The final meal at the beach is a good one

I’m not thrilled with the way this picture turned out, but I could not be happier with the way the dish and the rest of our meal went tonight at Blue Moon Beach Grille. We typically eat out the night before we leave the beach, and neither of our two favorite places from past years were available. One was hosting a wedding reception, and another location had changed hands. So, I was putting in charge of finding a new spot.

At the top of TripAdvisor’s Outer Banks rankings was Blue Moon. The reviews were numerous, recent and claimed it was the beach’s new best restaurant. High praise! And you can now us among the faithful.

All the reviews said the people there couldn’t have been nicer, and I’m now thinking science would agree. With rain closing the outside tables, the hostess took our number — first time we’ve ever seen that on the Outer Banks — and we killed time nearby at Kitty Hawk Kites, where my family has had fun killing time for about two-plus decades now. Not bad. After the call came and returned, the waiter was welcoming, hit every mark, was inquisitive about the dishes, and had me thinking about key lime pie all the drive home even though I had less than zero room for it. A Cooper man and his desserts… My dad guessed it was a family-run place, with the staff seemingly pros instead of summer help. He was right. Scott and Melissa Shields, so well done. And the food–

What you see here is Angel’s Delight. “Shrimp and blue crab, sautéed in a light white wine sauce, with vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh green onion, roasted red peppers, garlic, and basil. Finished with whole butter and served over angel hair pasta and topped with parmesan cheese.” Are there more ways to make me happy? (Only if I can fit in dessert…) Flavors bounced all the smart ways, and though I filled up, never felt heavy. The rest of the family said the same about theirs. A long way from the beach’s usual sea platters. Lead-ins had the same precision. The calamari was in a white wine, cherry pepper and lemon butter sauce. I’m not sure I’ve had better. Even the Caesar brought bacon and onion to the tastes. Among the dishes, not a wrong move.

I know the post sounds overly effusive. But when you’ve been going somewhere on vacation for two-plus decades and seen the island’s evolution, it’s thoroughly exciting to find the new best restaurant in a hidden strip mall facing neither the old main road nor the new one.

Glad to see business was bustling tonight. We’ll be back next year.

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