Inlet 790 – Finer Dining on the North End!

by Donna Byrd

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If you’re staying in North Topsail Beach, you know how lucky you are. The beach is known for its pristine beauty and quiet family atmosphere. There isn’t a lot of commercial build-up; mainly just single family homes and duplexes that stretch out for golden mile after mile. Even though there are a few condo resorts, they seem private and quiet to most of the folks who vacation or own property there.IMG_3155 (Large)
Although I live in Sneads Ferry, sometimes my family gets together at my cousin’s place at Villas by the Sea to vacation. Even though I love that feeling of being caught up in a bubble of beach nirvana, I wish that there was a really good restaurant within a couple of miles of our beach house rental. Thankfully, our kitchen is decked out with modern amenities and we make glorious, memorable family meals there,  but it would be great to have a restaurant nearby where we could treat ourselves once in a while to a special dinner with a magical atmosphere.  I didn’t want to have to travel too far down or go off the island to find that place. IMG_3154 (Large)
With a bit of investigating, I found a restaurant this weekend right on North Topsail! I heard that Villa Capriani had a restaurant, Inlet 790, on the ground floor by their lobby. We had the perfect occasion to try it out: our daughter, Stacey, was visiting us from Nashville, Tennessee and we wanted to give her a night to remember. Knowing how hard it is to impress a hip, Nashville foodie, we decided to take a chance and visit Inlet 790. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. “The best” is what we got!
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The hostess greeted us upon arrival and said we could sit inside the piazza-like dining room or dine outside on the expansive patio by the ocean. The night promised to be beautifully clear and mild, so we opted for the patio. It was the right decision.
The sun had just dropped out of sight and a pink glow lingered on the low horizon. We were sitting near the blue,lighted pool and the globe lights around the patio had just come on. Their light glowed like luminous little moons around our table. We could hear the rhythm of the ocean waves hitting the shore. Ahhh! What a perfect night!
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Our friendly server brought us menus. There was a good variety including everything from gourmet crafted sandwiches and burgers to classical favorites such as steak and local seafood delights. Bill decided to be brave and try a sandwich special:
a grilled chicken breast with a topping of good ole eastern North Carolina BBQ.
There were huge, fried, golden onion rings on the side and a beautiful slaw to round out the dish. All diets were thrown aside and forgotten as we made our choices.
SIMG_3180 (Large)tacey ordered one of the house favorites: Seafood Pomodoro. It was a heavenly concoction of fresh shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, basil and garlic on a bed of linguine. I chose a spinach salad for my entree and a bowl of mussels as an appetizer. The salad was a classic bed of spinach with almonds, cranberries, feta cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The mussels had a rustic tomato broth poured over them. The broth had prosciutto and plenty of basil and garlic. Of course, the dish came with wonderful toast points to soak up the delightful broth!IMG_3182 (Large)
We ordered a bottle of pinot grigio to share as we watched the moon and stars come out in the night sky. Nearby, a group a women were celebrating a birthday. They were local and had driven up from Surf City and Topsail Beach to sit out and enjoy the evening in the moonlight. They were gracious and let me crash their party by allowing me to photograph their beautiful plates of food. I loved hearing their laughter as they waited for their dinner to arrive, all the while enjoying red wine and margaritas. We couldn’t have chosen a lovelier night to have dinner by the sea!IMG_3174 (Large)
We hated to leave our magical dining spot. I think we could have stayed there for hours and hours but the restaurant closed at 9:00 p.m.  We left with promises to come back and experience another enchanting evening “dining” with the stars! I had found another happy place!
Inlet 790 has executive chefs that prepare dinners “using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients.” They also have specialty, signature cocktails. It is open TuesdaySunday from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Reservations aren’t necessary but you can call ahead to ensure available seating. Inlet 790 is also a wonderful spot to consider for weddings and receptions.IMG_3152 (Large)
Inlet 790 is located at:
790 New River Inlet River Road, North Topsail Beach
(inside the Villa Capriani)
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2 Replies to “Inlet 790 – Finer Dining on the North End!”

    1. Karen, Inlet 790 is up the beach approximately three miles from Hampton Colony. I’m sure you can call them in advance to make arrangements for a large dinner party.

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