Restaurant Review

Blogdate Friday, November 25, 2006

Gigi gradually got better yesterday and by 6 she was willing to give eating a try. My sister-in-law was dying for some Asian food. She is Pilipino and insists on her daily allotment of rice. I wanted seafood since we were at the coast at a fishing village.

I won and we decide to go to the Cape Fear Restaurant. This restaurant is at the mouth of the Cape Fear River overlooking Bald Head Island. The building has been there for years under the name of Ships Chandler. Ships Chandler always had decent seafood at a decent price. The view was fabulous and the service was fast.

In steps a new owner, a new menu and the restaurant clearly has decided to upscale a bit. Much of the old signage and memorabilia was sill in the lobby. Pictures from fishing trips in the 1950s along side of old hurricane photos are prominent. There is a newly built bar area with plasma TVs and imported draft beer. The room is closed off and smoking is allowed. Otherwise the furnishings and view in the main dining room is the same.

Gigi and I arrived first to be followed by her brother and his wife. I asked the waiter if they could cook some rice for my sister-in-law but the cook declined.

The menu was upscale and yet it held the traditional North Carolina fare of fried seafood. So fancy folks could get broiled grouper and a Riesling and regular folks could eat their fried flounder and sweet iced tea.

I decided to get an appetizer which was scallops on the half shell with shrimp and a crab stuffing. The scallops were overcooked and unseasoned, however the shrimp was good as was the stuffing. I ordered an imported draft beer and it was very cold and very fresh.

After eating the disappointing upscale fare as an appetizer I decide to stick with the tried and true so I ordered the fried oysters and shrimp along with a side salad and fries. The menu said slaw and hush puppies would be included. I was dying for some hushpuppies.

The meal came and I quickly scanned the enormous massive calorie platter for a hushpuppy. None were to be found. Then I examined the oysters and they were small, mealy and overcooked. They looked like fried crumbles. They were of such poor quality that clearly oysters should have been off the menu that night. The shrimp was pretty much frozen processed and breaded I would guess on a Japanese fishing trawler somewhere in Southeast Asia. So much for local seafood. That is a shame since they are still bringing in a good haul of the local brown shrimp.

Oh well, I still had my salad so I gave it a try. The cook did use some creativity in the salad. There were various greens croutons and side crackers. The blue cheese dressing was a gelatinous mess. It had an artificial blue cheese flavor mixed in with some thickening agent.

I turned to the slaw and it was wonderful. Excellent, $25 for some good slaw.

The service was very good. I didn’t complain to the waiter because it was clear that some inexperienced teenager was cooking and he was way over his head. It wasn’t the waiters fault.

So I recommend that you stop by for a drink, order a side of slaw and enjoy the sunset and eat your meal elsewhere unless you are starving and need the caloric intake.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate it a 2.


Peach Pod said...

Do they still have the Ryan's there? Your FIL loves it there!