MARGATE, N.J. — Downbeach has become quite the magnet for D.C. politicos this summer.
Over Memorial Day weekend, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, who owns a bright yellow three-story beach block house in Ventnor's St. Leonard's Tract neighborhood, was spotted on the beach in Ventnor (with Secret Service detail), at Jerry Blavat's Memories in Margate (natch), and at Johnny's, a popular restaurant in Margate.
This past Fourth of July weekend, Conway, the South Jersey-bred daughter of a casino-worker mother, was busy in the Hamptons, according to reports, attending a party given by Washington Post editor Lally Weymouth. (Others attending included Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Chuck Schumer, Carl Icahn, Steven Spielberg, David Koch, and George Soros.)
But back in Margate was none other than Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose letter was cited for a time by President Trump as the rationale for firing FBI chief James Comey, and who then appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign.
Rosenstein's choice for dinner Saturday night? Johnny's, just like Conway.
Hmm. Did Conway recommend Johnny's to Rosenstein in that weird way Washington has where everyone is friends with everyone (see above Hamptons guest list)? Kind of an odd thought mulled over by the locals.
Both have local roots, though. Rosenstein grew up in Lower Moreland and attended Wharton.
Johnny's, owned by the Liccios, Johnny and Giovanna, is known for its busy happy hours, bar scene, recent expansion, and some robust Italian and seafood specialties like the branzino, veal milanese, and a $38.95 signature whole lobster done Francaise style. Not to mention the yummy "Island" steak salad for the no-carbs lunch crowd. In recent years, the power broker-hosting Liccios have also opened Tipsy Taco and Shuckers in the same block of Margate.