Walk into Sweet Vidalia,
a bistro-style restaurant with a contemporary and newly redefined menu in
Long Beach Island's Beach Haven, and you'll notice right away that you've
left the fishnet-draped tourist traps of nearby
Bay Village.Instead, the restaurant goes for rustic charm, and achieves
it well -- a narrow foyer opens into a mid-sized dining space
with hardwood floors and 22 white-clothed tables and booths. Candles flicker
in sconces along the walls, and the ceiling is painted with a vine motif.
Soft, jazzy tunes from a Saxophonist in the corner make the eatery
feel even more intimate.
The restaurant switched from a traditional menu to tapas-style dining a year
ago, and it now features 20 to 30 scaled-down dishes from "small plates"
(a little misleading because they're all miniaturized) to flatbreads, veggie
items, meats and seafood. To the uninitiated, the sizable list of choices
may be a little overwhelming, but our server -- who was helpful, but seemed
nervous and new at his job -- jumped at the chance to explain how it works.
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