- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fisherman’s Inn restaurant has been an Eastern Shore tradition since 1930.

Located in the Kent Narrows in Grasonville, Md., the inn is six miles east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Locals and tourists blend together in an establishment that is casual and friendly.

Spacious dining rooms are complemented by owner Betty Thomas Schulz’s collection of more than 300 antique oyster plates, duck stamp prints, waterfowl decoys, model ships and an aquarium that welcomes you at the entrance.

Also, a “G scale” train runs on 280 feet of track suspended over the dining rooms.

The soups and salads are standard fare but are especially comforting this time of year.

The vegetable and cream of crab soups ($4.99 cup, $5.99 bowl) are a great start, especially if there is a chill in the air. Cream of crab had a generous amount of crabmeat. In a departure from tradition, the soup was a bit thinner and less rich than usual — much like a clam chowder. It was a very pleasant variation, indeed.

The specials list is usually pleasing, as the inn makes good use of local produce.

This fall, pan-seared jumbo sea scallops atop pumpkin risotto and curry coconut cream ($9.99) is a nice plate to start. The scallops were fresh and not at all fishy and were expertly cooked — seared on the outside and firm but not overcooked on the inside. The pumpkin and curry were a great combination, spicy yet slightly sweet; the risotto was comforting but not predictable.

Other openers included mussels marinara with grilled ciabatta bread; shrimp-and-crab nachos, corn tortillas topped with snow crab, shrimp and melted cheddar jack cheese; hot crab dip, lump crabmeat, cream cheese and artichoke hearts blended with spices and baked bubbling brown in a sourdough bread bowl; and some nice-size fried oysters.

The main-plate specials included a grilled duck breast with wild-rice pilaf, shiitake mushrooms and raspberry hoisin sauce; broiled stuffed sea trout with deviled crab stuffing and sherry cream sauce; grilled albacore tuna with pickled ginger and wasabi citrus sauce; and a rockfish fillet grilled with braised red onion and beurre rouge sauce.

The traditional entree list is also made up mostly of seafood offerings.

Atlantic salmon, New Bedford sea scallops, flounder, crab cake and soft-shell crab entrees are Fisherman’s most popular.

Crab Cake Match includes one fried or broiled cake and a choice of one other treasure from the sea: fried oysters, broiled scallops, fried shrimp, lump crab imperial, stuffed shrimp or soft-shell crab.

The crab cake and shrimp match ($18.99) was reasonably priced, as the cake was full of lump crabmeat and delivered with three large butterflied shrimp.

A broiled or fried Fisherman’s seafood feast includes a crab cake, gulf shrimp, scallops, flounder and oysters.

All entrees include hot rolls and a choice of two sides: garden salad, applesauce , green beans, french fries, cole slaw, baked potato, stuffed potato, stewed tomatoes or the vegetable of the day.

For pasta lovers, the shellfish linguini is sauteed shrimp, scallops and lump crabmeat tossed with roasted red peppers, onions and cilantro in a lobster cream sauce.

Medium and large whole Maine lobsters also are available and are served with drawn butter.

For the meat lover, there are three cuts of prime rib ($27.99, $23.99 and $19.99); a 14-ounce New York strip steak topped with red wine shallot butter; a 10-ounce filet mignon; and a prime rib and seafood match that allows you to choose from items mentioned earlier.

The prime rib was cooked to order and was tender and flavorful. The excessive fat that is present in many cuts of prime rib was absent, happily. It was paired with the lump crab imperial, which Fisherman’s calls a signature dish. The sweet lumps of crabmeat were paired with an exceptionally creamy sauce, which was rich but not too rich. Seasoning was simple to allow the flavor of the crab to shine through.

There are quite a few old-fashioned desserts, which is fitting after the home-style meal. A special was the tarte tatin ($4.99), upside-down caramelized apples in a puff pastry crust with creme fraiche. The apples were extremely rich and the caramel a bit overwhelming. The creme fraiche was too much of a contrast to the super sweetness of the apples.

Of the daily offerings, there is coconut cream pie, Key lime pie, stacked apple pie, Mississippi mud pie and cheesecake as well as several ice cream offerings.

Fisherman’s is open seven days a week and is located off Route 50 east at Exit 42.

RESTAURANT: Fisherman’s Inn, 3116 Main St., Grasonville (Kent Narrows), Md. 410/827-8807

HOURS: Open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

PRICES: Soups/salads $2.29 to $5.99; appetizers $5.99 to $12.50; entrees $14.99 to $29.99; desserts $4.99

RESERVATIONS: Not accepted

CREDIT CARDS: All major plastic

PARKING: On-site

ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible

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