Question: The Sanderling Inn in Duck, N.C., on the Outer Banks is a former lifesaving station that was in operation through the turn of the century. It is my favorite restaurant in terms of history, ambience and especially food. Recently we visited the inn, and I had the Seafood Fricassee. I would appreciate any efforts in obtaining this outstanding recipe.

- Mary Christianson,Carmel, Ind.

Answer: A stretch of undulating sand dunes, elusive wild horses, shimmering water, pelicans and porpoise just beyond the breakers are some of the endearing features of The Sanderling Inn in Duck that turn first-time guests into regulars. The Sanderling Inn, nestled on 12 privately owned acres of land stretching from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the Currituck Sound, is a serene seaside getaway on the Outer Banks.

Guests can isolate themselves from the rapid pace and tensions of the working world, enjoy the best of nature, and indulge in a little - or an excess of - pampering. More active types can stroll the thread of sandy beach; hike to the top of the old Currituck Beach lighthouse or to the top of the East Coast's highest sand dunes; windsurf on Currituck Sound; or bird-watch in the Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary adjacent to the inn's north boundary.

History buffs will want to trek south of Duck to visit the site of man's first powered flight. The Wright Brothers National Memorial and Visitor Center and the Memorial Pylon are reminders of the days when Orville and Wilbur Wright made the area their headquarters. Although a discouraged Wilbur Wright wrote in 1901, "Men would sometime fly, but that it would not be within our lifetime," the brothers proved Wilbur wrong the very next year. A wind tunnel helped them resolve the problem of lift, and they elongated and narrowed their wing shape for the 1902 glider, which was the first aircraft to show humankind, for the first time, in sustained and controlled flight. Inspired, the Wrights enlarged the glider, added a power source, and made the first self-powered journeys into the wide blue yonder in their "aeroplane" on Dec. 17, 1903.

After a day of delightful exploration, guests return to the inn for a sumptuous dinner and a sharing of the day's discoveries. One popular Sanderling Inn entree, the Seafood Fricassee, is a delectable combination of shrimp, scallops, crabmeat and shiitake mushrooms in cream sauce.


1/4 small onion, sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

12 medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 scallions, sliced

12 medium-size scallops

6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup shrimp stock (fish stock or clam juice may

be substituted)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

4 ounces lump crabmeat

1/8 cup red bell pepper, sliced

1/8 cup yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 pound linguine

Place the onion and olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and saute 2 to 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Add shrimp, scallions, scallops and shiitake mushrooms, and saute until shrimp are half-cooked. Add shrimp stock and simmer to reduce by half. Add cream and simmer until mixture starts to thicken. Add crabmeat. Stir once. Set aside.

Bring 2 to 3 cups water to boil in saucepan. Add red and yellow bell peppers and blanch 20 to 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Place linguine in large pot of boiling water and cook to the al dente stage, according to the directions on the package. Drain and divide linguine between four serving plates, pour Seafood Fricassee over linguine, and top with a garnish of red and yellow bell peppers. Yields 4 servings.