Monday, June 25, 2012

Seafood by the Seashore on Virginia's Eastern Shore

I love looking at bodies of water while dining. I don’t mean sitting on the sand eating a sandy sandwich. I mean sitting at a table in a rustic seafarer’s café of an upscale seaside restaurant. Living on America’s East Coast presents many opportunities to satisfy my seaside and fresh seafood desires. 
So recently I visited Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Here are a few of my favorite eateries.

Virginia Beach
Bubba’s Restaurant sits so close to Lynnhaven Inlet that, from inside, it appears to float. Picture windows wrap around three walls of the dining room, filled with long tables. My group sat indoors, but there’s a covered deck where you can enjoy your food accompanied by the sounds of seagulls and lapping water.

I ordered the Eastern Shore sandwich. The oysters were plump, moist, lightly coated and crisply fired. They snuggled close to the best coleslaw ever – a white and purple cabbage mixture with a piquant dressing.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel
Imagine eating a full hot breakfast in the center of a 17½-mile bridge. You, too, can experience this unique experience at the Chesapeake Grill, a full-service café that prepares breakfast, lunch and dinner, using mostly locally-grown ingredients and fresh seafood. In their gift shop, you can pick up some local products, including the highly-rated Virginia wines.

Cape Charles
The historic Victorian town of CapeCharles, I admit, perfectly fits the title of “sleepy.” No malls, traffic lights, hustle or bustle – perfect for a family vacation or lover’s getaway. Since I wasn’t there with my family or my lover, I went for the food.

Located in the Bay Creek Resort’s upscale Marina Village is Aqua, a handsome restaurant that features meat and pasta dishes, along with fresh seafood creations. We lunched in the dining room with a stunning view of the bay. They passed around a tasty appetizer of fried calamari with onions and chilies. For my entrée, I chose Aqua’s Signature Crab Cake Sandwich with fries, cole slaw and chipotle aioli. The crab cakes were meaty with no detectable filler.

We were treated to goodies brought by Pamela Barefoot of the Blue Crab Bay Company that specializes in gourmet foods, condiments, gifts and stoneware. I couldn’t stop snacking on the spicy honey peanuts.

There were some good inland restaurants, too, but I’ll mention them at another time.