One of the best things about living in the region is the water that surrounds us. It only gets better when you can sit back, have a great eat and a great drink, and enjoy that natural beauty as the day whiles away.
One of those places is Stony’s Dockside Bar & Grill in Norfolk’s Ocean View. The well-appointed restaurant, resplendent in beach cottage chic, offers stunning vistas across a marina and out into Little Creek.
THE EAT: FRESH CATCH SANDWICH, MARKET PRICED
Flounder has long been a favored fish in these parts; the flat fish (it actually only flattens as it matures) was enjoyed by Native Americans and greeted John Smith and the early explorers.
It’s understandable why so many folks love it. The flesh is firm and lean. The meat has a delicate, light flavor. The texture allows it to be prepared in a number of ways, including broiling, grilling, roasting and poaching.
Flounder was the fish du jour the day I visited Stony’s, and I decided to try it on the Fresh Catch Sandwich, which is market priced. A large, grilled piece of fish adorns a lightly toasted bun with lettuce, tomato and red onion garnish. Fries come on the side.
I will admit that I only ate half of the sandwich with bread, because the fish was so fresh and flavorful I didn’t want anything interfering with my enjoyment. That said, it was a perfect bite with all elements. The bun was soft and a great platform for the fish. The lettuce was crisp, the onion piquant, and the tomato juicy. I enjoyed every bite.
Tasty, crisp fries were the perfect side.
THE DRINK: KEY LIME CRUSH
Crushes are the unofficial cocktail of the region, with orange being the sentimental favorite.
But don’t rule out the other variations. More than a half-dozen varieties are on the bill of fare at Stony’s, and the only problem is which one to try.
A longtime lover of the Conch Republic, I picked the Key Lime Crush. This was a gorgeous drink, great for warm weather, or when dreaming of an endless summer. I will note it’s very rich, and it would probably be better for an after dinner imbibe than with a meal.
Shaken and served over a ton of ice is an addictive blend of whipped cream-flavored vodka, triple sec, key lime juice, cream, and a bit of lemon-lime soda for some effervescence. The flavor profile was full on key lime pie. It was so good, in fact, I opted to not try another crush during this visit and get another one of these.
Stony’s Dockside Bar & Grill is at 8166 Shore Drive, Norfolk. Call 757-937-6889 or visit www.StonysDockside.com.
A LA CARTE
It’s farmers market season, and here’s what is coming up:
Talbot Park Farmers Market sets up next from 3 to 6:30 pm May 4 and May 11 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. The market is at 6400 Newport Ave., Norfolk. Visit www.NorfolkVaFarmersMarket.com.
Ghent Farmers Market gets together from 4 to 7 pm May 6 in front of Blair Middle School. The market is at 730 Spotswood Ave., Norfolk. Visit www.GhentFarmersMarket.com.
East Beach Farmers Market meets next from 9 am until noon May 7 and May 14 in front of the East Beach neighborhood near Ocean View. The market is at 9680 Shore Dr., Norfolk. Visit www.NorfolkVaFarmersMarket.com.
According to VirginiaGrown.com, fresh produce in early May includes asparagus, beets, greens / spinach, herbs, onions, and strawberries.
Want my recipe for Sassy Strawberry Salsa? Email PatrickEvansHylton@gmail.com with “Strawberry Salsa” as the subject.
Taste through six sommelier-curated wine selections at Lesser Known Grapes of Piedmont, Italy on May 1 at Vino Culture Wine Shop. Light cheese, charcuterie, and crackers will be served.
The event runs from 1 to 3 pm, and the fee is $ 45, paid the day of the event. The host is wine expert Kiera Hill.
Vino Culture Wine Shop is at 130 Granby St., Suite 100, Norfolk. Call 757-904-1220 or visit www.VinoCultureVa.com.
Patrick Evans-Hylton, PatrickEvansHylton@gmail.com