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Wilmington NC restaurants?


jessep727
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My favorite restaurant in Wilmington (we vacation almost every year on nearby Oak Island) is Indochine, which is one of the better Southeast Asian restaurants I've been to. I wrote a few pages about it in "Asian Dining Rules" so have spent some time there and have been impressed with the operation on every level. That's out on the Market Street strip, in other words not downtown so you'll need a car.

I think probably the best chef in Wilmington is Keith Rhodes. He owns the restaurant Catch, which is a casual seafood lunch spot (though last year they were talking about adding dinner service -- not sure if that happened), and he's also the chef at a place called Deluxe, which is more of a fine-dining spot. Those are downtown.

There's a very good kosher Moroccan place (yes, in Wilmington, NC) called Nagila. It's in a residential area not downtown.

You indicated that you're looking for the "finer restaurants" but if you're looking for a great diner breakfast then definitely check out Whitey's. Out on Market Street, not downtown.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Second the motion for Catch. We grabbed lunch there last summer and were impressed, both with his creativity and his focus on using fresh/local. They were planning then to move into a bigger location, don't know if that's what became Deluxe.

Sorry I can't offer more up to date information. I don't make my annual Wilmington trek until mid-summer.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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Here's what I know: Keith Rhodes doesn't own Deluxe -- he's the chef there, working for someone else. The last time we were down there, there was talk of either renovating Catch, which he does own, or opening a second Catch location with more of a sit-down dinner orientation. I don't believe either has happened yet, but I'm pretty sure I saw something a couple of months ago indicating that they're going with a second location this summer.

Incidentally, when doing research on Wilmington-area dining the most reliable news source is Liz Biro, who covers food for the Star News. There's an archive of her columns here.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Yes, from the Liz Biro archive:

"Catch plans 2nd location on Market Street"

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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By "finer restaurants", do you mean "upscale", or "better food"? If the latter, you might think about the Yacht Basin Provision Company. It's been a few years since I ate there, but I had a really wonderful meal there, the highlight of my trip to Wilmington. It's a waterfront seafood dive: very casual, but with terrific fish. Outside of town, though, so you'll want a car.

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thanks for all the info guys...and by finer restaurants i meant both of those things...i'll be in town for five days and as a working chef i want to be able to have a "fine dining" experience at least one night and maybe dinner on another or for a few lunches check out some more casual food done well and maybe try what the locals are into. once again thanks for the feedback (and the link fatguy), any new thoughts would be appreciated.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Just returned home from a few days on Figure 8 Island (N. Wilmington) and had some great meals. One was at Catch on Market Street and the other was at Circa 1922 also on Market St, but downtown. Both dinners were EXCELLENT!!

Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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The owner of Nagila is pretty idiosyncratic. I'm not surprised to hear it has closed. I'd also be surprised not to see a different restaurant from him pop up.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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