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2011 Dining Report

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  • 2011 Dining Report

    ok, I've been really busy at work since I got back, and haven't had much time to post, but I'm going to do my best to stick to tradition and give my annual "dinning report". Folks that have been around here for a while know the drill, but for the newbies my family consist of myself, my wife, 2 daughters who are now 19, and 18, and 2 boys 17, and 7. (although the 7 yr old is 8 now)

    Ok, some details may be left out just to try and shorten this up, and I did not include any breakfast or lunches in here - that might come later.

    July 2nd - Coin's > Rolled into town about 7 got the last parking spot left at the hotel so really didn't want to chance moving the car on a sold out holiday weekend, so we walked to Coins. Having had the crab cakes from De lazy Lizard last summer, and assuming they are using the same recipe my wife and I both ordered them, one daughter had the greek salad, the other 3 all decided on burgers, we had the cheese logs, and crab dip for appetizers. Everything was great, I could probably eat bucket of that crab dip, and the crab cakes were just how we like em. Now mind you, I'm not a local (so my mother did not make me crab cakes everyday for dinner blah, blah, blah) but I've been eating them on the eastern shore as far back as I can remember, and these are made the way I expect them, dry and crispy golden brown on the outside, moist and full of crab on the inside, so little filler, it makes me wonder how they even hold together. Now this place is old, and atmosphere is that of a family restaurant straight out of the 70's, but if you're looking for a good cake, this place has them. I should also point out that I didn't send the meat away to a lab to see if it was blue crab, or blue swimming crab, all I can tell you is it wasn't full of soggy bread, onion, bell peppers or anything else that doesn't belong in there. Not bad for $93.00

    July 3rd - Captains table > This has always been one of my family's favorites... as many have said on here in the past, the new setting on the 3rd floor definitely has a different feel. I thought after a year I'd have gotten use to it but still kinda odd. The one thing that has never changed is the quality of the food. I had the special which was 3 softshells, they were cooked perfectly (thick and meaty). My wife had the shrimp and scallops scampi style, 3 of the kids had the ny strip, one had it scampi style, the little one had fried flounder, we had 2 appetizers -fried oysters and calamari. If there was something wrong with this meal, I missed it... Everything from the service to the food was on point. Total came to $177.00

    July 4th - DaVinci's by the Sea > although for the price it's still not bad, but menu has been unchanged in over a decade. It also left me a bit puzzled... I'm not sure if they have different cooks or what, but there were some concerning issues here this time. I tried to order fried calamari, and the waiter told me they were "out of it" I then asked how they were planning on making my entree (which was calamari over pasta!) he told me it was "different". OK.... I felt like going back there showing them HOW to bread the squid and fry it up! I understand that the regular calamari they use is probably frozen, but now not only did you admit that to the customer, but you also just showed me that whoever is cooking is lacking basic kitchen skills. I still can't believe he said that to me.... And it didn't get much better from there - the sauce wouldn't stick to the pasta which tells me they either pre cooked it and laced it with oil so it won't stick, or they over cooked it and committed a sin by rinsing it under cold water. Either way I was pretty disappointed. However the kids liked their raviolis and stuffed shells, and the salad was good as usual. Only $125.00 for 6 dinners 2 appts. and 6 cannoli for desserts so the price is good but in my opinion they need help... idk...we'll see.

    July 5th - Lobster Shanty > It was just 3 of us for dinner this night, the teenagers decided to stay behind and eat on the boards (saved me money!). I had the lobster roll, my wife had the lobster mac n cheese, my son ordered the flounder sandwich. we ordered 2 cups of the lobster & shrimp bisque and 2 ceasar salads. The bisque was delicious and FILLED with lobster, the ceasar salads were some of the best I've ever had (I'm a ceasar salad dressing snob!). Both the roll, and the mac, were packed with sweet lobster meat. The flounder sandwich was cooked perfectly - lightly breaded, and not greasy or overdone. I would change the bun to a nice hard fish roll rather than the corn dusted bun (it's a Pittsburgh thing don't ask). Everything was great, then we moved on to dessert which I was told are all made on premisses - now I didn't have a polygraph to hook him up too, nor did I have time to debate what "homemade" really means, so I
    had to take him at his word. we had the chocolate peanut butter pie, and the chocolate chip cheese cake - BOTH WERE EXCELLENT!!!!! I would actually go there now just for the desserts! I highly recommend this place! Bill was $ 77.25

    July 6th - De Lazy Lizard > Well first they have an IDIOT working the door at this place! We walked up (outside) and were greeted but some fat bald headed punk who when I smiled and said "6 of us" snapped at me and yelled "whoa!!! does everybody here have ID??" Confused I said to him" ID to come in and have dinner????????????" "since when in the hell do you need that???" to which he asked "well is anybody going to be drinking" I told we weren't planning on it... then he directed us over to the hostess station. The reason WHY I described this man in such detail is in hopes that someone shows this post to Justin and he can figure out who it was and take some action over it - keep this guy in a closet till a fight breaks out about 1:45 am, but this man should NOT be running the front of the house during dinner time. The hostess was gracious as was our waitress, the food was decent as well, but that BS with the door man really turned me off despite the food being good, right now I have no desire to even go back there.... I had the flounder sandwich, my wife had the crabcake sandwich, one son had a burger, the other had the fish tacos, the girls both had salads, we had 3 appetizers... the flounder lacked imagination - a grilled filet with a heavy stripe of old bay down the center of it crabcake sandwich was good, as were the appts... the bill was $110.00

    July7th - Grove Market > I should tell everybody this place was lousy, just so I might have an easier time making reservations in the future, but that would be a flat out lie! This place is a one of a kinda quirky little restaurant off the beaten path. It truly lives up to the hype it received on this board.... It was just the wife and I for dinner this night. we both started out with an order of lobster bisque which was out of this world good! I had the goat cheese & beat salad, my wife had the house salad, also very good. We shared 2 appetizers of clams (steamed with peppers and sausage in a broth that is to die for) , and grouper kabobs, that were so good I was almost regretting not getting the grouper for the main coarse. Luckily my mind was put at ease by the hand picked crab cakes I ordered, which were only eclipsed by my wife's scallops that came in a spice chipotle sauce. The scallops actually melted in your mouth. for desserts we had the chocolate silk pie, the coconut cream cake, and a glass of chocolate wine to accompany them... and as if that wasn't enough we even ordered a slice of blue berry pie to go! This place is a winner for us, and can't wait to go back next year. The bill was $171.00 before tip and even though it sounds pricey for 2 people, it was worth every penny if you ask me.

    July 8th - Fish Killers > ok this is NOTin OC, but I'm not going to leave it out. SORRY.
    This is nothing more than a little roadside trailer about 7 miles inland from Bethany beach located on rt 26. I learned about this place from a reliable poster on this board and I have to tell ya this place delivers! No frills... order at the window and take it to a table or your car and eat it, but the food really is "killer"! The man who runs it is a fisher man 4 days a week, and he (along with his wife) run the stand the other 3 days. my youngest son and I both got the fish taco's, my wife had the lobster roll - they take the lobsters right out of the cooler located behind the trailer!!! the girls both had shrimp and fries, the other son had a burger, and we all shared an order of clam strips. excellent! EXCELLENT!!!. You simply cant get any fresher than this, everybody loved it, tons of food, and all for $75.00! (thanks Bob)

    July 9th - The Shark > Still one of the best restaurants that OC has to offer... Our waitress remembered us from our last visit, and we were please to have pulled her in the luck of the draw as well. Immediately after we placed our order she came back with a complimentary plate of tuna tar tar, severed over cucumber slices, it was a welcomed treat after coming in from the brutal heat outside. We followed that dish with an order of brushetta, and a crab/ shrimp dip, the dip is served in a bread bowl which we had no trouble eating every last crumb. I had the grilled wahoo, it was a huge filet of this freshly caught wild fish, accompanied by a mango salsa, wife had the voodoo,-for those of you who are not familiar with the shark- this is a lump crab cake, served over top of an all organic beef filet mignon, and they surround it with a sauce of crawfish and sausage, it's almost like New Orleans meets Delmarva cusine on a plate. One daughter had the shark steak, this is another of the house specialties, that I myself have had in the past, and never been disappointed with. One son had the stinky beach pizza This is a thin crispy crust with Mediterranean over tones as it is piled high with artichoke hearts and olives. The other daughter had a salad, and the little guy had the fried rock fish. for dessert we had the ultimate brownie, a sundae, and a cookie. The cookie and milk is something when you read it on the menu sounds pretty bland, that is until you try it! It's a huge cookie that comes straight from the oven warm and soft just like your grandmother made - but better! This place is a stand out because they go the extra mile to try and use as much fresh organic ingredients as possible. If there was something negative here I missed it.... no complaints at all.

    Jul 10 - Duffy's Tavern > we decided to stay in OC one extra night so we just went here on a whim... big mistake!!!!! It really pains me to write a review such as this...Ok place to have some wings but anything other than that forget it... Very slow service! Food took forever!! AND when if finally did come (like an hour after we got seated) it was terrible!!! I had the fried rock fish sandwich, I think they forgot the fish and just served me the rock... everybody else all got the shepherds pie again awful. the meat inside was cooked to the point you could call it jerky. To boot it wasn't cheap either, they included the tip and it was $121.00 for what I consider low grade food. No kidding... It left such a (literally) bad taste in my mouth, I won't ever give them a second chance for dinner. ( If all you can do is finger food like wings then that's fine, ditch your menu and market it appropriately.) Bottom line - good place for wings and beer, but that's about it....

    July 11th - Lizzie's cafe > Stopped here for lunch on the way out of town, not cheap, but very very good. This is a family run place, matter of fact they are not even open on Sunday's because of it, and they are not open through out the winter either. I had the crab cake sandwich, full of lump crab, and hung over the edge of the bun. Wife just had a bowl of soup which was awesome, kids all split a pizza that they loved. The pizza takes a lil while, (made to order) and if you want the siclian crust it's 45 mins.(I think the next time we go I'll just call before hand and order the thick crust when we leave the hotel) The fresh dough, and toppings makes all the difference here. The result is a pie so flavorful you end up eating way more than should. Also I would invite everybody to check out the desserts and baked goods that they so proudly display in the show cases. We took a piece of cake to go because we were way to stuffed from our meal, 6 hours later it was still moist and rich. Don't remember the price but would/ will definitely go back!

  • #2
    Re: 2011 Dining Report

    Hello Dean:

    As always thanks for taking the time to provide us with such a detailed report.

    You have given me a few new options for dinner on my next visit.

    I have enjoyed Coins for years. Low key, local friendly place with decent food at decent prices. And the crab cakes are that good. I get them for lunch with the crackers. Wish I had a few right now.

    I remember you raving about the old Captain's Table. I don't spend much time out around dinner time on the Boardwalk so I never made it there for dinner. I might have to change that. You and others have given this new version your blessing and I respect your reviews.

    I believe the Lobster Shanty is owned by the same folks that run Nantucket's in Fenwick. I have eaten there several times sounsds like they know how to put a meal together.

    Thanks again for your review and I hope your and your family enjoy the rest of your Summer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 2011 Dining Report

      Dean,

      Another great report, I enjoy these every year. You and I seem to have similar tastes. I try to get to several of the places your really liked at least once a year, since I consistently enjoy them (Grove, Captains Table, etc.), and I note you did not hit any of the places that I avoid. I'll have to try a couple of the places you liked that I have not been to, particularly The Shark, and The Lobster Shanty.



      Thanks for another informative, excellent report.

      - OCGuy

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      • #4
        Re: 2011 Dining Report

        I think I just gained 20 lbs reading that dining report. Sounds like a lot of good stuff for the most part. Nice report, yet some yo-yo from this forum gave a negative 1.
        common sense is not so common

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        • #5
          Re: 2011 Dining Report

          Thanks Dean! I particularly enjoy you reviews of the off-the-beaten-path restaurants. It certainly provides us with something to look forward to the next time we get to visit OC.

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          • #6
            Re: 2011 Dining Report

            Thanks for the dining report, I look forward to reading these posts. I definitely want to try the Lobster Shanty now )

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            • #7
              Re: 2011 Dining Report

              nice report Dean. It sounds like you guys at a great vacation. It was good to hear you enjoyed Coins. That used to be one of our go to places, but not for a few years now. It seemed to us like the quality was slipping and our last meal there was pretty bad. Your report and a few others paint it in a better light. We may have to give it another whirl.



              I think the lobster shanty is going to be our new place when we go in August.



              brianpa

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              • #8
                Re: 2011 Dining Report

                Dean, Differences aside can't deny a great post when I see one....agree on all counts and may just try Coins which we have been debating for a while since it is very close to us. I really don't understand de Lazy Lizard...sitting on a gold mine if they figure out what it takes to survive long term.

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                • #9
                  Re: 2011 Dining Report

                  Good report! I keep hearing more and more good things about the Lobster Shanty. That will be one we'll have to try next time.
                  Ask an OC Insider

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                  • #10
                    Re: 2011 Dining Report

                    Dean,

                    Awesome report as always! Thanks for taking the time. Glad you liked the Grove Market so much! It's absolutely one of my favorite OC area restaurants. Next time you are in the area might want to head about seven miles inland and check out some of the culinary delights in Berlin, Maryland (i.e. Atlantic Hotel and The Globe Restaurant).

                    Take care!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 2011 Dining Report

                      Dean I was hoping to read this before we went to OC last week because I hesitated to try Lobster Shanty and now wish we had!

                      We went to De Lazy Lizard and I agree with everything you said about the guy at the door. Also what's up with them asking for your license as collateral to get a pager? I have never seen that before and was quite aggravated. Is that even legal? With all that goes on about identity theft I was quite taken aback but went along with it because it took us FOREVER to find a place to park. After all the BS it was quite good--enjoyed sitting in the aidrondack chairs by the water while waiting, and the wait wasn't too bad. The service was great and the food was really good.

                      I'm glad we passed on DaVinci's! We almost went there one night because we had been there before, it is close to our hotel and loved the calamari and the food we had was great. We decided against it and went to Captain's Galley instead and that was a good decision--everything was delicious there as always. Crabcakes are to die for.

                      One place we tried that we hadn't been to in MANY years was Fenwick Crabhouse. I know it's not in OC but it was fantastic! We will definitely go back there next year.

                      It is hard to get back to real life after such a great week!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 2011 Dining Report

                        Thank you everyone.

                        NY-MD, I have to admit that I do remember YOU (and others) raving about the crab cakes at Coins years ago in this forum. That coupled with some recent good reviews of the place was a lot of the reason we gave it a try this year. I believe you would not be disappointed with The Captains Table.



                        Bar, I'm glad you liked the report.( Ironically I really did gain 5lbs that week!) If someone else felt it deserved a negative point, so be it... it is of no concern to me.



                        OCGuy, you can not continue to post under THAT profile name until you try the Shark! You're missing one of the best restuarants in OC!!! All kidding aside thank you, for your high praise of my report, and your many contributions to this forum.



                        dctech, you're welcome! I try to provide as much info as I can. It's a little hard sometimes because generally a week go by before I get a chance to write it, and this is all done from memory.



                        OC Melanie, you're welcome! I'm glad you liked the reviews. Let us know if YOU try the shanty.



                        brianpa, thanks. I'm a firm believer that places in OC go through cycles....I'll be interested in hearing your take on these places after your visit.



                        tczop, if I didn't know better I would think the Lizard suffers from absentee ownership, but both times I've been there the owner HAS been there... I don't get it...



                        Z, thanks. I almost feel bad promoting the shanty like this considering this is the "OC forum" and the Shanty is in Fenwick...



                        Mink, thank you. We really loved The Grove, and like I said it will be an every year event from now on... The Globe has been on my bucket list for a while, glad it has your blessing.



                        Ziggy55, Sorry I know you were one of the ones that PM'ed me from over on T/A. I tried my best to get this typed up as quickly as I could,(before your trip) but believe or not this actually takes a good bit of time for me to write a report like this.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 2011 Dining Report

                          Ever since we read this review we've been calling the grove and left several msgs. Today they finally answered the phone and we were able to get reservations for our upcoming trip. (we had to take an earlier seating but no biggie) Now, the only problem I have is I forgot to ask about the dress code! Is my husband fine with a polo & dress pants? I plan on calling them back to ask this question, but I don't have much luck getting them on the phone and figured this would be much quicker.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 2011 Dining Report

                            The fact that someone answered the phone is a miracle in itself. Don;t worry about the dresscode. Nice pants and shirt will suffice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 2011 Dining Report

                              This is a great review. I'm really feeling the need to visit Fish Killers now. My "to eat" list this year is getting out of control!

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