To be able to go out to eat after being in lock down for over a year is not only a palate parade full of joy, but it is a different experience. For some restaurants it seems as though the wait staff is completely overjoyed with this new environment of restauranting, no more physical menus, you have to read a menu by scanning a QR code, no more face engagement with the patrons due to mask, so now every wait staff must adopt the power of the Smize created and perfected by Tyra Banks. No more salt and pepper on the table and no more freshly grated parmesan cheese being done at the table. So what does this all boil down to? It boils down to an experience being lost. Dining is so much more than the food, it is totally about the experience, the small slither of time where we can actually put our phones away and engage with our fellow food partners, it’s a time to feel a little self-indulgent, it’s a simply a time to feel like we are leveling up in experience.
Covid-19 instituted a lot of mandates in this season, and sure we must all adhere to them not only for the benefit ourselves, but for the benefit of our fellow man, and I do believe that restaurants have a challenge on their hands, and that challenge is: How do you make the indoor restaurant patron not feel like they should have gotten take-out?
It is my opinion that they should take a page out of the menu from The Blue Crab Grill in Newark, Delaware. The Blue Crab Grill instinctively grabbed hold of my sentiments and delivered an indoor dining experience that was not only gratifying but sumptuous.
If you opt to name your restaurant after a seafood, then the food should be filled with seafood from beginning to end, no fillers, no imitation, just seafood through and through and The Blue Crab Grill delivered.
First up, the crab deviled eggs with an edible adornment of parmesan crisp; now people tend to think that deviled eggs are a non-exquisite appetizer, but a relatively simple one that deserves to be left in the corner like Baby in Dirty Dancing. But, I have you know that deviled when done correctly, can engage your appetite for more with every single bite. Especially when they are filled with crab, and not just any crab I suspect, but the legs of a blue crab, where the meat is a little more briny, a smidgen more salty, and the texture a bit lighter. When you couple that with the parmesan crisp, you get crunch, you get sharp cheesiness, and texture, then you are off to the races for the next course.
I am always of the mindset that when you try a new restaurant you tend to stick with your old faithful items. Meaning you select food that has tongue memory, you have a framework on how it should taste, you can recognize rather rapidly if there is a twist in the new dish, and if this simply measures up or exceeds your expectations.
With that being written second up was the Lump Back-Fin crab cakes with a vegetable medley and mac and cheese with asiago cheese, provolone cheese, and cheddar cheese. To start, when they stated lump crab cakes they did not lie, it was all meat, no fillers, no bread, just sweet, swank, slightly buttery crab meat, and slightly toasted atop. Crab cakes should taste fresh at the same time they should taste light, with the inherent ability to ensue a smile in a way that only crab cakes can.
Because, every plate should have vegetables I guess with the goal of fulfilling the food pyramid in some form of fashion, they provided a medley of broccoli, in which I am a broccoli lover, butternut squash, and zucchini, all of the conventional companions with a seafood dish.
Then the extra side, the mac and cheese, it was good, not remarkable like the mac and cheese at Cut by Wolfgang Puck, but certainly good, it was cheesy, they made a bechamel sauce and stirred the macaroni in and lightly baked the top. So when I write about this, it is purely about preference, I individualistically prefer a tighter texture to my cheese, not necessarily a saucy texture. But it landed in the land of good and good is definitely not bad and I would certainly order it again as an accompaniment as I believe it went very well.
Last up, the flourless chocolate torte, where only chocolate lovers will begin to salivate at this reading. There is something special about flourless, it makes the torte dense, and the chocolate more profound tasting, then when you put it in a torte, you get that dainty feeling, that compulsory feeling to hold one pinky up in the air while taking your first bite. This torte was unquestionably decadent, delectable, and simply heavenly. This is the desert that you get to go, so you don’t have to share.
The win here for The Blue Crab Grill is not only was the food made to order, perfectly hot upon arrival, the service was 5-star, I can hear the inflection of the waitresses voice they subtly appreciated our presence, there was salt and pepper on the table, there were actual menus that were nice heavy to give you the impression that you were about to engage in a dining experience and not a grab and go one, and an absolutely delightful one at that.
This was a true find, and I have officially dubbed this as my spot for great seafood, fab service, and amazing desert.