Stumbled upon this old gal yesterday as a friend and I took advantage of the marvelous weather and birded Brigantine Wildlife Refuge - took a few side roads in the late afternoon to see if we could find some Short Ear Owls. Came up empty 'owling', but made a point to stop into the OCI as we scanned the marsh in all of it's golden hue with a setting winter sun. Quiet, beautiful location.
There's nothing fancy here; an old old building with the b&w pictures inside the place telling a thousand stories of the area, it's characters (fishermen), maritime heritage, and great fishing. Took a seat at the bar and they had no problems giving us 'access' to the full menu (and not just the bar menu).
Their East Coast Oyster stew (the broth was just marvelous - on the thin side, yet rich and full of flavor). My buddy had the Seafood Gumbo and commented that it was almost as good as anything that he has had in Nawlins'.
Salad and rolls were nothing to write home about - remember, this isn't fine dining, so while lacking, wasn't the reason we decided to eat here - the thought of fresh fish and shellfish served 'strait up' with no frills.
After ordering another round of frosties, our entrees arrived. I had 'Bills Original Seafood Pie' which had crab, shrimp, & scallops baked in creamy (again, the operative and positive word here is 'LIGHT" bisque) & puff pastry - with a nice crispy side of french fries and pretty good home made 'slaw. Nice dish; fresh, tasty and piping hot with a nice well baked pie crust.
My friend ordered the lobster and shrimp scampi and he likes having his feet under the table (a quantity over quality guy), but commented that the shellfish was done just right, scampi sauce tasty and he felt 'sated' after his meal - which is all that he ever asks for in a restaurant.
I'd love to stop here in the summer, then I think of the crowds etc, and I'll just seal 'this little silver mine' of a Jersey seafood shack till the next time - fall or winter after the crowds are gone. The place is a gem. A little 'Brokedown Palace' if there ever was. Happy New Year folks.