Poquoson, Virginia has a rich heritage in the seafood industry, making it a popular site to visit on the Virginia Peninsula. Recently, one of its landmark restaurants – – Poquoson Seafood & Steakhouse – – closed down. I, like many other Peninsula residents, was saddened over its supposed loss. However, luckily the favorite Virginia Peninsula eatery reopened in March under new management.
I was eager to see what, if any, changes the restaurant had made. I’m happy to say that none of the changes made were in the areas of importance to its target market. Still there is the casual, comfortable, low key dining experience with subdued lighting and “sea worthy” décor. They made a few minor changes here and there, but overall our favorite place to enjoy seafood is still in tact.
The only complaint I had regarding service or atmosphere, on the day we visited, was the fact that the place was extremely cold. On top of that, it still had all of the overhead fans going. Most diners were forced to eat their lunch with their coats on, as did I. That, unfortunately, makes for a less comfortable dining experience.
We visited the restaurant during lunch on a Saturday afternoon rather than evening (when it tends to be packed to the rafters). However, we were still amazed at the number of diners there in the middle of a weekend day. Our hostess was prompt in getting us seated and delivering our menu, which we perused with interest while she tended to our drinks.
The restaurant has an abbreviated luncheon menu that is still more than adequate. It focuses on lighter fare like soups, salads, sandwiches, and specials. The dinner menu, which is extensive, adds appetizers, pasta, grilled items, country cooking, and combination platters.
For lunch, my husband chose the fried catfish with a side salad, fries, and green beans. I chose the fish and chips with fries, a side salad, and onion rings. We both had unsweetened iced tea.
Our waitress was extremely attentive in spite of the fact that she had a rather large cross section of tables upon which to wait. She cheerfully answered all of our questions and even brought us samples of new dressing choices for our salads without being asked.
My husband loved his entire meal. The breading on his fish was golden brown and the fish was cooked perfectly; not over or under done. The fries, although a frozen variety, were prepared deliciously with just the right amount of crispness. The green beans were wonderfully seasoned and the hushpuppies still hot from the fryer.
I loves my meal as well. My fish, was battered rather than breaded. It was also golden brown and flaky. I loved my fries as well, eating nearly the whole pile. Although I think the onion rings were also a frozen variety, they were of good quality and delicious.
But I have to say that the salad was by far the best part of the meal. It was as fresh as if it had just been plucked from the garden just moments before being served. I loved that it had a variety of lettuces as well as spinach and plenty of cucumber, onion, and tomato.
My husband tried their pepper parmesan dressing with which he immediately fell in love. I stuck with my usual ranch dressing but it was absolutely scrumptious.
Because we ate fairly lightly, we opted to try one of the restaurant’s special desserts. We chose the brownie sundae. I have to say it was the best dessert I’ve had in quite a while. The brownie was warm and ever so slightly chewy. The ice cream was properly frozen so as not to melt too quickly on top of the brownie. The hot fudge sauce and whipped cream were some of the best my pallet has tasted. And the presentation was absolutely stunning!
All in all, we were pleased with our visit and have already made plans to return in the near future.
Here is a cross section of the restaurant’s menu:
Appetizers – ranging in price from $5.95 to $8.95:
- Shrimp Cocktail with four large shrimp chilled, peeled, and deveined and served with a luscious cocktail sauce;
- Steamed Shrimp (1/2 lb or 1 lb), steamed to perfection and seasoned with Old Bay served with drawn butter, cocktail sauce, and fresh lemon;
- Crab Cocktail with lump crab meat delivered the classic way;
- Steamed Clams with drawn butter and lemon wedge;
- Tuna Bites with spicy chipolte remoulade;
- Mozzarella Stix, deep fried and served with a homemade marinara sauce;
- Stuffed Mushrooms broiled and stuffed with crab cake and topped with parmesan butter strudel;
- Chicken Tenders, deep fried with smoked chipolte BBQ;
- Scallops, seared and served over mushroom gratinee with a dijon mustard sauce;
- Mussels in garlic butter with marinara sauce; and
- Quesadillas in either crab or steak.
Soups (by the cup or bowl) and Salads – ranging in price from $4.95 to $9.95:
- Clam Chowder, Poquoson style;
- She Crab, creamy and full of crab and sherry;
- Seafood Gumbo with spicy andouille sausage, bayou veggies, and a variety of seafood;
- House Salad served with a choice of dressing in either large or small size;
- Caesar Salad with crisp romaine leaves topped with grated parmesan, croutons, and Caesar dressing;
- Blackened, Fried, or Grilled Chicken Salad;
- Blackened, Fried, or Grilled Salmon Salad;
- Blackened, Fried, or Grilled Tuna Salad;
- Seafood Salad surrounded with scallops, shrimp, and crab meat;
- Chef Salad served with ham, turkey, cheese, and boiled egg.
Sandwiches – ranging in price from $6.25 to $8.95:
- Chicken Breast (grilled, fried, or blackened);
- Po-Boy Fried Oysters;
- Philly Cheesesteak;
- Tuna (grilled or blackened); and
- Chicken parmesan sub.
Pasta (served with one side item) – ranging in price from $8.95 to $14.95:
- Pasta Marinara with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano with just the right amount of spices and seasonings, simmered for hours;
- Seafood Marinara with plump scallops, shrimp, and jumbo lump crab meat sautéed and topped with a home style marinara sauce;
- Chicken Parmesan with deep fried chicken cutlets topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese over a bed of linguine;
- Seafood Alfredo with tender scallops, shrimp, and lump crab meat sautéed and tossed with a parmesan cream sauce;
- Chicken Alfredo with marinated chicken breast in Alfredo sauce over penne pasta;
- Clams Linguini with tender baby clams seasoned with basil, oregano, and garlic in light white clam sauce; and
- Shrimp Scampi with a blend of American and Italian flavors to create a true classic.
Countryside (served with two sides and house bread) – each $8.95:
- Hamburger Steak with a Salisbury flair in a country gravy;
- Chicken of the Day, a chef special;
- Ham Steak seared on grilled and topped with a honey raisin fruit sauce; and
- Pork BBQ slow roasted in a mix with vinegar, seasoned Carolina style
From the Grill (served with two veggies and a house bread) – ranging in price from $12.50 to $22.50:
- Filet Mignon, 8 oz USDA choice hand cut and grilled to perfection;
- Ribeye, 10 oz USDA choice hand cut marbled rib eye, tender and packed with flavor;
- NY Strip, 8 oz perfectly aged, grilled to your liking;
- Salmon, 8 oz Atlantic filet, seared and drizzled with lemon dill sauce either grilled or blackened;
- Tuna, thick and moist yellowfin either grilled or blackened; and
- Chicken Breast, two 4-oz grilled or blackened and topped with the chef’s special sauce of the day.
From the Fryer (served with two veggies and hushpuppies) – ranging in price from $12.95 to $18.95:
- Crab Cakes, two 4 oz cakes fried golden brown;
- Flounder, 8-10 oz lightly breaded and fried;
- Shrimp, seven large gulf shrimp tender and delicately fried;
- Oysters, eight plump oysters dipped in buttermilk and dredged in seasoned cornmeal;
- Scallops, six Panko crusted large scallops;
- Catfish marinated in buttermilk and coated with spicy seafood breading;
- Fried Chicken Breast in old fashioned seasoning; and
- Fried Seafood Platter with the fish of the day, oysters, shrimp, scallops, and crab cake.
From the Steamer or Broiler (served with two veggies and hushpuppies) – ranging from $8.95 to $18.95:
- Shrimp (1/2 lb or 1lb);
- Clams (bakers dozen);
- Stuffed Flounder with seasoned crab meat broiled to a rich golden color;
- Tilapia, moist and flaky with mango chutney sauce;
- Crab Cakes, two 4 oz hand formed crab cakes broiled to golden brown;
- Crabmeat with lump crab meat in seasoned butter; and
- Broiled Seafood Platter with the fish of the day, crab cake, scallops, and shrimp.
Combination Platters (served with two veggies) – ranging in price from $17.95 to $22.95:
- Poquoson Seafood Bowl with shrimp, clams, mussels, andouille sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob in a bayou boil;
- The Bull Island with an 8 oz cut of tender filet mignon wrapped in bacon topped with lump crab meat drizzled with hollandaise sauce served with garlic toast;
- Land & Sea, 10 oz choice cut rib eye with four large fried gulf shrimp served with garlic toast;
- Steak and Crab Cake with an 8 oz NY Strip and a crab cake served with garlic toast;
- Stuffed Shrimp with four jumbo gulf shrimp filled with seasoned crab meat broiled and glazed with lemon garlic butter served with hush puppies; and
- Grilled Chicken Oscar with a skinless breast of chicken grilled and topped with lump crabmeat with a touch of hollandaise sauce.
Vegetable Choices include a house salad, fries, onion rings, baked potato, cole slaw, collard greens, green beans, apple sauce, pickled beets, or mashed potatoes.
Children’s Menu – $5.25 with one veggie and a fountain drink:
- Corn Dog;
- Fried Shrimp;
- Mozzarella Sticks;
- Pasta with marinara sauce;
- Steamed Shrimp;
- Chicken Tenders;
- Grilled Cheese; or
- Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Desserts – ranging in price from $3.95 to $4.25:
- Brownie Sundae with a rich, warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, rich chocolate sauce, fluffy whipped topping, and cherries;
- Cheesecake done NY style with strawberry topping;
- Carrot Cake; and
- Banana Pudding made in-house with fresh bananas and vanilla wafers.
If you’re ever in the quaint town of Poquoson, Virginia, this is the place to eat! I give it three and three quarter stars out of five, with points off for the cold temperature inside the facility.