Took my hubby to AC for his birthday (stayed at the Sheraton convention center) and had 2 very enjoyable meals at the restaurants listed above.
Friday night we weren't starved due to some late afternoon snacking. we went to Opa at 1743 Boardwalk near the Claridge and Sands). Restaurant is pretty, exposed brick, flat screen tvs, big open windows, and seating that extends outside onto the boardwalk. Hubby had a pint of Guiness (4.50), I had 2 glasses of wine (8 by the glass to choose from, range 5-6 bucks, ample sized glasses for the price especially at the shore). For food We split the ceasar salad (7 i think), i had the crabcake app (12) and my husband had the tuna (17 or 19 can't remember).
Salad was very good and fresh, my 3 small crab cakes had absolutely no filler and were served with a drizzle of hummus over greens. Husbands tuna was served rare (as requested) with a wassabi sauce and 2 sides (i can't remember what). Portions were more then ample and attractively presented. To steal from Craig Laban (who reviewed it a few weeks back), the atmosphere was "upscale greek taverna", not really fancy, but pretty and relaxed (everyone was watching the olympic opening ceremonies).
Cucina (inside the Sheraton convention Center - where we stayed) is really really good. Upscale italian, service was friendly and attentive. Although they have a full liqour license they allow byob (apparently their former restaurant in Margate was byo, so they intend to carry on that tradition.
We each started with salads. I had the Rustica salad (candied walnuts/pears/gorgonzola, etc.. $7) and it was fabulous, i had to fight my husband away from it. He had the beet salad ($8, beets/camberet served over salad) and it was very good (would have been a standout except mine was fabulous).
For dinner he had the pork (21) and i had the carbonara (15). His pork was very good, served with hot peppers (my only complaint about the entire meal, it was a little TOO hot and we had to scarpe some of them off)) and 2 sides (brocoli raabe and potatoes i think). cooked to perfection though, and an ample portion that was beautifully presented. I had the most fantasti carbonara i have had outside of italy, delicat pasta with a rich eggy sauce dotted with pancetta. YUM! (this was the best dish by far - again i had to fend off my husband ;))
We ended with a fabulous homade tiramisu (7) which they were kind enough to put a candle in and sing happy birthday. Again service was fantastic, it's a very pretty room with large windows overlooking the ac "strip" unfortunately it was 1/2 empty :(), we brought our own wine (as did about 3 other tables) and had a really enjoyable dinner, oh and they validate parking in the sheraton lot.
we will definately return to both :)