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“Heaven On A Plate”

Beach Shop and Grill
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch
Reviewed May 1, 2013 via mobile

We just left the Beach Shoppe and Grill, and I could not wait to post a review. The food was wonderful! The plates were perfectly balanced and the flavors blended to create the perfect combinations. Everyone at our table was beyond pleased with the entrees, but the dessert put the dining experience over the top. And yes, I do mean that this was an EXPERIENCE! One not to be missed in fact. Everything is clearly freshly prepared. If they are serving it when you visit, I would strongly suggest the Banana Spring Roll. It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that as great as the meal was, it was made even more pleasurable by the live performance put on by a Frank Sinatra tribute performer. This has been a highlight of our Topsail vacation and we will be returning.

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Thank dgolddragon2k6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 - 355 of 428 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2013

We had another wonderful meal this week at the Beach Shop and Grill. We've eaten here many times and have always had excellent food and great service. My husband always likes the fried calamari as a starter, and we both usually order fresh grilled fish or seafood for our entrees, whether it is scallops, ahi tuna, grilled grouper, crab cakes, or even a cheeseburger piled high with toppings including onion strings. Everything was great.

Some of the most stellar aspects of the dining experience here are the divine desserts. A husband-wife team own this restaurant, and the wife is a trained pastry chef, having worked for the Four Seasons. If she has a seasonal offering, don't hesitate to select it. This week she had homemade poundcake (her great grandmother's recipe), and she only makes it when she is baking for a wedding and makes extra for the restaurant for an amazing strawberry shortcake, taking advantage of local seasonal Lewis strawberries (famous in these parts). It was truly delightful.

I was torn in trying to select a dessert because my favorite is a regular dessert item on the menu, the banana caramel spring roll. I am not exaggerating when I say this is one of THE best desserts I have ever had! I put it on par with an amazing dessert -- poached pear in pastry surrounded by a caramel cage -- that I had in Siena, Italy, years ago that I described as the best dessert I have had in my entire life. This one is rivals that. But I did not want to miss out on the spring strawberries, whose season is fleeting, and I was not disappointed in choosing the delicious strawberry shortcake.

There is a phenomenon about this restaurant that is hard to describe but impossible to miss. It is a vibe that occurs night after night, a liveliness in the place that is not found elsewhere. It inspires camaraderie among diners who were strangers beforehand and is just a vibrant place to spend an evening. If all the tables are gone when you arrive and there is a line of people waiting, don't hesitate to sit at the bar and have your meal there; it's a fun place to sit and eat. If you prefer to wait for a table, you'll find plenty of wines and other beverages to choose from so have a glass while you are waiting and strike up a conversation.

My only complaint with this place has to do with seating. I don't blame the owners for putting in as many tables as they can, but the two or three small tables in the center of the room are directly in the line of traffic from the kitchen, and the wait staff go zooming past, even bumping the backs of chairs as they go. Mind you, they can't help it; they have to fly by to keep up the pace, and the space around the tables is narrow, so it is natural, but let me tell you it is completely unpleasant to sit there. We tried to endure it when seated there one time but could not stand it and asked to give up the table and get back in the waiting line, even though it meant another delay. The other issue with seating is the horrible glare coming from the attached gift shop's harsh overhead fluorescent lighting that pours into the restaurant.

The restaurant itself has lovely mid-Century wooden walls and ceilings with charming light fixtures that emit a golden glow of low lighting for perfect ambiance. But then on one side is that glare, and there are those poor souls who are at the tables nearest the open doors to the gift shop. Those diners who are seated facing the store squint in the harsh light. Last week, we were one of these poor souls. I had to focus very, very hard on not letting this spoil our meal, and finally I just forced myself to park this unfortunate arrangement on the back burner so we could enjoy our meal, and we did. (I will not accept one of those tables again, though, even if I have to wait a long time for a nice seat.) If I were the owners, I would do SOMEthing to baffle the fluorescence, or dim it, or change it to incandescent lighting, because it is ruining the otherwise wonderful lighting of the restaurant.

But back to a happy note, we had fabulous food, great service, good wine, superb desserts, and a great time. We've been dining on Topsail Island since 1981 and have seen top notch restaurants come and go, particularly Latitude 34 restaurant in Topsail Beach and Indigo Marsh in Surf City, and when they left, there was a hole in the list of dining options on the island . . . until the Beach Shop and Grill came. They offer a high-end dining experience in a relaxed environment, and we hope they are here to stay.

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2  Thank Skeeter81-ta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Just discovered this restaurant in 2012 after vacationing at Topsail for 15+ years. Updated decor is more than you'd expect just from the name, and the menu is definitely "big city" despite the island town location. Great drinks from the bar complement the offerings. Consistently delicious each of the meals we ate there - breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

1  Thank unctarheelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013 via mobile

Excellent gourmet food. Best shrimp and grits everywhere and my husband loved his ahi tuna! The desserts change all the time and they are too die for. Not much atmosphere and it is usually packed but worth it for the food!

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1  Thank Nancy968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere....so much so, i ate breakfast, lunch and dinner there. :) I highly recommend that the 'Beach Shop Grill' do everything in their power to keep the Chef......he/she knows what they are doing. the food was prepared with perfection. The chef, in my opinion, deserves all of the KUDOS. My only regret is that I didn't send the chef a monetary tip. If I'm EVER in the area..........I will certainly dine there again.

JV

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Thank VinsonJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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