Linerd up to try the offerings at Red Sky Cafe at the Taste of the Beach Grand Tasting.

The 2018 Outer Banks Taste of the Beach is now in the books and it was certainly one to remember.

The event is always capped off with the Grand Tasting, held this year at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk.

The Grand Tasting is two events rolled up into one. There is, of course, some of the finest restaurants and chefs on the Outer Banks vying for the tip prize. But there is also the Champagne Cocktail competition among area businesses and that can get every bit as interesting as some of the dishes the chef’s have prepared.

As a shining example of interesting—and good—Chip’s Wine and Beer in KDH also owns the Outer Banks Olive Oil Company which is right next door. Along with specializing in olive oils from around the world, the Olive Oil Company also carries a wonderful selection of aged balsamic vinegars and they used a some of the more uniquely flavored to add to their Champagne cocktail.

The combination gave the drink a different, floral yet earthy taste. Worth trying and kudos for being unlike anything else.

Inside it was packed. The event sells out every year and it seemed as though everyone came at the same moment. 

There was some excellent dishes served. Keeping in mind that taste is completely subjective, the seared scallop over grits that the Outer Banks Brewing Station was serving was wonderful. 

The favorite though was the crayfish and Benton bacon over a corn pancake the Lucky 12 dishing out. Smoky flavor from the bacon, a little bit of heat and some sweetness from the corn pancake. Wonderful.

The Outer Banks Taste of the Beach has become one of the premier spring events on the Outer Banks. Plan on coming down next year for a taste of life on a sandbar.