So I’m living in here in Pinehurst, NC, home to the 2014 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open. I’ve been here about three months settling into a new home, new town and meeting new friends. While this little town and its neighboring towns are quaint and charming I know the whole time the coast is only two hours away and it was time to hit the beach! My friend, who has lived in the area just over a year, has been to the coast a handful or so times, but didn’t quite find her spot yet. I’ve been asking around and the names Holden Beach, Sunset Beach, and Wrightsville Beach kept being mentioned. Of course, there’s the outstanding Outer Banks, but time was limited and we were trying to make the most of beach time so we decided on the familiar Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington.
Driving in I saw a billboard for the Oceanic, the town’s only beachfront, dining spot. While these types of places are generally good for the cocktails and views, the food is usually overpriced and subpar. It’s usually the hole-in-the-wall places that have the best fare in small beach towns. After a relaxing day soaking up some rays (trust me the SPF 50 was continuously reapplied), we worked up an appetite. My friends chose our dining spot. You guessed it, the Oceanic. I was a little reluctant, but hadn’t done much homework and went with the flow.
The first thing that impressed me was they that they did not take advantage of the limited parking by offering valet-only, but rather had an attendant guide us to our complimentary self-parking spot. We found a table overlooking the lingering sunbathers and sparkling, blue water with the sea breeze gently blowing through our hair and offering air conditioning au natural. The menu was awesome offering something for everyone. I ordered the watercress watermelon salad with lump crab meat and it was outstanding. The watercress was a vibrant green, crisp and fresh. The lump crab meat sweet, succulent and abundant. It was perfectly dressed in a lemon vinaigrette and garnished with chopped mint and fennel. I was in heaven. My dining companions decided on the ribs and the rack was so large it was falling off the plate. It was more than plenty to share. Service was like a well-oiled machine and the views, oh, the views. I’m so glad I went with the flow, the Oceanic proved outstanding and a must-do the next time you are in the Wrightsville beach area. Next up, I’ll explore another piece of the Carolina Coast, Ocean Isle, and will be sure to report back on my fabulous finds.