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ISO Good dinner around Edenton, NC (drive is okay)

We will be staying in Edenton on a Saturday night. I have a car and I'm willing to drive for a good meal. Any cuisine is fine, we love good food of all types. Is there a restaurant anywhere in the general area that is a real "tablecloths and wine" kind of place rather than casual "burgers and beer"?

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with good burgers and beer... I'm just looking for a little more of an "occasion" destination if available.


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  1. Well, I don't know if you've ever been to Edenton before, but its pretty much in the middle of nowhere...there really isn't anything within reasonable driving distance. However, it is a charming town, and downtown there are 2 or 3 decent resturants, as I recall (my last visit was about 2 years ago). The one place who's name I remember is Waterman's Grill, right downtown near the water. Give it a try!

    Waterman's Grill
    427 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932

    1. When you say you're willing to drive, how far did you have in mind? When I was working in Wilson, I heard wonderful things about On the Square in Tarboro, though I never made it there myself. It would be about an hour and a quarter from Edenton.

      On the Square
      115 E Saint James St, Tarboro, NC 27886

      1 Reply
      1. re: brandywiner

        Hmmm... OTS does sound intriguing, but Tarboro is half the distance back home again, which seems like overkill on this particular trip. I think I'll save that for another drive. Thanks for pointing it out!

        JLA, thanks for the response. We drove through a year ago and I wasn't looking for restaurants at the time. My research seems to indicate that there are three reasonable choices in town: Waterman's Grill, 309 Bistro, and Mac's Back Door. Guess I'll just have to play it by ear.

        Waterman's Grill
        427 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932

      2. Sunnyside Oyster Bar in Williamston has great food, but is very casual.

        1. Is Sean's still in business? If so, the food has been pretty good in the past and is right downtown. There's also an oyster bar that a friend of mine from Edenton likes quite a bit. Downtown and right on the water, there's a cool store with good wine and beer selection and some specialty foods that's worth a visit. Charming and relaxing town, just don't expect too much in the way of activities.

          1. 309 Bistro and Cafe is the best restaurant in town. It is new since July. The owner is the former chef at the Lords Proprietor B&B. In addition to the entrees, it has small plates. I like the oyster casserole appetizer, but most is quite good. Service can be slow sometimes. You will need reservations. This weekend is the House Tours weekend and the restaurants will be jammed. Macs oyster Bar overlooking the Chowan is okay. Here's the 309 reviews.
            http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant... Monteros in Elizabeth is 30 miles away--an upscale Italian

            2 Replies
            1. re: edenton305

              Is 309 bistro in the same location that Sean's was? What happened?

              1. re: veganhater

                Sean moved away a few months ago. 309 took over. Food is very similar, and still very good.

            2. Replying to my own message just as a thank you to those who responded with suggestions. We were in town on January 1, which is a dark night for almost every restaurant (despite being a Saturday this year). I guess the staff are just too tired after dealing with New Year clients the night before. Mac's Back Door was open and we had a pretty good meal served by very friendly people. I had their tuna plate, and I have to admit that I did not have high expectations. But the tuna was wonderfully rare - just barely seared - with a black pepper crust. It was plated beautifully, in a fan on top of some hearty brown rice with some pickled vegetables ("Asian style"). There was a sweet pink sauce bordered by a green wasabi sauce and the sweet and spicy worked quite well together. I was pleasantly surprised.

              My S.O. had salmon, which was prepared simply, just lightly broiled, sitting on a square of risotto that I thought was tasty (she's not much of a risotto fan, so we traded rice bases). That plating was a little barren without much visual interest, but it was cooked correctly, which is the important thing.

              We started with Mac's version of Oysters Rockefeller - unlike any I have had elsewhere. They included chunks of Andouille sausage and bacon, with no sauce and just a hint of breadcrumbs dusted on top. The sausage was of excellent flavor, but there wasn't enough liquid content and it missed the spinach that should be prominent.

              All in all, very satisfactory.

              Happy New Year, everyone!

              1. Adding links for Mac's Back Door Oyster Bar and 309 Bistro and Spirits.

                Mac's Back Door Oyster Bar
                Edenton, Edenton, NC

                309 Bistro and Spirits
                309 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932

                309 Bistro and Spirits
                309 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932