Dune Restaurant Margate – Go for the fish, stay for the Mexican Chocolate

UPDATE: As of Summer 2011, Dune is closed, which is very unfortunate…

This weekend we were at the shore and went to Dune (9510 Ventnor Ave, Margate), a byob which has a fish-focused menu.  They touted the freshness of their sea creatures and we were not disappointed.  The wife started with a gazpacho with sea beans which was refreshing and lively.  Sea beans are like mini-green beans, but with a very briny flavor, just like the sea.  I enjoyed the cauliflower soup with pancetta which was also light, but I felt was under-salted and was a bit bland because of it.

For mains, I had the skate wing served with mushrooms and gnocchi and the wife had the hangar steak.  Both were well done.  The skate wing was extremely fresh and meaty.  I really enjoy skate wing as it’s a fish with texture, but not a steak-like flavor (like well done tuna or swordfish – yuck).  The fish was crusted in hazelnuts and served with a brown butter which brought the flavor out perfectly.  The wife’s hangar steak was prepared well and the pureed tomatillo pistou was a nice change from the traditional chimichurri which we often find with hangar steak.

Once through the mains, we got to the star of the night: Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding!
Imagine chunks of bread coated in chocolate custard and then covered in more chocolate with hints of cinnamon and cayenne and baked to a crisp on top.  If you like underdone brownies anywhere near as much as I do, you’ll devour this dessert just as quickly.

Dune is a nice change from the shore restaurants and provides the (rare) combination of strong food and service in a seasonal location.

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