Outer Banks: The Left Bank At The Sanderling
A stay at The Sanderling Resort & Spa (or anywhere in North Carolina’s Outer Banks) isn’t complete without an evening at The Left Bank. Quite simply, it’s one of the state’s (and region’s) most memorable dining experiences.
The name is a play on words – the “Left Bank” of Paris and the “left bank” geographical location of the restaurant overlooking Currituck Sound. Large floor-to-ceiling windows provide a sublime setting, with seating for just 60 that includes an exhibition kitchen and a museum-quality collection of porcelain Doughty birds.
Chef de Cuisine Joel Richard Sardinha prepares American cuisine with a French flair, focusing on in-season local ingredients. The Left Bank was serving farm- and sea-to-table fare long before it was trendy.
An evening typically starts at the elegant bar, which overlooks the dining room, the kitchen, and Currituck Sound. Along with classics like a true Sidecar (just like at Harry’s Bar in Paris), this is the place to peruse the extensive wine list – which includes lots of appropriately American (including North Carolina!) and French finds. Many wines are available by the glass and specially chosen food-friendly half-bottles – and this route is highly recommended for pairing with the menu items that evening.
Lucky diners choose a three-course dinner or the extravagant seven-course “Chef’s Tasting Menu” – with several options in each category for the three-course menu and a sumptuous set seven-course experience that diners will talk about for days.
The ever-changing options prepared by Chef Joel and his staff simply have to be tasted to be appreciated. A recent seven-course tasting menu ($88) included: a trio of oysters on the half shell; chilled tomato gazpacho with lump blue crab; arugula salad with local vegetables; seared diver scallops; braised pork belly; Stilton cheese with port-soaked figs; and sun-dried cherry pecan pie. Yum!
Those not as hungry or adventurous had a three-course menu ($72) with a variety of options. Along with several choices from the seven-course menu, additional possibilities included: foie gras; sea trout; haddock; and a creative chef’s collection of cheeses for the third course (or as an additional course for just $20).
Chef Joel’s focus on pairing his food with wines makes it almost imperative to go with the pairing possibilities, which sommelier general manager and sommerlier extraordaire Michelle Rowles bases on the menus and the patron’s palate. Her popular pairings are guaranteed to be appropriate – and as tasty as the food!
The Left Bank
The Sanderling Resort & Spa
1461 Duck Road
Duck, NC 27949
(800) 701-4111 or (252) 261-4111 (extension 133)
(252) 261-8419 (for The Left Bank direct when open)
5:30pm-9:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday evenings (bar opens at 5pm)
By Lynn Seldon
By Lynn Seldon
added: December 15, 2008
updated: December 24, 2008