Sunday, February 27, 2011

LUNCH AT CIRCA 81, MOREHEAD CITY

Circa 81, 4650 Arendell Street, Morehead City, 252-648-8300, is a small tapas restaurant.  Inside is done nicely, with booths on one side of the left wall surrounded by tables.

 A very nice bar is on the other side of a partition.  We sat in a booth.  Service was friendly and fairly quick, but the restaurant was not overly busy.

The menu is divided into "small plates," including soups, salads and tapas; "medium plates,"which are sandwiches served with a choice of side; and "large plates," which are mostly dinner fare.  The inside atmosphere borders on formal dining, but the menu items are somewhat mixed.

Guy ordered the special (soup and half sandwich for $7.99).  He chose clam chowder for his soup and the Circa 81 Club with roast beef.
He said the soup was good and the sandwich was okay, but he removed the bacon because it was tough and inedible.

I ordered from the small plate menu:  crab cake made with jumbo lumb crab, served with Wasabi aioli and grilled pineapple relish for $7.99.
The crab cake, which was fried, had good flavor, very little filler and a very creamy interior, so I suspect it was deep fried.  I was disappointed that the crab meat was flattened, so I'm guessing it may have been done in a machine.  If the menu had not stated "jumbo lump crab meat," I would not have known.  The pineapple relish was nice, as was the Wasabi aioli.  I enjoyed eating this lunch.  For my small tummy, it was a perfect amount.  I try to avoid breads and usually pick them off a sandwich, so I was happy to not have to deal with that.

Our bill, including one bottle of beer, came to $20.45 plus tip.  I would return to Circa 81, but Guy did not like it.  He felt it was stuffy and geared to snobs and he didn't like the menu items.  Interestingly, there were similar comments from other customers on Trip Advisor.  My advice to readers is to give it a try.  You can see their menu items by clicking on the link at the beginning of this post.

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