Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Bridgetender

October 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

bridgeThe Bridgetender restaurant has stood watch over the drawbridge at Wrightsville Beach since 1976, offering notable nourishment to locals and travelers along the Intracoastal. Enjoy the view along this busy section of the waterway by dining outdoors on the decks or getting an indoor seat by the windows in the restaurant or bar.

Fresh local seafood arrives at the Bridgetender twice a day. The dinner menu features seafood such as excellent ginger scallops, crab stuffed flounder, and horseradish encrusted tuna. Choose from a selection of steaks including New York strip, filet mignon, and ribeye. Burgers, pasta, and chicken are available.

A substantial lunch menu repeats several of the dinner options including crab cakes, coconut shrimp and burgers. Lunch salads offer protein add-ons such as tuna, Mahi, chicken salad, and Portobello. The lunch sandwiches shine and the Grouper Reuben is something special. Sandwiches are served with steak fries, fresh fruit, a vegetable saute, or cole slaw.

On a recent evening we arrived early to try the sunset special, a $19 prix fixe dinner served from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. The special includes salad or soup, an entrée, and dessert. We also ordered a bottle of wine that was suggested by our waiter. It was perfect with our food.

We began with a cup of clam chowder, hot and full of tender clams, and a small, fresh salad of mixed greens with house-made cranberry-almond dressing. I sampled the southern specialty shrimp and grits, with plenty of bite-sized shrimp, pancetta, and mushrooms served over thick cheddar grits in a creamy, spicy sauce. My dining companion had Blackened Mahi Mahi pasta. This linguine with a rich sauce with pancetta and mushrooms was topped with very fresh local Mahi, well-spiced but not spicy hot.

For dessert there’s a good brownie Napoleon, but don’t miss the Bridgetender’s excellent Key Lime pie, made with frozen whipped cream.

A number of dishes can be prepared gluten-free; let your server know in advance. Vegans can try one of several salads (offered in small or dinner-sized portions) or ask the chef for advice. He won’t mind preparing something special and delicious.

To dock, call the Bridgetender Marina next door, (910) 256-6550. They are happy to accommodate diners as long as there’s room.

The Bridgetender
1414 Airlie Road
Wilmington, NC

Review by Shelagh Clancy

Comments are closed.