Dine with a View and Taste What’s New at @OceanicDining + @BlueWater_ILM in #WrightsvilleBeach @WilmingtoNCoast

Today’s #FoodieFriday feature is dedicated to two restaurants my family and I dined at during our recent visit to Wilmington, NC to see What’s In Bloom. Bluewater Waterfront Grill and the Oceanic Restaurant, both located in Wrightsville Beach, are two places that I would recommend for enjoying delicious food/cocktails with gorgeous views!

OCEANIC RESTAURANT

703 S.LUMINA AVE. | Seafood
www.oceanicrestaurant.com/

For dinner on Saturday, we had a reservation at the Oceanic Restaurant, located on the beach and connected to the Crystal Pier. They recently launched a new menu at the Oceanic and SobeSavvy.com was invited to check it out! Having lived in Florida, I have found that usually beachside restaurants either have good food and a non existent view or an awesome view and subpar cuisine. Oceanic Restaurant on Wrightsville, Nc is the rare gem that manages to do both.

Being the only restaurant in Wrightsville Beach situated on the Atlantic Ocean carries a lot of responsibility and they carry it well.
Oceanic also played a huge part in restoring the Crystal Pier, which literally stretches into the atlantic ocean with a fishing pier and outdoor above ocean tables.

We were seated upstairs at a table with a beautiful view of the sand and the surf below. They presented a neat kids menu with crayons for my little one to enjoy.

I ordered a White Sangria unlike any other I have ever had. It came with a frozen stone fruit popsicle immersed in the glass. Loved it! Hubby ordered a nice glass of Greek white wine, which paired well with our appetizer order of Oyster Rockefellers. I am still dreaming about those plump fresh oysters, topped with creamed spinach, pernod and crumbled bacon. So amazingly good!

In lieu of dinner rolls, you can expect an order of hush puppies to arrive in a basket for all to enjoy! My little one ordered the kids pasta marinara and a side of steamed broccoli. Kids and pasta go together like fish and water, so she was happy.

We tried two new items from their dinner menu that caught our attention: Shrimp and Grits and Brick Roasted Chicken. The Shrimp and Grits were large shrimp sautéed with shallots, pancetta, mushrooms, cajun spices, finished with cream and served over a fried Asiago polenta cake. The shrimp were good BUT that polenta cake was the perfect sponge to soak up all that creamy goodness. The chicken was amazing! I don’t usually order chicken at a seafood restaurant, but after the GM described it, I am so glad I did! It was moist, flavorful and the skin was the perfect grade of crispy without being overcooked.

SobeSavvy Tip: This restaurant and its unique seaside setting makes Oceanic very popular amongst visitors and locals alike. It is a place you MUST visit when in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Come for the food, stay for the view and GET IN LINE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE with Yelp Mobile App.

BLUEWATER WATERFRONT GRILL

4 MARINA ST. | Seafood
www.bluewaterdining.com/

Bluewater Waterfront Grill, recently launched a brunch program at the restaurant and includes a Bloody Mary bar, champagne cocktails and a new cocktail program. SobeSavvy.com was invited to check out what’s new so this is where we decided to enjoy Sunday Brunch for Mother’s Day!

Brunch, without a doubt is one of the best ways to start of a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon. Brunch on the Intra-Coastal waters of the NC coast is even better. Enter the Blue Water WaterFront Grill in Wilmington Beach, NC. Set amongst beautiful boats and folks pulling up their pleasure crafts right to their dock, this restaurant is a mainstay in the area.

What’s New! They have a special build your own Bloody Mary and Champagne Cocktail Bar on Sundays that we enjoyed. Peach Bellini and Red Sangria set the tone for a wonderful meal experience. Bananas Foster French Toast was divine as was the Egg & Bacon Croissant.

Sitting dockside was a fun treat for our little one. She loved watching the comings and goings of the watercrafts as she enjoyed her kids menu item Fish & Chips. Such a relaxed atmosphere on a picture perfect warm spring morning. This was a brunch to remember!

Thank you to Oceanic Restaurant and Bluewater Waterfront Grill for hosting my #HeighPartyof3 during our visit to Wilmington,NC and Island Beaches. If you are looking for family friendly dining with great service, a delicious food/drink menu and amazing views, make reservations at these two places for a memorable dining experience.

Looking for the Best Sips & Sushi in #Atlanta that the whole family can enjoy? Check out @TheCowfishATL Sushi*Burger*Bar #TheCowfish

Atlanta has become one of the great food cities of the world in the last 15 years. Name a cuisine and odds are you will find it there! Because my family and I are traveling foodies, one of our things to do is to seek out good food wherever we go. Sometimes it is best to revisit a place where you have dined before because the food, service and quality is consistent. That place for us is The Cowfish.

My daughter, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva, is always ‘heads over heels’ to dine at The Cowfish. They currently have 5 locations, including this one at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta. She enjoys the fun yard games on the outside as much as we enjoy the Sushi, Burger, Bar on the inside!

DINING ROOM VIBE

Although there is outside patio seating, my family and I had dinner in their casual dining room. We sat at a booth that gave us a view of the beautiful aquarium behind the bar. There is also a smaller one by the hostess stand which has a sole yellow cowfish swimming in it! My little one was amazed at it’s peculiar shape and unique look. That is not the only unique thing about this restaurant. I think The Cowfish has some of the Best Sushi and Sips on their menu, which is why we came here for dinner. But first this Mom & Dad need…..

DRINKS

It was almost 84 degrees outside so we were ready for a few cocktails. I tried a Sake sampler, which offered both cold and warm sake pours. The Fuji Apple cold sake was my absolute favorite! I loved the presentation on a board with each name. Matter of fact I loved it so much I ordered a bottle of the Fuji Apple! Hubby is a bourbon/scotch man so he ordered one of the handcrafted cocktails which they called a “new fashioned”. SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy half off Martinis every Tuesday and discover your favorite Martini on the menu!

MENU

We started off with an appetizer of Blackened Tuna Nachos. Seared tuna slices on Wonton Chips over their crab Rangoon dip. It was delicious and enough to share with my #HeighPartyof3.

My soon to be 7 year old ordered the grilled chicken kids entrée. It came with fries and edamame and is served in a bento box. Also included is a fun cowfish tatoo and rice crispy treat with a swedish fish on top for dessert!

Hubby ordered from their “Burgushi” section. The Cowfish finds ways to merge a tasty burger with fresh sushi in different dishes. His Fusion Specialty Bento Box came with a mini burger, a sushi roll, fries and Thai cucumbers. I must admit I was picking off his plate, I mean bento box as I enjoyed the variety of his dish.

I ordered “The Prime Time” Filet and Lobster Roll which is a creative and tasty sushi roll version of the classic Surf & Turf. Guests can order strictly sushi or strictly burgers from other areas of the menu, but The Cowfish offers the best of both worlds!

DESSERT

Thinking of dining here soon? I have just one piece of advice SAVE 👏ROOM👏 FOR 👏 DESSERT! We split a very BIG slice of their Chef Dave’s Not Factory Made Cheesecake. This creamy, almond coconut cheescake is beyond good and everyone enjoyed it!

See what else we enjoyed here on my Instagram post:

Here are some fun things coming up at The Cowfish in Atlanta:

• Offering half priced Skinny Gonzales Margaritas on Cinco de Mayo

• Offering complimentary chocolate dipped strawberries on Mother’s Day

Be sure to stay up to date

Visit The Cowfish at www.thecowfish.com

Follow on Twitter: @The_Cowfish

Instagram: thecowfishsbb

Facebook: @thecowfishatl

Thanks again to our friends at The Cowfish in Atlanta for hosting our dining experience. My daughter left with big smiles and lots of fun, foodie Spring Break memories.

#outandaboutAva visits The Cowfish in Atlanta for a fun, family-friendly dining experience | SobeSavvy.com

Top 4 Reasons Why @Kankirestaurant in #Durham #NC is the “Best Tasting Show In Town” #kankirestaurant #SobeSavvyEats

Hey guys! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Mine was filled with foodie fun because I had an exciting opportunity to try a restaurant and share about my experience with you! SobeSavvy.com recently was invited to a tasting experience at Kanki Sushi and Japanese Steakhouse Durham, which just happened to coincide with my mom’s visit to the Triangle to celebrate her 64th birthday. I decided to combine some work with pleasure and treat the whole family!

From the moment we stepped inside of Kanki Durham, I could tell by the crowd that this was a popular place. They do not take reservations or hold seats, so make sure your whole party is there if requesting to sit at a hibachi table for dinner. If you’re not familiar with hibachi,it’s where the chef prepares your meal right before your eyes. After dining at Kanki Durham on Saturday, I liked to share with you my Top 4 Reasons Why Kanki Durham is The “Best Tasting Show in Town”:

1. Cozy & Beautiful Decor

If you’ve ever been to Kanki at Crabtree and Kanki off of Wake Forest Road, then you are familiar with the delicious menu. This location offers same menu but has a different feel than the other locations. From the beautiful stain glass decor, the aquarium, the lovely bar area and their cozy dining room, this restaurant is the perfect spot for dinner and a show.

2. Entertaining & Fun

#outandaboutAva is amazed by the hibachi Chef at Kanki Durham, the “Best Tasting Show in Town” | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

Our hibachi chef, Ricky was entertaining and showed special attention to my 6 yr old. She loved the food “show”. Chef Ricky did a myriad of delightful tricks that kept a smile on her face. She loved the “egg roll” the best! Watch this video to see a bit more of the action. It was so fun and entertaining to everyone young and old!

3. Flavorful & Fresh

If you like Japanese cuisine that’s flavorful and fresh, Kanki Durham‘s menu offers a great variety. The delicious menu is full of fresh sushi options, yummy appetizers and of course their well-known hibachi. Hibachi is what we wanted and hibachi is what we got. We started with a few appetizers of Gyoza pork steamed dumplings and also their lamb chops, which I plan to get everytime I visit. The lamb chops were so good they disappeared quickly before I could get a food pic! However, check out the Gyoza appetizer which comes 6 to an order and is perfect for sharing!

SobeSavvy Tip: Dine at Kanki Durham and enjoy a FREE appetizer per party with the purchase of an entree! Use coupon code: SOBESAVVY .Offer expires May 14, 2018

In addition to hibachi, Kanki Durham also has superb sushi choices. I ordered the sashimi sampler. It was fresh and delicious. My family ordered a classic chicken and steak, Ribeye and scallop and a Emperor‘s delight. Most hibachi entrees come with soup, salad and grilled shrimp prior to the main meal. Also there are a choice of two sauces to enjoy with your dishes. You’ll want to put the WHITE SAUCE on everything by the time you leave Kanki Durham! They have a great kids menu as well.

4. Family Friendly

When planning a family dinner, there are very few places as memorable as Kanki Durham. If you are looking for place to handle a big party, Kanki’s hibachi tables seat 9 people. We were a party of 5 so it was a communal affair with our other friendly table guests who were also celebrating a birthday! Our waitress made sure to ask if anyone was celebrating a special occassion. At the end of the meal, a traditional Japanese drummer appeared. He banged out their version of happy birthday to my mom’s delight. They gave her a sherbet with a candle. A sweet ending to a memorable night!

Thank you Kanki Durham for the invite and gift card for dinner for 2 to use towards my meal. In my opinion, your motto of being the “Best Tasting Show in Town” fits this restaurant well! The next time you are in Durham, make sure you dine here. Per my mom, it was “the best meal she has had all year”!

HAVE YOU EVER DINED AT KANKI BEFORE OR ANY OTHER HIBACHI STYLE RESTAURANT? HOW DID YOU ENJOY YOUR EXPERIENCE? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW⤵

Kanki Durham
3504 Mt. Moriah Road

Facebook: @KankiOfficialPage

Instagram/Twitter: @kankirestaurant

Where to Dine in #Atlanta 3 #FamilyFriendly Restaurants: #TheCowfish #BoneFishGrill #Brio

We are in Atlanta for #outandaboutAva’s first spring break. Epic eats are essential when on vacation, so we sought out some of our favorite family friendly restaurants while here in Atlanta, Georgia. When we eat out as a family, we require any restaurant we choose to have at least the following criteria:

  • Booths. Only parents know the true value of being able to keep a child sequestered on the inside seat of a booth !
  • Kids Menus. A restaurant must make a special effort to cater to kids. Some adult menu items do not translate easily to the palettes of a 5 yr old
  • Activity Booklets. Although we live in the tech world, old fashioned coloring books and puzzles with crayons still do the trick of occupying them until the food comes.
  • Variety. We need choices suitable for all of our tastes AND a bar menu featuring a cocktail and wine list for Mom/Dad because we deserve it!

Our Top 3 restaurants that made our ‘Where to Dine in Atlanta’ list has all the above and more. Check out out thoughts below.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Atlanta

From the moment we walked up to the The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Atlanta, you could tell we were going to have a fun dining experience! Located at Atlanta’s Perimeter Mall, This is the first and only Georgia outpost of this North Carolina based restaurant. Their unique take on food has made The Cowfish stand out from the crowd.

They have a huge cowfish statue named Nugget and fun games out front. Between the bean bag toss and the plinko game, my daughter was having so much fun outside she didn’t want to come in! But once inside she was fascinated by the REAL cowfish they have in the aquarium and the wonderful kids activities menu with crayons at the table.

The Cowfish aims to offer something for the entire family. Scrumptious appetizers for sharing, entree-sized salads, homemade desserts and a fun kid’s menu are joined by their signature creations such “Burgushi”! A cutting edge fusion of burger and sushi, burgushi items include sushi rolls created using burger components, and pick-up style sandwiches created using sushi components. Since we loves sushi +burgers+bar(for the parents), The CowFish ended up being the perfect choice for our lunch date. They have such a pretty extensive menu, but thankfully it is broken down and explained by the helpful wait staff.

For an appetizer it was recommended we try the Lobster & Crab Spring Rolls. It was 4 towers of goodness filled with lobster meat. It came with a trifecta of sauces: cilantro pesto, thai chili sauce, spicy honey marmalade The sauces were so good, I ordered extra! Uber fresh, uber delicious! Simply amazing!

For our entrees, we all got the bento box lunches as a way to try a little of everything they had to offer. The Cowfish Bento Box and Fusion Specialty Bento Box are a great way to go to sample a mini-burger along with your choice of sushi roll and tasty side items!

My little girl enjoyed her lunch too. Their kids menu is unlike any other I have ever seen. Sophisticated choices, yet very kid simple palette friendly. She had their California Roll Bento box. It came with edamame, which she loves and even a rice crispy treat with a candy cowfish gummy bear on top..plus a fun tattoo!

We split a very BIG slice of their Chef Dave’s Not Factory Made Cheesecake delicious, creamy almond coconut cheescake! We put a dent in it but can you say “a to go box please” !

The Cowfish satisfies both kids and adults alike. If you enjoy a creative handcrafted cocktail, don’t miss a chance to try any from their list. The Moscow Muleshine for Him and the Itsy Bitsy Tini-Weenie Fresh and Berry Great Martini for me has now made it our favorite libations list!

SobeSavvy Tip: Great news for you Birmingham foodies! The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is coming to The Summit near Saks Fifth Avenue and slated to open summer 2017! Now you can see what Charlotte, Raleigh, Orlando and Atlanta fans love about this restaurant

For more information visit www.thecowfish.com Twitter@The_Cowfish Instagram: thecowfishsbb Facebook: @thecowfishatl

Bonefish Grill -Akers Mill Square/ATL

My family loves fresh seafood which makes dining at Bonefish Grill a great idea always! They have a newly opened restaurant in Akers Mill Square in Atlanta, where we enjoyed their new items on their spring menu.

Bonefish Grill, known as the fresh fish experts, are off to a healthy spring start by adding Sea Scallops to the menu. We shared the delicious Applewood Bacon Wrapped Scallops starter, featuring four tender scallops wrapped in Applewood bacon and topped with a tasty mango salsa.

Lucky for us parents, Bonefish Grill just launched their Hand-Crafted Happy Hour served 4-6:30 p.m. every day, including weekends, starting April 3*. We dined while their redefined happy hour was in full swing. Unlike some restaurants, Bonefish Grill allows any diner to order from their special hand crafted happy hour menu no matter if seated at the bar or dining at a table in the main room. We had two of their handcrafted cocktails off of their happy hour menu ($5). The Tropical Tiki Martini and a Fresh Margarita were both superb!

Although this is a casual yet sophisticated restaurant, it is also really kid friendly. Kids get their own menu and activity book and crayons to go with it. Her beverage of choice..a shirley temple customized with extra cherries~thanks Bonefish Grill! Her fave from the kids menu is their popcorn shrimp, so that was what she ordered.

Our #HeighPartyof3 believes 3 is the magic number and so does Bonefish Grill with their new Hooked on Tuesday menu special. Starting at $14.90, you get a 3-course meal that includes a fresh salad, entree and decadent dessert.

If you love Salmon, it served many ways at Bonefish Grill. I choose to have it grilled with pesto and mango salsa (it’s so addictive) on the side. From the seasonal menu try Cedar Plank Norwegian Salmon – Roasted on a cedar plank, topped with a seasonal glaze of sweet honey and savory Dijon, served with jasmine rice and a vegetable medley of fresh asparagus, button mushrooms, pearl onions, and peas.

For a sweet ending to your meal, I highly recommend the Jen’s jamaican coconut pie. Warning.. this is the one dessert that is not kid friendly because they use a Meyer’s Rum sauce that compliments the dessert well.

And, for dessert from the seasonal menu, try the perennial favorite Strawberry Shortcake! Our daughter loved the made in house whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

For more information, visit www.bonefishgrill.com.

*Hand-Crafted Happy Hour is available at participating Bonefish Grill restaurants.

Bonefish Grill (Akers Mill Sq.)
2997 Cobb Pkwy SE
Atlanta, GA 30339

BRIO Buckhead-Atlanta

BRIO Tuscan Grille is a favorite of my family because of the variety of tasty dishes on their menu. When I learned that BRIO Tuscan Grille has two locations in Atlanta at Buckhead and Perimeter Mall, I knew they should be added to our “Where to Dine” list during our visit. They say variety is the spice of life and BRIO is embracing this philosophy with an array of new dishes on the “A Variety of Flavors” lunch and dinner menus. Available Tuesday, Feb. 28–Saturday, April 15, the menus present two exciting new appetizers, three entrées (including two mouthwatering seafood dishes), a divine dessert, and delightful wine options. Here is what we tried from the menu:

Appetizers

· Calamari Fritto Misto: Peperoncini, aioli, Pomodoro; $10.75 at lunch, $11.75 at dinner

*This was enough for my family of 3 to share and it we had fun dipping the calamari into the two sauces.

Entrées

· Peroni Beer-Battered Fish & Chips: North Atlantic cod, fries, Brussels sprout slaw; $17.95

· Braised Beef Pappardelle: Rosemary pappardelle, crimini mushrooms, roasted carrots, red onions, tomato porcini sauce; $21.95

* Fish for him, Beef for me. We both loved our dishes so much, we didn’t share..lol I’m looking at the picture wondering what the brussels sprout slaw tasted like? He said it was all very good and he hopes they keep it on the menu. The braised beef was very tender and full of flavor. The portion was very much family style anf meant for sharing..but I didn’t. It was that good!

Dessert

· Butterscotch Budino: Italian for “pudding,” Marcona almonds, caramel, vanilla whipped cream; $3.95

*The perfect sweet ending to a great meal.

Serving as perfect complements to these special dishes are BRIO’s exquisite wine selections, which this Mom and Dad appreciates! Suggested wines are the light, fruity and elegant Sketchbook Pinot Noir (Mendocino, California); and the lush and silky Benziger Family Winery Chardonnay (Sonoma, California).

We enjoyed their unique flavors with a Tuscan twist, and #outandaboutAva liked their special Children’s Menu.

For a Family Date Night out consider dining at BRIO. Guests can now make reservations online for all BRIO restaurants by visiting www.BrioItalian.com or call (404) 601-5555. For a list of locations, please visit www.BrioItalian.com and follow the restaurant on Twitter (@brioitalian) and Facebook (facebook.com/brioitalian)

BRIO Buckhead – Atlanta

2964 Peachtree Road N.W.

Atlanta, GA 30305,

*south of Pharr Rd.
Open Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Monday–Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

Looking for Family-Friendly eats in @TownofCary ?Head to Brixx Wood Fired Pizza @BrixxParkside #Yum

My husband’s first job as a teenager was at a pizza joint, so he is a pizza snob. He makes our pizza at home and is very particular about his pie. Because of him, my family LOVES PIZZA!  Always have. A few years back while visiting Rome, he needless to say, was in utopia.Many of those awesome pizza spots had one thing in common. Their pizza was baked in a brick oven. I did a little research as to why pizza in brick ovens just seemed “better” than pizza cooked in a traditional oven and here is the TMI answer :

Because of the high heat stored in the dense walls, the brick oven is designed to cook pizza very quickly. It takes approximately 2-3 minutes maximum for the pizza to cook.

Better crust – At such high temperatures, the radiant heat from the fire and the heat bouncing off the inside walls of the oven crisps the outside of the pizza very quickly. Any moisture in the dough is thus sealed off. This prevents the base of the dough from becoming soggy and results in a flavorful crust that’s puffy, yet soft and chewy.

Unique flavor – Only a wood-fired brick oven pizza imparts that unique smoky flavor that cannot be reproduced in a normal kitchen oven. The high temperature produces other flavors not achieved by slow cooking.

That being said, SobeSavvy was delighted to be hosted by BRIXX Wood Fired Pizza at Parkside Town Center this past weekend. With over 30 locations in 11 states, Brixx prides itself on being unique. Did you know they had 5 locations in the Triangle, 1 in Chapel Hill, 2 in Raleigh and two locations in Cary – in Parkside Town Commons and in Bradford Shops? We are lucky to have that many options nearby!

Much more than just a pizza and beer kinda place. The dining room was bright and colorful. They even have mini chalkboards for kids and kids at heart to be artists while sitting at the table !

At the bar, you’ll find they have over 24 craft beers on tap and 14 wines by the glass.

The foundation of its menu – traditional and whole wheat dough, focaccia bread, fresh mozzarella from Wisconsin cheese curd, meatballs, hummus, bruschetta and more – from scratch every morning and it shows or rather tastes ! We started with delicious tomato soup and a order of bruschetta . The focaccia toast was fresh and the balsamic glaze was divine over the roma and sun dried tomatoes!

I ordered the Chicken Florentine pizza and the wife ordered a Mediterranean Salad with grilled salmon on top. The salad was fresh and flavorful while my pizza was great!

My little one ordered penne pasta w/meatballs. She gave the thumbs up the way only a 5 yr old can! Service was superb and we even had root beer float to close out our first Brixx experience .

Brixx is dedicated to supporting the local environment as well, recycling everything possible and offering mostly draft beers to eliminate landfill waste.
We enjoyed our visit and look forward to trying some of their pasta dishes and sandwiches when we return.

SobeSavvy Tip: Take advantage of their #LateNightBOGO specials. Brixx has some of the best daily specials in Cary, including all bottles of wine half-priced Sundays and $2.50 craft drafts Mondays. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. – serving guests for lunch, dinner and late night eats. When other restaurants are cooling down, Brixx is heating up!

Although not at this location, Brixx at Bradford Shops offers a special lunch combo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday – enjoy a smaller version of any housemade pizza and a half salad, quality food delivered to your table in about 10 minutes from ordering. So whether for lunch or dinner, Brixx is there to satisfy your family’s Italian cravings !

Learn more at www.brixxpizza.com. Be sure to Follow on Facebook for the Cary locations @Brixx Pizza – Parkside Town Commons and @Brixx Pizza – Bradford.