Arriving to the Virginia Eastern Shore after four hours in the car equaled a much-needed glass of Pinot and comfort food. Luckily Aqua was the first thing on my schedule and the restaurant offered just the comfort I had been looking for after an evening on the road. The image of a huge beach home versus a restaurant was what initially crossed my mind as we drove up to the popular Eastern Shore restaurant. Home is what it felt like when we entered to a hostess that was warm and happy to escort us to one of the private dining rooms in the restaurant. Though I love a good private dining room experience, the spacious public dining area was just as inviting where the lighting and soft tones muted any thoughts of claustrophobia or obnoxious loud dining room chatter.
Finally, food was meeting my palate and it began with a few of my favorite things. Clams Provencal planted themselves in the center of the table draped in a broth with tender notes of celery, onion, garlic and all things good. This introduction, I would learn, was just the beginning of a weekend that would teach me all I needed to know about clam life. Clearly seafood is a staple in the Virginia Eastern Shore dining scene, which Aqua has quite a hold on, and most restaurants have some form of clams, oysters or fish. The Fried Green Tomatoes even had “Local Crabmeat” as the garnish.
Aqua is one of those places in a small town that all the locals visit for a night on the town. Lucky for the Virginia Eastern Shore, this is actually a place that out-of-towners, like yours truly, can appreciate when trying to ease into the small town atmosphere. Creative flavors with local fare tucked in a huge space reminding you of what you always thought a large country haven should entail, Aqua is a welcome reflection of what you have to look forward to on the Virginia Eastern Shore.