If there is one thing everyone can learn from the Island Grille on Atlantic Beach, it’s that size doesn’t matter. Tucked into a small nook at the end of Money Island Drive, this icon nestled up against the water’s edge teaches everyone that great food and square footage simply don’t compute. What it does prove, however, is that a small, intimate setting can be the ideal place to sample some of the area’s bountiful seafood offerings and more.
As a member of Carteret Catch, Head Chef Jason Scott serves locally-caught seafood, from shrimp & scallop grits to the daily fresh catch, but locals know the Island Grille is also the ideal place to grab the perfect steak. The signature filet, stuffed with feta cheese, sundried tomato, smoked bacon and fresh basil and finished with a roasted red pepper cream sauce, keeps diners coming back for more, year after year. Unlike many restaurants, where the most coveted menu items come with the most expensive price tag attached, the Island Grille includes this popular draw on its buy one entrée, get one free special on Monday and Tuesday nights. The long-running special also includes sautéed shrimp & scallops and two fresh catch choices.
Once the delectable food brings visitors in the door, it may well be the wine menu that keeps them there. With two Wine Spectator Magazine Awards of Excellence to show off, Amiee Scott, general manager, is constantly adding to and changing the 135-bottle wine menu to maintain an array of options in all price ranges. In addition, the restaurant continues to expand its beer offerings and holds monthly beer luncheons for $25 per person.
“Our North Carolina and craft beer selection includes many hard to find bottles and seasonal,” added the manager.
Beer tasting at a high end restaurant? Absolutely – and there lies the beauty that is the Island Grille. While upscale in offerings and taste, the restaurant embraces its proximity to the beach with its casual, laid back air. Wearing flip flops and a bathing suit cover-up? That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a quick drive-thru for dinner, at least as long as you are on Atlantic Beach. The long-term, knowledgeable staff members go out of their way to make everyone comfortable at the Island Grille, whether dressed for a formal affair or a day on the beach.
Open seven days a week, the Island Grille is located at 401 Money Island Drive, Atlantic Beach. Hours are 5-9pm (5:30-9pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday). Call 252-240-0000 for reservations or more information.