Spring Has Sprung: A Bounty of Festivities Greet the Season

There’s Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby Day (which can stretch into Triple Crown fever), Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day. When you factor in the micro-seasons restaurants love to celebrate (ramps, fiddleheads, shad, soft-shell crabs), we’re talking a bounty of reasons to eat out.

For example, if you’re not making the long trip to Churchill Downs in Kentucky for the Derby this weekend, you can take an excursion to Cape May, where the Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel (25 Jackson Street) is doing the Derby in style.

Starting at 4 pm, guests will gather in their finest Derby-wear to sip mint juleps and eat light bites of Southern fare, specially prepared for the event courtesy of Beach Plum Farm. The live race will be shown on TVs at the restaurant. Tickets are $25 per person, in advance, and include hors d’oeuvres – and a little wagering: Guests who select the winning horse and time in the Kentucky Derby will receive a $25 gift card.  To reserve, call 609-884-5700 or visit theebbittroom.com.

Other spring holiday specials and events:

Cinco de Mayo Special: Mitchell’s Fish Market Restaurant & Bar, 541 River Road, Edgewater, is offering a $10 special on Friday, May 5—a house margarita, plus two fish tacos. 201-840-9311. mitchellsfishmarket.com.

Triple Crown Menu: Shannon Rose Irish Pub—Clifton and Ramsey locations—will offer a special menu for race season starting Saturday, May 6 and continuing through Saturday, June 10, in honor of the Kentucky Derby (May 6); the Preakness Stakes (May 20); and the Belmont Stakes (June 10). New items include a Woodford Reserve Mint Julep on the drinks side, and on the menu, the Kentucky Hot Brown, a classic turkey dish. 98 Kingland Road in Clifton; 973-284-0200. 1200 Route 17 in Ramsey; 201-962-7602. theshannonrose.com.

Plan ahead:

Black Truffle Week Menu: La Cipollina, 16 West Main Street in Freehold, will celebrate the haute-cuisine fungus from Tuesday, June 6 through Tuesday, June 13, with a six-course menu featuring black truffles in a myriad of dishes, from zuppa (soup) to dolce (sweets). The per-person price of the dinner is $125, not including tax and tip. The restaurant’s owner is Anthony Bracia and the chef is Matt Higgins. 732-308-3830. www.lacipollina.com.

Battleship New Jersey Beer Fest: At the Battleship NJ, docked at 100 Clinton Street in Camden, the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild will present a benefit honoring the famous battleship and the guild on Saturday, June 24 from 1 to 4:30 pm. Some 44 Garden State breweries will be on hand to pour more than 100 different beers. General admission is $50, which includes 15 coupons for 4-ounce pours; VIP tickets are $75, and include early admission starting at noon, as well as samples of exclusive brews. For information and tickets, call Jason Canty at the guild, 609-417-8999, or visit www.newjerseybeer.ticketleap.com.

Please send items for Table Hopping three weeks ahead of desired publication to Andrea Clurfeld at aclurfeldnjmonthly.com.

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