If you Googled Indian food in Cape May, the results would send you up the Parkway to Egg Harbor, New Jersey–until now.
Enter Exit Zero Cookhouse in West Cape May. No, that is not Gordon Ramsay’s accent you hear coming from the kitchen. That’s Scotsman Jack Wright, publisher of Exit Zero Magazine, surely you can tell the difference.
Jack is married to the lovely Diane Stopyra who is also bustling, about the dining room. Exit Zero Cookhouse is not only the newest eatery in Cape May, but the newest concept in boutique, BYOB dining too.
By definition, Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits.
Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions.
So why is Cape May’s most visible Scotsman opening an Indian influenced restaurant? I wondered the same thing. Jack says he is a very spontaneous person. While that may be true, I suspect Exit Zero wanted to bring something completely different to the (West) Cape May community.
It would appear they hit a home run. Dining at the friends and family soft opening, our companion was Cape May Bird, who obviously is a foodie, also approved via tweeter. Our dishes were excellent.
Our table, carefully and intentionally selected different entrees to get the full cross-section of offerings.
Left to right we enjoyed: Thai Shrimp and Coconut appetizer, my entrée the Chili, made with chocolate and Cape May Brewing’s honey porter (my favorite) and the Chicken Tikka Masala. The layers of flavor were amazing to the taste buds. The chili is available as a vegetarian dish too.
Our server advised the chili was spicy, but paired with Oskar Blues Pinner from Sunset Liquors (across the street) the heat was manageable. More of a smoky flavor I would say. Most entrees were served with basmati rice.
In the authenticity department, the menu boasts of many Indian spices. The list includes, turmeric, cardamom and of coriander. The Exit Zero Cookhouse is not the Cape May version of “The One Hundred Foot Journey.” But a hat tip is in order to Jack and Diane for bringing Indian food in Cape May.
If you go, the Exit Zero Cookhouse at 109 Sunset Boulevard accepts all major credit cards, but they don’t take reservations. For now they are serving only dinner and are closed Sundays. The restaurant is a BYOB. There are less Indian influenced menu items available.