The Lookout at Ferry Park
What’s there to say about The Lookout at Ferry Park? Plenty. Spectacular views from its second-floor location, a coastal mood, and free parking! Wait, there’s more! The Lookout has an excellent international menu, comfy seating, and it’s a great spot for people watching and sunset watching. Really, all the things.
I recently dined there with my foodie friend Sophie, visiting from DC, and as is our wont, we’d already pre-decided our menu selections. We were really jazzed about this, our first-time dining experience at the re-opened and renovated restaurant.
Perhaps a little backstory would shine some light on why we were so excited. Ferry Park at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal has become a pretty big deal, transformed in 2022 from a dull and underused structure to a gleaming event-filled destination. Jack Wright of Exit Zero fame is the driving force behind this brainchild, and by all accounts his vision has forever changed the complex.
Before Wright took over the building, it was one of those places that only existed for passengers using the ferry. Maybe. There was no “there there.” Locals didn’t have any reason to go, so the whole joint laid fallow. For decades. Now it is in constant motion with events—art shows, concerts, movies on the lawn—and all with those spectacular views of the canal, bay, and almost nearly, the ocean.
On to dinner! We made our reservations on Resy through the Ferry Park website—very convenient and easy. We were seated quickly at a four-top, our menus placed so that we each had a view of the water. Very thoughtful. In warmer weather, we’d likely have chosen to be seated on the breezy patio, but on this cool night, we were inside and cozy.
This was The Lookout’s second night opening after a late winter retooling, and the staff were completely ready for us. Our server, Anna, appeared immediately with menus and I must mention that it is quite groovy: a leather kind of portfolio, embossed with The Lookout logo. Read: branding. Inside were the drink and food menus, along with the historical background of the names and origins of all.
For our beverages, we ordered a house cabernet for Sophie and a fancy liquor drink for me, the Spritz 64. There was a nice selection of cleverly named specialty cocktails, but I’m partial to anything hinting at bergamot (e.g., Earl Grey tea), which this featured. The Spritz 64 is a lovely concoction of prosecco, club soda, passion fruit juice, and Italicus bergamot liqueur topped with bergamot petals—so fancy and aromatic.
The menu is organized thusly: Salads and Soups, Raw Bar, Shared Plates, Mains and Sides. It will surely appeal to locals, visitors, and especially ferry passengers (possibly with kiddos) who are looking for an “eat and run” scenario. And a point of note: there are plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Back to dinner. I ordered the vegetarian Burrata Salad, a nice portion of the sexiest cheese on the planet, complemented with adorable heirloom tomatoes, arugula, lavender honey (yum), pistachios, a not-too-sweet blood orange vinaigrette and some grilled bread on the side. So good. Sophie ordered the Vegetable Pakora, an Indian appetizer of lightly deep-fried broccoli, peppers, Shiitake mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbage, and onions. There are various versions in the world, but this mélange was delicious. And then there’s the dipping sauces: sweet chili sauce and yogurt mint sauce. You will have to resist the temptation to order extra sauces. Like, to drink.
For my entrée, I chose the Lobster Fra Diavolo, a beautiful and generous bowl of lobster, shrimp, and mussels over angel hair pasta, and bathed in a delicately spicy Cioppino sauce. I make such a sauce, a slowly reduced and pureed combination of tomatoes, fennel, shallots, red pepper flakes, and garlic. The Lookout’s Cioppino was slightly different, and I shall ask for their recipe. Note that this dish is large, so leftovers will be in your future.
Sophie chose the Fisherman’s Pie, a nod to the more familiar Shepherd’s and Cottage Pie, but with seafood! Served in a ceramic baking dish, this pie was chock-full of smoked salmon, haddock, shrimp, creamy leek puree, and piped mashed potatoes, topped with Panko.
For dessert, we shared a serving of Orange Blossom Cheesecake. Delicate, tart, creamy and with a delightful personality. A perfect end to an excellent meal. If you’re in a rush and don’t have time for a leisurely dinner, Café 64 is a quicker option on the first floor. But sometimes it’s nice to just chill and simply watch the ferries come and go.