The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Hot Tuna – Virginia Beach Style

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on August 18, 2009

After our visit to Williamsburg, we returned to my sister and brother-in-law’s house to relax and watch the sunset on the beach.  When it came time to decide where to go to dinner, my brother and his wife wanted seafood since they missed out the night before.  I checked out to see where we could get a reservation and to look at what menus there were out there and came across Hot Tuna.





Exhausted from our day out, we all went with soda and water for our beverages.  While waiting for our meals, we enjoyed some bread (which reminded us of Outback’s bread).


As an appetizer, my brother ordered the Hot Chesapeake Bay Crab Dip.  It was creamy and crabby – just the way I like it!


For the first time in a while, everyone I dined with ordered something different!

My brother ordered the Sam Adams Shrimp


And his wife ordered the Crab Cake sandwich.  Of all the items I tried, this was my least favorite.  The crabcake’s fillers were not what I was used to and wouldn’t order this again if I had the option.


My sister ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon: fresh North Atlantic pink salmon fire grilled on a cedar plank, and topped with a burre blanc sauce.  It normally comes with chipotle green beans & a mushroom-parmesan risotto, but she asked for mashed potatoes instead of the green beans.  Her meal was so good! The salmon was pretty much perfect and the risotto was creamy! (She was kind enough to let me sample.)


Her husband ordered what I believe was a Tuna special.  He had tuna three ways: seared, sushi roll, and tuna tartare.  Tuna, their signature item, is Yellowfin, and I believe, relatively local – caught off the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  He enjoyed this dish but noted it was a bit spicy.  (I’m unsure of his level of spice tolerance.  If it’s anything like my sister’s, it’s not a good gauge 🙂 To her, mild salsa is too hot!)


I debated for a long time about what to order myself and decided on the Absolut Chesapeake.  It was gulf shrimp, lump crabmeat, Smithfield bacon, baby spinach and tomatoes sautéed in a light vodka cream sauce over penne.  I loved it! There was a bit of spiciness that went well with all of the other ingredients.  I saved half and threw in my sister’s leftover salmon for lunch the next day.


The Husband ordered the Greek Salad and added Calamari.  We were surprised at how much was included!  He said the calamari was cooked well, but not great. despite how it looked.  The calamari was, however, an excellent addition to the greek salad.


(I’m starting up the Husband’s notation system again! Check out early posts to see what he said about the restaurants we visited 🙂  )

Ambiance: A fun group atmosphere but potentially a date spot as well.  We were seated at a large table in the bar area, so I’m not sure what the rest of the restaurant was like.  It wasn’t too loud but wasn’t quiet either.  The bar was spacious – likely a good place for happy hour.

Menu: Although mainly a seafood restaurant, the menu had options for everyone.  There was pasta, seafood, steak, sandwiches, salads, and vegetarian options.  They had a goat cheese and portabella mushroom sandwich that I was eyeing and may get if I visit again.

Something you won’t find on most menus: The wide selection of sushi grade tuna.  My brother-in-law enjoyed his dish.

Service: While at first we didn’t think highly of being seated in the bar area, we liked that our table was ready as soon as we arrived.  The host was very friendly and informative as he seated us.  Our waitress, Danielle, was wonderful! We were all very thirsty from having spent the day in the sun and she kept up on our water refills wonderfully!

Food: As mentioned above, everything we ate was very tasty.  I highly recommend the Salmon and the pasta dish, but not the crab cake.

Overall: We enjoyed our dinner and the restaurant as a whole and would eat here again!

Recommendation: Definitely recommend!

Hot Tuna on Urbanspoon

Hot Tuna
2817 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

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