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“Daughter's Graduation Party”
Review of Cafe Pamlico

Cafe Pamlico
Ranked #2 of 22 Restaurants in Buxton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$35 - US$50
Cuisines: American, Seafood, International, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, View, Child-friendly
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Cafe Pamlico provides a world class casual fine dining experience through exceptional food, outstanding detail oriented service, an inspired wine and cocktail program, and gracious attentive Southern hospitality. Our contemporary coastal cuisine is driven by locally sourced seafood, meats, and produce. Our menu changes frequently in accordance with the fresh ingredients our chefs discover on the island, most notably the fresh local seafood we feature. We are committed to supporting local farmers and artisan food producers first, sustainable resources second, and organic third. Reservations are highly recommended.
Boston
1 review
“Daughter's Graduation Party”
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We enjoyed our celebration in a private room over looking the sound. The wait staff went out of their way to be accommodating and friendly to our every need. Everyone enjoyed their salads and appertisers especially the Black Pepper Seared Sea Scallops. Several party members ordered the Jumbo Lumb Crab Cakes with Cajun remoulade and commented on its freshness. The petite fillet of Angus Beef was cooked to perfection, and my daughter loved her Grilled Salmon with egg and dill sauce. My brother-in-law inquired about the possibility of watching a graduation video my niece had made for a gift, hoping the inn had a DVD player, only to be told they had a private theater room with a large flat screen tv that we were welcomed to use. What a great way to end a perfect night and the start if our vacation on OBX. Thanks again to all the staff at the Pamilico Inn.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MoBeach27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kandahar
Level Contributor
53 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Not 'fine dining' but best of the lot”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

Agree with an earlier review: not fine dining, but still great food and a nice location. We called in a reservation, as suggested on the website, which they forgot to record. We got a table no problem, and then were ignored for twenty minutes. When our server arrived - a guy better suited to a surf shack than a 'fine dining' restaurant - we had to ask for all the specials. When he poured the taster wine, he essentially put the half filled glass in front of my nose for a taste, then poured me and my buddy before the ladies at the table. So, service is an issue, that could be addressed easily with a little training. The kitchen, on the other hand, was excellent: tuna ceviche, blueberry and pecan salad, scallops with a reduced balsamic sauce, mahi mahi, sesame tuna...food was excellent. Wine selection was okay - decent prices, limited selection, almost all American. So, check it out, but check your expectations for 'find dining' at the door.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BladeKandahar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBX_Innkeeper, Owner at Cafe Pamlico, responded to this review, 24 July 2014
Repeating the Previous Reviewer's Error

We appreciate the reviewer taking time to comment on the excellence of our food. We must, however, point out that this reviewer repeats the error of the previous reviewer in maintaining that we make claim to be a fine dining restaurant.

Their claim would have validity had we ever identified ourselves as fine dining, a class of restaurant associated with white glove team service, napkins refolded on every server visit to the table, a staff sommelier, a maitre d', patrons dressed formally, and menu pricing materially higher than ours. Contrary to the reviewers statement, we do not identify or market ourselves as fine dining.

There are pictures of our street sign and logo on our this very review page, as well as our website and social media pages. Like all Cafe Pamlico material, they clearly identify us "casual fine dining", a bona fide and formal category of restaurant below fine dining.

The reviewer also mistakenly states that they had to ask their server for our specials. Cafe Pamlico does not have specials, but instead uses a regularly changing menu featuring the best available local produce and fresh catches. All dishes available on any evening are shown on that evening's menu. There are no specials to list.

We understand that mistakes happen. When we err, we strive to apologize and correct our error. We trust this reviewer, once they verify that they have repeated the basic error in premise on which their review and the prior review with which they state their agreement is based, will likewise correct theirs.
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Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
55 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beware how you market yourselves”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Let me start by saying that we had a very pleasant evening on Sunday at Cafe Pamlico.The food was generally great, the location is gorgeous and the staff are attentive BUT.

When you advertise yourself as 'Fine Dining', you are holding yourselves to a higher standard than being just a great restaurant, so although my points may seem picky, they are general expectations from me when 'fine dining'.

We made a reservation for 8pm and arrived slightly early. There was a group of 12 ahead of us and the waitress came out to tell them that they couldn't accommodate them without a reservation - this is fair enough for a really bust restaurant, but I have to say there did seem plenty of room for them - the dining room certainly didn't fill over the course of the evening. I would imagine the owner had a tingling sensation wherever he or she was at that time :-)

We were greeted warmly and showed to a great table with views over the sound. The hostess said that our server would be over shortly, but 5 mins later the hostess came back and said she would be serving us.

I ordered the cream of asparagus soup for my appetizer, my dining companions had various other items. When the appetizers came, my soup was tepid, so I asked for it to be 'zapped' for 30 seconds. It was indeed zapped as the soup then had the tell-tale sign of the microwave tidemark around the rim. When it was returned, our hostess stayed until I had tasted it and to be sure that 'it was the right temperature for me' - suggesting that I was difficult and most other people enjoy luke-warm soup.

The soup tasted great and my dining companions were all pleased with their selections.

I am a smoker, so after the appetizer I popped out for a cigarette (I know - disgusting), and here is one thing that elevates restaurants to fine dining, upon my return, my napkin was not folded. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the end of the world, but that is something I have come to expect when you are paying top dollar.

All of the entrees were timely delivered, I had selected the Petit Fillet and this was cooked to perfection, but alas I found the jus a little bitter and the mashed potatoes had lumps - 4 out of 5 for that. My companions were more than happy with their selections.

We didn't feel the need for dessert, but it certainly wasn't pushed by the staff - again, our server did't describe the desserts to tempt us into submission - it was a simple question.

So, in a nutshell, you will enjoy your experience here, it is a little pricey, our bill was $360 (for 4), but this did include two bottles of wine.

I would say to the owner, that he/she needs to decide whether to go the extra mile to earn the title of fine dining and open yourself up to criticism, or to just settle with being the best restaurant on Hatteras.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBX_Innkeeper, Owner at Cafe Pamlico, responded to this review, 23 July 2014
Marketed Exactly as We Are

We appreciate the reviewer taking time to comment on how pleasant their evening was, their food great, our location gorgeous, our staff attentive, and their group all pleased with their selections. We are grateful that they labels us the best restaurant on Hatteras Island.

We differ enormously with the reviewer, however, in their claim that we incorrectly market ourselves. Their claim would have validity had we ever identified ourselves as fine dining, a class of restaurant associated with white glove team service, napkins refolded on every server visit to the table, a staff sommelier, patrons dressed formally, and menu pricing materially higher than ours. Contrary to the reviewers statement, we do not identify or market ourselves as fine dining.

All Cafe Pamlico material, from website to business cards, clearly identifies us "casual fine dining", a bona fide and formal category of restaurant one deliberate notch below fine dining. We invite the reviewer to visit our website, take a business card or brochure, or to see any and all material prepared by our management to confirm this easily verifiable factual statement.

We understand that mistakes happen, such as serving a soup below temperature. When we err, we strive to apologize and correct our error, as did our server. We trust this reviewer, once they verify the basic error in premise on which their review is based, will likewise correct their error.

Steve Nelson
CEO and General Manager
The Inn on Pamlico Sound
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbeson, Delaware
Level Contributor
66 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The best dining on the island”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

It is all good. The menu entrees are all $30 and the appetizers are $10 & 12. I wanted the honey glazed duck but because we were seated late it was gone. (I like a restaurant that does not get something from the freezer for you) Our drinks were served in an original old fashion glass, Not one of the reduced ones we see so often now. When it rains in Hatteras there is no plan "B" so dinner at Cafe Pamlico makes up for it. If it is fine dinning you enjoy, this is the only place in the area to go.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank furbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Nice but overpriced”
Reviewed 17 July 2014

What do you call plates of food that are super small portions but attractively arranged? Nouveau Cuisine? We ate and the food was good but small. The service was very slow. I mean 20 minutes between server sightings. I don't mind paying these prices if we are waited on hand and foot, but that is not the case here.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank bbqbilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBX_Innkeeper, Owner at Cafe Pamlico, responded to this review, 20 July 2014
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. We are grateful that you found the food beautifully prepared and tasty, though you felt the portions a bit small. We accept your feedback with gratitude.

Our Executive Chef Will Canny joined us this spring. Will trained at Le Cordon Bleu (London) and spent most of his career in the top ranked hotels and restaurants of France and Switzerland. He is occasionally still working towards better understanding the portions expected in American eateries.

Your feedback on the slowness of service is our primary cause of concern. No patron in our establishment should ever feel less than well cared for without regard for how busy the restaurant is. Please accept our apology if service was not up to our standards during your dining experience with us.

Our customer satisfaction policy states that it is right, we will make it right, or it is with our compliments. Please contact me so that we may make amends for any aspect of our service that was not to your satisfaction.

Steve Nelson
CEO and General Manager
The Inn on Pamlico Sound and Cafe Pamlico
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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