Cape Fear Foodie: Three10 in the 910
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - This past week saw me make yet another trip around the sun, and another trip downtown to a restaurant that has been making quite a buzz since opening. Typically I would settle for baked steak and gravy with mashed potatoes as my quintessential birthday meal (a childhood favorite) but this time I went with the southern-style seafood at Three10.
Housed in a beautifully renovated home from the 1920s that has been relocated to North Fourth Street, Three10 offers an historic feel with a modern twist. There’s something about eating in an old home that gives you those warm-fuzzies, almost like sharing a meal at grandma’s house. Since I couldn’t make it home for my birthday, this did just fine instead.
A varied craft cocktail, wine and beer list gives diners plenty of options while perusing the menu. Speaking of the menu, it isn’t very big, which is completely acceptable, however if you chose to have a smaller menu then you need to deliver on what you offer....Three10 certainly does that.
My group went with a dozen locally-sourced Dukes oysters, with hot sauce, lemon wedges and an apple-celery mignonette. The oysters aren’t the biggest you will come across, it’s how they are grown, but they certainly pack that delicate brine flavor and the accoutrements help push the oysters in different directions.
Next was some broiled oysters, a half dozen with bacon, charred creamed collard greens and cornbread crumbles...another 6 with citrus chow chow butter and a candied chile (if you like spicy, this hits the spot). Both offered a different taste profile but were equally as good. I could have just had plates of these broiled oysters.
After those raw bar dishes, we grabbed some homemade hushpuppies with a lovely pepper jelly. Warm, fluffy with that crunchy fried shell, these were a hit.
We also tried the Black Garlic Caesar salad, which boasted smoked mushroom conserve that set this Caesar apart from any other I have ever tried. Toss in a healthy dose of grana cheese and cornbread croutons and I was starting to wonder if an entrée was really necessary.
Of course the answer was yes, and again, there aren’t an abundance of options, only 5 “large plates.” But there were no complaints from our table. I went with the Peppercorn Crusted Swordfish, over a bed of mashed potatoes, charred rapini and a brandy peppercorn sauce. Wow. it wasn’t my favorite baked steak and gravy, but the fish was perfectly cooked, the peppercorn crust packed each bite with flavor, and the sauce added a layer of richness to the entire plate. It was delicious.
Just about everyone else decided on the Country Fried Grouper, a large, crispy filet piled high with fried leeks, and supported by a foundation of dirty rice and a sweet potato sunchoke cream. It was a beautiful dish, as the presentation shows, and it had a taste to match. The sunchoke cream base offered a distinctive flavor and balanced nicely with the crunch from the fish and leek straws.
Put it all together, and what a present this was for my birthday. A culinary treat with a warm and inviting atmosphere, creative drinks and exceptional eats. Whether you are celebrating a special day of your own or just in the mood for a nice dinner, I would highly recommend Three10 in the Brooklyn Arts District. I know you won’t be disappointed.
IF YOU GO:
Three10 is located at 1022 N 4th St, Wilmington, NC 28401
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