Virginia Beach is home to a boardwalk that showcases the Atlantic Ocean, a colossal statute of Neptune, and beach access to the Hilton Oceanfront Hotel. A step off the boardwalk lands you into Catch 31 Fish House and Bar, one of the hotel’s eateries. This contemporary restaurant is designed to evoke images of the sea.
Catch 31 is laid out with the restaurant to one side and a lively, higher energy bar on the other. Hearing much about their signature cocktails, I began my visit by ordering a Blood Orange Margarita. No eyebrow was raised when I asked for it to be served as a martini instead. It was the perfect thirst quencher after a stroll along the beach and a great start to an early afternoon lunch.
Another drink caught my eye – The Watermelon Afternoon Martini. I do enjoy that they differentiate this cocktail as an “afternoon martini” as opposed to the Morning Martini or Evening Martini. This summer-loving libation would be quite a crowd pleaser at any pool party or backyard gathering. It was so refreshing and light, made with Grey Goose Vodka, Watermelon Pucker, Pineapple Juice and Sour Mix. Very easy to drink, and very dangerous for that reason.
I decided on a couple of light noshables which included the Prince Edward Island Black Mussels steeped in alder wood smoked tomatoes and country sausage and served with a single slice of ciabatta bread. What a mockery! I sent that server straight back to the kitchen to retrieve a few more slices. Doesn’t he know that part of the pleasure of indulging in mussels is to go peasant style and use the bread to soak up the flavorful broth?
To accompany my mussels, I ordered Shrimp and Corn Flatbread that was baked with creamed artichoke, crumbles of bacon, radish, cucumber, ricotta, roasted corn and shrimp atop. It was kind of like Tex-Mex wrestling with Italia out on the high seas. An interesting blend of flavors, but a little dry, I must admit.
In an effort to rescue my thirst I decided to try the Catch Ultimate Cosmo, which was a life saver. Without question, this was a Cosmo done right with a deliciously chilled mixture of Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, Grand Marnier, a Splash of Cranberry Juice and Freshly Squeezed Lime…. Now doesn’t that sound like a day at the beach!
If you’re looking for a slightly more upscale bar and restaurant steps from the sand in Virginia Beach, this establishment is a good catch with satiating craft cocktails and decent food.
Catch 31 is located inside the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach. Their phone number is 757-213-3474. Be sure to visit their website at http://www.catch31.com