A perfect destination for summer dining, Navy Beach is a seasonal restaurant that’s treasured by the locals and packed with tourists. As a laidback, family-friendly venue, Navy Beach is located right on a 200-foot private beach, with breathtaking views over the water during the day and spectacular sunsets at night.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by wait staff, who led us out to the outdoor dining area. Dining outdoors is, after all, where all the action is. While the restaurant offers indoor seating, it’s dark and gloomy compared to the vibrant picnic tables nestled right in the sand. Arriving at lunchtime, the energy at the restaurant was electric, with groups of diners clinking glasses and tables full of families and friends tucking into food that smelled so good it cut right through the salty air.
The cocktail list was full of summer favorites — citrus, cucumber, and passion fruit — making it hard to choose just one. In the end we ordered a classic "painkillah," a rum-infused coconut drink, as well as an Aperol spritz to get the meal started.
At Navy Beach, it quickly becomes clear that this is an undeniably stunning meeting place, but the food comes second to the scenery. The seared sea scallops we ordered were flavorful yet arrived at the table cold. Swimming in mashed potato, the dish felt a little unbalanced, with the scallops playing second fiddle to the vegetables. However, the truffle mac was truly delectable, cheesy goodness with lashings of gruyere, panko breadcrumbs, and scallions. Then, the buttermilk fried chicken, served on cheddar jalapeño cornbread and drizzled with a spicy honey, was surprisingly dry and overcooked.
While the food was a little hit-or-miss, we were pleasantly surprised by the serving style of the local whole-roasted fish. Warm corn tortillas and avocado pico de gallo had us excitedly plating up our own flavorful fish tacos. The perfectly cooked, flakey fish paired flawlessly with our next round of citrus-infused cocktails --- it was impossible to resist those delicious drinks.
The desserts appeared to be a weak link in the restaurant’s menu. After mulling over our options, we tried the Key lime cheesecake with a coconut crust, which was unfortunately rather dry. However, the sundae with marshmallows, crunchy roasted peanuts, and a thick chocolate ganache was unpretentious yet delicious.
Navy Beach is an excellent place to spend an idyllic summer night. The food may occasionally not be at the level of other restaurants in the area, but what it lacks in finesse, it makes up for with its location and atmosphere.