The Stockpot Opens
After much anticipation I made it to The Stockpot for lunch at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront last weekend. Armed with soup and more items to boot, Anne Galante and Patrick Edwards officially opened their doors September 28.
Light gray shelving and deep blue walls combined with the black and white checkered floor give the cafe a retro feel while the living succulent wall adds a homey touch.
When my husband and I walked in, Patrick was at the front of the house greeting and conversing with customers like they were all his best friends, and Anne looked up to give us a warm smile while she carefully ladled broth over mussels.
We peered around the full house and decided to saddle up at the bar to witness all the action.
After my mimosa and his Evolution IPA, we ordered the Grilled Peaches and Halloumi Salad, Mussels Bowl and Toasty of the Day to share. Toasties are best imagined as the friendship between your favorite grilled cheese and the concept of Hot Pockets.
“Here’s your mussels,” Anne said. “Oh yay!” I yelped in response. She smiled, and said, “Ha, no not yet. These are someone else’s,” as she handed them to her friendly staff guy. Eating at the bar can be both thrilling and confusing, but the suspense is always brewing! The best part is getting to see the action like Anne’s knife skills or the staff’s speediness while remaining poised.
The salad was up first. Halloumi is a springy, mild cheese. When sliced thick and grilled, the cheese becomes a smidgen crispy while keeping its chewy base intact. Peaches are halved and laid fleshy side down in the pan, then warmed just slightly before topping the salad. Tossed with mixed greens and a sweet white balsamic redux, the salad was fresh, reminiscent of summer and all of its bounty.
Say boursin, and I’m there. The Toasty of the Day was filled with bacon and the silky, herbed spread that is boursin cheese. If you’ve had boursin cheese—I know it sounds crazy, but I’m discovering not all have—you know that it’s dreamy on crackers or by the spoonful. But with bacon? I mean. Like a crispy pocket of salted, cheesy goodness, the boursin oozed between the bacon, but its richness was balanced when caught by the bread of the handheld toasty.
The Mussels Bowl was next. Prince Edward Island mussels bathed in a wonderful, aromatic beer broth tossed with black beans, charred onions and bacon garnished with fresh parsley. A mini rosemary biscuit was propped in the bowl just so. We prodded at the mussels, trying to divide them the best we could between two hungry married folks.
“Remind me to never share food with you again,” my husband said. We all know that request won’t stick, but he can dream.
Craving something more, Anne was talking up one of her soups of the day, Oyster Chowder. The piping hot oyster chowder was laced with hunks of oysters, potatoes, lardons and onions in the most creamy, rich, perfectly seasoned broth. They say not to live in regret, but I regret not ordering a second bowl.
I thought we were done. But I’ll never turn down an offer for dessert. One of the sweet gals in the kitchen made this champagne cake woven with buttercream and seedy, homemade blackberry jam left from the summer. Airy and moist—there were no complaints here.
Their menu also features a variety of toasts, pastries, breakfast items like egg biscuits and frittatas as well as smoothies! Prices average between $5–12.
The Stockpot is located at 700 19th St, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451. Hours are Monday–Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out their Facebook for daily menu specials.