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One of my absolute favorite restaurants in Wilmington is Elijah’s. I don’t recall when my sister first introduced me to the place, but it quickly became a must-do during every visit. As I browsed the menu during this latest trip I realized I’ve sampled quite a large portion of it over the years. This time I was mostly focused on the (previously unappreciated) prospect of an abundance of fresh seafood at my fingertips. For a coastal city, Buenos Aires is alarmingly lacking in that department. So I intended to make the most of it in NC.

The restaurant is in a quaint section of Wilmington, right on the Cape Fear River with gorgeous sunset views. A great setting for basking in beautiful weather and enjoying some cocktails. I highly recommend the Bloody Caesar. The French Martini? Ehhh, not so much.

The main reason I always insist on Elijah’s is the crab dip. We simply must get it, every time. In fact, I wouldn’t mind getting one (or two?) just for myself, and certain people have been known to order it as their meal. It’s creamy and crabby and cheesy, with the perfect kick of horseradish.  And it’s the thick, buttery, lightly toasted garlic bread that really takes it to the next level. Me muero.

Being an oyster bar, Elijah’s offers a variety of oyster preparations, and we went simple: a dozen, steamed. My sister introduced me to oysters on crackers with hot sauce, a pretty delicious combination that for me, still doesn’t beat dousing the suckers in melted butter. Soy una gorda.

After enjoying a few of those absolutely delicious Bloody Caesars, it was time for more seafood. I ordered the crab cakes, one pan-fried with corn bread crumbs and “low country seasonings” (whatever THAT means…southern-speak for delicious?), and one deep-fried with Old Bay. I preferred the pan-fried version, disproving my theory that deep-frying makes everything more delicious. The sides were pretty bland, but at least they made me feel better about my rabid indulgence in all things fried.

Sissie got the special, mahi-mahi in a super rich lobster cream sauce over angel hair pasta with shaved parmesan. Oh man, was it goooooood! Too bad she never did learn how to share.

In addition to full bellies, we also left with a ton of leftovers to indulge in later.

I’m sure there are a ton of places in Wilmington that have excellent seafood, but there is something about Elijah’s that’s just…special. Maybe it’s the chill riverside location, or the artifacts on display from the building’s days as a maritime museum, or the memories I’ve made there with some of my faves. Regardless, two slightly greasy thumbs up.

ELIJAH’S – 2 Ann Street in Wilmington, North Carolina

Read the reviews on TripAdvisor.