N. Carolina Coast?
I am going to the North Carolina Coast... Morehead City, Newport, New Bern, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle... that area.
I have heard of AQUA and Amos Mosquito's... any reviews on those restaurants? Any other restaurants I should check out while there or local favorite foods to eat?
I really liked The Crab Shack in Salter Path when I visited the Crystal Coast this past summer. You can also do El's Drive-In in Morehead City for a shrimp burger. Sorry, can't help you with AQUA or Amos Mosquito's.
Shore Dr Salter Path NC, Shore Dr Salter Path, NC
Can't help you with those two, but the locals (and myself) love Big Oak Drive In in Salter Path from the shrimp burger.
Another local favorite, a real hole-in-the-wall, is the Red Barn Grill near Swansboro. It's also a seafood market, so whatever comes off the boat is what you get on your plate.
Red Barn Grill
101 Red Barn Road, Hubert, NC
Bistro By the Sea in Morehead City, Blue Moon Bistro in Beaufort and Cafe Zito in Morehead City, http://www.cafezito.com/. Thoughtfully prepared food in each. Food not as refined at Bistro by the Sea, but it's a fun, lively place, especially as the evening progresses. And a great sashimi tuna appetizer. Nice lunch (homemade breads, great sandwiches) at Beaufort Grocery, next door to Bistro by the Sea, and nice dishes -- some quite rich -- at its sister Shepard's Point, both at www.beaufortgrocery.com. The owner recently cooked at New York's Beard House.
Pollock Street Deli in downtown New Bern is a fun, local place. Funky.
re: Cake Ladies
I recently went to Bistro by the Sea after not visiting for 7 or 8 years. It will most likely be another 7 or 8 years before going back again. Completely overrated...although the crab/avocado appetizer was very good. It simply is not the best in the area.
Cafe Zito is a place that completely slipped my mind. We love CZ and go on a semi-regular basis. Their tapas nights are great.
I would also recommend Beaufort Grocery for lunch. BG is NOT next door to Bistro by the Sea. BG is in Beaufort and BbtS is in Morehead City. BG and Shepard's Point are owned by the same chef.
The steak tartar at Shepard's Point is a wonderful experience. Certainly my recommendation for raw beef in that area. I used to enjoy the carpacio at Sharpies in Beaufort...actually it was the best carpacio that I've ever had (and I've tried it many places including several great spots in Charleston, SC). Ever since Sharpies changed chefs the food just isn't as good...and the carpacio was taken completely off the menu.