Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort
Located in the original Caffey’s Inlet Life Saving Station No. 5, the Lifesaving Station is Sanderling’s casual, three-meal-a-day restaurant celebrating southern coastal cuisine. After the winter renovations, the second level now offers sweeping views of the Currituck Sound and available for large parties with an expansive kid’s menu.
The menu changes seasonally, and specials feature the freshest of the day’s catch. This season’s highlights are Shrimp and Grits, Crab Stuffed Flounder or Pan Seared Duck Breast. Since the restaurant's inception in 1985, the Sanderling Blue Crab Chowder has been a favorite.
The Lifesaving Station maintains an impressive wine list. At the newly renovated No 5 Bar now located on the first level, local North Carolina breweries are featured on tap while specialty cocktails include “Keeper’s Watch” . A new No 5 bar food menu is available all day.
Duck, NC 27949
American, Contemporary Southern, Comfort Food
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast Daily: 7:00am - 11:30am; Lunch Monday-Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm; Dinner Off Season 5:00pm - 9:00pm, In Season 5:00-10:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Executive Sous- John Botkin
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wine
The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort Ratings and Reviews
We dined here for the first time and we're very impressed with the food quality, presentation and portions. Two of our party ordered the Rockfish and risotto which is pictured here and was delicious! We ordered a bottle of wine and it was served perfectly. We're excited to have such a fabulous restaurant opened through the off-season so close to our home and we'll be back again!
Every year when we are in Corolla/Duck, this is our go-to spot. I was a little worried as I saw some poor reviews that were recent, but we still made the reservation. We are glad we did, and we actually ordered an extra helping of the fried oysters. The Chicken and waffles were good, as was the rockfish, which had some really good risotto with it. The short ribs fell right off the bone, and the side of fries and grits were good too. all in all, a very good night at one of our favorites in the OBX.
First time to Obx. Tried this restaurant. We found Better options not thru open table. Rice hard/chewy. My party sent back the chicken and waffles. Batter on chicken not crisp- and lacked flavor. Waffle kinda small- no flavor.
Guy at the front counter- chill out !! No need to :scream at people your”booked”, fuss at the wait staff about tables, try to be a bit more warm and friendly- this the south!!!
We went for Christmas Dinner. It was our first time there and we were looking forward to a great meal - $60/four course holiday menu. The price was certainly reasonable, if the quality of the food and service had been up to par. Unfortunately, it was not. As a restaurant manager, the only thing that I can think is that they are not typically a fine dining establishment. The first clue was when the server asked us to please keep our used silverware after every course, instead of bringing us fresh utensils. The first two courses were fine, no complaints. (We did have to ask for the bread for our table - bread plates and butter knives were out when we were seated -
but that happens.) However, for the entree, I ordered the steak with foie gras. When it came out, my plate had the steak, asparagus, and scalloped potatoes. I noticed that it did not have the foie gras. I asked the server about it and she said "it does look like your plate is not complete" and told me to "hold on" while she checked. After several minutes, the server returned with a bowl of mashed potatoes with a sliver of foie gras. I am NOT exaggerating when I say it was smaller than a dime (if the picture is with the review, the small brown dot on the mashed potatoes is the foie gras). I would have been embarrassed to take that to a table, which may be why they put it on the potatoes, rather than sending it on a plate by itself. And why else send out more potatoes when I already had potatoes? My mother's pasta dish was lukewarm at best (her personal pet peeve is when food is not served hot enough). As for the desserts (choice of three, we had one of each), they were inedible. Apple dumpling had a whole way undercooked apple in it, the cheesecake was flavorless, and the compote that came with the cake was sour and a very strange consistency. The meal was so disappointing that it became a joke - we had a fabulous time laughing at it.
Three of us had dinner there. The service was good, and two out of three entrees were very good. The shrimp and grits was weird: a lot of honey (!) and not much spice. The grits were good and the shrimp was, too, but overall it was not pleasant because it was so sweet.
We think the night crew for dinner is excellent. Chris, the manager is wonderful. The menu could be a little bit bigger but it was good overall. The morning crew for breakfast was not a good experience. We waited an hour for our breakfast and we had a 3 yr old with us. We decided to leave and get breakfast at another place. People that came after us were served before us and we were only 4. They seemed under staffed in the morning and disorganized. The following day we ordered our breakfast to the room to avoid the same experience from the day before. When we left there was no apology for the wait and for having to leave.
We have enjoyed dining here the past several years when on vacation. This year however they weren’t seating in the upper level and the service was subpar for the prices paid; our waitress did not seem very knowledgable nor accommodating. The scallop entree was very tasty. Disappointing.
**Fast forward a day and a half and we discovered that despite tendering 3 credit cards and receiving 3 credit card slips that were filled out that only 2 cards were run. The restaurant's solution - tack another 1/6 of the bill on to each of the credit cards despite having no authorization to do so. The manager alleged this was done so someone would call and resolve the issue. To me it's credit card fraud. Very shady. The manager says the amounts will be corrected Monday; I'm hoping she's more competent than the other people we have interacted with at this restaurant.
The food was hit or miss; the calamari was awful but the goat cheese hushpuppies were good. The chips were overloaded with old bay and the crab cake was fried in oil that seemed like it needed to be changed. Service was slow, forgetful, and barely competent. The space was attractive and airy but warmer than ideal and the ceiling fans that dotted the ceiling were covered in cobwebs such that even if the waitress knew how to turn them on the dirt and grime that would come off them would have been worse than the stagnant warm air.
We used to love this place. The quality of the food and service has slipped dramatically over the last few years.
Last night they got the order wrong, the pork chop was dry as vintage leather, the fried chicken died in vain, and the other dishes were equally poor.
Recent staff changes have exacerbaited the fall in quality
The steak option on the kids meal was not prepared well. It was not cooked to order and had no flavor. So we ordered another meal (chicken tenders) for my daughter and the chicken tenders that came out smelled like fish.
Ordered a salad with no anchovies and it arrived with two anchovies spread across the salad. The waiter did not seem apologetic and instead offered to have them removed. Being a vegetarian, this was not an appropriate solution. He then offered to redo the salad and then removed it from our bill.
Overall, We were very disappointed in our dining experience and will only return to this restaurant for the breakfast. We had a wonderful waitress and a wonderful breakfast meal the day before.
As with all the restaurants within the Sanderling Resort area the food was below average and overpriced. I can't help but think they fake these 5 star ratings. Do yourself a favor and save yourself a trip to what is obviously a bunch of resort restaurants pretending to be fine dining. The shrimp and grits special the waitress assured us was fantastic was cold and greasy with old frozen shrimp. The crab cakes were not fresh, and the burgers were nothing to write home about. The icing on the cake will be your face when you see the bill.
Solid 4-star experience; 5 stars would require a less rushed service, losing the pasty sauce on the crab-stuffed flounder, and informing us of the dessert special, which I overheard from another waiter. Also, not being out of the Dow 20-year tawny port. Highlights were the crab chowder and the steamed mussels. The grilled mahi was also good.
We stayed at the resort and had a wonderful lunch at the life station. We thought we would try dinner our last night and were truly disappointed with all three of the meals. The waiter recommended scallops and the fish stuffed with crab. The fish was over cooked and the scallops dish did not taste good. Our son had steak and frittes with too much worchershire sauce he could not eat it. Dessert and drinks were the highlights. Service was just ok (great at lunch). Would not recommend for dinner.
Life Saving Station Restaurant is an excellent dining option. The food, service, ambiance and view was terrific. Put it on your list to try when visiting the OBX. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The relocated bar is very comfortable. If there is a slight wait for a table. One of our favorites!
My husband and I and our children were celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary. We had just arrived in the Obx and were so pleased to stay at The Sanderling, Since it was our 1st day, we deceided to have dinner on-site. When we arrived at the restaurant the friendly host asked where would like to sit and seated us in the best spot overlooking the sound. The reviews on line were great so I was excited to have dinner here. I had high expectations for dinner, the crab chowder and crab cakes were good. However, the fisherman's platter left a lot to be desired. The fritter was over cooked, the hollandaise sauce was a crust instead of a sauce. For $40, I got 1 shrimp, 1 crab fritter, and a small piece of beef , which was ok. My husband ordered steak frites- it was salty and over cooked. One would think that the restaurant was packed, but we were there early( 5:15pm ) and there were very few guests, so I can't understand the reason for the poorly prepared food.
It was a little disorganized when we first arrived. We had a reservation, and they greeted us right away and gave us the impression that we would be seated right away, but then we ended up waiting for 15 minutes while 4 different people came by telling us that someone would get us seated in just a moment. After we were seated, our waiter was attentive and responsive. Our meals were delicious. I had Mahi and my husband had pasta. The waiter allowed me to select a complimentary dessert for my husband's birthday and even included a birthday candle. We liked the beachy decor and atmosphere. They even had a children's menu. We would dine there again.
Made a reservation but didn't specify for upstairs. We were offered the main dining room, too brightly lit and managed instead to get a table on the deck. Appetizers were great, entrees not so much. Had the buttermilk fried chicken, nothing like it was 5 years ago. This time it tasted like chicken from a frozen TV dinner. My wife had the flounder stuffed with lump crabmeat, which was 2 pieces of dry fish with a small crab cake (not lump) in between. Service was friendly but Rey spotty. We had a cocktail at Kimball's Kitchen across the street before eating at the Lifesaving Station, should've stayed @ KK for dinner.
We had an early lunch on a busy Saturday in July. Known for their breakfast, we were probably the first lunch orders. The calamari and our other items ( lunch salad, burgers, crab cake and shrimp wraps) were just okay. The waitress disappeared for long periods of time probably because of the shift from breakfast to lunch. When she was interacting with us, she was less than enthused. Other people who we vacationed with raved about this restaurant so we will try it again at a better time.
Took a trip to Duck from Corolla on our recent Beach Trip. The Life Saving Station was very good - given a limited number of options. The grilled Mahi was tasty - loved the pickled cucumber relish that topped the dish. Friends had the Flounder stuffed with crab and raved about it!
The location alone is enough reason to book lunch. The fare is always interesting, with fresh seafood prepared in novel ways to pique the palate. This is one of the only OBX restaurants that is consistently exceptional. Service is great. The new bar location on the first floor was a tenuous move. Located between the sound and the ocean, this neighborhood gem is a find.
What used to be a great dining experience and location now seems to be a place that just wants to crank diners in and out. Food is no longer prepared to order. Our food was served in about 5 minutes after ordering - one dish clearly a pre-prepared pasta that was microwaved to an overly hot temp and one that was a pre-prepared crab cake (cold in the center) and overly cooked but cold green beans. Server was barely interested in us. Didn't ask if we wanted drinks while we decided our order and was shocked when I asked for a glass of wine while looking at the menu. Then after the entree, she brought us the check before asking if we wanted dessert or coffee. I used to love this place and the resort where it's located, but this was one of the worst overall dining experiences I've had in recent history.
This was our most expensive meal out during our week in OBX but unfortunately it was the least pleasant. The food was OK but not nearly worth the price we paid. The rating we found was very high & the menu looked good on paper but it turned out to not live up to our expectations. There are many other spots to try over this one.
Our meal was fantastic. Local ingredients were used throughout the menu. Our waiter, Travis, was very personable and did a great job. Great view of the sunset looking across to the bay. We ate in the upstairs room which was a little noisy because there were three large groups dining there at the same time. But the historic atmosphere of the building made it worth any noise level
Decent food/service. Expensive for what it is. A lot of families were there with small kids so the ambience and noise level were on par with that. Overall, it wasn't amazing but it wasn't awful either. Not sure it was worth $100 dinner for two people as this is more of a casual dining experience rather than fine dining.
My wife, adult daughter, and I ate an early dinner here on a Monday night. The place was not full, so we got a great table overlooking the sound; it was a beautiful view. The waiter was friendly, knowledgeable and reasonably attentive. The Pinot Noir wine I selected was superb. All the food orders for our family were really outstanding. I had the seafood puttanesca, which was truly wonderful. Overall it was an outstanding and enjoyable experience.
We live on the Outer Banks and know the restaurant scene well. We were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary and wanted a dining experience equal to the special occasion. When making the reservation I included a note to let the restaurant know that it was our anniversary. Three weeks earlier we ate dinner at Kimball's Kitchen for our parents anniversary and had a wonderful evening. The staff there acknowledged the special occasion. Such was not the case at Lifesaving Station restaurant. We were seated by a host who was sloppily dressed and waited 15 minutes before I had to go get someone to wait on us. The restaurant was only half full. We waited almost 35 minutes after placing our order to get served. The food was good but I was expecting more from a four-star resort. Apparently so were other guests as two tables near us had issues with service and food. We've eaten at the Lifesaving Station several times over the years and had been satisfied with past experiences but on this occasion it was not their finest hour.
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