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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
This was our favorite dining out experience during our most recent trip to Virginia Beach. By the way, the restaurant is named after a local favorite fish in the area - tautog. When pronounced quickly the restaurant's name sounds like "tah-togs."
The restaurant is located on 23rd just inbound from Atlantic Drive in an old house. You have to look carefully for it or you might walk right past it.
We dined at Tautog's twice during this visit. The first night I started out with a cup of She Crap soup and it was outstanding. For my main meal that night I got a special flounder with stuffing and shrimp baked in a special parchment paper bag. The fish was a little on the fishy side but the stuffing was excellent. Other diners that night enjoyed shrimp scampi, a cajun fish dish and mahi mahi.
For our second go round I started with a bowl of the She Crab soup. It was that good! I had a marinated tuna called "Tuna Martinique" for my main course. The large piece of fish had been marinated in lime juice and herbs and it was quite tasty and cooked medium rare as I had requested. Other diners enjoyed a roast beef poboy sandwich, and a couple of catfish poboy sandwiches.
Our son-in-law looked a little puzzled at the taste of his catfish and offered me a little nub to sample. It was perfect! Fresh catfish has somewhat of a "green" taste, if you will, and that's exactly what this fresh fish tasted like.
Our server on both occasions was "Jessica M." was just terrific. She brought our little grand kids plenty of food to throw and she made excellent recommendations on the best dishes each evening. If you dine here, do yourself a favor and ask to sit in her section. You'll love her!
Tautog's is generally considered the best restaurant in town by locals and it's quite good. But I'll tell you one thing that's becoming increasingly discouraging all over the nation and that's finding good, fresh local seafood. Was taugog on the menu? No. Was another local fish called "spot" offered. No. And I'm not even sure that the flounder I had was absolutely fresh. The catfish was fresh but then again it is farm raised in the south and is readily available everywhere nowadays. The tuna and mahi were great but again, you can get those practically anywhere these days. During our entire stay in Virginia Beach we found only one restaurant that seemed to offer at least one local fresh item and that was a place called Charlie's Seafood in the Lynnhaven area. Actually they had at least two items on the menu that appeared to be local and fresh--spot and sea trout. Unfortunately we didn't have time to actually sample the place. We did check out their menu on-line and it looked tempting. I especially enjoyed the fact that the place had been there for 60 years, as I recall.
Tautog's is a nice place to dine. It's friendly and with a small bar. Again, they're on 23rd just a short distance away from Atlantic Blvd. and they are on the right or north side of the little street. They have a web site here although it was woefully outdated when we checked it out.