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.