When we arrived in Virginia Beach, I posted on Facebook to my friends who currently live and have lived in Virginia Beach that I needed a great place for dinner that was also kid-friendly. My friend who recently moved from Virginia Beach, Ceri, came through with Tautogs and it was an excellent recommendation.
There were several things that I liked about this restaurant.
1. Located near the beach and didn’t charge you for parking. They have a parking system where only their guests are allowed to use their parking lots.
2. Located in an old house, which looks like a house on the outside, but a unique and even somewhat romantic restaurant on the inside.
3. The seafood options were unique and different.
4. The server was super-friendly and great.
We were seated on the front patio, which is enclosed, and they also have heaters for when it’s colder. It was a bit chilly, but nothing long sleeves couldn’t handle. The one thing I must mention about eating outside in Virginia Beach though is the jets that fly overhead from the Navy base. There’s nothing any restaurant owner can do about this and it’s something that the residents are used to, but as a visitor it takes some time adjusting too. Our server also mentioned she thinks that the jets get louder after Labor Day because apparently they can control the engine noise and they reduce it during vacation season.
The majority of the menu at Tautogs is seafood. For an appetizer, we had the crab nachos. These were chips piled high with salsa, a white sauce, lettuce, olives and real crabmeat (not that imitation stuff). Again, I’m not usually a crabmeat fan, but this was excellent. Even our son liked it.
There were several unique dishes on the menu and they had several specials not on the menu that were excellent as well. I had one of those. It was a honey-seared salmon with mashed sweet potatoes. I was hesitant to order this dish at first because I’ve found that I only care for fresh (like right out of the river in Alaska fresh) salmon and I’ve had very fishy salmon in other restaurants. This salmon was not fishy at all though, it tasted great and the mashed sweet potatoes were awesome.
My husband had the Mid-Atlantic Pasta with shrimp. It was also an excellent choice with lots of big shrimp in it.
Overall, we were very impressed with Tautogs. We wanted dessert, but were just too stuffed by the end of our meal to get one. The prices are a little on the high side, but that is expected when most of the menu is seafood. You definitely get plenty of food for your money though.
Check out their menu online at http://www.tautogs.com/.