Have you ever made a quick pit stop on your way out of town and accidentally stumbled upon a hidden gem that absolutely blows your mind? Maybe you wander into a local establishment and discover the cutest, quirkiest collectibles of your dreams. Maybe you ate at a gas station diner out of convenience and were blown away by the authentic flavor they managed to capture. Whatever it was, we’ve all made pitstops that have led to blissfully unexpected discoveries. In an effort to highlight those lesser-known slices of heaven, we’re introducing “PitStops” to The Dig!
This first “Pit Stop” was discovered during my trip to Elizabeth City,North Carolina, while visiting my grandmother. We stayed at an Airbnb in Edenton, along the Chowan River. For years, we passed by the cutestriverside restaurant and planned to check it out this time. Whether itwas by fate or random circumstance, we ended up booking reservationsat the wrong restaurant. Little did we know, this small series of misfortunes must have been fate calling.
Owned by two sisters, one of which is Chef Heather, Edenton Bay OysterBar is a waterfront bistro offering a coastal dining experience just outsideof downtown. With scenic views, boat access and live entertainment, we found every detail perfect, not to mention the sublime menu.
Speaking of, let’s start there! We made a good dent on the menu between the three of us. We started with BBQ Oysters, Warm Crab and HoopCheese Dip and Blackened Fish Tacos. We moved on to sides of HouseSalad or Seafood Chowder, served promptly ahead of our entrées: PanSeared Scallop Risotto, Lump Crab Shrimp, Three Cheese Tortellini, and a Porterhouse Cut Pork Chop. We opted for a berry tart and a slice of chocolate banana swirl cake for dessert (which we ended up getting a second slice of to go because we just weren’t ready to part with it).
Everything was divine. The oysters, scallops and shrimp all melted in our mouths, and the sauces and broths served alongside were savory, creamy,yet also light. The crab meat was lush, flavorful and so fresh; the pork chop was cooked to perfection. Even the cocktails were great, but overshadowedby the pure mastery in Chef Heather’s cooking.
When our meal sadly concluded, we left feeling perfectly satiated without the uncomfortable heaviness that tends to sit with you after eating such rich foods.
To top it all off, we couldn’t have asked for better service or atmosphere. At Edenton Bay Oyster Bar, if you reserve a table, it’s yours for the night, so we didn’t have to worry about being rushed through the meal. Plus, despite arriving early, our table was ready and waiting for us. Everything felt comfortable, yet classy; there was a feeling in the air of genuine enjoyment and shared camaraderie. This little paradise is clearly known and loved by locals, and hopefully now, road trippers as well!