We were charmed by this intimate, eclectically appointed bistro/restaurant one block from the waterfront in downtown Beaufort. The manager and the waitstaff were attentive, not intrusive but highly accommodating, well-informed, and helpful to us throughout our drinks, dinner, and dessert. We have not enjoyed such extraordinarily and imaginatively conceived, prepared and served dishes in years.
First, the Caesar salad (romaine split lengthwise, accompanied by deviled egg on a dollop of tapanade and oven roasted tomato). We followed this with tapas portions of grilled, fresh trigger fish over fig-infused couscous and sautéed Salter Path shrimp (green lentils, kale, shiitake, feta, and herbes de Provence) . For dessert, poached pear flambé was prepared a table. Spectacular, flambed with aged rum and caramel sauce, candied ginger, and vanilla ice cream.
We were so impressed with Friday evening that we made a reservation for the next night BEFORE leaving the restaurant!
Saturday we had an equally delightful evening. We went back to the Caesar salad again! Not disappointed! Our entrees included tomato pie (smoked Gouda, mozzarella, Parmesan, arugula, and balsamic glaze). And the finest grilled pork loin imaginable (with grilled asparagus, red wine pears, balsamic braised cipollini, black fig, and wild rice) Once again, the flavor palettes were subtle, highly creative, and utterly delicious. The chocolate espresso bundt cake (dark chocolate ganache, white chocolate, raspberry compote, and Chambord Chantilly cream) was exceptional.
Aqua features 60-70 wines from around the world, several North Carolina craft beers (among others) and a full bar. Seating is inside or on the private terrace. And gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian selections available.
We can hardly wait to return. Congratulations, Chef Theresa Livingston and the staff at Aqua.
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