Restaurant: Aqua, Duck, North Carolina
Web Site: http://restaurantsouterbanks.com/
Address: 1174 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949
Well recommended, and the recommendations were spot on. Sound-side waterfront restaurant with fine dining, very nice wine list, and extremely good service staff. We were there in the off season, and the place was very empty (we ended up closing it down), but there was never any hint they were trying to rush us out and shortening the quality of the food or service. The place has plenty of outdoor seating (too cold this time of year), nice decor and is right in the heart of the Duck commercial area.
Salads and soup were very high quality and well presented. Wild salmon and rockfish were perfectly cooked and well presented. The in-house dessert was creative and delicious.
Restaurant: Black Pelican
Web Site: http://blackpelican.com/cms/
Address: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Phone: (252) 261-3171
Selected from Yelp as we were driving down the road looking for something open in the off-season. The Outer Banks has lots of great dining, but it has an overwhelming amount of deep fried bar food and in the off-season a lot of places are closed or closed Monday through Wednesday. Yelp and on-line menus seemed to indicate we would like this place, but we had no reference from anyone.
We were very happy with the choice. While Black Pelican had menu items catering to the sports bar crowd, they had a very large and varied menu including pizzas and lots of seafood offerings. Its located in an old (very old) building that was a lifesaving station and sits right on the beach in Kitty Hawk. I’m sure in the summer its a great place for lunch or casual eating where you can watch the ocean. We were there in the middle of November at night, so we’ll take it on faith. The sound of the surf right over the dunes from the parking lot is noticeable.
Food was really good, and at a good price point. The staff were more than friendly, accommodating, and helpful, which has been a universal observation while visiting the outer banks. A good, more casual dinner choice while visiting.
Restaurant: Lifesaving Station (No. 5)
Web Site: http://www.sanderling-resort.com/dining-lifesaving-station.php
Address: Duck, North Carolina
Phone: (855) 412-7866
Restaurant attached to the Sanderling Resort. The menu is not extensive, but that is typical for most places on the outer banks. They focus on doing a few things well, and that focus is pretty sharp on a seafood/southern things. Shrimp and Grits is common, etc.
We’ve only visited in the off season. There are admittedly few options, particularly early in the week, and the menus are pared down a bit which makes sense given the smaller crowds. Lifesaving Station has great service, and nice (while not large) wine list that goes well with their food, and if you are lucky with the weather (and table) a great view of the sunset.
Food is super. The scollops dish is a favorite, and their salads are consistently fresh and very attractively presented.
Pretty far up the outer banks, but worth the drive.