On a frigid night on Dec. 10, 2018 in the midst of the holidays, Atlantic City Bailliage members entered through the elaborately carved front doors of Sofia Restaurant in Margate, New Jersey and were instantly greeted with old world Mediterranean charm and warmth. The high ceilings painted with blue skies and stunning décor of mixed stone, rustic woods and iron work, surrounded by roaring fireplaces, made us feel as if we’d entered a seaside Greek Villa allowing us to leave thecold and worries of the world outside.
Our expectations were high for our holiday celebration and after enjoying an exceptional selection of “Mezethes” served around the tree canopied bar, we knew we were not going to be disappointed.
Sofia’s team treated our members to an intricate meal, built on traditional recipes acquired from past generations. A favorite that drew applause when presented was the flaming Manouri Saganaki with pan-roasted Greek goat cheese, roasted apples, Kalamata figs and dried cranberries. Each dish was paired exquisitely with wines selected by Bailli Ted Lippman and Vice Conseillier Gastronomique Jeff Vasser.
As the evening came to a sweet close with the classic Greek dessert, Ekmek Kataifi, the Atlantic City Chapter saluted hosts Maitre Restaurateurs Angela Diamantis, Dr. Tom Papastemolos, Sofia Papastamelos and Chef Adrienne Armenia for executing the Chaîne’s high standards for presentation of the flawless Mediterranean cuisine.
Cheers to the culinary and service teams for orchestrating a memorable evening at this truly extraordinary restaurant along the back bays of southern New Jersey.
Char-grilled Octopus Salad
Lamb Egg Rolls
Veal Sweetbreads Bruschetta
Ode Panos Organic Brut, Spiropoulos, Olympia Peloponnese
Candy-Cane Beets and Goat Cheese Salad, arugula, toasted almonds, pomegranate vinaigrette
The White Prince, Karavatakis, Vidiano and Villana blend, Crete
Branzino Fricasse, pan-seared on braised hearts of lettuce, avgolemono sauce
The Palm Rose by Whispering Angel, Provence, France
Manouri Saganaki, pan-roasted Greek goat cheese, roasted apples, Kalamata figs, dried cranberries, flamed in Metaxa brandy
M. Chapoutier, Belleruche, Grenache-Syrah Blend, Cotes du Rhone, France
Lamb Osso Bucco baked in a phyllo purse, parsnip puree, lamb demi
Oenotria Land, by Costa Lazaridi, Cabernet Sauvignon-Agiorgitico, Kapandriti, Greece
Ekmek Kataifi, baked shredded phyllo in honey-lemon syrup,
topped with a creamy custard, crème fraiche, pistachios
Mavrodaphne Patras by Kourtaki
Photos: Donna Hewitt