At The Gables Inn and Restaurant, menus change daily to take advantage of the best ingredients that farm and sea have to offer. Produce from local New Jersey farms, micro greens from Blue Moon Acres, Buckingham, Pennsylvania, Niman Ranch organic meats, D’Artagnan organic poultry, fresh diver scallops from Long Beach Island’s surrounding waters, Prince Edward Island mussels, and lobsters exclusively from Maine, take pride of place. We also take pleasure in presenting a selection of award-winning wines from NJ’s Bellview Winery to enhance your enjoyment.

A bastion of old-world hospitality, the meticulously restored Gables Inn offers truly fine dining in New Jersey with breakfast, dinner, and Sunday Brunch.

Spring Getaways - New Jersey Monthly 4/12/10
THE GABLES: Beach Haven landmark
is a respite from ordinary life -
Asbury Park Press
04/22/2007
Elegance Restored
- JerseyShoreNow.com 06/30/2006
The Teardown Wars - The New York Times 06/16/2006
My Two Cents: Mom would be pleased - Times-Beacon Newspapers 06/14/06
Green Gables is reincarnated as The Gables - Times-Beacon Newspapers 06/14/06

The Gables – Press Release - August 18, 2006
The Gables - 1 Year Old – August 31st, 2006

It looked like a recipe for disaster, but twelve months ago, Manhattanites Sondra and Steve Beninati bought a dilapidated, century-old Folk Victorian house on Long Beach Island with a view to restoring it, and running it as an inn. Against all the odds, they have just completed their initial 30 days of newly restored operation. On August 31st, 2006, "The Gables" will be one year old.

It was quite a journey. The building wasn’t up to code, to put it politely. The weight of the add-on restaurant kitchen was making the three-story edifice list to starboard. The roof leaked. The stairs were wobbly. The plumbing was suspect and the wiring was … unique. Three separate contractors took one look and advised the Beninatis to tear it down and start over. Stubbornly, they didn’t. With the help of a local architect who shared their vision, and working closely with Beach Haven’s Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, they managed to surmount one horrendous problem after another. The whole project would have been impossible without their resourceful General Contractor, James Tallent of Tallent Construction. Thanks to his professionalism and tenacity, the building was completed on time for their gala benefit party on June 24th, and the successful Grand Opening four days later.

Built by the Cahill family in 1892 and then called Kathlyn Cottage, the roomy front porch led to the foyer, parlor, and a large dining room, just as it still does today. Upstairs, a warren of 14 small bedrooms housed Beach Haven’s lifeguards, and a sleeping porch provided respite on hot summer nights. Centrally located, the house served over the years as a postal drop, an all girls’ boarding house, a produce market, and the venue for the first annual Beach Haven Fire Department Chicken Dinner.

Purchased in the 1970s by preservationist and history buff Lucy Reddington, Green Gables, as it was then called, was turned into the island’s first bed and breakfast. A decade later, Lucy sold her business to a dynamic Italian couple, Adolfo DiMartino and Rita Rapella, who obtained planning permission to open a restaurant at the Inn. They added a professional kitchen, enlarged the dining room — and earned four stars from the New York Times food critics.

In 1999, executive chef Richard Diemer took command of the kitchen. Today, he carries on the Gables’ tradition of fine dining, earning a rating of 27 from ZAGAT in 2005-06, winning their highest Award of Excellence and being included in the international publication of "Top Restaurants in America 2006-07." Ensconced in a gleaming new kitchen that has risen phoenix-like from the old one, he is determined that the Gables Restaurant will maintain its stellar culinary reputation. A true artist, Diemer’s dishes are imaginative but never pretentious, and beautifully presented. The prix fixe and a la carte dinner menus change daily, inspired by the best seasonal ingredients that farm and sea have to offer.

Sondra Beninati brings more than an unerring aesthetic instinct to running the Gables; she has a strong background in the hospitality business. She worked at Tavern on the Green in Central Park in New York when it was owned by Werner Leroy; at Holloran House Hotel, and at Spadeus in Italy. Her client list has included Luciano Pavarotti; Pat Riley, basketball coach; Marvin Shaken of The Wine Spectator; Twyla Tharp, choreographer; Lou Reed, singer and composer; Marilyn Michaels, impressionist; and Robin Strauser, soap opera queen.

No stranger to the food industry, Steve Beninati acts as a consultant for the Gables Inn and Restaurant. He co-founded Everything Yogurt, the originator of the frozen yogurt shop and Colombo Yogurt's first retailer, which in its heyday had over 300 stores nationwide. He also transformed the shopping center industry by creating the concept of the multi unit fast food operation, with one kitchen behind the scenes to serve three or more different venues. Today, he can be found behind his desk at Smith Barney in Manhattan, where he operates as First VP, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning Specialist. In addition, he currently serves on several non-profit boards and advisory boards, He is also a long-time board member and vice chair of WHY, (World Hunger Year), a leading advocate for innovative, community-based solutions to hunger and poverty, and an advocate to advance models that create self-reliance, economic justice, and equal access to nutritious and affordable food.

Together, the Beninatis watched the venerable old house undergo extensive structural repairs. In addition to the state-of-the-art professional kitchen, it now boasts air conditioning and the addition of 10 fireplaces, not to mention a new roof. The warren of upstairs rooms has given way to five luxurious guest bedrooms with period furnishings and en suite marble bathrooms. The backyard Victorian garden, Kathlyn Court, with its columned pergola, brick patio and stone fountain, is now available for dining al fresco, weddings, and private events.

Still a bastion of old-world hospitality, albeit with sophisticated menus, the Gables Inn offers Breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Dinner from 5:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The restaurant — the original large dining room in this 19th century house — provides a delightful setting with its candle-lit tables, wood burning fireplace, crystal chandelier and original wide plank floors. Tables are also set on the shady porch and in the Victorian garden courtyard.

An overnight stay in one of the five romantic guestrooms provides a rare break from everyday stresses and strains. Complete with period furnishings and fine linens, each has a working fireplace or a free-standing iron stove — and also includes modern amenities like a luxurious marble bathroom, flat screen TV and WIFI. A gourmet breakfast is included. For more details, please visit The Gables web site at www.GablesLBI.com .

A testament to a more gracious era, the Gables has been restored with loving care and meticulous attention to period detail. It remains a vital part of historic Beach Haven, offering a warm welcome, glorious food, and gracious lodging. You really owe yourself a visit there soon.


The Gables – Press Release - June 22, 2006
The Tear-Down that Wasn’t

Written by Jackie Mallorca, New York, NY

The old inn cost $1.25 million but it wasn’t up to code, not by a long shot. The weight of the add-on restaurant kitchen was making the three-story building list to starboard. The roof leaked. The stairs were wobbly. The plumbing was suspect and the wiring was …unique. The contractors took one look and advised the new owners to tear it down and start over. But Manhattanite Sondra Beninati had a dream. She wanted to restore this dilapidated Folk Victorian—a community gathering spot in Beach Haven, N.J. for over a century—to its former glory, and run it as an inn. And after eight months of surmounting one horrendous problem after another, she and husband Stephen Beninati have succeeded. Magnificently. With the help of a local architect who shared their vision, and working closely with the town's Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, the couple have turned a white elephant into a vibrant new destination.

Built by the Cahill family in 1892 and then called Kathlyn Cottage, the spacious front porch —then as now — led to the foyer, parlor, and a large dining room. Upstairs, a warren of 14 small bedrooms housed Beach Haven’s lifeguards, and a sleeping porch provided respite on hot summer nights. Centrally located, the house served over the years as a postal drop, an all girls’ boarding house, a produce market, and the venue for the first annual Beach Haven Fire Department Chicken Dinner.

Purchased in the 1970s by preservationist and history buff Lucy Reddington, Green Gables, as it was then called, was turned into the island’s first bed and breakfast. A decade later, Lucy sold her business to a dynamic Italian couple, Adolfo DiMartino and Rita Rapella, who obtained planning permission to open a restaurant at the Inn. They added a professional kitchen, enlarged the dining room … and earned four stars from the New York Times food critics.

In 1999, executive chef Richard Diemer took command of the kitchen. Today, he carries on the Gables’ tradition of fine dining, earning a rating of 27 from ZAGAT in 2005-06, winning their highest Award of Excellence and being included in the international publication of "Top Restaurants in America 2006-07." Ensconced in a gleaming new kitchen that has risen phoenix-like from the old one, he is determined that the Gables Restaurant will maintain its stellar culinary reputation. A true artist, Diemer’s dishes are imaginative but never pretentious, and beautifully presented. The prix fixe and a la carte dinner menus change daily, inspired by the best seasonal ingredients that farm and sea have to offer.

Sondra Beninati brings more than an unerring aesthetic instinct to running the Gables; she has a strong background in the hospitality business. She worked at Tavern on the Green in Central Park in New York when it was owned by Werner Leroy; at Holloran House Hotel, and at Spadeus in Italy. Her client list has included Luciano Pavarotti; Pat Riley, basketball coach; Marvin Shaken of The Wine Spectator; Twyla Tharp, choreographer; Lou Reed, singer and composer; Marilyn Michaels, impressionist; and Robin Strauser, soap opera queen.

Stephen Beninati, who acts as a consultant for the Gables Inn and Restaurant, also brings a lot to the table. The co-founder of Everything Yogurt, the originator of frozen yogurt in the U.S. which had over 300 store nationwide, he also transformed the shopping center industry by creating the concept of the mall food court kitchen. Credited with the food industry’s doublemint theory, he pioneered the idea of having one prep kitchen behind the scenes to serve four or more different venues. He is one of Crain Magazine’s “40 under 40”; vice-chairman of World Hunger Year, a clearing house for food banks, shelters and the Federal Food Assistance Program; and has been presented with an honorary doctorate in Business from his alma mater, St. John's University. He now earns money the old fashioned way as a senior financial consultant at Smith Barney in Manhattan.

A bastion of old-world hospitality, the meticulously restored Gables Inn offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and after-theatre suppers. (Live performances are enacted throughout the season at the Starlight Theatre, just steps away from the Inn.) The restaurant — the original large dining room in this century-old house — provides a delightful setting with its candle-lit tables, wood burning fireplace, crystal chandelier and original wide plank floors. Tables are also set on the shady porch and in the enchanting Victorian garden courtyard.

The venerable old house has undergone extensive structural repairs, and in addition to the state-of-the-art professional kitchen, now boasts air conditioning and the addition of 10 fireplaces, not to mention a new roof. The warren of upstairs rooms has given way to five luxurious guest bedrooms with en suite marble bathrooms. The backyard Victorian garden, Kathlyn Court, with its columned pergola, brick patio and stone fountain, is now opened to the public for dining al fresco, weddings, and private events.

A testament to a more gracious era, the Gables has been restored with loving care and meticulous attention to period detail. It remains a vital part of historic Beach Haven, offering a warm welcome, glorious food and gracious lodging.


Sealing up the past Beach Haven historical commission believes preservation encourages more preservation - March 31, 2006
Written by TRISTAN SCHWEIGER Staff Writer, (609) 978-2015

The Green Gables needed a lot of love.

The 19th-century Victorian-era home, with its angular, green façade, has a long history as a hotel and restaurant in Beach Haven. It's something of a borough landmark, and has accumulated its requisite supply of ghost stories that any building worthy of the term “historical” must have.

But after more than 100 years, the Centre Street structure was literally falling apart when Sondra Beninati and her husband purchased it in September. Beninati said it had gotten to the point where so many of the supporting beams had rotted away and the floors developed a disconcerting bounce when someone walked across them.
“Every contractor we brought in to bid, said ‘Tear it down.' And I said ‘No!' Beninati said, walking through the gutted structure Thursday morning.

The Green Gables is currently undergoing an extensive restoration. Beninati is hoping to be open for business by June 2 with a restaurant and hotel that offer guests modern comforts but that still preserves the Victorian character of the building.

Although the guest rooms will have whirlpool baths and the kitchen will have a garbage refrigerator to keep unpleasant odors from bothering diners eating in the new back garden, the building will keep the elements that give it its historical look “like wooden siding”, Beninati said.

“All over the United States, not just in Beach Haven, people are taking choice pieces of property with older houses (and) tearing them down,” Beninati said. The Green Gables is within Beach Haven's historical district, an area of about 150 homes between Third Street and Pearl Street. Since the Borough Council created that district in 2004, the Beach Haven Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, which oversees the area, has helped with the restoration of eight structures, including the Green Gables.

Jeanette Lloyd, the commission's chairwoman, said the group is currently completing an inventory of all the homes in the district that will catalogue the history and architecture of each structure. And she said the commission has an application for a $20,000 grant from the state that would pay for the creation of design guidelines to assist people wanting to restore homes in the district.

“We're one of the oldest parts of Long Beach Island, we were founded in 1874, and to us we have a proud history. What better way to display it to everyone, including the children of our community, than to show them where we came from” Lloyd said, explaining the value of preserving houses in the district.

The commission is also participating in the borough's process of creating a new master plan. In addition, when a people with a home in the district want to renovate their building or add to it and require an OK from the borough's Land Use Board, the board generally defers to the recommendation of the commission. By ensuring historical properties are preserved, Lloyd said, the commission helps other property owners, like Beninati, feel more secure in spending money on their own buildings.

“When people realize that they can renovate their homes, that they can keep their house and not have someone come in next door and build one of those McMansions, then they're more willing to spend money to renovate it and maintain it,” Lloyd said. Beninati said when she and her husband decided to buy the Green Gables, the fact that Beach Haven has a historical district influenced them heavily. And while she may have the title, she said the Green Gables is a part of the town. “It belongs to Beach Haven,” she said.