Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cape Fear Seafood Company- Wilmington, NC

Grouper Saltimbocca

In a word, excellent. I'll now give a whole bunch more words as to what made it excellent, and a few criticisms as well. 

Cape Fear Seafood Company sits in a strip mall in on College Ave on Myrtle Grove. It isn't all that big, and it is quite popular, so I would recommend making reservations. Inside it is tastefully appointed with an understated, yet bright, upscale coastal seafood restaurant look. The service was good and friendly and the restaurant pleasantly quiet enough to carry on a conversation with people at your table.

We ordered appetizers to start, the fried okra and hush puppies. The okra was well executed, crisp enough, and well seasoned with a remoulade sauce. The hush puppies were overly fried and a bit dark, but not terrible.

Figure Eight Flounder
I was debating between two dishes. One was the shrimp and grits, and the other was the Grouper Saltimbocca. While shrimp and grits is fast becoming one of my favorite dishes, and I have had some amazing interpretations of it, I wondered when I was going to have the opportunity to have a grouper saltimbocca again. I mean veal and chicken saltimbocca are amazing, why not grouper? Additionally both dishes had mushrooms listed in the ingredients and I thought that I could pick them out of the saltimbocca easier than from shrimp and grits. I don't like cooked mushrooms, especially cremini, to me they take on a taste of dirt and permeate any dish made with them. Raw mushrooms on the other hand I will eat. 

I went with the Grouper and I must say that it was simply amazing, in spite of the fact that the mushrooms that I asked to be omitted (the waiter said this could be done, but I think I caught a bit of an eye roll as he said it) were right there on the plate. No real problem as they were only partially cooked and edible, but I did leave a few on the plate. The prosciutto wrapped around the grouper was slightly crisp and the grouper was perfectly cooked. The spinach, goat cheese and sauce combined to make this one of the best, and most interesting, seafood dishes I've had.

Shrimp and Grits
Rachel ordered the small shrimp and grits after our waiter told her that it was one of the top five in the free world, or something like that. She liked it, and I tasted it. We both agreed that it was good, but not life-changing. There were too many tomatoes and far too many mushrooms which became the dominant flavor. Now, please bear in mind that this is simply based on my own personal tastes but my choice of the grouper turned out to be the right one. 

Hush Puppies
Teresa ordered the figure eight flounder and it was excellent as well. The veggies were a tad over seasoned though. AJ had a fried seafood plate which was good and came with nicer hush puppies than the appetizers. 
Fried Okra
We started with soup, Rachel and I both had the crab bisque and it was excellent. We ended by sharing a Crème brûlée which was good. 

Crab Bisque 
Overall, like I said in the beginning it was excellent with a couple of small caveats. I would definitely go back again and have the grouper or one of the other dishes that looked interesting. Check them out sometime and see for yourself. 

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