Best Raw Bar, 2014:
A wide selection of oysters from around the country keeps us going back to Deep Blue Bar & Grill. The accompanying mignonette is subtle and perfect. Though not a raw bar item, strictly speaking, the orange-ginger tuna tartare is one of our favorite appetizers nonetheless.
Best Salads, 2014:
When you can get it, the Niçoise at Deep Blue Bar & Grill is simply the best. We remain faithful fans of the peppery arugula, bacon, goat cheese and roasted tomatoes with sherry-thyme vinaigrette.
At Deep Blue Bar and Grill your mixologists take the time to make their own infusions—
tequila with jalapeños, vodka with kumquats—then they turn them into original creations
like the Jekyll & Hyde, blending that scorching tequila with blue agave nectar and lime
juice to make something hot and sweet. Isn’t that what we all look for at happy hour?
Plenty of restaurants have happy hours, but few combine quality and value like downtown Wilmington’s Deep Blue. Between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., $5 appetizers take an uptown twist in dishes such as duck spring rolls with ginger-jalapeño aïoli, and littleneck clams in steamed garlic-beer broth. Even draft beers (a low, low $3 a pint) include righteously sippable Stella Artois, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Twin Lakes Pale Ale. To get extra briny, grab any three oysters from the raw bar for $5.
From little Lady Chatterlys from Nova Scotia to slightly plumper Little Shemogues from New Brunswick, Deep Blue has oysters on the half-shell covered, especially if you like yours covered in fresh cucumber mignonette or American paddlefish caviar. The chic raw bar holds little neck clams and brawny Texas shrimp cocktail.
Staffers at Deep Blue Bar and Grill have revived the downtown happy hour scene, especially on Wednesdays, when Wilmington After Work draws the thirstiest customers and lovers of live music. But the Grays (critics Harold and Linda) award Deep Blue for its “central location with mingling space,” says Harold, as well as the “good appetizers, cocktails and bartenders.” On Thursdays, half-priced oysters are popular, and on Wednesdays, $3 tapas go great with $4 glasses of Wente Riesling. There’s a new tapas menu every week and some sort of entertainment. Bar food includes tuna tartare, steamed Mediterranean mussels, crispy beef wonton and fried oysters. In other words, it’s not your standard happy hour grub.