If you haven’t taken a bite out of Virginia Beach Restaurant Week yet, you’re missing out on some fine fare. During restaurant week, participating restaurants offer prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. Lunch features two courses for $12, and depending on the restaurant, the three-course dinners are $22 or $32.
During previous restaurant weeks, I’ve dined at Eat, Zoes and Braise, and CoVa Editor-in-Chief Angela Blue visited Salt. After a careful weighing of over 90 restaurants’ menus, this year I landed on Terrapin at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Though I’ve dined with Terrapin for their monthly fried chicken and pinot deal, and indulged in their strawberry shortcake, I was excited to dive into their restaurant week menu with my husband, Cody.
Waiting last minute to make a reservation for restaurant week of course meant we had a choice between the 5:30 or 8:30 slots. We chose the latter and decided to finish the last episode of Netflix’s Making a Murderer before our date, which, in our opinion, is not a horrible problem to have.
With three options for the first course, we opted out of the Arugula Salad and ordered the Tuna Crudo and Oyster Stew instead.
Lush tuna chunks were served as a lovely disc of punchy, succulent goodness. Mixed with green olives, pickled red onions and preserved lemon bits, the tuna crudo was a refreshing, light start to our meals.
The creamy oyster stew was like an upgraded potato soup. One spoonful of this stew encompassed each component: crispy, thick-cut bacon lardons, sweet potatoes and meaty oysters nestled in the most velvety broth.
For our main courses, we had some tough decisions to make among the Rock Shrimp Pasta with squid ink spaghetti and Local Flounder with sourdough breadcrumbs, but I went with the Coffee Braised Short Rib, while he ordered the Ashley Farms Fried Chicken.
The same entree featured in the monthly deal, the fried chicken always comes in large portions, making it a no-brainer lunch for the next day. Cavatappi noodles slither in this dreamy truffle cheese sauce. Then of course, the indulgent meal is always balanced by a seasonal vegetable; this time it was glossy brussel sprouts. Sure, I poked at him for not trying something new, but I can’t say I wasn’t sneaking my fork over to his plate.
While my short rib looked quite poised on the bed of polenta, I can assure you that with one prick from my fork, the short rib can only be described as silky tender—no knife needed here. With a peppery sauce over the short rib combined with buttery polenta and lightly steamed kale, the three components made for a spectacular meal that exceeded my expectations.
We had to have much of our entrees boxed up so that we could make the next logical decision: end on a sweet note. First was their olive oil-drizzled and fleur de sel-sprinkled Valrhona Chocolate Pudding—a ramekin filled with rich, savory-sweet perfection. Then, we went with the trio of house spun ice cream. Think honeyed pistachio, mint nib and lemon mixed with little pie crust pieces.
And that, my friends, is how restaurant week is done.
Virginia Beach Restaurant Week runs through Feb. 28. Find the full list of participating restaurants here.