A sunset view makes dinner taste all that much better
Summertime sunsets are unexpected treats for many first-time visitors to the Outer Banks. Expecting fabulous sunrises over the Atlantic, many travelers are not aware that we have a sound side that provides equally fabulous sunsets. Depending on the weather, the sky over our local waters can change from blues to purples to pinks to oranges in just a few minutes. It is a seasonal accomplishment to watch the sun put on a show as it sets behind the horizon and an even bigger to-do if someone serves you a cool drink and tasty morsels on a plate at the same time.
Fortunately, we have several restaurants where you can experience sunsets on the Outer Banks, all with helpful servers and plenty of tasty treats. Here are two options to try, one in Nags Head and one in Duck. Go ahead and feel that dreamy, vacation feeling – even if you live here. There is just something about a sunset.
Pamlico Jack’s in Nags Head features a sound view, the time of the sunset on the marquee and an extra-large deck with an authentically replicated pirate ship that houses the Run Jumpers Bar. The kids will love the sails and rigging of the ship while the adults can enjoy a custom cocktail or a glass of wine from the extensive wine list. They have won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past 20 years, so they kind of know what they are doing when it comes to wine. Stay for dinner and a bottle or just a nosh outside as you watch the sky change.
Team Pamlico Jack serves Gulf Stream seafood, homemade pastas and insanely good desserts – order anything. They also mix it up a bit, with a touch of Caribbean and a touch of Southern.
If you are going for noshes and the sunset, try the Caribbean Black Bean Cake, a crispy fried, Cuban black bean cake with roasted tomato salsa and tequila horseradish sauce. This classic with the wood-grilled and chilled local ahi tuna with sushi rice, ginger and avocado makes for one happy sunset view time. If you are doing dinner, one menu item that has stood the test of time, for good reason, is the Shrimp Aristotle. Something about the olives and peppers with sweet shrimp and salty feta … you will not be disappointed. You will probably get cravings long after your dinner is done. That is why it has been on the menu so long and you can find similar dishes on the Outer Banks, but none quite like Pamlico Jack’s.
Pamlico Jack’s Restaurant
6708 S Croatan Hwy., Nags Head
On the northern beaches, it is hard to rival a sunset on the deck of Sunset Grille in Duck. While they do serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, if you want to see the sunset, plan on enjoying the evening selections. A locally caught fish is always on the menu, and you can order the fresh catch as a burrito, a hand-held sandwich on brioche or as an entrée with two sides.
Plan to take lots of photos; the views are divine. Sunset Grille is very family friendly, and includes a huge waterfront deck with lots of outdoor dining areas, three tiki bars, a sushi bar, a raw bar and indoor dining areas. There is nightly entertainment, and Waverunners are available for rent on site as well.
Fishbones Sunset Grille & Raw Bar
1264 Duck Rd, Kitty Hawk
Fresh Catches: Blue Crabs, Brown Shrimp, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Cobia
Harvests: Peaches, Blueberries, Field Peas, Radishes, May Peas, Snap Peas, Potatoes, Cucumbers, Herbs
Local shrimp are making their way to the market and should be eaten every chance possible. Try this tasty treat if you decide to enjoy your sunset at home
Kill Deviled Party Eggs
3 dozen hard-boiled eggs
2 tablespoons mustard
1½ cups mayonnaise
1½ tablespoons dried tarragon
1 generous pinch of sea salt
3 pounds local shrimp, 21-25 count
2 cloves garlic, minced
Peel shrimp. De-vein if you feel the need. Sauté the shrimp in a good fruity olive oil and place them in large bowl. Add garlic and toss to both coat and cool the shrimp. Place the bowl in an ice bath or in the refrigerator to chill the seafood.
Peel eggs and cut in half, length-wise. Gently remove yolk. Place egg white halves on that cute plate you have had for years, yep, the one with all the egg-shaped indentions.
Place all the yolks in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and combine until smooth. Try a table fork to mash the yolks, then blend in the mayo, mustard, tarragon and salt until as creamy as you like. A few lumps are ok if you re-fill the egg white halves with a spoon. If you are using a pastry bag, try to get it as smooth as possible. A pastry bag isn’t that fancy, it is just a good tool for getting the job done.
Place a chilled, garlic shrimp on top of each egg. A touch of chopped green onion is a nice garnish. Try to share.