‘The 1690’ Prepares Good Tastes, Ready to Enjoy

‘Making Culinary Memories With Family and Friends’
By MARIA SCANDALE | Jul 25, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

The 1690 Culinary Market in Harvey Cedars is the fresh result of chef/owner Holly Trump’s vision and her expertise as a high-end corporate caterer in Princeton. From soup to nuts is from zingy, addictive gazpacho to candied cayenne nut mix. The chef staff rises to shine at 3:30 a.m. to slow-roast the portobello bites and start the cinnamon buns with pecan-currant glaze. The array meets customers’ eyes from gleaming stainless steel shelving and contemporary coolers.

Trump is as creative as she is savvy and organized. Now a Barnegat Light resident with her family, she knew what she wanted to add to the culinary offerings on the north end, and she has the energy to bring it to our tables.

The name is derived from the time period when the Lenape tribes enjoyed the natural beauty and refreshing summer escape on the barrier island, blazing a trail for the semi-permanent camps established by 1690. Long Beach Island continues to provide the relaxed lifestyle that only island life can offer.

In that tone, The 1690 Culinary Market is here to help Islanders “just sit back and relax” and enjoy their time at the shore.

“So, skip the planning, the shopping, the crowds,” the market offers. “We prepare and deliver everything you need to make great food and amazing memories with your family and friends.”

Food and drink, the website should say. One of the first things that catches the eye is a basket of smart-looking portable water bottles, next to dispensaries of store-made flavored water. This day’s blend was citrus-cayenne, the cayenne for a healthy kick. The store-made seltzer was organic tart cherry-Key lime that day.

“These bottles you can come back and refill for a dollar anytime after you buy them,” Trump said. “The keg that we have is a microbrew keg that we got specially shipped from down in South Carolina that is easy to clean and is a specialized keg so that we can make seltzer. People come in and fill the bottles with just so much because they are going to go to a party and fill the rest with vodka.”

The life of any party will be the ready-made mixers, there to buy by the half-gallon.

“Our Bloody Mary mix is becoming quite famous, I hear. It’s a heavy-duty one. All you’ve got to do is add the vodka. Our mimosa mix has tangerine and clementine in it. We have our Margarita mix that we make from simple syrup and all fresh Key limes, and this is our Sangria mix, all fresh fruits with the juices. You can put three-quarters of a dark Cabernet and a Sauvignon blanc wine in there, shake it up, and you’ll have Sangria in 15 minutes. And this is our green Mary; it’s made with tomatillos in it.”

On to the food. The array of foods in the cases on one July Saturday displayed the option to shop the fully prepared or the partially prepared chef’s creations. As examples of the partial cooking allowing the host to have a hand in the final presentation, the catch of the day was halibut; it was partially cooked and pan-blackened.

Among the cooked entrees to warm up are Barnegat Light sea scallops, hot seared, with crisp bacon and white wine Dijon “side brush.”

The salads are  “deconstructed.” That means the components are separated. That’s not only to keep everything crisp, but also to let the party host toss it together just before serving.

As Trump added, “And you’ve got to do a little bit, you know what I mean?” Or as the website says, that is “allowing you to hand-craft culinary memories with your family and friends.”

Brunch is from 7 a.m. to “whenever,” seven days a week. There is a cage-free organic egg mix ($8 per pint) that is “ready to scramble.” The eggs are pre-cracked. It’s another example of cutting the time and the messy hassle for the customer who has hungry guests at home. Smoked ham crumbles would be good with those eggs; so would the slow-roasted pepper and sweet onion.

What bagel-lover wouldn’t want to wake up to some mission fig and roasted shallot cream cheese on top? The specialty spreads menu also includes smoked salmon, caper and red onion confetti cream cheese as well as crispy leek cream cheese.

That and so much more is brunch. See the website or stop in and grab the full menu.

“Ready for the grill” choices include tenderloin of beef medallions with fresh herb and roasted garlic marinade. Need sauce for a 1690 burger or steak? One of several homemade sauces is crispy sweet onion and Guinness stout.

“We make all our dressings from scratch, all our sauces.”

The boneless chicken breast ready to grill includes the wing bone and was raised on antibiotic-free vegetarian feed. It’s got a mixed herb and dry sherry seasoning.

Say that everyone just came off the beach and swam up an appetite. For seafood happy hour(s), the host can serve fresh littlenecks that are ready to heat in a broth of Old Bay roasted garlic saffron butter.

A Bloody Mary dipping sauce comes with the fresh top neck half-shell clams. Oysters, mussels, shrimp, all have creative sauces.

The 1690 can provide the party with appetizers to get excited about. Enter those slow-roasted portobello bites. Add a Greek olive array. A strata of chorizo, tri pepper and Chihuahua cheese ($18 to serve three) fills out more of a platter. Portioned to serve four people is the Tex-Mex combo side of flour tortillas, black beans, 1690 salsa cruda and avocado creme.

Food for after the beach is one thing; a coolerful for the beach (or the boat) is another. A nice, re-usable 1690 cooler comes loaded with a picnic lunch for two for $48.

Or go for the subs, ready to go in choices such as cured Italian meats and sharp provolone, or grilled balsamic veggie and fresh mozzarella with sun-dried tomato basil pesto.

Snacks to serve go beyond the ordinary – potato chips are “1690 fresh Yukon” chips with shake-in seasonings available in ranch, buffalo or Old Bay. The chips are intensely delicious without any seasoning. There are also herb-crusted Naan bread bites and much more.

The vegan is not forgotten at The 1690. From white beans to black beans, there’s a crispy white bean and roasted veggie cake; slow-cooked black beans; roasted crushed cracked black pepper potato mini’s and more.

The health-conscious will be interested that a high-end Rational brand convi-steamer oven does “fried” chicken and lump crab cakes without deep-frying in oil.

A kids’ menu completes the family options, and they’ll like the sea creature-shaped gummies for fun.

See the menu at the website the1690lbi.com. The restaurant has an app for ordering as well. Delivery locally can be done for large orders.

The address is 8001 Long Beach Blvd.; the phone number is 609-467-5567.

Plans to Stay Open

Through the Year

A chat with the owner summarizes more on the philosophy and purpose of The 1690. Trump bought the business in May and had it open for Memorial Day weekend, renovating and outfitting it in three weeks, with some help.

“I don’t want to be the person who’s just here for the summer; we’re really committed to being here year ’round,” she said. The team is looking forward to “getting into some wintry fun foods,” she hinted.

Chef-manager Mike Davis agreed. Davis, of Toms River, has worked for Trump for 10 years. He’s from Tuckerton and very familiar with LBI, so this was an intriguing opportunity close to home.

“We just came down and had a vision, and I said, ‘OK, let’s do it,’ he recalled. “We just love being down here and doing things in the community. It’s almost like a full circle; you come back home and you want to be part of the community and do the right thing, not just being out here doing something you don’t like.”

Trump will maintain her corporate dining business in Princeton and said she goes there a couple of days a week as part of overseeing it. Her experience in both the business and troubleshooting aspects of restaurant and food service companies led her to the corporate dining aspect 23 years ago. She purchased part of an existing business and has run the woman-owned business for 21 of those years.

“We’re in the Route 1 corridor of  Princeton doing high-end cafeteria and catering services in international corporate headquarters.”

A taste for The 1690 started when Trump read a writer’s quote on having dinner at home “and what they were going to do was have people come over and instead of being the host where you keep everybody out of the kitchen, they wanted to invite people in and make them become part of the experience.

“That kind of stuck with me. Culinary is becoming a thing again that people can do together and enjoy.”

The young, attentive people among the staff range from 16 years old to college students. Most of them had never cooked before The 1690 opened. Trump feels rewarded to see their progress.

“They’ve learned in just these past months,” she observed. “You turn around and there they are with their knife skills; we’re reiterating and teaching, so it’s a pretty cool experience.”

mariascandale@thesandpaper.net

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