If you were wondering where in the world the Newlywed Chefs have gone due to our lack of posting, the answer is…. not in our kitchen! Living only a few short hours from the beach (keep in mind we both grew up in land locked Missouri where the nearest beach was 12 hours away), we decided to head to the coast for a weekend getaway. Just because. One of our favorite places to visit in North Carolina is the historic town of Wilmington. Located about 20 minutes from the beach, this port town is located right along the Cape Fear River. The Riverwalk is adorned with restaurants, wine bars, and shops, and is perfect for a romantic stroll at sunset.
The houses in Wilmington are amazing. I loved wandering the streets and gazing at the Victorian homes, antebellum architecture, and southern charm of each unique dwelling. There are several bed and breakfasts to choose from in Wilmington, and we decided to stay at the Hoge-Wood Bed and Breakfast, built in 1891. The owners were very nice, the house only had three rooms to rent, which made the experience feel more intimate. The omelettes were made fresh and were served with cheese grits, biscuits, fruit, and homemade jam. Yum. This bed and breakfast is conveniently located just a hop away from downtown, so we walked everywhere we wanted to go!
Wilmington is a foodie town. This was our third visit to the city and each time we are pleasantly surprised with such good eats. The Fortunate Glass is a wine bar that boasts an impressive wine list, along with delicious small plates and desserts. We sat inside facing the windows to watch everyone pass by on the street. It was the perfect spot to unwind in the afternoon. Our antipasto dish of sopressatta, Spanish manchego, fresh bread, fruit, and nuts complimented our wine nicely.
We checked out a place called Rx for dinner. It’s a hip and trendy spot located in a former drug store with a menu that features local food and changes daily based on what is available. We split the crispy buffalo pig ears from Heritage farm. Crunchy, salty, delicious strips of pork were tossed in a homemade buffalo sauce with just the right amount of heat. The celery and blue cheese dressing cooled the intense flavor of the pig ears. I’m still thinking about these things! They were excellent.
For my entree, I had the NC Sheepshead with clams, sugar snap peas, carrots, Stefan’s tomatoes, arugula, and Rx lardo. The sheepshead was light and flaky, perfectly seasoned and with a nice sear. The host of accompaniments in the sweet and savory broth were addicting. And the clams! These were some of the best clams I’ve had- they were fresh, delicate, and very enjoyable. I was incredibly pleased with this dish.
Neil ordered the braised pork cheeks with baby carrots, snow peas, filet beans, mushrooms, and crispy onions. Oh, wow. This was our first time seeing pork cheeks on a menu, and we are so glad we had the opportunity to try them. They were incredible. The pork is braised so well that it simply melts in your mouth. It was similar to pork shoulder… but better. We are still telling everyone about our awesome experience with pork cheeks.
We decided to walk around downtown Wilmington and the Cape Fear Riverwalk before dessert. Our walk didn’t last long as we were lured into a fantastic fudge and ice cream shop by the smell of freshly baked waffle cones. I had never heard of Kilwins before, but apparently it’s all over the country. Their ice cream was great, and we took it to go as we continued strolling along the river.
It was a perfect day full of foodie adventures. We recommend Wilmington to any food fan, history buff, hopeless romantic, or someone who just wants to unwind and relax for a weekend. Don’t forget, the beaches are only 20 minutes away. Wrightsville, Carolina, and Kure beach are the closest to Wilmington- full of restaurants, shops, and a boardwalk. We like these beaches but they were a little crowded for what we were looking for. On the last day of our trip, we found Oak Island beach, a 10 mile quiet strip of beach with no visible commercial shops. We loved it.
We’ll be back, Wilmington!