Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Arlington takes over Bayberry Inn on LBI

The Bayberry Inn’s Colonial-style atmosphere has taken on a new, modern look. Now known as The Arlington after Ship Bottom’s original name, Beach Arlington, the local restaurant has been totally revamped into a cozy, rustic eatery. Its casual yet polished ambience, complete with decorative sconces, reclaimed barn-wood wall applications, rustic pine and Douglas fir table tops, and its new, seasonal American fare, seem more like something you would expect to find in the city rather than on Long Beach Island.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Bar patrons take advantage of The Arlington's
new rusitc feel and appetizing happy hour specials.
That’s exactly the vibe The Arlington’s owners, brothers and former Plantation and daddyO managers Paul and Brian Sabarese, were going for. They were able to completely refurbish the space to their liking after its former owners had to completely mitigate the building due to damage from Superstorm Sandy.
“We basically took places that we like to go in Philadelphia and New York and re-envisioned it here,” said Paul. “We wanted something that was very warm and inviting.
“We pretty much started from scratch. We revamped the entire kitchen and put a whole new roof on the building. We did a lot. The walls were all here, obviously, but everything decorating-wise is new,” he added.
The eatery’s main bar area has been moved from the front to the back of the building and now seats 25 people, rather than 12. Its 21 on-tap craft beers ($4.50 to $8.50) and barrel-aged cocktails ($8 to $12) are the tavern’s newest showpieces. German, Belgian and Italian imports are offered alongside their American counterparts, including Carton Red Rye Returning ($6) from Atlantic Highlands, N.J.
“That’s probably been the biggest hit in the bar. We’ve sold a ton of beer,” Paul remarked.
Specialty cocktails, each made with a special Arlington twist and aged for three to four weeks in American oak barrels located behind the bar, have also been a major hit. The Barrel Aged Manhattan ($12), aged for 30 days and made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Cinzano and Angostura bitters, is the most popular drink so far.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Bartender Rick Jefferson pours
cold drinks for thirsty guests.
“It basically takes on an oak flavor from the barrels and usually gives it a nice, round flavor. It’s cool. People love it,” said Paul.
The restaurant’s menu offers simple American food, including meat and fish dishes ($14 to $29) and a raw bar with oysters (market price), middle neck clams ($8 for six; $15 for 12), jumbo Gulf shrimp ($4 per piece) and seafood plateaus ($25 or $45). There’s even a tofu dish with Israeli cous cous, crispy chickpeas and stewed vegetables ($18).
“We didn’t want to have a lot of crazy flavors. We wanted the food to kind of sing for itself,” said Paul. “We’re using great product from the local fisheries. We’re using scallops from Viking Village, and we’re getting fish from them every other day. We basically go down there, and whatever they caught is something we put on the menu as our market fish. We don’t want to overdress the food,” he explained.
Happy hour is available daily from 4 to 6 p.m. with $1 oysters, $3 lagers, $5 house red and white wines and a specialty cocktail of the day, and $1 off the craft beer choice of the day. Food is served from 5 p.m. to midnight. The bar is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Arlington also offers live entertainment on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 9 p.m. to midnight and on Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., all summer long. Local soul music artist Bryan Parr is set for Fridays.
“It’s been busy. The bar’s been really packed every night, and the response has been good. Everyone seems to be pretty happy with the food,” Paul remarked. “We want to cater to everyone. We want to get the locals in here, so we’re doing specials at the bar. But we’re large enough that we want to be able to accommodate families,” he added.
Private parties are available for reservation in the banquet hall. Now located in the front room, the banquet hall can hold up to 60 people for rehearsal dinners and showers, or 100 people for cocktail parties.
To view Arlington’s full menu, or for more information, visit arlingtonlbi.com, or call 609-494-8848.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.