Saturday, August 25, 2012

Posting a Comment to this Blog

I have noticed that many of you still are having trouble posting a comment to this blog.

Today, 3/14/13, I posted a comment to a post and it was so simple.  I typed a comment in the comment box, my initials (AG) were automatically in the little box below.  I hit "publish" and it was published.  Maybe this will work for you, too??    Here's hoping!

If it doesn't please feel free to e-mail me at   Good luck!   I so look forward to hearing from you. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Aqua Excels for Fine Dining in Duck, North Carolina

Every year for the past 11 years, we have gone to Duck, North Carolina for our summer vacation.  And, every year, we make it a point to go to The Blue Point - a restaurant that would impress even Chef Ramsey from "Kitchen Nightmares".  The food is beautifully presented and the atmosphere is elegant yet tranquil.  It is nestled at the end of a row of quaint shops and most seats offer a view of the Sound.  For 11 years, it has been the place my husband and I have gone to on our "date night".  And this year was no exception.  No restaurant in Duck has ever come close to it in terms of food quality and elegance.   Until, that is, this year.  Just down the road (heading toward Southern Shores from where The Blue Point is) we discovered a new restaurant - Aqua.  Aqua is a combination restaurant and spa, of all things.  We did not pamper ourselves with a spa treatment, but went to the restaurant for dinner twice. 

Aqua is not quite as elegant as The Blue Point, which offers intimate, candle-lit suppers in a deep red-toned dining room.  The walls at Aqua are stark white and you can see everything and everyone around you at all times.  But we sat at a table by the window both times we went there and also enjoyed pretty Sound-side sunsets.  See below:
 Where the two restaurants are surprisingly similar is their cuisine.  At The Blue Point, I had a delightful Parmesan custard with ham and greens as an appetizer, and scallops over a Hoppin' John (rice with field peas) with a corn relish on top for my main dish.  The scallops were perfectly cooked and all the elements of the meal combined beautifully. 

At Aqua, I had the best fish tacos I have ever had as an appetizer and a delightful main dish consisting of organic chicken over a pasta with fresh tomatoes and herbs bathed in a light white wine sauce.  See below:

My husband had beef tenderloin at both restaurants and preferred the one at Aqua.  It was served with a wine reduction that put it just over the top.  At both restaurants we enjoyed a nice Malbec and dessert.  There was nothing we ate that was not delicious at either place.  But the reason we went back to Aqua for a second meal in one week was twofold:  first, we were actually craving those amazing fish tacos.  The fish is lightly fried and is crispy, served alongside a refreshing cole slaw and placed within a soft flour tortilla.  The second reason we preferred Aqua is that it is not nearly as pricey as The Blue Point.   The first night we went, our bill was a good 20% lower than it had been at The Blue Point.  And, the second time, we actually did not spend much at all - having 2 fish tacos each and a couple of glasses of wine for a "lighter" meal.   

If you plan a trip to the Outer Banks, you will undoubtedly enjoy both restaurants.  The Blue Point can't be beat for its ambiance, and the food is always delicious.  And, even though its decor is not as fancy as The Blue Point,  Aqua has the elegance of the Blue Point without the high price tag when it comes to its cuisine.  They each make for a lovely "date-night" meal (although you do see families at both restaurants).  If you go to Aqua, make sure to try the fish tacos - whether you are a fan of fish or not.  And enjoy the sunset!  (Note that reservations for The Blue Point must be made a few weeks in advance if you go during the Summer season.  For Aqua, we were able to make reservations for Thursday night on Tuesday.  I would be wary though.  As people discover Aqua, that will more than likely change).

Until next time, happy and healthy eating!