Situated just one block from the famed King Neptune statue is a sophisticated eatery that takes Virginia Beach’s seafood scene to new heights. The Atlantic on Pacific is a sleek raw bar offering a multitude of delectable small plates and an extensive list of handcrafted cocktails, eclectic wines and Virginia brews.
Much like the neighboring ocean, shades of blue fill The Atlantic’s dining room. Deep blues coat the walls and towering shelves of the bistro’s L-shaped bar while gentler hues cloak the communal sofas resting beneath the eatery’s front windows. Adding a contemporary feel to the Oceanfront eatery are woody accents, geometric lighting fixtures and colorful pops of cognac and gold.
Seating is plentiful and diverse at The Atlantic. Guests can enjoy casual conversation at the bar and surrounding high tops or indulge in a more formal dining experience in an elevated private booth.
Anchoring the restaurant is perhaps its most notable feature—the raw bar. Reminiscent of a downtown fish market, the raw bar is centered around an enclosed ice bed that dons a rotating variety of freshly shucked oysters from waters as close as the Lynnhaven River to as far away as the shores of Connecticut. Preparing the bivalves is professional oyster shucker and New Orleans native, Christopher Armstrong.
Also available at the raw bar are crab legs, peel-and-eat shrimp, clams, lobster tail and an assortment of sauces. During The Atlantic’s weekday happy hour, oysters are just a buck a shuck.
Off the raw bar menu is a myriad of cold and hot seafood starters, including a handful of baked oysters. According to David Edelen, founding partner of The Atlantic and owner of Eurasia, the lowcountry shrimp boil, mini lobster roll and steak tartare are among diners’ favorites.
To appease all palates, Executive Chef Dave Brue and his culinary team have crafted a selection of from-the-land platters including a creamy goat cheese and spinach ravioli, hearty bone-in ribeye and fried chicken thighs.
With such a varied collection of eats, Edelen carefully selected wines that pair well with The Atlantic’s unique spread. He explains that The Atlantic’s wine list deviates from standard Chardonnays and pinot noirs to educate guests on foreign vinos from France, Italy and elsewhere.
Behind the bar, boozy concoctions are poured into metallic shakers and funky cocktail glasses. Honoring the oyster theme, General Manager Vincent Amato created The Dirty Oyster, an equally briny and intoxicating mixture of fresh oyster, Tito’s vodka and oyster liquor. Cocktails specials are available during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Atlantic on Pacific is located at 3004 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach and is open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.