Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

Restaurant Review: Rockafeller’s Virginia Beach

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

I’m travelling for work. And though I don’t normally do this, I thought that my dinner tonight was worth mentioning. After a long day of meetings, my coworkers and I set out to find dinner on the beach, or as close to it as possible. We got some recommendations from the locals, and made the short drive to the shore, where we stopped first at Mahi Mah’s. It looked okay, and came highly recommended, plus it had an awesome patio overlooking the ocean–but it was a little loud for what we were looking for tonight (In large part due to the live band).

So we drove a bit further (about half a mile) to our second recommendation, Rockfeller’s. The place was super casual, but a bit more low key than Mahi Mah’s, so we decided to stay. The restaurant is nothing fancy, but it’s certainly not trying to be, either. The decor reminded me of Red Lobster, but in a good way–like Red Lobster was copying this place. The smallish restaurant overlooking the inlet full of fishing boats is decked out in nautical gear. As it should be.

The menu wasn’t expansive, especially if you wanted to avoid seafood. Luckily, we were there to eat seafood. 😉 For an appetizer, we split a pound of steamed shrimp. The shrimp were perfectly cooked, spiced with old bay seasoning, and very tasty. Though they did have to be peeled, and I’m not a huge fan of peeling my own food, we were all happy with the appetizer. The fresh french bread was passable, but the cornbread was awesome: warm and sweet and crumbly.

For my entree, I ordered a platter with fried shrimp, scallops, fish, and crab cakes. The sides were simple, but tasty: steamed red potatoes and green beans. But the seafood was the star. The scallops were the best I’ve had in recent memory. Sweet, tender but meaty, and the size of a half-dollar. The crab cake was excellent. The fish and the shrimp were good, though not fantastic. All in all, I was impressed with my dinner.

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And for dessert, we all shared a sampler platter, which was a nice option for a group. It came with a small piece of Key Lime Pie, a slice of coconut cake, a thick, rich chocolate mousse, and a small Jamaican rum cake. Out of the bunch, the rum cake was my favorite. For one, I don’t have rum cake that often, and this was very, very tasty. The cake was rich and moist with a delicious rum glaze. I’d forgotten how much I liked real rum cake. The key lime pie was alright, though I feel that mine is better, by far. The crust was fine, but the filling was too sweet, not tart, and it was just barely chilled. I’m going to be a jerk and say that my coconut cake was better, too. This was moist, and it was pretty good, but the coconut cake that I make uses real coconut, not the shredded, sweetened kind–and for the first time, I really noticed the difference in flavor. The real coconut is a much more subtle taste–the processed, sweetened kind is cloyingly sweet. It almost tastes too much like coconut. The chocolate mousse was good, but it was my fourth taste on the plate, and so, so rich for a last bite. It made me wish for a glass of milk!

All in all, we really enjoyed our dinner. The food was all good–some of it great–and our server was awesome. If I was a local, I think Rockafeller’s would be a place to frequent.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I finally had my cousins over for dinner, and after much discussion, decided on a menu. My intention was a sort of “Choose Your Own Alfredo” bar, with fresh homemade fettuccine, creamy alfredo sauce and the choice of garlicky shrimp, grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, or any combination thereof. In reality, I forgot the broccoli, but no one seemed to mind too much. The rest turned out fantastic. The chicken was just marinated in Italian dressing–nothing too fancy. And the alfredo was the same alfredo I’ve made before. So this post is about the shrimp. I made Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Shrimp Scampi from the Back to Basics Cookbook.

And Yum! Assuming I can scrounge up some people to help me eat them again, I’ll be making these again for sure.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of butter at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread crumbs)
  • lemon wedges, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a large mixing bowl and toss gently with olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Allow to rest at room temperature while you make the butter/garlic mixture.

3. In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined.

4. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down in a glass baking dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture in an even layer over the shrimp. Bake for 10-12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Note: This was simple, delicious, and beautiful–pretty much everything a Barefoot Contessa recipe promises. I enjoy seafood, but Leah and David won’t touch most of it, which means I don’t make it very often. It’s nice to have this recipe in my pocket, for when I need it. These would be great tossed some linguine and parmesan cheese, too.