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  1. #1
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
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    2012 Dining Report

    Sticking with tradition, here is my dining report for the week of 4th, 2012. As most know, we are a family of 7, but as time marches on 4 of my 5 children are now young adults. This trip both my daughters (19 & 20 yrs,old) and my 8yr old (soon to be 9 in a few days) son went with us - missing from the trip were my 21 yr old son who's in the army, & the 18 year old who stayed home to work. With the other kids now older it opens up some different dining options for my wife and I as it allows us a few dinners alone.

    July 1 ATLANTIC HOTEL - tucked away inside the quiet little town of Berlin, is this historic hotel that is home to the Drummers Cafe restaurant. We started out the meal with an appetizer of calamari, served with a trio of sauces - Thai Chili, Hawaiian BBQ, and a classic marinara, while all of which were very good if I were only given one option, I'd choose the thai chili as the most interesting. Also had the soup of the day which was a shrimp and crab bisque. I'm not a huge soup fan, but I couldn't stop eating this it was creamy and tangy and chalked full of shrimp. For entrees one daughter had the steak salad, which is embarrassingly huge, the other had the organic chicken sandwich a large marinated chicken breast served on a kaiser roll, my son had the chicken strips (also organic), wife had the crab cake and a salad, and I had the special which was softshell crabs, served with marinated vegetables, I really liked the crab cakes, they had a very clean taste not all jazzed up with a bunch of stuff. I thought the soft shells were left in the fryer a minute or 2 too long, but it was still good. Wasn't wild about the veggies, I think another side would've worked better. For dessert we shared the brownie sundae & the peach cobbler, while both are good, I'd suggest you get the cobbler while the peaches are in season. Bill came to $129.00.

    July 2nd JUST HOOKED - Ok, here it is! THIS is my new favorite that I'll share with my forum friends!!! Located just north of OC in Fenwick on coastal highway, this place is on a par with The Shark, as it is a true farm/ocean to table restaurant. It was just the 2 of us tonight but kids are surely welcome. I would classify this as "New American" cuisine, they offer creative dishes spawn from the freshest of ingredients from local farmers and food purveyors, which they list on a wall mounted chalkboard. We started the meal off with an order of fried oysters which absolutely MELTED in your mouth!, followed up by my wife having the greek salad, it was a generous portion of garden vegetables, feta, and olives. I had the Caesar salad which is a 1/2 head of romaine served up in the whole leaf fashion, topped off with shavings of pecorino, house made croutons and boquerones, which are anchovies from spain, they are large white flat filets that are not salty like the typical brown one everybody's familiar with. The dressing was outstanding, perhaps the single best Caesar salad I've ever eaten (and I've eaten a lot). For Entrees the wife had crab cakes /grilled asparagus-tomato salad /fried green beans - Great crab cakes! Big and very little filler, wasn't too wild about the fried green beans, as the seemed rubbery. I had the cioppino /shellfish /fin fish /garlic confit /chorizo /pesto/tomato broth, they put their own spin on this west coast classic, the pesto in the broth really too me off guard in a good way. For dessert we had the Key Lime pie, which is not something that I usually like, but the waiter strongly suggested it, and he did not lead us astray. Other than the fact that this place does not take reservation I think everything they are doing here is on point. Meal came to $130.0

    July 3rd FROG BAR - These were the best grey frozen patties, ever! LOL ok I was obviously just kidding. After reading the mix of reviews here I had to see for myself.... Everybody had burgers, they were definitely hand made patties, mine was cooked more than I'd have liked, but I got the mushroom burger, consisting of a whole marinated portabella mushroom cap placed over top of a burger covered in swiss cheese, and it had big time flavor! 5 people were fed burgers, & 1 nacho appt, + 2 mojito's for $70 Hard to beat....

    July 4th THE CAPTAIN'S TABLE - This is the kind of review that I hate to write - a disappointing one... For 2 decades I considered this to be the best restaurant on the ten mile strip of OC. I have suggested and promoted this place in and out of this forum but after this meal I can no longer do this in good conscience. It started out bad when it took forever for the server to come around and introduce herself, keep in mind it was NOT busy. Another long wait for the first round of drinks... this never changed through out the meal as I kept having to direct her around the table, "we need another refill here" ect. ect. We ordered the soup, both cream of crab, and Maryland Crab soup both were absolutely excellent, got the Caesar salad and was pretty disappointed yellowish green flavorless chopped up leaves over dressed in a bland Caesar dressing, no "wow factor" here... For Entrees Both my daughters both ordered the Filet Mignon (medium), one was fine while the other was cooked to death - beyond well done. The waitress holding true to form took forever to come by and check on us so we were over half way through our meals by the time we were able to bring it to her attention. She took it back to have another one made, then brought back the over cooked one back from the kitchen "and said my daughter could eat THIS ONE while the other is being cooked. Really???? If she wanted to eat it like that we wouldn't have sent it back in the first place! So we told her to take it away. MY wife had the NY strip with the shrimp, which was cooked perfectly, and tasted great.I had the Wahoo, over cooked and dried out, I didn't send it back, I was just hugely disappointed in the way they ruined this expensive piece of wild caught fish. When the 2nd filet finally came out, (and I'm telling you it was a good 15 mins later) it came out on a plate that was "hot" why would the plate be hot, unless it was under a warmer?? Needless to say they were not getting my dessert business here, so we ended this long drawn out disaster of a dinner at $143.00. On the way out I spoke to the owners brother and explained everything I just wrote, he offered to by me a drink, I declined, and told him "I'm not really looking for anything free here, I'd just like to be able to return here with confidence that next time I'd get a GOOD meal like I have so many times in the past" to which he said "hang on a second, I'm going to get you something", he returned with a wooden nickel from the original Captain's Table, which he said was good for a complimentary drink...........

    July 5th MERMAID COVE - located about 5 miles inland on rt 54, this place is super small, but quaint. We had an appetizer of bread covered in crab meat and cheese, large enough to feed everybody and was delicious, wife also had a bowl of loaded baked potato soup, which was fresh and also very good. We got salads that were nice sized mixed greens with house made dressing, again very good. Wife & daughter both had the coconut shrimp, and were very pleased, but my daughter felt the portion was a little light (looked that way to me also). My other daughter had the buffalo chicken salad, and my son had the clam strips & fries, again they more than happy with them. I ordered the crab cakes, which are old school style, spicy with a good amount of old bay. They tasted like the crab cakes that were common place in the 70's - no complaints from me either! we split 3 desserts red velvet smith island cake, some peanut butter chocolate bomb (yea I know good description right?) and a piece of the coconut ball - all were excellent. So here's the BEST PART, all this (2 appts, 5 dinners, 2 desserts) for $100.00 That's a winner with me!

    July 6th LIQUID ASSETS - Just the wife and I for this one. Figuring we'd grab something else later we set out to try and have alight meal. We started out with the feature appetizer of the day, the Burrata. Burrata for those who are unfamiliar is a sort of unique cheese of mozzarella & cream, typically it's made and consumed in the same day. I was served with slices of ciabatta bread and a dash of chunky garden style tomato sauce on the side. We split a Caesar salad, which was very good, from there we shared a plate of mussels, and calamari, If you go to Liquid Assets I believe these two are must have dishes. The mussels are pan roasted and served in a broth with shallots and chorizo which gives it a nice smoky spiced up taste, they of coarse give you grilled bread for mopping the broth up. The calamari I've had in the past has been better than this night, as the breading seemed to be slightly thicker tonight, but even at that I believe they do the best hand breaded squid around, like I said these are must have dishes. We went with a lighter dessert of berries macerated in chambord, topped over honey mascarpone cheese. Add in a "hot &dirty" martini, and a glass of red wine, and the bill came to $80.

    July 7th MIO FRATELLO - Needing a break from a week of seafood, everybody felt like Italian, so this place was a no brainer. We had house salads which were good as ever. I wanted to order appetizers but everybody was saying they weren't that hungry, so we went right to the main dishes. Wife had the chicken parmesan, it was huge and moist the whole way through, I had the penne with bolognese sauce, which was rich and meaty, with a subtle sweetness derived from the carrots, kids all had cheese ravioli, and I ordered some meatballs on the side. Despite what some people will say these are NOT frozen meatballs, trust me, a friend of mines kid plays little league with the owners son, the ravioli and meatballs are made by the owners father, they have witnessed it first hand. Total came to $120.

    July 8th HARBORSIDE - It's been a while since we last ate here because the last time wasn't so great, but we decided to give them another chance based on a suggestion from some very good friends. We got right in with no wait, had a perfect table overlooking the harbor. For appetizers, we got fried green tomatoes, they came out golden brown topped with white crab meat, tasted every bit as good as it looked. We also got an order of fried calamari, which was over cooked and heavy on the breading (won't order this again). One daughter had the club sandwich, it looked freally good, and she could only eat 1/2 of it, the other daughter ordered the NY strip, it came out cooked to a perfect medium, and had a real charcoal smoke taste. My son ordered the the fried flounder, it was a huge filet cooked just right (sometimes I think chefs feel like they need to kill em a 2nd time in the fryer), my wife had the blackened scallops, I'm not a real fan of anything "blackened" however these were sweet plump scallops with terrific flavor and I would order em without hesitation. I had the pineapple surprise, shrimp, scallops, & lump crab, cooked with zucchini & squash, with rice, all mixed together and served in a hollowed out 1/2 pineapple, all the seafood in this dish was cooked perfectly and uniquely seasoned. For dessert everybody had orange crush cake (my kids have been wanting this cake for well over a year!) it was as good as always was, we would go here just for the cake. The bill came to $164.00 BUT we had a restaurant.com coupon that we bought over a year ago for like 5 bucks or something and got $75 off the bill !

    So that's for this year... let the comments and bashings begin

  2. #2
    Senior Member Britt4duke's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dinning Report

    Another Home Run Dean!!! I look forward to these posts everytime you put them up. You could/should be a food critic. Everytime I read your Dining Report, I jot down the foods you eat in my iPhone to remind me to try at least one place you recommend each time I visit OC.



    One question though, do you ever stop at the various "beach food" locations (i.e. Thrashers, Wrapper, etc.)? I think we are all familiar with the popular spots, but I have a feeling you might have a few places that you are aware of, or treats you like, that I would be interested in hearing about.



    Thanks again for a great report!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member OCGuy's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dinning Report

    Dean, another awesome review. I look forward to them every year, particularly because you go to OC a couple of weeks before I do! I've been steered well by your reviews in the past, and will definitely be trying a few of the places on your list that I have not been to before. I was sorry to hear about Captain's Table, as I also have thought highly of this place. I have not been there in over a year though, and mostly go there in the off season. Thanks for a great review!

  4. #4
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    Re: 2012 Dinning Report

    Nice reviews. If you are a calamari fan, try Just Hooked for that as well. Very, very good.

  5. #5
    Senior Member OC_Melanie's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dinning Report

    Harborside pineapple surprise & orange crush cake sound amazing, hubby & I need to go try those next time in OC. Always look forward to your reviews, thanks for sharing )

  6. #6
    TraceyH TraceyH's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dinning Report

    Spot on!

  7. #7
    OCBeachBob OCBeachBob's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dinning Report

    Every year I read your reports and every year I tell you how to spell dining but they are always entertaining :-)

    Nice Job However...

    :-)

    lolz

  8. #8
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dinning Report

    Brit, thanks for the kind words, I enjoy the same boardwalk fare as most of our other posters, maybe someday, when I get more time, I'll give review of boardwalk treats, but it'd probablly be pretty borring. Although this year I got raped at a gelato stand - paid 4 dollars for a scoop I could've put on a table spoon...



    OCGuy, yea, I hated to write that review of The Captains Table. It's not my intent to hurt their business though, actually I'm trying to do the polar opposite, I hope they read this and get the problems iron out, my wife is pretty much "done" w/em but I'd be willing to give em a 2nd chance---- down the road...



    tollerby7, I scoped out the calamari at other tables, you could just by looking at it it was on point - after the meal that I had there, I'm thinking they could put a gourmet spin on peanut butter smeared on the back of a playing card.



    OC Melanie, I have some pics of both, I'll try and post em for you.



    Thanks Tracy!



    Bob, annd everryytinee youuu corrrectt myy spellling I informm yoou - I CAN'T SPELL !!!!

    (but i fixed it just for YOU , cuz you're my "pal"!)

  9. #9
    Senior Member DeanM's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dining Report

    [img width=264 height=149]/userfiles/2012-07-08_18-56-56_441(1).jpg[/img][img width=264 height=149]/userfiles/2012-07-08_19-17-18_476(1).jpg[/img]



    Here ya go Melanie!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seashell's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 Dining Report

    Wishing I could give you more than one thumbs up for the pics! ^



    As always, loved reading the report.

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