Surf & Turf Done Right at Aqua Blue

When restaurants try to do it all, the results can be unpredictable. Rather than focusing on a theme or cuisine, too many different ideas may spread a chef — or the customers — thin.

Aqua blue is one of those restaurants that wants to do it all. Luckily for local diners, the results are excellent. There’s sushi, seafood, steak and more, in a spot that’s both a casual neighborhood restaurant and a place to celebrate a special occasion. It’s an ambitious feat and Aqua blue gets it right.

The Roswell restaurant celebrated its 10th anniversary in August and is welcoming its 11th year with new items on the menu and cocktail list. Now is a great time to discover or rediscover Aqua blue.

Bring a big appetite. One look at the menu and you’ll want to taste it all. Owner and Executive Chef John Metz (who also owns Marlow’s Tavern, Sterling Spoon Catering and the new Market Street Café in Buckhead), and Chef de Cuisine Kien Sam have so many mouthwatering options you’ll need some time to make your decision.

Aqua blue offers a variety of sushi rolls and platters, all made with the freshest fish.

If you like crab cakes you should try Aqua blue’s version that, with large chunks of crab, is more crab than cake. It is served on a bed of avocado and mango.

For a seafood entrée, you can’t go wrong with the Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass. This dish has been a hit since it first appeared on the menu. Just a touch crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, the fish is served with a light shitake mushroom broth and baby bok choy.

Another delicious option is the Shrimp & Scallop Grits. The scallops are cooked with a light hand to maintain a tender texture. The stone ground jalapeño corn grits are so good you’ll want to lick your plate.

For those craving something on the turf side, the Australian Lamb Chop is one of the highlights. It’s perfectly cooked and well seasoned; you’ll find yourself forgoing your fork and knife so you can get every piece of meat from the bone. It is served with a crispy potato cake that has the flavor and texture of mashed potatoes covered with crushed potato chips. The slight saltiness of the potato cake goes well with the savory lamb.

Whether its lamb or steak that you order, the meat comes out at just the right temperature.

If you have room for dessert, try the rich and creamy crème brulee. The recipe comes from John Metz’s mother.

To accompany the meal, Aqua blue has a nice selection of wines by the glass and bottle, as well as what it calls “soon to be classic” cocktails. Servers are great at helping you choose a drink, offering advice on food pairings or the sweetness-to-alcohol taste ratio of cocktails.

New drinks include the Ginger Sidecar (Germaine Robin Craft Method Brandy, ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice and candied ginger), Bees Knees (Leopold Brother’s Gin, thyme honey syrup and fresh lemon), and the Vesper (DH Krahn Gin, Kettle One Vodka, Cocchi Americano and peach bitters).

Additionally, Aqua blue’s large bar area provides an inviting spot for a drink or casual meal.

Aqua blue’s location just outside the perimeter and minutes from GA 400 makes it an easy drive from the center of Atlanta. Whether you’re going into or out of the city, or just want a great meal, you’ll find it all at Aqua blue.

Aqua blue, 1564 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, Georgia (770) 643-8886

Aqua blue is offering food and drink specials now through November 7th as part of its annual Chops event.

image of restaurant exterior from Aqua blue’s Facebook page