Thursday, August 5, 2010
The Amber Lantern - Chesapeake, VA
Last Saturday evening I enjoyed a relaxing dinner which included excellent service, great food and a sunset over the inter-coastal. Jackpot! I had been hearing good things about the Amber Lantern and have wanted to try it out for a while now. It was such a beautiful day Saturday that my husband and I really didn't want to waste any of it by being inside. Good restaurants with scenic outdoor seating are few and far between around here. Amazing, considering that we are surrounded by so much water.
Some stroke of genius made me remember the Amber Lantern, and with the backup of my trusty iPhone, I tracked down the address and plugged it in the GPS. I love technology:) The restaurant is at the Top Rack Marina. When you arrive you see a big warehouse (the marina), next to a big, square, ugly building (the restaurant). Unperturbed, we followed the signs that lead you around the corner and up the stairs to the second story level where the restaurant is situated. It was relatively early when we arrived, and we opted to eat inside because the sun shining on the western exposure deck made it rather hot for al fresco dining. We started out with our usual cocktail; Jack Daniels Manhattan straight up. Note to bartender: Your bar is now on a very short list of restaurants I have found that really know how to make a fantastic Manhattan. Most bars completely butcher this simple concoction.
For our meal, we shared the Blue Mussels appetizer, which was prepared perfectly. I followed up with the grilled salmon special and my husband had the crab cakes. The presentation was lovely and the food was delicious. I am not a big cooked vegetables person, but they had an interesting mixed vegetable medley with peppers, squash and edamame. I loved it. My accompaniment was couscous with cheese and peas. It was perfect. My husband ordered crab cakes with garlic mashed potatoes and the same vegetable mix. The crab cakes were very good.
We were too full for desert, but the table next to me ordered a monstrous piece of coconut cake. Maybe next time! Since it had cooled down, we decided to move out to the deck for an after dinner drink. I watched the sunset while sipping a chocolate martini. Life is good. I love being on the water, and was pleased to find a place with good food and ambiance. The view is a bit industrial in places, but overall it is very relaxing to watch the boats come in and see the sunset over the trees. Service was great all evening, and they had become quite busy by the time we left. I will definitely be back. For all you boaters, there is free docking for restaurant patrons.
The Amber Lantern
5532 Bainbridge Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Serving Dinner Tuesday - Sunday 4:30PM to 10:00PM, Closed Mondays
*note* Image from http://www.virginia.org