Location, location. The Crab's Claw on Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, has it, claws down, over most seafood restaurants scattered along the state's coast. Here's why: Their two-story wooden deck rewards you with a commanding view of the beach. For the best effect, be there at sunset, when the golden rays ignite sand, sea, and sky with the colors of fire.
Don't Miss: the Spicy Crab Dip (you can also get a milder version). Blue crabmeat, cream cheese, and spices (served with grilled pita points) make this the ultimate appetizer. For an entrée, try the fire-grilled salmon served with yellow rice and peas and sautéed plaintains with honey butter. The pastry chef's blackberry cobbler à la mode tastes like a sweet slice of summer. Mark Stith
The Crab's Claw: 201 West Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach, NC 28512; (252) 726-8222 or www.crabsclaw.com.