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Elizabeth's Cafe & Winery (252) 261-6145; 1177 Duck Road, Suite 11, Duck, North Carolina

We contacted owner Leonard Logan, Jr. for an update and learned that Elizabeth's stood fast against hurricane Isabel. "We're used to 90 mph northeasters passing through five days in a row; afterwards, there's little left to knock down."
During the storm, Logan fell asleep after an excellent bottle of wine (naturally!), awakening only by the cracking of a big tree limb.

Amenities: Neighboring the site where the Wright brothers took off from Kitty Hawk in December of 1903, Elizabeth's adds to the notoriety of the area. A habitual winner of Wine Spectator Magazine's "Best of the Award of Excellence" for one of the most outstanding wine lists of the world, it's fast collecting other prestigious awards, including DiRoNA's (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) "Award of Excellence."

Logan is seeing increasing numbers of solo diners for Elizabeth's two seatings per evening. (Brix, located in the Napa Valley of Northern California, is one of his favorite restaurants for a solo meal.)When asked for his impressions, he reported: "They are wine-lovers. Solo diners repeatedly question our servers who are like sommeliers. [In a restaurant featuring 1,650 wine selections, server training is rigorous.] And they take copious notes about the wine and meal, usually on the face of the menu which changes every day and which they are allowed to take home."

Logan also noted he and the staff wait for solo diners to indicate whether they wish to chat or not.( He reminded us about the "single's table" which provides an excellent view of the restaurant.) Some of them ask him to join them in a glass of wine.

(1) Make plans to arrive early. People who arrive before the time of their seating are invited to join other in the wine gallery.
(2) Word has it that guests in the throes of divorce are pampered with a glass of champagne on the porch.

Cuisine: French Influence, using the freshest of ingredients, which "we try not to screw up."

Neighborhood: Outer Bank 1 1/2 hours from Norfolk, Virginia

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