All words: Dana Bleiberg
All photos: Stephanie Breijo
I never had Maryland blue crab until two summers ago. Even though I grew up in Maryland, when both your parents are Brooklyn transplants, blue crab is not a family dinner item. Thankfully, Addie’s Restaurant in Rockville does blue crab perfectly and showed me the many ways this local shellfish could be prepared.
‘Tis the blue crab season and Addie’s restaurant is featuring a variety of dishes and specials for the rest of July culminating with a $55 all-you-can-eat crab (and pig, chicken and beer) feast on July 28th. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Last week Chef Rick invited us to taste some of the specials and, obviously, we obliged.
We started with a summery gazpacho garnished with garlic blossoms and huge lumps of crab meat. The delicate blossoms added just enough of a garlic bite without overpowering the freshness of the soup. Paired with the soup was a blue crab remoulade made with sweet corn and, my new absolute favorite thing ever, pickled ramps. It is best to ignore the crostini with this dish and just eat crab and ramps and corn by the forkfuls. To round out the appetizers, the table was served a family style charcuterie plate of house cured pork, local goat cheeses, and pickled fennel.
Next came a pasta dish that could only be described as a seafood lover’s take on carbonara. Hand-cut tagliatelle loaded with crab meat and rock fish was served with a creamy sauce that, adequately, had a ton of black pepper and dill involved.
For our main course, we had fried soft-shell crab. The cornmeal crusted crab was served on a sweet corn puree and diced purple potato. (So crunchy and delicious.) Alongside the crab was a huge shitake mushroom and pickled broccoli stems, which were unexpected but cut through the other flavors in a wonderful way.
Lastly, make room for dessert when you come here. Flourless chocolate cake is on the menu. The cake made much more summer friendly with the addition of citrus, served with whipped yogurt, fresh mint and local blackberries.