So I gave a quick overview of Ft. Monroe previously. With that much to see in one place you’re bound to get hungry during your visit. The good news is that you don’t have to wander far to fix that problem.
If I told you there was a great spot for seafood at a marina just outside the gates of a Civil War era fort, your mind might go to Fish Tales in Richmond Hill. And you would be right. But Fish Tales is a bit of a drive from Ft. Monroe, especially if you’re hungry.
So we’ll try another marina. Just outside the fort proper but still within the modern limits of the installation you’ll find the Old Point Clear Marina. If you arrive at the marina you can’t miss The Deadrise.
While this name sounds like something out of an evangelical eschatological thriller movie, the term is a reference to a way of measuring the depth of a boat’s hull. It’s a fitting moniker for a restaurant in a marina.
A marina is always a tempting sight. Rows of boats, particularly sailboats, tug at the heart strings and make me want to shove off in search of adventure or solitude...or perhaps both. The Old Point Clear Marina was no exception. From atop the stairs at the restaurant’s entrance you can see quite a varied collection of pleasure crafts.
With easy access to Hampton Roads, Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic, as well as numerous rivers, the boat traffic is abundant. A lot of vessels coming and going on a beautiful day. It adds to the overall ambiance of the location.
As of this visit, Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions were pretty strict, perhaps draconian. Reduced seating capacity made for a bit of a wait but, again, the scenery was nice as was the weather and the company so it was only a mild inconvenience.
We were greeted and served by a friendly and helpful staff. The hostess was energetic and her work posture was quite kinetic. Our waitress was knowledgeable about the menu and was helpful as we made our selections.
Until someone puts warmouth in the menu, flounder will be the best actual fish you’ll get in a place such as this. Obviously shellfish are always going to be good but I saw a waitress carrying a flounder filet that belonged on a forklift so that’s what I went with. It was paired with fried oysters, and served with fries, hush puppies, and surprisingly good slaw.
They offer nachos as an entree. This is a delightfully fresh option. The components are plenteous. It’s where nachos, a seafood entree, and a salad come together. The ingredients combine nicely to form a cohesive dish.
With good food, great service, and that waterfront atmosphere, The Deadrise is a recommended part of a Ft. Monroe visit.
Oh, and one last thing, they have a posted sign down by the dock. It’s a warning to boaters, fishermen. This area has a long history. These waters have been fought over. An observer could have witnessed the first ironclad battle, the famous duel between the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor from this location. That battle, along with plenty others, means that it’s not unheard of to find unexploded ordnance. It is intended to keep people safe but it also reminds us of the history of the area. It’s not just an abstract idea in a book. That history, the good and bad, still lives among us today.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire