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<a href="http://s.tt/1yXia" rel="norewrite"><strong>The Gables in LBI: A Romantic Getaway</strong></a> (via <a href="http://s.tt/1yXia" rel="norewrite">Jersey Bites</a>)
In our effort to share with you the most romantic restaurants in New Jersey just in time for Valentine’s Day, we asked our readers and Facebook fans for their personal suggestions. Top of the list, as it turns out, is a 120 year old establishment in Beach Haven. The Gables is a small Victorian era…
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Long Beach Island is exactly as the name implies…an 18 mile long narrow barrier island off New Jersey’s central coast complete with sugar soft beach the entire length, body surfing, and plenty of frozen custard and grill joints to fortify you along the way. Upon crossing the causeway on the Manahawkin Bay Bridge, your options are simple. Turn left (north) and hit quieter more residential beach communities crowned by Barnegat Light at the tip or turn right (south) onto Long Beach Blvd where the crowds flock during summer.
But just because south of the bridge is outfitted for tourism doesn’t mean these beach communities are an endless strip of motels, chain restaurants, and souvenir shops. Locally run eateries like Uncle Will’s Pancake House near side streets like Centre St. in Beach Haven are quaint, walk able, and often historic. It is here at # 212 that large twisty trees shroud the extensive porch and grand entrance to The Gables, a fully renovated B&B and restaurant.
Continuously settled since 1690 in such a fragile ecosystem right on the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no wonder that 2012′s Hurricane Sandy was only the latest in a steady stream of storms to pound Long Beach Island. But damage is typically sporadic across the island with streets protected by dunes, like those in Beach Haven, remaining comparatively untouched while otherneighborhoods aren’t so lucky.
Staying at The Gables
The Gables owners Sondra and Steven Beninati are certainly familiar with rebuilding but not so much in response to storm damage as to restoring their circa 1892 bed & breakfast’s structural integrity after years of neglect. When they purchased it back in 2005 for $1.3 million, the entire back of the house was sagging, 5 layers of shingles covered the leaking roof, and the original limestone foundation was crumbling.
Sondra and Steven immediately called some contractors over to assess the damage and provide some repair estimates. All of them recommended tearing it down despite the fact that it’s in a historic district. But Sondra and Steven persevered eventually spending $750,000 beyond their initial purchase price to make all the necessary repairs. The glorious front porch was completely replaced and enlarged essentially creating an outdoor living room.
It’s hard to imagine that before rehab, The Gables had more than the 5 guests rooms it has now. All of them retain their historic charm with original gas fireplaces, crown moldings, and original plank floors yet the experience is enhanced with modern comforts like private bathrooms, spa tubs, and flat panel TVs above the mantels. The front desk is constructed from an ornate fireplace frame and marble mantel while against the wall to your left in the foyer, a 1933 Steinway Baby Grand Piano awaits for an impromptu serenade or the occasional maestro for special occasions.
The Gables experienced many lives over the years ranging from an all-girls school, postal drop, and produce market before becoming the island’s first B&B in the 1970s. This is also when a professional kitchen was added that to this day overlooks the outdoor courtyard dining area.
Eating at the Gables
Open nightly for dinner during the summer season, and every weekend during the fall and spring, Executive Chef Richard Diemer crafts fresh and local New American dishes, prime steaks, and home made pastas like their super light and airy ricotta gnocchi.
Inside dining features white table cloth candle-lit tables, an extensive wood burning fireplace, crystal chandelier and wide plank flooring. When dining outside, you have your choice of the front veranda or heading through to the back of the inn under columned pergolas covered with grape vines to the Victorian garden courtyard framed featuring a fountain, and extensive flower gardens.
Regardless of whether you choose the Prix Fixe Tasting Menu, or dine a la carte, you’ll get daily specials often based on produce from local New Jersey farms, micro greens from Blue Moon Acres in nearby Buckingham, Pennsylvania, Niman Ranch organic meats, D’Artagnan organic poultry, and fresh diver scallops from just offshore. The restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license but offers a fine selection of wines from nearby Bellview Winery making it the perfect opportunity for a local pairing experience.
Photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a partially sponsored trip.
Asbury Park Press article by Susan Bloom. Published September 17th, 2014.
See why couple fell in love with LBI’s Gables Inn
A decade ago, as Sondra Beninati contemplated a career change after 25 years as a massage therapist, she noticed that the Beach Haven bed & breakfast then called The Green Gables was up for sale, and she found herself intrigued.
She and her husband, Stephen, New York City residents who also owned a home in the Loveladies section of Long Beach Township, long had admired the 1892-era Victorian structure for its history and elegance. Continue reading
As a wonderful summer is waning and a gorgeous fall winding up, I can’t help looking back with appreciation and forward with anticipation.
Unlike some other Jersey Shore towns still struggling with Superstorm Sandy recovery, a lot of LBI was lucky enough to rebound and redeem its rightful and historic place as a magnetic destination, luring back tourists and summer residents alike. Continue reading
For immediate release: For more information,
May 29, 2014 Call 609-492-3553
THE GABLES AWARDED 2014 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
Recognized as a Top Performing Inn & Restaurant as Reviewed by Travelerson the World’s Largest Travel Site
BEACH HAVEN, NJ – MAY 29, 2014 – The Gables Historic Inn and Restaurant announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. Continue reading
Since it’s supposed to be spring (forget that we’re supposed to get a little more snow), a little green may be nice.
ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH SOFT POACHED EGG & CRISPY PANCETTA Continue reading
Spring will be upon us soon, and this recipe is perfect for the season.
Leek and Potato Quiche with Smoked Whiting Continue reading
If you missed us Valentine’s Day Weekend, you will have to hang on until we reopen Easter weekend.
However, over the course of the next month or so, we will posting a few of our chef’s recipes that will allow you have a taste of The Gables at home. Continue reading