What a treat it really was to be able to take an Outer Banks Restaurant Tour recently with our host, Terry Bell! She was amazing tour guide and we had a rare opportunity to sample some of the finest Corolla food and drinks there are! Our guests and owners often ask us for restaurant recommendations so how can we make some great ones without tasting some of these fantastic creations?!?! Plus, many of us live further south in Kill Devil Hills or Nags Head. We travel to Corolla for work but don’t often get to enjoy Corolla area restaurants. It was also our pleasure to get to know some of our Corolla area business owners better, it’s always a great day when we can build better rapport in that respect too!
Allow me to further explain before I dive into the delicious delicacies we enjoyed that Outer Banks Restaurant Tours offers walking and driving tours. The driving tours include visits to restaurants in the towns of Corolla and Kitty Hawk as well as the Weeping Radish Farm and Brewery tour, wine tasting tour and cooking class tour. The walking tour can be enjoyed throughout the town of Duck bring your sunscreen, a hat and a bottled water for this gastronomical adventure!
The first stop on our Outer Banks Restaurant Tour was at Mike Dianna’s Grill Room where we heard about the inception of the restaurant, the history of the Mustang Music Festival and the Honolulu Fish Company while watching Mike ‘whip up’ before our eyes a scrumptious grilled shrimp, tomato, basil, mushroom and asparagus melange that was gobbled up with a Wild Horse Chardonnay as an accompanying wine. He was so personable and so generous with us it was a pleasure getting to know him better and hearing some interesting stories about the restaurant! Mike, you must begin your memoirs!
On our second and third stops to Cosmo’s Pizzeria in the Corolla Light Shops and Bambino’s Little Italy, we were greeted by Matt who is the fortunate and talented owner of BOTH! In Cosmo’s we were treated to and learned the local lore behind their ‘Corolla Classic’ pizza generously piled high with mounds of sausage, pepperoni, meatball, mushrooms, onions and seasonings! This paired very well with a Natty Greene’s, a local Greensboro NC Brewery and Pub, Buckshot Amber Ale that held strong notes of caramel and mellow notes of toasted almond a little sweet and a little bitter just enough to cut some of the delicious grease I had just consumed! And, who could leave without trying their fried pickle basket??? They brought us TWO! They were the crispiest I had ever eaten and they were served with what looked and tasted like an avocado ranch. I’ll be back! On to Bambino’s Little Italy where Chef Randolph treated us to a milder take on a New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp dish with hints of lemon, butter and cracked pepper where’s the bread so I can sop up this sauce? Finger-licking good I’d say! Round two a house smoked, 3-day cured and peppered duck breast over a tangy sheep’s cheese polenta with house pickled asparagus and tomato accented with a balsamic reduction. Notice, I said ‘house’ twice they create many things ‘in-house!’ I like it like that how utterly thoughtful! To top this off, as if they could do any better they did a nibbling portion (the real portion is about 4 times this size!) of tiramisu! And, we had one young man at our tasting table who had never had duck OR tiramisu! What???
Round two a house smoked, 3-day cured and peppered duck breast over a tangy sheep’s cheese polenta with house pickled asparagus and tomato accented with a balsamic reduction. Notice, I said ‘house’ twice they create many things ‘in-house!’ I like it like that how utterly thoughtful! To top this off, as if they could do any better they did a nibbling portion (the real portion is about 4 times this size!) of tiramisu! And, we had one young man at our tasting table who had never had duck OR tiramisu! What???
As if we were not quite full and needing to get horizontal by now, we were off to Pasquale’s Pizza Pub! Let me tell you Pasquale is quite a character! He is originally from Naples, Italy and he kindly took some quality time with us to reminisce about making pizzas many moons ago with his brother. He took us back a bit to ‘old school’ Italy where everyone made everything from scratch as he still does today and how families who ate together cooked together one family might make the fresh marinara while another made the fresh mozzarella. Each family would make plenty with each batch as it was often an all day process he even shared with us his personal stash of olive oil! It was the best olive oil ever to pass across my lips! He even showed us his pasta ‘Lazy Susan’ in which he places many different pasta sauces for his freshly made pasta. And, I’m told that if you call ahead with a special Italian request he might be able to make it for you now that’s service! He graced us with his famous Margherita pizza homemade tomato sauce (not too salty, not too sweet, just right), fresh basil and mozzarella enough said! Oh, and the crust perfect crispy it crackled when I bit into it a little cornmeal on the bottom! Buon Appetito!!! Next dish yes there were two more! He pretty much brought out another meal prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and olive oil on ciabatta bread AND lightly fried conch we’re onto the islands of Italy now! My final words on Pasquale’s must not miss!
Our final destination Bacchus Wine & Cheese and thank goodness they decided to serve us more wine than cheese! Where were we going to put anything more??? Actually, one of the owners did serve us a few palate cleansing nibbles in addition to fudgy brownie bites to complete the experience but in the middle he spotlighted 6 Childress North Carolina wines Trio, Reserve Chardonnay, Barrel Select Sangiovese, Pinnacle, Cellar Select Riesling and Late Harvest Viognier! I couldn’t tell you which I enjoyed the most they were all delicious and worth a return! The gentleman who served us could not have been nicer and more knowledgeable about his wines. For something different, something delicious and something educational, join Bacchus any afternoon to taste 6 different wines OR roll in for their Tuesday night wine tasting events (in season only) as they pair 6 different wines with a variety of hot and cold appetizers and a sweet ending and we’re not talking cheese and crackers!
Until Next Time,
Your OBX Bloggers