With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, our back-to-normal continues to evolve. Not sure if you feel like COVID-19 stands for the number of pounds gained over these last several months, but it is spot-on for me. I want to thank the amazing New Bern restaurants that have helped add those pounds. While there are too many to list in one post, here are three of my favorites:

La Casetta

I have raved about this magnifico Italian eatery before, and I am going to do it again. La Casetta is the place to be for authentic Italian food. My recommendation is to start off with the bruschetta al pomodoro, and splurge on the fresh mozzarella addition. If you are truly wanting to push the limit, order the meat lovers Stromboli. Of course, what they are known for is their out-of-this-world pizza, especially the namesake La Casetta choice, with every topping you can imagine. You feeling hungry yet?


Whether stopping in for happy hour or for a relaxing meal, Cypress Hall creates a memorable experience.

Cypress Hall Kitchen & Bar

Cypress Hall is Chef Ashley Moser’s latest creation in downtown for foodies. I am not sure whether to call it fusion, eclectic or something else, but it is pure deliciousness. With menu items such as grilled octopus and braised pork cheeks, you realize this is not a run-of-the-mill place. Everything was perfectly sublime. My recommendation is to eat your meal backward, as in dessert first with Mema’s strawberry cake. It’s that good. To complement your meal, the ambience of Cypress Hall is warm, rich and inviting. Go ahead and linger.

Captain Ratty’s Seafood & Steakhouse

I had a bit of a challenge at first trying out a restaurant with the word ratty in it. However, I was pleasantly surprised it was quite the opposite. This downtown treasure may be known more for its yummy seafood, but I am willing to place a bet on finding a better steak elsewhere. I always seem to land on the filet, however one of these days I am going to get past the name and brave it with the Hammerhead ribeye. No matter what you order from the menu, you will walk away satisfied (and likely stuffed). As a further incentive to dine here, the wine list is extensive (and the prices are reasonable). The outdoor seating views of downtown add to the enjoyment of Captain Ratty’s dining experience.

These restaurants each offer an incredible menu for even those with discerning taste. When I am visiting, I do my best to ensure it is long enough to partake in all three!