Restaurant Review

Superfrico in Atlantic City Is a Wild Good Time—But the Food Isn’t Nearly as Exciting

With its impressive theatrics, lively vibe and whimsical decor, the adults-only Superfrico is the most fun and unique restaurant at the Jersey Shore—perhaps in all of NJ. The menu, however, doesn't rise to the same level.

A performance at Superfrico in Atlantic City

Out-there performances make dining at Atlantic City’s Superfrico a real trip. Photo: Ted Nghiem

In a normal restaurant, you show up, sit down, and after some brief interactions with a server, eat, pay and leave. But there is very little that’s normal about Atlantic City’s Superfrico, the most recent big-deal restaurant to open in the Jersey Shore town.

You get a hint of this lack of normalcy, this outlier status, from the fact that Superfrico calls itself an “Italian American psychedelic” restaurant. The key word here is psychedelic. Superfrico is a trip.

Where else at the Jersey Shore can you find yourself midway through a course of tableside-made mozzarella when a Twiggy-like drag queen mounts your shoulders before leaping off to do a sexy and quite, shall we say, immodest dance on the floor? (This is a good time to tell you that Superfrico is very much an adults-only establishment.) Or where a member of the staff puts a wild wig on your head before handing you a French horn, encouraging you to dazzle the dining room with your brass prowess, which, of course, you do.

Then there’s the buxom, bedazzled burlesque dancer who charms you with the batting of her long, also-bedazzled lashes—and a complimentary shot of some potent elixir she’s carrying around on a tray, cigarette-girl style—into singing a few lines of a Barry Manilow song at the top of your lungs. And who can forget the close-up sleight-of-hand master, or the guy impossibly balancing a dozen martini glasses on his head while gyrating to Superfrico’s pumping pop-funk-disco soundtrack?

Burrata being stretched out tableside at Superfrico in Atlantic City

Mozzarella is entertainingly stretched out tableside at Superfrico, but the dish’s flavor and texture—and high price of $85—are not as delightful as the show. Photo: Ted Nghiem

You take all of this in while imbibing inventive specialty cocktails. My favorite was a concoction of tequila, blackberries and lemon that’s known in these parts as the Midnight Rambler, though they make a fine classic gin martini as well (except for when the novice bartender on one visit made it with sweet vermouth instead of dry). And you’ll no doubt be lured into sipping drinks bearing naughty-ish names like Pool Boy and Under the Host.

Unless you’re the most curmudgeonly person on Earth, you are probably by now thinking that Superfrico sounds like a lot of fun. And it is that: fun. In fact, I feel confident in telling you that Superfrico is the most fun and unique restaurant at the Jersey Shore—perhaps in all the state—thanks to the aforementioned talent (all of whom perform in the must-see Las Vegas-style variety show, The Hook, next door), intimate interactivity, vivacious vibe, and wild and whimsical decor that festoons the walls and ceilings of its labyrinth of dining areas.

I just wish the food rose to the level of all this fun.

We were excited to try the mozzarella, entertainingly stretched out tableside by an effusive server, but it was as dull in flavor as a piece of cardboard, with a texture to match. And at $85? A downright embarrassment. (If you want this dish prepared the right way, walk a few blocks to Café 2825.)

While the mozzarella suffered from blandness, the hefty and heftily priced tomahawk steak suffered from overseasoning. What’s the point of sourcing the best beef from top purveyors and wet aging it under exacting methods, as Superfrico claims it does, if the end result is as if a salt bomb went off in your mouth? I was annoyed, during my first visit, when we didn’t get to try the chicken parmigiana after the otherwise exceptional server forgot to order it, and we had to run to the 9 pm showing of The Hook. But upon my third visit, I realized she had done me a favor. The most basic of Italian American dishes failed to please in every way. The dried-out former fowl swam in a pool of what the menu called spicy marinara, but spicy it was not, and it brought me back to my young adult years when something out of a jar sufficed. Not bad, but merely mediocre were the four pastas, all of which I tasted and none of which I would order again. C’mon, Superfrico, this is New Jersey. If you can’t nail chicken parm and linguini, you might not belong.

Pizzas at Superfrico in Atlantic City

The pizzas at Superfrico stand out on the menu. Photo: Ted Nghiem

We fared much better with the left side of the menu, which features the appetizers, smaller bites and pizzas. Though it might sound boring, the kale Caesar with white anchovies popped with freshness and flavor. I would eat it once a week. Also boring-sounding but surprisingly more than pleasing: the fried calamari, which was better than most versions out there. The kitchen also knows its way around pizza. The long-fermented dough on Superfrico’s 6-by-6 inch Detroit-style deep dish leads to a crust that you’ll want to come back for and that’s not replicated elsewhere in town. And why just get the meatball app (the meatballs not as good as my Mom-Mom’s, may she rest in peace, or mine, for that matter, but perfectly serviceable), when you can turn them into a meatball iceberg salad, perhaps the only worthwhile use for the most boring of lettuces?

Fried calamari at Superfrico in Atlantic City

Superfrico’s fried calamari was surprisingly pleasing. Photo: Ted Nghiem

As for desserts, I can’t tell you that ordering the tiramisu, which Superfrico pushes as its signature dessert, was the best idea ever, but it certainly wasn’t the worst either, and it was the best of the desserts we sampled on our three visits.

So what do we do with you, Superfrico? Atlantic City is a place with no shortage of exemplary—or, in some cases, at least, iconic—Italian and Italian American restaurants, and you’re just not up to par by that measure. On the other hand, we don’t remember the last time we laughed so hard in a restaurant or came away with so many great videos, selfies, and memories of us and our friends being ridiculous and filled with silly joy.

At the end of the day, dear reader, I’d advise you to pay Superfrico a visit for drinks, snacks and a whole lot of fun. But maybe leave the entrées and pastas for elsewhere.

HOW WE REVIEW: Restaurants are chosen for review at the sole discretion of the dining editor, based on input from our food writers and critics around the state. Our reviewers visit a restaurant at least twice, always maintaining anonymity to avoid preferential treatment. The reviewer brings up to three guests per visit and tastes everything that is ordered. NJM reimburses the reviewer for all food and beverage expenses. After the final visit, the reviewer conducts a phone interview with the chef, owner or other key members of the team. The review is then submitted to NJM and edited for clarity and fairness. Stars are assigned by the editor in consultation with the reviewer. As a final step, an NJM staffer checks the review for accuracy, always calling the restaurant to confirm all facts. 

Four stars = extraordinary; three stars = excellent; two stars = very good; one star = good; half a star = fair.

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Restaurant Details

  • Cuisine Type:
  • Price Details:
    Appetizers, $16-$24; entrées, $21-$170; sides, $15; desserts, $16-$69
  • Ambience:
    As wild as you want to make it
  • Service:
    Friendly and engaging
  • Wine list:
    Something for everyone, leaning hard into craft cocktails