By Jim Baugh
Waters Edge, Salt Ponds Marina Resort, Hampton VA
The first time I was exposed to Salt Ponds Marina was maybe 13 or 14 years ago. I was pretty blown away by this beautiful place and thought it would be a great place to live one day. Awesome marina and access to the lower Chesapeake Bay, plus swimming pool, full service restaurant and even a Tiki bar with a volleyball pool, and, all on the water. Pretty cool!! Back then we were fortunate to feature a cooking segment for Jim Baugh Outdoors TV and the owner and head chef back then was Tom McDermit. Needless to say it was one of our better segments, the food was fantastic.
Lots of things have changed over the years and one of the new business additions in my world has been Jim’s BBQ at Victorian Station. Here we feature some of the recipes we highlighted on Jim Baugh Outdoors TV, mostly our gourmet smoked Jerk style slow cooked JBBQ.
I always enjoy talking with our customers, one fan is none other than Chef Rick who cooks at Salt Ponds restaurant called Waters Edge. Rick liked our BBQ so much that they are now carrying it as a summer special that is now available out at the Tiki Bar. When Chef Rick was here at Victorian Station JBBQ last week he was telling me about some of the dished he was making including a delicious Scallop Carbonara.
I was sold!! I had to head out and try this because I love Scallops and certainly love Carbonara. So I ask Donna if she would like to cruise over and check it out over the weekend. I also invited my partners and friends Chris and Karen Jakeobson to join us. Actually, they had already planned on going Saturday night anyway so it worked out perfect. (Downstairs Debbie of Victorian Station Fame also was there). We had quite the crew there for a while.
Waters Edge has a lot on the menu, to much for me to really get into in one write up. Basically we were there to just try two dished, the Scallops Carbonara and Rick’s specialty Seafood Mac and Cheese.
Once we were seated, the service started and it was very good. I then high tailed it back to the kitchen to see what Rick was preparing. There was a lot going on. First up he wanted me to try his Vodka Pasta with sautéed Shrimp. This was a fresh from scratch dish that was made to order and was about as good as it gets. I am not sure how you could make this dish any better. Once cooked we sent it out to my half Italian half German sweetheart Donna for a taste test. She loved it. Ok, good enough for me!!! Approved.
Next was the seafood mac and cheese that included fresh crabmeat and fresh shrimp, and a lot of each. Although this sounds like a simple dish, it truly is quite involved and requires some skill and good timing. There is also some transferring of food and plates going from pans, to ovens, to broilers, to final prep. This was an excellent dish and one that we had never had. Donna is fortunately naturally thin and can eat high calorie dishes like this, while I on the other hand only had a taste. This is a rich dinner and not exactly diet food. However for a real treat, I highly recommend it. This is also a good dish to split, sort of use it as your pasta, then order some grilled fish on the side would be a GREAT way to go. Nice combo.
The Carbonara was prepared perfectly and the Scallops were huge!! Everything was made fresh right in the skillet over a gas flame and was a Pancetta based Carbonara. There just was not anything that was not done right with this pasta dish. It was for lack of a better word, perfect!
While in the kitchen I did see quite a few other dishes going out the door and they all looked good. Seafood pizza, soft shell crabs, and oysters Rockefeller. My friend Chris had the soft shells and raved about them. They were fresh and only lightly seasoned and breaded. They were deep fried which is fairly traditional around here. I much prefer pan sautéed in butter with some herbs, but that is just me. Its all good.
There was desert, homemade cheesecake that was delicious. I am not much on deserts, but Donna gave it two thumbs up and it was a very nice presentation.
Well, that’s about it. We tried the two main dishes we went for and they were both excellent. The Vodka pasta with shrimp was a pleasant surprise to try and it also was top shelf. We sat downstairs and enjoyed a wonderful view, good service, and two awesome dinners. The menu was of pretty good size, and we both thought it was worth going back to try some other dishes. If they are as good as the two that we devoured, than this place is gonna be a regular stop on our restaurant adventures. Plus, the view is just amazing!
Give them a try!! Waters Edge, Salt Ponds Marina, Hampton VA.
Jim Baugh Outdoors TV
Author of HOOKED
Soon to be released, COOKED
Pics from Saturday nights dinner at Waters Edge!