The Coast Restaurant……A Taste of Coastal Carolinas
The Carolina Coast has many eating joints of all shapes and sizes as well as menu options. We wanted to introduce those that we felt are both unique and offer a great dining experience. Now, mind you, these are not always the most elegant options or the most well-known, but they are the places that many times get overlooked for their great menu items and most memorable dining experience. They are not cookie-cutter restaurants, they instead pride themselves in their food creations and giving you, the customer an unforgettable visit.
We kick off our series with a visit to Carolina Beach, North Carolina’s “The Coast” restaurant. This relatively new eatery may have a new name and owner, but Chef Craig Love, and manager Annalee Johnston are anything but new to creating great coastal cuisine in a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. Seating only 22 people, you may want to make reservations. When you walk in, you immediately realize that you’re in a place where great food and a beachy attitude share the stage. It’s casual dining at its best with a feeling of coziness, where shorts and deck shoes are welcomed as well as slacks and loafers. It’s a place where the pleasant aroma of suntan lotion is combined with the enticing smell of seafood cooked Calabash style. A cooking influence that was created in nearby Calabash, NC by preparing the fried seafood in a lightly battered mixture of seasoning and cornmeal to not detract from the delicious taste of the seafood itself. The Coast combines the classic old school style of seafood that originated in Calabash and then putting their twist on it providing a fresh take on an already popular seafood creation. Their approach is quickly becoming known as modern Calabash dining.
The Coast’s signature dish is the Coast Combo. This assortment of seafood includes a combination of Calabash style shrimp, oysters, and scallops with a featured seasonal fish such as flounder, striped bass, grouper, or other fresh catches coming exclusively from local seafood companies. The entre’ is complete with hot scratch-made hush puppies, coleslaw, and tartar sauce. The rotating fish of the day makes for a popular variation of delicious options for this crowd-pleasing signature dish.
A relaxing addition to the Coast Combo as well other dishes, is their wide selection of cocktails and craft beers that have been chosen to compliment your dinner. Their most popular and considered to be their signature cocktail is the Badlands. It includes bourbon, smoked oranges, and other ingredients and is served up just like a Manhattan. The entire Coast bar operation is considered a work of art with their everchanging mixed drink creations that are made to enhance their spin on seafood dining.
In addition to the Coast Combo, they also have a wide array of other seafood dishes that are both delicious and unique, such as the popular Calabash Roll. You can choose your preferred fish, or fried shrimp, oysters, or the catch of the day. It’s served as a sandwich complete with The Coast coleslaw and Old Bay Aioli and a side of homemade hushpuppies. A big sandwich for any guest with a big appetite.
The Coast is sure to present a memorable evening with their combination of a fresh approach to a tried and true Calabash seafood tradition. The atmosphere reflects the casual beach feel that’s genuine and inviting to both locals and visitors. However, the real draw is the Coast’s management and staff’s effort to provide the patron with a great experience. It’s an effort that’s reflected in the menu, how it’s prepared and served. It’s a Coastal Carolina dining experience that will remain on the mind and taste buds well into the future. Reservations are not required, but suggested, especially during the busy season. Come on in and make new friends and see what you’re missing in Carolina Beach, NC.