By TIM KELLY
Imagine a free dinner for you and nine friends and/or family members at Mike’s Seafood & Dock Restaurant in Sea Isle City.
One lucky friend on Mike Seafood’s Facebook page won’t have to imagine it: The winner of a new promotion for the landmark seafood store and restaurant at 4222 Park Road in historic Fish Alley will live the dream.
“It’s a pretty nice prize,” said restaurant owner Mike Monichetti. “The winner could use it to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or other special occasion. Or they could just hang with their friends for a great evening out. Whatever the winner decides, we’re going to make it a special event.”
Entering the contest is easy and fun. For a chance to win, simply go to the Mike’s Seafood Facebook page, like it, comment on the post about what it is you love about Mike’s, share it with your favorite friends and you’re in the game.
Mike’s Seafood Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/mikesseafoodseaisle/
“With this contest, we wanted to give back and show customer appreciation,” Monichetti explained. “We also want people to have fun with it and to learn some things about what our customers enjoy. It will help us to know our customers better.”
The winner of the contest will be announced at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Day, Monichetti said. The winner can pick a date anytime the restaurant is open.
“We’ll reserve a great table for the group right next to the water,” Monichetti said.
With the contest happening, and the holidays just around the corner, things are jumping at Mike’s, Monichetti said.
“We already have more than 40 comments on the page,” he noted in an interview Thursday.
One of the aspects keeping the store busy is the recent revival of families celebrating Christmas with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Sometimes, hosts and hostesses who patronize a supermarket or seafood market with fewer choices will scramble to put seven different seafood dishes on the table.
That is not the case at Mike’s Seafood, where some customers travel a long distance knowing they won’t have difficulty in the planning and selection of the seafood they’ll offer.
“We have 40 different items to choose from, and that takes a lot of the pressure off,” Monichetti said.
He mentioned such mouth-watering options as mussels, Mike’s special recipe crab cakes, scallops wrapped in bacon and many more.
“I spoke to a lot of people at the end of the summer who were closing their summer homes down after the season who told me, ‘I’ll see you before Christmas for the Seven Fishes,’” Monichetti related.
According to Monichetti, the Seven Fishes tradition was fading and in danger of going away about a decade back. But the Food Network and the large number of popular cooking shows have changed all that.
“Since these cooking shows became so popular, it kind of revived the whole tradition and introduced it to a new group of people,” Monichetti said. “People tell me all the time about how they heard about the Feast on Rachel Ray, for example. The cooking shows have really helped bring back the tradition.”
Although the holidays and the feast have the eatery jumping these days, Monichetti is truly excited about the enthusiasm generated by the giveaway of the free dinner for 10, he said.
He even shared a tip for how entrants might increase their chances of winning.
“If all 10 of the people put in their own entries, it will give the group as a whole a better chance. They just need to make sure whoever wins invites all the other friends in the group,” he said with a laugh.
In this video, Mike’s Seafood owner Mike Monichetti explains the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes Mike DeVlieger, managing editor of SeaIsleNews.com, OCNJDaily,com, SomersPoint.com and Downbeach.com.