Category Archives: ATLANTIC BEACH

Saying Goodbye To The Beach

I got to Atlantic Beach last Sunday afternoon and immediately cracked a Presidente. 

It’s been a long and busy but enjoyable week. I left Saturday and got back home around 3 a.m. Sunday morning. 


Some of the beverages I consumed:
•Plantation rum
•Hoppyum IPA
•Sisters of the Moon IPA
•Scrimshaw Pilsner
•Fernet-Branca at Arendell Room
•Evan Williams
•Basil Hayden

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Filed under ATLANTIC BEACH, BEACH DRINKS, BEER, CRAFT BEER, NORTH CAROLINA, PHOTO POST

Arendell Room

Destination Cocktail:
Arendell Room’s Craft Drinks

The Arendell Room in Morehead City was just a short few minutes from the place where I stayed this past week in Pine Knoll Shores.

I’m glad I found the Arendell Room because, from what I can tell, they serve the best cocktails in the region.

 

Now, I don’t write that as hyperbole or to diminish what other bars in the area do, but it just seems apparent from what the Arendell Room puts forward — which is that their cocktails come first.

In fact, that phrase is a part of the bar’s tagline — “Cocktails first, questions later.”

And I’m not going to lie, seeing that phrase really enticed me to get out to this bar at least once during my trip. I found the bar while searching the area with my Yelp app, and only after I’d switched my search from “restaurants” to “cocktails.” I don’t know if the bar serves food or not, but I’m glad I changed what I was searching in the app otherwise this place might never have made my radar.

I was a part of a group of five on Wednesday night and we arrived at Arendell Room after having already had dinner and drinks somewhere else. The five of us grabbed the corner seats at the bar, which was particularly nice because the corner seats afforded us a nice view of Arendell Room’s bourbon selection. I’d been drinking Basil Hayden elsewhere and one of the others in my party stuck with bourbon on ice. Another had a glass of white wine and a third had a split of champagne while my wife got a very nice non-alcoholic drink — made with mint and watermelon and something carbonated to give it bubbles. It was really quite tasty.

There were several drinks on the menu which caught my eye — as well as a quirky set of “house rules,” but having already been drinking elsewhere I knew I’d probably only be having just one drink at this bar. With that in mind, I went with the custom drink option listed on the cocktail menu and I let the bartender make me something of his choice.

When going the custom route, the menu suggested telling the bartender what types of liquors and drinks you normally like — so I mentioned bourbon and amaro and specifics like Aperol and Fernet.

What I got was a Boulevardier, a bourbon drink that’s sort of like a Negroni. I saw the bartender pour Buffalo Trace, which was nice, but I wish I would’ve seen what vermouth he used. The drink was phenomenal — velvety and sweet with a strong orange flavor plus that dry, bitter Canpari finish.

 

The photos above are my own, but this one from the bar’s website shows a little more of the Arendell Room:

  

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Filed under AMARO, ATLANTIC BEACH, DESTINATION COCKTAILS, NORTH CAROLINA

Pappy Van Winkle At Circa 81

I didn’t get this bartender’s name, but she posed with her restaurant’s bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for me:

 

On Thursday my family and I dined at Circa 81 in Morehead City.

The restaurant does tapas plates and calls itself a “Cocktaileria” — which is the first time I’d ever heard of such a thing.

The food was good. I had the chorizo black bean soup, a beet salad with chicken and also a shaved prime rib dish served on crostini with a lite horseradish flavor.

That quick recap doesn’t do the food any real justice, so I’ll post photos and copy from the menu below:

 

Chorizo black bean soup

 
   

And I also had this salad, which had a lot of interesting flavors going on:

Bibb lettuce with beets, chevre, sunflower kernels, radish, pear and a cinnamon pear balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Circa 81’s “Bibb Salad.”

 
Overall, I really enjoyed my evening here. Since my family and I were on vacation, we’d sort of been snacking all day — and as a result, we weren’t really looking for full, heavy entrees. The tapas-style focus of this restaurant was sort of perfect for us in that regard. We shared a number of different small plates and several of us got cups of soup and then there was also two different styles of homemade cheesecake which we had for dessert.

Oh, and I had a Basil Hayden neat, a Scrimshaw Pilsner and a B&B for dessert.

If I’m ever hear again on vacation (which I intend to be next summer, this place will be the third in my Top 3 to return to — the others being Arendell Room and Amos Mosquito’s).

Last but not least, the Pappy Van Winkle 23 year was $70 for a 2 oz pour.

  

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Filed under ATLANTIC BEACH, BOURBON, BRANDS, WHISKEY

Morning Beer — Foothills Brewing’s Hoppyum IPA

Beer on the beach. Is there anything better?

  

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Filed under ATLANTIC BEACH, BEACH DRINKS, BEER, BRANDS, BREWERIES, CRAFT BEER, NORTH CAROLINA

Amos Mosquito’s

Destination Cocktail:
Amos Mosquito’s Beach Drinks

On Tuesday night I got the chance to eat and drink at Amos Mosquito’s in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.

It’s after Labor Day, but the parking lot of the place was still starting to fill up at 4:45 p.m. — which is when we happened to be driving past.

I didn’t get a picture of the exterior of the place, but I did take this photo of my souvenir coozie after dinner when I was back in my hotel pool:

  

My only regret from dinner was not being hungry enough to order more. My wife and I split a seafood plate and I had two house cocktails plus a Pilsner that was on tap (I think maybe it was Scrimshaw).

We didn’t get a chance to eat or drink at the restaurant last July when we were first here, but made up for that fact last night. It was definitely a high-priority for us this trip — and proved to be well worth the effort. The restaurant has a reputation for filling up fast and staying busy throughout service each night, which is a testament to both the quality of their food and the unique “rustic” atmosphere.
The mosquito theme of the place is pretty intense — with all sorts of mosquito-related posters and wall-hangings decorating all corners of the place. And their attention to detail extends to the bathrooms where there are framed photos of outhouses above the urinals and a soundtrack of swamp noises plays on a loop.
I felt bad for our waitress, a really nice woman named Junior who had to deal with us and our million questions right at 5 o’clock. She was friendly, funny and professional as we grilled her about everything from the ingredients in their different housemate breads to the coconut flavoring in their tiki drinks.
As I mentioned already, I had two of their house cocktails and a pilsner.

I started with their Painkiller:

 

I also had their Bourbon Beach Cooler, which I didn’t enjoy as much as my first drink but was still alright overall. I’d ordered it because I saw the Wild Turkey listed, and I think that that’s all I’d really wanted — not the grapefruit or agave. Looking back I should’ve just asked to have had the bourbon with ginger beer, but that’s on me.

The list below is a small selection of some of the  drinks listed on their cocktail menu:

Malibu Pina Colada
Malibu coconut rum blended with coconut and pineapple.

Amos Mojito
Bacardi rum muddled with fresh mint, sugar and lime juice, served over ice—light and refreshing.

Bourbon Beach Cooler
A refreshing bourbon cocktail with a pronounced citrus presence. Wild Turkey 81 bourbon, fresh grapefruit juice, St. Germain elderflower liquor, fresh lime juice, organic agave nectar and a splash of soda on the rocks.

Painkiller
Gosling’s Black Seal rum, creme of coconut & pineapple and orange juices shaken with ice and garnished with nutmeg.

Mai Tai
Bacardi Silver rum, Malibu coconut rum, apricot brandy, banana liqueur, orange & pineapple juices and grenadine shaken with ice and served in a tall glass.

Dark & Stormy
Gosling’s Black Seal rum mixed with Barritt’s ginger beer over ice.

And here’s another shot of the coozie I got:
  

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Filed under ATLANTIC BEACH, BARS, BEACH DRINKS, DESTINATION COCKTAILS, NORTH CAROLINA, RUM