Quick bites

By on December 30, 2010

Quick Bites returns after a hiatus with a different twist. Our latest installment recognizes local restaurants that have been recognized in other media.

First up, JK’s Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills. Our State, probably the best magazine of its kind anywhere in the United States, recently ran a series featuring the beef houses their readers most often cited as worthy of inclusion.

I knew the series was going to be top-notch when The Beefmastor Inn of Wilson was included in the top two. Wilson is not a major metropolis in league with Raleigh or Charlotte, but the Beefmastor is home to one of the best steaks I’ve ever sampled.

The magazine’s inclusion of JK’s cemented my opinion that Our State had done their homework. I’ve watched the latest iteration of JK’s grow from its reincarnation at a miniature golf course to its current location at Milepost 9 on the Bypass.

Here is the link to the article on JK’s that appeared in Our State, www.ourstate.com/articles/jks-restaurant, and a link to a summary article that included all of North Carolina’s premier steak destinations: www.ourstate.com/articles/great-steaks-north-carolina.

Next, one of my favorite subjects — the juice of Bacchus, aka “wine.”

Each year Wine Spectator, arguably among the most widely regarded wine magazines in the world, awards restaurants for their wine list selections. This recognition is not merely based on the size of the cellars or the number of brands offered, but also how well a wine list complements the dining establishment’s menu. Thus, a small Italian eatery with a 50- label selection can earn an award if its wine list complements the style of Italian food served.

To participate, restaurants must submit both their wine lists and food menus. Wine Spectator hones the list and then uses the internet and traditional phone canvassing to double-check entries. Last year, one “fake” restaurant won an award by creating a false menu and website, but this was one instance out of thousands of entries.

In my experience, both here on the Outer Banks and with winners in Hampton Roads and Raleigh, the awards are extremely accurate and serve as an excellent guide for exploring new dining and wine experiences.

As a demonstration of the culinary expertise found locally, 11 Outer Banks establishments made the Wine Spectator cut. Norfolk and Virginia Beach, with about seven times our population and restaurants only saw 13 make the list.

Award levels are Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence, and Grand Award. Five of the 11 local recipients are located in the small village of Duck! The entire worldwide listing of the over 3,700 listings can be found at:

Without further ado, our local selections. All were an “Award of Excellence” except for Elizabeth’s, which had Best of Award of Excellence:

Aqua S Restaurant, 1174 Duck Road, Duck
Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café, 7623 S Virginian Dare Trail, Nags Head
The Blue Point Bar and Grill, 1240 Duck Road, Duck
Elizabeth’s Café & Winery, Scarborough Faire Shopping Village, Duck
Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern, U.S. 158, Nags Head
The Left Bank, 1461 Duck Road, Duck
The Lifesaving Station, 1461 Duck Road, Duck
Mike Dianna’s Grill Room, 796-A Sunset Blvd, Corolla
Ocean Boulevard, 4700 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk
Pamlico Jack’s Restaurant, 6708 S Croatan Hwy., Nags Head
The Pearl, 1731 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kill Devil Hills

Cover photo courtesy of JK’s

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