take the trolley shuttle to Natali Vineyards, Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery and Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May, where you’ll learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. Admission of $75 includes lunch, wine tastings at each vineyard and a wine tasting glass. This is a limited event, so reserve early.
It’s a bountiful buffet for chocolate lovers! If chocolate is your go-to problem solver, this is your event. Enjoy seven different courses of chocolate creations during the Chocolate Lover’s Feast at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept.10, with the chef who created them explaining how each was prepared. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true at The Blue Rose Inn, 653 Washington St. This is a limited event so reserve early. Admission is $40.
Share an afternoon with winemaker Todd Wuerker and award-winning chef Lucas Manteca during Grilling at the Vineyard, as they relax with their families and grill on the crushpad on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery. Taste some of Todd’s favorite wines. Enjoy demonstrations, stationary hors d’ouevres and a salad course, and graze on grilled salmon, chicken, pork, beef as it comes off the grill. A cash raw bar and cash wine bar will be available. Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery is located at 600 South Railroad Ave. Rio Grande. Admission is $45.
Attention foodies! Not to be missed are the Chefs’ Dine-Arounds, with three opportunities to be transported to the ultimate culinary experience, on Sunday, Sept. 11, Monday, Sept. 12, Wednesday, Sept. 14 and Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. Board MAC’s trolley for a five-course gourmet feast and a chance to taste the best of the best in Cape May. Five different premier restaurants will each serve a single course, which will then be paired with wine from a sponsoring winery. A winery representative is on hand to explain the pairings and a trolley shuttle transports you between restaurants and courses. Reserve early; Chefs Dine-Arounds sell out quickly and are limited to 34 people per night. Admission is $125 (gratuity included).
The Red Store was chosen by “New Jersey Monthly” magazine food critics as one of the Top 25 restaurants in New Jersey. Owner and chef Lucas Manteca, who grew up in Buenos Aires, brings his extraordinary culinary creativity to each dish. Cape May Farm to Table with The Red Store includes a trolley shuttle from the Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street to Windy Acres Farm, home of Cape May Sea Salt, where you’ll enjoy a tour then be transported to savor lunch at the Red Store. Offered on Monday, Sept. 12 at 10:15 a.m. Admission is $45.
Stroll through a portion of Cape May’s Historic District during the Gourmet Brunch Walk Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. on a guided walking tour that ends at the famous Mad Batter restaurant, 19 Jackson St. There you will enjoy a gourmet brunch in what New Jersey Monthly deems one of the “best brunch and lunch” spots. Reserve early; this event is limited to 40 people. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-12).
Taste craft beers at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street and celebrate the rich agricultural and cultural heritage of Southern New Jersey during Harvest Brew Fest, an all-day festival on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. that highlights Southern New Jersey during this all-day event featuring local food, local brews, local wine, and local musicians. Admission to the grounds is free and free parking is available.
Linger over a Sunday morning champagne brunch buffet at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. Champagne Jazz Brunch at Aleathea’s features a delicious brunch, champagne and live jazz from The Great American Songbook, performed by Mary Lou Newnam, saxophone, clarinet and flute, and Sonny Troy, guitar. Admission is $35.
You’ll discover why Cape May is the third largest commercial fishing port in terms of volume on the East Coast on the Fisherman’s Wharf Tour at the Lobster House Restaurant at 11 a.m. on Saturdays, Sept. 10 and Sept. 17; Tuesday, Sept. 13 and Thursday, Sept. 15. Learn how seafood gets from the sea to your table! Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12).
The 20th Annual Cape May Food & Wine Celebration is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), in conjunction with Cape May’s restaurant community. Sponsoring wineries include Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery, Natali Vineyards and Willow Creek Winery. Wine sponsors include Opici Wines and Chronic Cellars. Participating restaurants include Aleathea’s, The Blue Pig, The Blue Rose Inn, The Carriage House Café & Tearoom, The Ebbitt Room, Hemingway’s, The Mad Batter, Peter Shields Inn and Restaurant, The Red Store, Sea Salt, Tisha’s, Union Park, The Washington Inn. Subject to change.
Purchase tickets in advance for these events online, at www.capemaymac.org, or in person at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth or the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitor’s Center at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., during hours of operation. To purchase tickets go online at www.capemaymac.org or call (609) 884-9565.
MAC is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278, or visit MAC’s website at www.capemaymac.org. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at (609) 884-5508 and www.capemaychamber.com. For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at www.capemaylodging.com.