Ocean Boulevard Bistro and Martini Bar, Kitty Hawk, NC
This has been on of our favorite restaurants for years. We have been going to the Outer Banks for about 8 years during March to celebrate our anniversary and have gone to Ocean Blvd. every time. As always, we were nervous (since we only go once or twice a year and it changed hands a couple of years ago) that it had gone downhill, but everything was wonderful. We ate at the kitchen window and got to watch everything SO much fun! I mentioned to Mr. Kim that when the new people took over, the food didnt suffer, as we worried that it might, but that one thing DID change. The service has improved dramatically. All of the drop dead gorgeous and snootier than hell wait staff is gone replaced by an attractive, well informed and friendly bunch of young people who seem to be having a blast and want patrons to have one, too! They brought dishes by the window to describe to us as they were taking them out, welcomed my picture taking, teased me about my note taking and chatted when they could.
To start, I had the Bistro Salad micro greens, caramelized shallots, crisp Prosciutto, truffled purple potatoes in a sherry vinaigrette. A beautiful, fresh salad the shallots and Prosciutto were really different and intriguing! Mr. Kim had the Pepper Seared Rare Tuna Sashimi and Poke (whats poke? - I forgot to ask) with pickled cucumber, crisp wonton, seaweed salad, wasabi roe and a Dijon mustard/malt vinaigrette w/ chili oil. They almost always have some variation of this dish on the menu and Mr. Kim always gets it when its available. He absolutely loved it and said the tuna was impeccable!
For our main course, I had one of their small plates the OB Skillet. This was goat cheese, house made sausage patty (like a country sausage), roast garlic, sweet potatoes, grilled pears and a big old garlic-y crouton in a screaming hot mini iron skillet drizzled with black pepper honey. This was an amazing dish truly one of the best things that I have EVER eaten! Each part was delicious by itself, but you could combine any two or more to make it more complex and even better. I was very glad that they brought a basket of bread because once the crouton was gone we were smearing all kinds of combinations all over the bread (there might have been some audible lip smacking going on). Mr. Kim had the Citrus/Thyme Molasses Grilled Pork Tenderloin w/ bacon chipotle cornbread, slow cooked collards and dried apricot/tomato conserve. This was incredible much moister than we expected and the flavor of the conserve went perfectly with the pork without being too sweet or overpowering.
For dessert we had the chocolate gateaux with raspberry sauce and whipped cream and the white chocolate crème brulee. The gateaux (isnt that plural??? There was only one) was a warm (microwaved I was interested to notice without any diminishment in quality) and a very rich little individual chocolate cake set on top of a lovely (and tasty) design of the raspberry sauce, crème Anglaise and dark chocolate sauce. If brulee is on the menu in any restaurant, Mr. Kim is almost sure to order it. It was, as always, perfectly prepared smooth, rich, creamy. The standard by which we judge all others! Another Ocean Blvd. slam dunk (well, it is March madness season!).