New Jersey March 16, 2017
The Timeless New Jersey Restaurant Everyone Needs To Visit At Least Once
Many New Jerseyans have been to Atlantic City and are familiar with the shore area’s less than savory past. A century ago, Atlantic City was a hotbed of illicit activity, controlled by bootleggers and mobsters. Thanks to shows like Boardwalk Empire, much of the country now knows about this resort town’s lawless legacy. While the town has changed over the years, one restaurant keeps history alive.
The Knife & Fork Inn was established in 1912 by then Atlantic City Mayor William Riddle and his associates as an exclusive men’s drinking and dining club.
It has a tumultuous history but is now an Atlantic City dining staple.
The second floor featured curtained dining alcoves for privacy and a separate women's lounge.
Women were not allowed in the bar area, and would wait in the lounge until summoned. For what, we can only guess. The third and fourth floors were used for gambling and likely other illegal activities.
During Prohibition, the bar continued to openly serve alcohol.
It managed to avoid raids for quite some time, perhaps thanks to notable regular, Enoch "Nucky" Johnson, the reigning political boss.
The bar was eventually raided however, and membership declined.
The property was sold to the Latz family, the bar was removed and a public restaurant was opened. During the Great Depression, the Latz family moved into the 3rd and 4th floors.
For decades after the Great Depression, Knife & Fork Inn thrived, attracting notable guests including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Vic Damone.
In a famous scene from the movie "Atlantic City," Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon dined in the restaurant’s popular porch, now known as the Terrace.
By the mid 1980s, the owners were having issues.
The restaurant changed hands several times and went out of business in 1997. It opened again in 1999 and in 2005 it underwent major renovations and restoration. While the kitchen was completely redone, many original features were refurbished including the original front door, made of brass.
The restaurant thrives once again as an upscale eatery serving steak & seafood.
You'll find American favorites in a unique, historic environment and the food is top notch. They've also got a wine room with an extensive selection.
What to eat here? The rack of lamb is a favorite but you CAN dine here on a budget.
If you visit on a Friday, the Prix Fixe lunch is a great deal with a soup or salad, choice of entree and dessert sampler. As far as appetizers, the smoked black pepper bacon is out of this world and the kobe sliders are a treat - they're all half off during happy hour.
Visit the Knife & Fork Inn at 3600 Atlantic Avenue. They are open for dinner nightly, have a daily happy hour and lunch is served on Fridays. For more historic restaurants in New Jersey, check out this list featuring
the oldest restaurants in the Garden State.