CAPE MAY — Come to Cape May, one of “America’s Best Food Cities” according to Condé Nast Traveler magazine, and experience the flavors of America’s First Seaside Resort during the 21st Annual Cape May Food & Wine Celebration from Sept. 15 through Sept. 24, presented 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. 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. 15 and Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. First enjoy lunch at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May. A trolley transports you to Natali Vineyards, Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery and Willow Creek Winery, where you’ll learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. Admission of $75 includes lunch and wine tastings at each vineyard. This is a limited event, so reserve early.
Taste craft beers at the Physick Estate and celebrate the rich agricultural and cultural heritage of Southern New Jersey during Harvest Brew Fest, an all-day festival on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. that highlights Southern New Jersey’s local food, local brews, local artisans, local wine and local musicians. Admission to the grounds is free and free parking is available.
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 Saturday, Sept. 16, Tuesday, Sept. 19, Thursday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 23. Learn how seafood gets from the sea to your table! Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12).
Join an unforgettable five-course gourmet feast and a chance to taste the best of the best in Cape May during the Chefs’ Dine-Arounds on Sunday, Sept. 17, Monday, Sept. 18 and Wedneday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. Five premier Cape May restaurants each serve a course paired with a unique wine from the evening’s sponsoring winery. A winery representative accompanies the group and explores the subtleties of the pairing with each dish. A trolley shuttle transports you between courses. Reserve early; Chefs Dine-Arounds sell out quickly and are limited to 34 people per night. Admission is $125 (gratuity included).
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. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery, 600 South Railroad Ave., Rio Grande. Taste some of Todd’s favorite wines. Enjoy demonstrations, stationary hors d’ouevres and a salad course, and graze on grilled salmon, chicken, pork and beef as it comes off the grill. A cash raw bar and cash wine bar will be available. Admission is $50.
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. 18 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. 20 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).
Beer lovers unite! Dive right into an unforgettable five-course feast that celebrates the magical concoctions of yeast, hops, barley, wheat and more during the Chefs’ Dine-Around with the Cape May Brewery on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. Five premier Cape May restaurants each serve a course carefully prepared to pair with a select beer from the award-winning Cape May Brewery. Discover depth of flavors in each selection with a brewery representative as your guide. A trolley shuttle transports you between courses. Reserve early for this new event; limited to 34 people per night. Admission is $125 (gratuity included).
Get an early start on Oktoberfest during the Mad Batter Beer Dinner on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. It features a scrumptious four-course comfort food menu paired with craft beers at the famous Mad Batter restaurant. Admission is $65.
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. 23, with the chef who created them explaining how each was prepared. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true! Feast takes place at the Blue Rose Inn, 653 Washington St. This is a limited event so reserve early. Admission is $40.
Linger over a Sunday morning champagne brunch buffet at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., on Sunday, Sept. 24 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.
Purchase tickets in advance for these events online at www.capemaymac.org, or in person at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitor’s Center at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., during hours of operation. For further information, call (609) 884-9565.