Table Talk

New restaurants in Virginia Beach, from raw bars to wine bars.

Oysters at The Atlantic. 

Photo by Josh Malbon

Virginia Beach’s oceanside location affords it easy access to fresh seafood and a brimming dining scene, with a new crop of restaurants constantly sprouting up. Here are our picks for the best new places to hit for a good bite.

The Atlantic

Opened on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in July by David Edelen and Jerry Flowers, the owners of Eurasia Café, The Atlantic offers a menu predominately consisting of seafood—from a raw bar of oysters, crab legs, and shrimp to steamed mussels and clams, baked oysters, and seared scallops—and rounded out by small plates such as deviled eggs with salmon pastrami and house-made hot sauce. Creative cocktails include the vibrant Blue Drink, made with coconut tequila and Blue Curaçao, and the Dirty Oyster vodka martini finished with oyster liquor and a raw bivalve.

Scallops and wine pairing at Press Wine Bar.

Photo by Jessica Shea

Press Wine Bar

Seeking to create a neighborhood bar reminiscent of the eclectic and funky lifestyle she had found in Ghent, Lindsay Bennett opened the wine bar on Shore Drive in December 2017 as the sister restaurant to Press 626 in Norfolk. The wine menu makes an otherwise overwhelming list approachable with definitions of regions, breakdowns of labels, and hand-drawn maps, providing diners with “enough information that you might want to take a step outside your comfort zone,” says Bennett. Executive Chef Keith Hunt, previously of Field Guide, serves Press’ signature grilled cheese with cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, and goat cheese and other comfort dishes such as honey and thyme fried chicken.

Civil Libation

Just a few hundred feet away from owners Kevin and Delynda Rowell’s previous restaurant, Whiskey Kitchen, Civil Libation opened in April. The menu often partners with local purveyors and growers for dishes such as fried butternut squash rings and a tuna tower with mango and cucumber salsa. “We try to do as much fresh and local as we can and play with some twists on American fare,” says Delynda. Beverage director April Tomas’ craft cocktail menu, illustrated in watercolor, is anchored with seasonal ingredients, such as locally sourced watermelon for the summer. Favorites include the Friend with Benefits, a citrus-forward paloma made with coconut tequila, grapefruit juice, and thyme-infused agave.

This article originally appeared in our December 2018 issue.

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