Cyprus Grille: 2019 Hampton Restaurant Week
I constantly talk about how much I love restaurant week, and how it’s a fantastic way to try different restaurants at a great deal. Having sampled some of the offerings from Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week and Virginia Beach Restaurant Week, I made my way across the water for Hampton Restaurant Week.
I seldom get a chance to eat in Hampton, due to my inability to get on the highway and go over/through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. I made plans with my friend who lives in Hampton to try at least one restaurant. We decided to eat at Cyprus Grille, located in the Embassy Suites, knowing nothing about the restaurant beforehand.
While Google has the restaurant listed as a Greek restaurant, it most certainly is not. Cyprus Grille, led by executive chef Kyle Fowlkes, serves American cuisine with influences from the coast and South. The restaurant’s signature dishes include She Crab Soup, gorgonzola stuffed filet mignon and shrimp and grits. Cyprus Grille’s menu changes roughly every six months to accommodate the fresh, seasonal ingredients used in their dishes.
Offering a $30 dinner menu for Hampton Restaurant Week, comprised of seafood and twists on classic cuisine, I anxiously awaited my meal at Cyprus Grille.
Options: Beef Tataki Kabobs, Crab Deviled Eggs and Grilled Plum Salad
I love deviled eggs and can eat them any time of day, so, it was a no-brainer for me to order them as my starter. Cyprus Grille puts their spin on the dish by frying the egg whites then topping the yolk filling with crab meat. The plate was also garnished with sriracha to add some heat.
When I ordered, I didn’t notice that the egg whites came deep fried. I was a little nervous until I saw the dish. The fry was light enough that the egg didn’t become greasy, but had a great crunch. These deviled eggs were a bit too large for one bite, but I didn’t mind because that made them last longer.
Options: Shrimp & Grits, Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Bleu and Seared Scallops
I didn’t realize that Shrimp & Grits were one of Cyprus Grille’s most popular dishes at the time. Fortunately, my friend ordered the dish so I could get a look. The southern favorite was served in a cast iron skillet, and the shrimp swam in a Cajun cream sauce. My friend loved the dish, and got to take some home thanks to the large portion.
I went with the Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Bleu. My mind saw pork belly and I didn’t need to know anything else. Sectioned off on a bright plate were the three components of the dish: an herb crusted chicken tender over roasted red pepper cream sauce, crispy pork belly with sautéed haricot verts and spaghetti tossed in a gouda mornay.
Typically, I would not order Chicken Cordon Bleu, but I was intrigued by the idea of a simplified, deconstructed version of the dish. I started with the creamy pasta that left me gathering as much of the remaining mornay sauce as possible. Then, I moved on to the tender chicken that was complemented by the crunchy outside. Finally, I ate the smoky pork belly, mixing each bite with one of the haricot verts. When my dad makes green beans, he throws a piece of pork fat in them. This was an upscale version of the comforting flavors I already love.
When I thought of a deconstructed Chicken Cordon Bleu, this wasn’t what I was imagining. However, it turned out to be much better; certainly better than your average Cordon Bleu.
Options: Not A Donut, Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée and Pecan Shortcake
We were nearly too full for the third course, but that didn’t stop us from cracking into some creamy crème brûlée. While I wish I had gotten a better look at the “Not A Donut” dessert, I can never pass on crème brûlée.
Cyprus Grille made a passion fruit-flavored crème brûlée, topped with whipped cream and a French macaron. The menu says the dish was supposed to come with berries, but I think a light and fruity macaron was a welcomed substitute. The standard custard dessert was enhanced by the subtle tropical flavors of passion fruit.
If you tend to pass judgement on restaurants inside of chain hotels, let Cyprus Grille be an example of how fantastic cuisine can be found anywhere. The filling portions are well worth the money. In addition to a noteworthy dinner, the restaurant also serves Sunday brunch.
I’d recommend Cyprus Grille if you’re attending an event at the Hampton Coliseum or if you’re looking for something a bit more high-end, but not pretentious, near Peninsula Town Center.
Cyprus Grille is located at 1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton.