As far back as 2003, Aqua introduced tapas and small plates to Beaufort’s dining scene. While the menu itself has changed to also include big plates, Aqua continues to curate savorfull and unique dishes using the freshest seasonal items available. The Aqua of today serves up a refined and eclectic dining experience. You will find a varied dining menu which also offers a mouthwatering wine and martini list that focuses on the unexpected.
Executive Chef Jon McGregor and Chef de Cuisine Hannah Minter are proud to use local seafood, meats and produce wherever possible.These include: Blue Ocean Seafood, Merrell Farms, Jamie’s Mushroom Farm, Harlowe Custom Micro Greens, and Early Girl Gardens.
A graduate of Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Charleston SC. Jon worked at the Renaissance Hotels in Charleston and Charlotte. His love of seafood and the coast brought him back to Carteret County where he became Chef de Cuisine for Aqua Restaurant in Beaufort and eventually Executive Chef of both Aqua and Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub.
Chefs Jon and Hannah want you to experience Aqua, in a way that immerses you in fond flavors while allowing you to become acquainted with new ones.
Tapas is rooted in Spanish tradition and is a form of a small appetizer usually meant to accompany a social drink but at Aqua is also seen as a way to encourage connection by exploring flavors, sharing great food and conversation. Tapas items can be enjoyed in a few small bites and are perfect for trying something new.
Aqua’s small plates are a little larger than tapas. These menu items are designed to be passed around the table and allow diners to experience diverse flavors without feeling overfull.
Big plates offer a variety of choices and are the size of a typical entree for one — though sharing is not frowned upon.
Save room for dessert! Aqua’s enormous signature Madagascar vanilla bean crème brulée will not disappoint.
At Aqua, their affection for wine is as evident as their passion for food as they strive to pair meals with the perfect wine options. The wine list boasts more than 80 vintages across a moderate price range. The Aqua staff is well versed in wine training and is always ready to help you in picking a wine that will not only taste great but bring out the flavors of your meal.
Aqua regularly entertains wine events that allow culinary enthusiasts to sip and explore. Twice a month on Tuesdays, WineOrama occurs, a casual four-wine table side tasting with an authority in the industry for $12 per person. For a special evening, order dinner and enjoy the wine tasting right at your table. Other specials include $5.99 Wine by the Glass (Daily), 33% Off To-Go Wine (Daily) and Bottled Wine Discounts of 33% (Friday).
With a chic but friendly atmosphere and a wide range of craft cocktails, their colorful dishes appeal to a multitude of audiences. Aqua has not only become a popular destination for locals but for visitors, as well. Many come to Aqua looking for refreshment after a full day of exploring the historic seaport of Beaufort.
Aqua’s sister restaurant is Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub.