Do you remember the old John Harvard’s Brewhouse from years ago? It closed down long before there were ever Bloggers, Yelp or or Urbanspoon. But what it’s turned into is a great Seafood restaurant known as Aqua Blue. Stepping inside the suburban (Roswell, GA) Aqua Blue, you would never know that this was once a Pub.
It’s sleek, modern interior could fool you into thinking you were in an upscale Buckhead or Midtown restaurant. There are four distinct areas throughout the restaurant, each very well appointed. As you walk inside, there is a curtained off room to the right of the hostess stand for private parties. Behind the hostess stand is a large bar area with plenty of hightops (see pic below), and as beautiful as it is, you could enjoy your entire meal there.
But the main dining area is pretty snazzy itself (see pic above right), with white booths and nicely appointed light fixtures, it is a great choice for an intimate date night. Lastly, the outdoor patio beckons you on warm spring evenings or cool fall nights, which is where I chose to sit on my recent visit to Aqua Blue.
Aqua Blue invited me for a visit, so, in full disclosure, this was a free meal. After being seated on the patio on a gorgeous spring evening, our server, Elbie came over to introduce himself and give us his recommendations. He’s got to be one of the coolest, friendliest, most knowledgeable servers I’ve encountered in quite sometime. If you visit, ask for him, you won’t be sorry.
To start, we each ordered a cocktail – one Pommegranite Martini and a Georgia Peach tea concoction. They were ok, but didn’t get me too excited. Skip the cocktails and head straight for the wine list here. They have a great selection and Elbie really steered us in the right direction.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First let’s talk about the bread. The crispy wafer bread tastes like a pretzel albeit with minimal salt. I enjoyed this, but only had a couple pieces, not wanting to fill up before the real goodies arrive. Also included are two other varieties of rolls – one rye and the other a cornbread-esque type. You’ll be served butter, but you won’t need it. The rolls are soft and moist already.
As far as appetizers at Aqua Blue, the menu is very seafood heavy with a couple vegetable options like Edamame (soybeans), Tempura Green Beans and an Olive Tasting. I’d read good things prior to visiting and knew the Tempura Green Beans and Calamari were signature items, so we ordered those as well as the Crab Cake.
Elbie told us that while it isn’t listed on the menu you can do a half and half order of Calamari and Green Beans if you like. I would definitely go this route if there are only 2 of you, as the half portions are pretty substantial and quite filling. Aqua Blue also has a Riesling (Eroica Columbia Valley ’08) that pairs very well with the calamari. I am not normally a fan of Riesling, or white wine in general for that matter, but this tasted more like a Chardonnay sans the oak flavor.
The crab cake was superb with any bread or filler being undetectable. All I tasted was lump crab. It is almost a waste of the peppers and jicama mix that comes with it as I’m sure much of that goes uneaten. I sampled a bit and although it was tasty, I didn’t want to fill up on veggies. I have to mention that while I did love the crab cake, at $15, you’ll get more bang for your buck sticking with some of the other apps.
The calamari was quite delicious too, with a sweet and spicy sauce mixed in, although I feel it may have been a tad too sauce heavy. But most surprising to me were the Tempura Green Beans. The light batter and crunchiness of the tempura was a perfect match for the beans. And the sweet mustard sauce for dipping made for the perfect bite. And the salt portion was just right – not overkill like in so many restaurants.
I noticed two out of the four tables around us chowing down on huge lobsters. I assumed it was a special that evening as I didn’t see them on the menu. But when I inquired with Elbie, he told me it is a birthday special that Aqua Blue offers to those on their mailing list. Here’s the deal: sign up to be on their mailing list and you get a 2.5 lb lobster FOR FREE on your BirthMONTH. Ahuh, that’s right- Your whole BirthMONTH, not on your birthDAY. What a deal – Sign me Up!
So, I was jonesing for some Chilean Sea Bass as it had been far too long since I’ve had any. I knew that would be one of our entree selections and I couldn’t help but ask if by any chance they had one last lobster left for us. We were in luck, they did!
Aqua Blue has some of the best Sea Bass I’ve ever had. The slightly crunchy outside texture gives way to the sweet, buttery inside and it almost melts in your mouth. You gotta try this dish. As for the lobster, I would have never ordered it had I not known that they cut most of the shell for you, allowing for easy access to the lobster meat. And how plentiful the lobster meat was by the way. Why, oh why, didn’t I ask for a bibb? Of course I spilled some melted butter on my shirt. Oh well, it is a small price to pay for eating well, I suppose.
As we had made complete gluttons of ourselves, you would think we stopped there, wouldn’t you? Nope. We opted for dessert too. The coconut cake caught my eye and I looked no further. We also tried the sherry and fig ice cream but found the name to be more intriguing that the taste. The coconut cake more than made up for the ice cream though. It was moist and creamy – just perfect for two to share.
1564 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Roswell, GA 30076
770 643 8886
Extras: Don’t forget to sign up for their mailing list for a free lobster on your BirthMONTH!