Pairing the freshest seafood with a thriving, local agricultural community gives Virginia Beach a uniquely delicious culinary experience you can’t find anywhere else. Locals and visitors alike can taste the culture and spirit of the beach life within every unforgettable bite they take. So grab a fork, loosen your belt and prepare to embark on an unforgettable foodie adventure, Virginia Beach style.
Local knowledge is always the best recipe for success. We’ve scoured our beloved shores and peaked into the recipe books of some of our best restaurants to give you some sumptuous recipes, straight from the Chef’s pantry. Follow these instructions or use them as inspiration for your own, personal creation. Either way you choose to go, the beach life is sure to be an instant favorite.
Chef Carey McPhee | Waterman’s Restaurant
A Waterman’s Surfside Grille and local favorite, this dish combines two of Virginia Beach’s favorite things, Rockfish and eating. Easy to prepare and even more fun to catch, it’s no wonder Virginia Beach is known as the Striped Bass Capital of the World.
Heat Olive Oil in a large pan. Dredge a fresh piece of Rockfish in flour and egg. Drop fish into the heated pan, but be mindful of the splatter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sautee for a couple of minutes, then flip the fish to cook it evenly. Carefully drain excess oil. Away from flames, add wine and allow it to cook out. Add seafood stock, fresh lemon and parsley. Add a couple of cubes of butter rolled in flour to tighten the sauce. Add mussels. Finish cooking in the oven 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Plate and garnish.
Chef Gregory Hopkins | Croc’s 19th Street BistroThis is the dish responsible for putting Croc’s on the culinary map. A terrific blend of local faire and Mediterranean flare, it’s sure to keep you and you’re lucky dinner guests satisfied.Ingredients:• 8 fresh sustainable shrimp• ½ cup of grape tomatoes• ½ cup of artichoke hearts• 1 cup fresh organic spinach• ½ oz capers• minced shallots• minced garlic• 1 tbsp fresh basil• 1 shot vodka• 1 shot white wine• 1 tbsp butter• 2 oz olive oilPreparation:Chop shallots and garlic while the pan heats. Add olive oil, shallots and garlic. Sautee for 2 minutes. Chop basil and add it to the pan. Add tomatoes and capers. Sautee for 2 additional minutes. Add artichoke hearts. Sautee for three more minutes. Deglaze pan with shot of vodka and wine. Watch out for flame-ups. Add shrimp. Add spinach and seasoning. Let spinach steam for about a minute, and then mix together. Add butter and pasta. Enjoy.
Chef Gregory Hopkins | Croc’s 19th Street Bistro
This is the dish responsible for putting Croc’s on the culinary map. A terrific blend of local faire and Mediterranean flare, it’s sure to keep you and you’re lucky dinner guests satisfied.
Chop shallots and garlic while the pan heats. Add olive oil, shallots and garlic. Sautee for 2 minutes. Chop basil and add it to the pan. Add tomatoes and capers. Sautee for 2 additional minutes. Add artichoke hearts. Sautee for three more minutes. Deglaze pan with shot of vodka and wine. Watch out for flame-ups. Add shrimp. Add spinach and seasoning. Let spinach steam for about a minute, and then mix together. Add butter and pasta. Enjoy.
Chef Eric Aymer | Mahi Mah’s
The appetizer heard around the world. Local, sustainable oysters are the stars in this one. Quick, easy, and absurdly delicious.
Shuck oysters and dredge in flour. Pan fry in heated oil. When golden brown, remove oysters from pan and pour out excess oil. Add butter to pan and allow to brown. Deglaze with wine and lemon juice. Season and reduce by half. Garnish with favorite garnish…at Mah’s we use field greens dressed in lemon basil vinaigrette. Place oysters back in the shell and pour sauce over them.
Chef Richard Robinson | Rockafeller’s Restaurant
The secret is in the sauce. A local’s favorite for years, Chef Richardson’s simple, yet delicious recipe is sure to enhance any fresh seafood you throw at it, especially yellowfin.sustainable oysters are the stars in this one. Quick, easy, and absurdly delicious.
Add chopped tomatoes, onions, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix to make the Princess Anne sauce. Season tuna with spices and butter, grill to desired temperature.
What’s for dessert? How about a whole lot of awesomeness? There’s no better way to top off an amazing, homemade meal than with an incredible dessert. This quick recipe from Coastal Grill will satisfy even the pickiest of foodies.
Gently mix all ingredients together, then pour mixture into shallow crème brulee dishes until each is filled with about ¾ inches of mixture. Place in a warm water bath and place in the oven. Cover and cook for 40 – 45 minutes at 350°F (It is better to undercook the Crème Brulee rather than overcook). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, then transfer them to the refrigerator.
To glaze, sprinkle with a thin layer of table sugar and place under the broiler until golden brown (watch them closely for several minutes, don’t use too much sugar as it is easier to achieve a golden brown glaze without burning).
Lynnhaven Fish House
You can’t get enough Rockfish, neither can we. A dash of spices here, a little white wine there, and presto! You’ve got Baked Rockfish Florentine. Be sure to use fresh, local ingredients readily available at you neighborhood farmer’s market. You can definitely taste the beach life in every bite!
Grease a shallow baking pan with butter. Place fish in pan and sprinkle seasoning salt and paprika over the filets. Drizzle filets with butter, lemon juice and white wine. Place in oven at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions followed by garlic and fresh spinach. Add in smoked oysters, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and spread over Rockfish filets. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and serve hot.
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