May 27: 99 Sea Level in Bethany Beach

Day Boat Sea Scallops, & Octopus with heirloom tomatoes, trumpet mushrooms, radish, watercress emulsion and avocado foam

Located in the Marriott Bethany Beach Ocean Suites on the boardwalk at 99 Hollywood Street in Bethany Beach, 99 Sea Level has been opened just shy of a year. Host Michael Sprouse and the C.C. crew were excited to visit the restaurant for the first time and they knew that, based on some conversations with 99 Sea Level’s Director of Operations Donna Serafini, the menu would fit in perfectly for the “healthy eats” focus for the month of May.

The first thing we noticed notice when we walked into 99 Sea Level is just how beautiful and spacious the restaurant is. It’s contemporary and stylish and there is a decisive vibe of people relaxing and enjoying themselves over cocktails, conversation and fine dining.

We realized, of course, that we were in a small resort town because of the breathtaking view presented by the stunning wall of windows looking out directly onto the boardwalk and the beach, but it felt as if you we could have been in one of the more upscale dining establishments that can be found in such major metropolitan cities such as Washington, DC. New York or Los Angeles.

Michael met both Donna and Chef Danio Somoza shortly after arrival and they were both gregarious and excited to have 99 Sea Level featured in the segment. Their dedication to their work was evident and it was easy to tell that the entire staff shared the same enthusiasm. As one of the staff members told Michael, “Imagine how good it feels to come to work where your backdrop is the ocean. It’s very uplifting.” The atmosphere felt alive with the mood enhancing negative ions that are naturally created by the pounding surf.

One of the first things Donna did was to order an absolutely astounding bottle of wine. It was one of her personal favorites, and after Sprouse took his first sip, he was instantly onboard with her selection. The wine, called Milk and Honey by Herman Story, is a blend of Tempranillo, petite Verdot Mourvèdre , Cabernet and Syrah and it tasted like paradise in a glass. The wine was possibly on the expensive side, but Sprouse says that it was definitely worth the splurge. He said it was fragrant, smooth and delicious and the taste lingered pleasantly on the palate like a fond memory.

Donna and Sprouse then joined Chef Somoza in the outdoor dining patio which is located directly next to the boardwalk and the outstanding view of Bethany Beach. Somoza had especially set up an impressive outdoor cooking area where he prepared some truly spectacular dishes.

The entrees included Day BoatSea Scallops, & Octopus with heirloom tomatoes, trumpet mushrooms, radish, watercress emulsion and avocado foam, a particularly beautiful dish called The Del Mar Mediterranean which consisted of chorizo, scallops, shrimp, crab, clams, mussels, lobster tail and wild rice with a saffron broth and Northern Virginia Red Snapper served with quinoa, calypso beans, Yanagi Matsutake mushrooms, and akatthi clam creme fraiche. Each dish was incredibly impressive both in presentation and taste.

Frankly, everything about our experience at 99 Sea Level was extraordinary. Coastal Cuisine is an atmosphere focused show and we like to cover as much of the entire experience when we’re filming as possible (which we then have to edit into a two-minute segment). They made our job easy.

Sometimes, you just have to treat yourself to the finer things in life. Some quality time at 99 Sea Level would definitely help you with that goal.

Here’s to good taste!