Virginia Beach is a vacation spot and, as a result, it has a lot of touristy restaurants. Most of the time the view at these restaurants is much more pleasing to the senses than the food. Don’t get me wrong, I have fun going to these places, especially for the hush puppies and cheap beer. However, sometimes my sophisticated taste buds need to be awakened with more inspiring dishes. And when this happens, my husband and I head to Eurasia Cafe.
Eurasia Cafe (Virginia Beach, VA): Located off the beaten tourist path in a small strip mall behind a wine shop, Eurasia Cafe is THE local foodie restaurant in Virginia Beach. There are no views of water here, in fact, there isn’t a single window in the whole place. Eurasia Cafe simply knows how to produce fresh delicious dishes and, as a result, the restaurant is packed every night. A rare feat for Virginia Beach in this economy.
Eurasia’s menu consists of New American cuisine with heavy influences from Asia, Europe and southern cooking. Here you can get hot & sour soup to start then move to a summer melon prosciutto and crispy goat cheese salad for a second course and finish with shrimp and grits for your entree. Eurasia prides itself in using fresh seasonal ingredients and every night they have a long list of specials. If it is soft shell crab season one of their specials will be sure to consist of the freshest soft shell crabs in the area paired with some sort of delicious sauce. I took my father here once and he ordered the soft shell crab appetizer. After his entree he ordered another soft shell crab appetizer for dessert. It was just that good.
While Eurasia’s specials are always great, there are a few staples on their regular menu that are truly outstanding and a must try:
– Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio: A generous portion of perfectly sliced beef tenderloin carpaccio served with fresh arugula, a truffle egg salad that is to die for, thin potato crisps, parmesan cheese and a balsamic mustard vinaigrette. The texture is there, the color is there, and most importantly, the flavor is there. This dish is simply heaven for the senses ($10).
– Lobster Mac & Cheese: Cafe Eurasia takes my two loves (lobster and mac & cheese) and composes them into a dish that is rich yet fresh and extremely flavorful. There are a number of ingredients in this dish that go together beautifully including a creamy raspberry ale aged cheddar sauce, thick cherrywood smoked bacon, fresh peas, local pea tendrils and a balsamic reduction. Tossed with claw and knuckle meat and topped with a tempura lobster tail, this lobster mac and cheese is definitely a food euphoric experience ($24).
– Sautéed Shrimp & Smoke Gouda Stoned Grit Cake: While I only lived in Charleston, South Carolina for a year, that one year was all it took for southern cooking to hold a special place in my heart. Cafe Eurasia takes the typical southern dish shrimp and grits to a whole new level with a rich elegant gouda grit cake and fresh buttery jumbo shrimp. Tossed with surry county sausage, roasted red peppers, basil and old bay butter, this dish truly does shrimp and grits justice ($21).
While the dishes listed above are priced on the high end for Virginia Beach, Eurasia Cafe also offers a variety of delicious sandwiches all ranging between $8 to $10. You can order these sandwiches for lunch or dinner and probably spend the same as you would at an average chain like Panera Bread. Also, because Eurasia Cafe is located behind a wine shop you can pick out a bottle of wine at the shop and bring it with you to dinner for a $10 corkage fee. And since most restaurants double the price of bottles, this is an excellent deal. So if you are ever in Virginia Beach and want to take a break from the typical touristy seafood restaurants make sure to check out Eurasia Cafe. Oh, and invite me to come along with you :). (Reservations highly recommended and must be made at least a day in advance for weekend nights. Open Monday thru Saturday. 960 Laskins Road, Virginia Beach, VA).