Pups, Kids, Wine, plus Dine Outdoors & Shop at Vintner Wonderland, Renault Winery until Feb. 28

Updated: Feb 16


Photo by R.C. Staab

Bring your kids for the ice skating and s'mores and hot chocolate at the fire pits. Bring the pups for fresh air and dog treats. Bring your wallets for unique local crafts and artisans. Bring your taste buds for Renault Winery's wine tasting or dining either outdoors at a variety of spaces with heaters or inside at the socially distanced tasting room. It's an outdoor Vintner Wonderland!


For those who haven't been to the winery in years or remember it only as a special events venue, this is a whole new experience. Since Vivamee Hospitality bought the property in 2019, they've started a major revitalization of the winery with an eye of making it one of the top gourmet and resort destinations in New Jersey.


The newly built outdoor ice rink is open daily through February 28 and designed for skaters of all ages and skill levels. Reserve a designated skate time by booking online. Bring skates or rent them at the rink.


Sip on a Renault seasonal wine or warm up with a cocktail from the outside bar and relax at a fire pit. Grab a quick bite from a food truck or make a dining reservation outside in at the Champagne Patio Garden where live bands perform. For a more intimate experience, dining reservations can be made inside the newly renovated Tasting Room on a first come first serve basis due to capacity restrictions.

Photo by Valari Staab

Especially for pets, come out to the winery for national "I Love My Pet Day" from noon to 6pm, Saturday, February 20. Among the arts and crafts booths, discover De'Vora's shop with pet coats, treats, toys and particularly their innovative pet grooming toy, Scratch Square. Created by Atlantic County, NJ, dog owner, Debra LoFranco, not only does the toy entertain and stimulate pets, but it solves a problem that many of their owners and pets face when it comes to having nails trimmed. By stuffing the toy with treats which dogs love, pets trim and file their own nails. At the De'Vora's store, staff will handles out goodies and take orders. Entertainment on tap for "I Love My Pet Day" is cheezy and crackers from 12-4pm, the Bill Billy Walton Band from 6-10pm and Dueling Pianos from 5-pm


Through February 28, Renault's Winery Vintner Wonderland is a great way to chase away the winter blues for the whole family.


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Find out more about Jersey Shore

a list of great restaurants that go beyond the ordinary.


Other Winter Outdoor Dining Hot Spots: Birravino in Red Bank, Deauville Inn in Strathmere, Anjelica's in Sea Bright, and more.


Tucked in a busy corner of the northeastern section of downtown Red Bank is a restaurant with the most outdoor dining options you'll find in one place in New Jersey and maybe even the nation. To help diners make it through the winter months, Birravino has created BirraVillage. Want to safely dine with a party of 4? Try a heated dining cottage. Have a bigger party of up to 10 people? They have four large, heated private greenhouses. Or just want to dine safely outdoors in a larger setting? How about their socially distanced heated tent.


Seven days a week, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner starting at noonfor high quality Italian meals created by Vic Rallo, host of Eat! Drink! Italy! on Create TV. Tent reservations, which are free, can be made through the restaurant's website. To reserve private greenhouse or cottage seating, call 732-842-5990. Reservations fees start at $25 for the small cottages and are separate from the cost of drinks and meals.

Photo courtesy of Deauville Inn

To make it through the cold winter months, the Deauville Inn in Strathmere has created an indoor/outdoor space that has one of the most advanced heating systems at the Shore. Even fair-weather restaurant-goers will keep warm and dry. The new menu created by chef TJ Ricciardi offers plenty of seafood such as seared sea scallops, shrimp and grits, grilled swordfish and crab cakes. For meat lovers, the selections include pork chops, steaks and slow-roasted prime rib. There's soup, salads, sandwiches and hot and cold appetizers for casual diners.


The Deauvillle Inn is open year round from 11am-10pm.

Photo by R.C. Staab

Anjelica's high-end Italian cuisine has garnered it a loyal following as well as recognition as one of Open Table's Top 100 Restaurants in America in 2019. Last summer after restaurants were allowed to re-open, Anjelica's expanded its hours to include casual sidewalk dining for lunch. On the sidewalk they added a take-out stand for Italian Street Food where beachgoers stopped by on their way to the ocean. Plunging temperatures haven't dented their enthusiasm for serving Jersey Shore diners. They have installed wall and space heaters in the alley and on the sidewalk along Ocean Avenue. Diners are welcome to bring their own blankets or buy them from the restaurant. Anjelica's is open for lunch starting at noon and dinner at 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday and for dinner on Sundays from 1-8pm.

Photo courtesy of Setaara

It snows right through the roof. Sometimes it's real. Sometimes it's fake. But it's always an experience at the Afghan French restaurant Setaara with its remarkable two-story rear courtyard inspired by a Moroccan riad. Nationally recognized this summer by the LA Times, the restaurant's outdoor seating rings a fountain filled with rose petals and lighting imported from Morocco, Egypt and Turkey.


With heat lamps and fire pits, the restaurant has become one of the most popular spots at the Jersey Shore. The menu is Afgan-French influenced with a couple of Italian dishes as a nod to the restaurant's location in the heart of Ducktown. Not surprisingly, it's AC's first Afghan Restaurant. But it is also the city’s only French restaurant.


Photo by R.C. Staab

One of the Jersey Shore's hottest restaurant last year continues to heat up the dining scene, inside and outside this winter. Tom Ambrisi's The Butcher's Block is tucked away on West Avenue in an industrial area of Long Branch protected by cold winter winds off the ocean. It's the perfect stop for our regular spotlight of 2021 winter outdoor dining options at the Jersey Shore.


Led by its partner design company, The Reclaimed Firm, the exterior of The Butcher's Block restaurant offers a variety of outdoor seating options. Against the wall of the restaurant, on a raised outdoor platform, diners are protected on two sides. Out in the large patio area, the seating is fairly flexible with large tables and plenty of outdoor heaters. In another section, there are

are fire pits and casual seating. When asked if they will always be open outdoors, the answer is the same as with most restaurants this winter -- weather permitting. But on a night when the temperature dipped to freezing, plenty of people were still warmed by the heaters and eating outside.


This winter, the restaurant is open starting at 4:00 pm Thursday through Saturday. The Butcher Shop is open (with take-out) from noon-4:30, Wednesday through Sunday.


Follow us here on thecitypulse.com as we continue tour restaurants with outstanding outdoor seating throughout the season.

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Find out more about historic attractions and other Jersey Shore sites, architecture, cultural events, outdoor activities, shopping and food and dining options with the book 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die. Click on this link and use the discount code 2021 for $1 off the price AND get an autographed copy.





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