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“Elegance, charm, and excellence”
Review of Knife & Fork Inn

Knife & Fork Inn
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Ranked #9 of 406 Restaurants in Atlantic City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Albany Avenue
Washington, DC
Level 5 Contributor
34 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Elegance, charm, and excellence”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

For my wife’s very special birthday we went to Atlantic City. Deciding what to do for entertainment was easy (casinos, boardwalk). Deciding where to eat dinner for her birthday was another. So, after a lot of research, I decided on the Knife & Fork Inn.

The restaurant dates back to 1912, and was a fixture in the Roaring Twenties. It was also a source of alcohol during Prohibition until federal agents finally raided it. Political boss and racketeer Enoch “Nucky” Johnson -- the person that “Nucky” Thompson is based upon in the popular HBO series Boardwalk Empire -- dined here regularly, according to the restaurant’s web site.

Because this is a historic restaurant, by Atlantic City standards, it’s located a couple of miles south of some of the main casinos (Trump Taj Mahal, Resorts, Revel, etc.). Hence, it’s not a practical walk. Getting a cab there was inexpensive, though, and worth it.

When we walked in, we were taken back in time. It felt authentic, and the appointments of dark wood, brass, and stained glass windows created a special atmosphere. I had requested a special table for my wife’s birthday, and you know restaurants hear this all the time. But when they took us upstairs we started eyeing what looked like a prime dining area. They sat us at what I think was the best table in the restaurant, in an area set off from the main dining area, where there were only four or five tables, all next to the windows.

Our waitress, Heidi, was fabulous. She is a lovely young woman who bears a striking resemblance to a young Angie Dickinson. We ordered our drinks first, and I sprung for the Dirty Sue Martini, which I had never heard of.

This was a wonderful drink, and the best dirty martini I have ever had. It had just the right balance and hue; more delicate than traditional dirty martinis. I told Heidi this, and learned that she mixed the drink. I asked about the name of the drink, and it’s based on the brand of olive juice, “Dirty Sue.” She brought me the bottle so that I could note this, as I wanted to order it for home. She pampered us throughout the evening.

For appetizers we ordered the corn and clam chowder. It was delicious! They served complimentary rolls that were wonderful and complemented the chowder. There was a walnut type roll that was my favorite.

We already knew what we were going to order for the entrée: Lobster Thermidor. My wife had looked at the menu online and saw that they served it. She was in deep anticipation of it as the days counted down to her birthday. I must confess that I did not know what Lobster Thermidor was -- I had never seen it on a menu before -- so researched it.

In short, the dish is based upon a French recipe, and takes quite a bit of preparation, hence is expensive. But it’s worth every dollar. One reviewer here complained about mushrooms in the dish and said had she known this, she would not have ordered it. This made me wonder if this was some radical departure from the recipe. Some online recipes do not include mushrooms, but the Dame of French cooking -- Julia Childs -- used them in her recipe for the dish.

Nevertheless, obviously in light of this criticism, when we ordered the Lobster Thermidor, Heidi told us that it had mushrooms in it. They were not going to change their Julia Childs-inspired recipe, but were being responsive by disclosing it before you ordered.

Well, it was fabulous! The mushrooms perfectly complemented the complex and rich taste of the dish. The chef is generous with the lobster -- a two-pounder -- that is served in the shell. Beware, though, and don’t overdo it on the appetizers, salads, etc., because you won’t be able to finish it.

During our meal the manager stopped by to check on us, a very nice touch, since he knew this was a very special occasion. And, as the finale, Heidi brought out a delicious cupcake with a candle on it.

This wrapped up our evening, and Heidi called a cab for us. It was a perfect birthday dinner in an elegant and charming atmosphere, with superb personal service, and perfect food. The Knife & Fork Inn will be our preferred place of dining every time we return to Atlantic City.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Cozmot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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606 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Expensive for Average Food”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Warm spinach salad was excellent. Appetizers of Colossal Shrimp and Crabmeat were good. Lobster Bisque was more like tomato soup w/ bits of lobster. Four spices tuna was flavorful and well prepared. Beef and Reef was unremarkable and 12 oz. Filet Mignon was downright chewy! Very nice ambiance and service was good, albeit the wait between appetizers and entrees was excessive. All told, we are happy to pay above average prices for good food, but this was average food.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 338jong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Attleboro
Level 6 Contributor
184 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“A great tradition”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Very nice atmosphere at a century old inn. Wonderful fish options. Our meals of flounder and salmon were fabulous. Service was great.

Visited August 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
51 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Wow what a meal”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

OK we splurged. We met friends for dinner and forgot about the cost. I agree with the previous poster about apps and drinks at the bar, much more economical. The kobe sliders we observed looked fabulous as we waited for our friends to arrive. My husband and one friend had the 18oz lobster tail poached in butter, that's 1 1/2 lb. lobster tail people for $51.00 each. Yes we're talking splurge. They loved it. Other friend had lobster thermador stuffed in a lobster shell. Forgot that price but steep. I had the flounder, I know boring but still wonderful. Wine was good. Dessert was crème brulee and molten lava cake, really great. A terrific night and wonderful food.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank susanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great bar”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

This is a great place to meet friends and enjoy apps and drinks at the bar. The restaurant is also great for a nice romantic and fancy dinner. Well worth it!

Visited January 2013
Thank Mary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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