What a great way to spend time when the weather in OBX doesn't present itself as a true "beach" day! My new husband and I were on our honeymoon and honestly found the Duck walking tour to be the best possible way to spend our day on Tuesday. The walk is NOT that far so don't let that hold you back; and I'm sure that if you were not able to walk that the amazing guide (Terri) would gladly take you from place to place. The tour covered everything from the history of a local gourmet market to a restaurant that doubles as a spa. At Tommy's Market we got to sample many different local NC products as well as some wine and beer (great place to get gifts for folks back home rather than a magnet or sticker that says OBX!). At Coastal Cantina, we sampled frozen adult beverages (margarita, sangria, pina colada) that had an amazingly smooth texture for a frozen drink as well as a very simple yet satisfying cheese-filled chicken quesadilla. Also, we learned that this Sound spot is the best place for having a drink and catching sunset. My husband and I definitely returned to do so later in the week! Next, we went to Red Sky Cafe where Chef Wes cooked a deliciously creamy version of Cajun spiced Shrimp and Grits over baby spinach. This dish, while homestyle and straightforward, I thought to be packed full of flavor. Oh, and by the way, Red Sky also served the dish with a generous glass of white wine! Then, we headed over to Aqua Restaurant and Spa where we were also provided a glass of white wine, given a tour of the amazing spa facilities overlooking the Sound (and that uses mainly organic cosmetic products), and finally seated at the bar where we were presented with a beautiful pan seared Wahoo perfectly caramelized served over a succotash of leeks, cremini mushrooms and local sweet corn with a bright orange silky smooth carrot puree. As if this was all not enough to fill the tummy and relax one's mind (2 glasses of wine, one frozen drink and a few beer/wine samples later)...we then proceeded on to Elizabeth's Cafe. Wow. This place is such a hidden gem you would be remiss if you did not treat yourself to a meal at this place! The proprietor Lenny (I think) is a character, the Chef is an artist by day (we bought one of his prints) and a Chef by night and the food, well, the food was outstanding! Packed full of wonderfully balanced flavors, at Elizabeth's we had a light version of Caprese salad - fresh mozzerella, fresh homemade very tasty pesto (nut free), balsamic reduction, and very small diced celery all served over a giant fresh slice of locally grown beefsteak tomato and paired with a glass of carefully selected white wine (the varietal escapes me) - yes, another glass of wine. This was, by far, our favorite place - romantic and delicious - we went back on our last evening in OBX for their 6 course wine-paired dinner. Let me tell you ... it was really 7 courses, the wine pours were very generous and the meal was amazing (although dessert could have been a bit more robust - Pot au Creme Chocolat is not my thing if it's not like they make it in France and after such a heavy meal a lighter dessert would have been more appreciated). I digress. Finally, on the tour, we ended by sampling homemade gelato at Sweet Duck, which was very nice. For the price you honestly can't beat this experience, and frankly given the food and beverage quantity I would have certainly considered paying more! The hostess maintains such wonderful relationships with the vendors and it was just a very pleasant day and time/money well spent - we also learned a bit about the Duck area in OBX! If we had time, we would've done all 3 tours! Thanks for showing us Duck!
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