Fare: Traditional American
Noise Level: Low- High, depending on the dining room
Dress: Upscale Casual
Food Quality: Outstanding - serves a well-executed menu using high quality ingredients, creatively prepared and presented.
Service: "Old world" professional, attentive, and a little pretentious.
Ambiance/Decor: Elegant - New Orleans Garden District home styling, though a little dated.
Overall Rating: 3 stars
Note: Four-star Rating System from 1/2 star = poor to Four stars = Best in Class
Recommended For: Older diners who enjoy old world charm, fine dining amenities with excellent food, in an elegant setting.
Not Recommended For: Budget conscious and younger who prefer simpler food, lower prices, and less pretentiousness.
Recommended dishes: When available, Whole Roasted Branzino with fingerling potatoes, caramelized fennel, roasted plum tomato, tapenade, grilled lemon; The Lamb Cavatelli with braised lamb shoulder, broccoli rabe, Manchego cheese; and The Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Brown butter carrot puree, garlic parmesan polenta, pan-seared brussels sprouts and carrots, brussels sprout slaw.
Alcohol: Extensive wine list, specialty cocktails. Bar scene has many older couples
The Washington Inn & Wine Bar ---- a landmark Cape May restaurant, originally built in 1840 as a plantation home ---is one the best fine dining restaurants in Cape May.
This is an ideal pace to dine if you are looking for an old-world style dining experience to celebrate a special occasion or a power dinner and want enjoy a well prepared, traditional menu, with a great wine list and a background of soft 50-60's piped in music.
The dining patrons tend to be mostly 50-75+ years.
Once inside, it has the atmosphere of a New Orleans Garden District home with its mural-ed walls, glassed-in porch, and a tented patio room done up with white lattice.
If you are planning, a cozy, quiet, romantic dinner, try to avoid the upper room, the decor is less attractive, and the noise level is much higher.
If you can, reserve a table in the cellar room, or a cozy fireside table. The Washington Inn has five dining areas, and the wine cellar has over 10,000 bottles over international wines.
Since its purchase in 1978 by the Craig family, this charming restaurant in the Cape May Historic District has become a class unto itself under the direction of son Michael Craig.
Executive chef Mimi Wood has been a mainstay at this landmark restaurant and the quality of the food has remained consistent over time with well-prepared dishes.
Save room for the dessert, the selections are sumptuous. Their signature dish is a huge mound of a chocolate with ice cream, adorned with mouthwatering toppings, it's a creative masterpiece that must be seen and tasted to be appreciated.
The service at the Washington Inn is old world professional and a little pretentious.
Reservations are required, especially during the busy times of the year.
The Washington Inn & Wine Bar is open all year with seasonal days and hours.
(Updated: March 2023)
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The methodology used is research, analysis driven --- as opposed to that of a single restaurant critic or a social media platform, viewer comment posting board.