“Striper Smackdown” at the Surf Club

Lee Tolliver

The Virginian-Pilot

November, 2009
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New menu from Executive Chef Derrick Mason

Patrick Evans-Hylton

Hampton Roads Magazine

November, 2009

A new menu from Executive Chef Derrick Mason.......features a wide assortment of offerings with an emphasis on fresh catch and local ingredients. A Hatteras-style clam chowder topped with lemon-garlic broiled clams is perfectly prepared and wonderful for cool autumn days. Tempting was a selection of seasonal seafood items that can be prepared char-grilled or lemon-basil pan seared and with choices of citrus beurre blanc, mango salsa or scampi butter sauces. A winning dish we enjoyed at a recent meal was the Ocean Grille Seafood Stuffed Flounder, consisting of a large filet filled with bronzed crawfish, spinach, mushrooms and a boursin cream sauce and served with corn on the cob."


NO SUBSTITUE FOR WELL-AGED OPINIONS FROM A TRUSTED PRO

Jim Raper, "The Humble Steward”

The Virginian-Pilot

March 4, 2009.

I am practically on-my-knees grateful these days when I get enlighting advice from someone who is helping me make a purchase. This is especially true when I'm a customer in a wine shop or restaurant.

If a wine clerk or waiter makes a recommendation that opens new vistas for me, I often jot down a note about the positive experience. The sum of these notes is this: The best consumer advice comes from ol' pros.

People whose job it is to help us make tasty purchases do not have to old to be ol' pros at their jobs. But it sure helps if these advisers are cuisine careerists, folks who have tasted a lof of different wines and dishes, and perhaps even traveled to faraway places to sample the best fare the world has to offer.

This describes three o'l pros I've found recently practicing their wine expertise in new venues.

Marc Sauter, whom I consider to be the dean of sommeliers in Hampton Roads, made his name at Todd Jurich's Bistro in downtown Norfolk and most recently was a partner in the flashy but short-lived Zinc Brasserie at Hilltop in Virginia Beach. He now is sommelier at the Surf Club Ocean Grille, at the Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel on 57th street.

I ran into Sauter when I attended of the Surf Club's monthly $39 wine dinners. This may be the best wine and food deal in Hampton Roads, a way for Sauter to draw attention to the ramped up wine program in this large and attractive space, which is where Gus' Mariner Restaurant used to be.

On a recent blustery week-night, we drank sparkling wines from France, Italy and Australia, paired with dishes such as scrumptious pasta and seafood in a cream sauce. To reserve a place at the next dinner, call (757) 425-5699 or 560-4816.

To limit this report to bargain wine dinners, however would be unfair to Sauter. He has put together a serious wine list that includes nearly impossible-to-find wines such as the Harlan Estate 2004 cult Napa cabernet sauvignon ($1,200). You have to love a wine professional who promotes $39 wine dinners and dozens of interesting wines on his list for less than $40 but also stocks Harlan Estate and a bevy of classified growth Bordeaux reds from great vintages of the 1970s and 1980s (from $300 to $1,000). The Perignon 1999, by the way, can be had for $149.


1st Annual "Chow" Dinner Benefit

Our very own, Chef Derrek Mason wins "Chow" award.

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Fine dining, beautiful view at Surf Club Ocean Grille

The Virginian-Pilot

September 16, 2007

"THE SURF CLUB Ocean Grille, inside the Wyndham Virginia Beach hotel, provides fine dining with an expansive view of the beach, the Atlantic ocean and ships coming in and out of the Chesapeake Bay."
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Start your Surf Club experience with a reservation at 757.425.5699.

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