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A look inside Horizons Oceanfront

Horizons Oceanfront, the beach-facing restaurant in the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel, is a special place. It’s so special, in fact, that Horizons’ Food and Beverage Director Richard Heubeck has been working there for almost 28 years. 

For the uninitiated, Horizons leans on the upscale side of dining and nightlife without being overpriced and is an Ocean City staple all year long, thanks in part to their famous Prime Rib, Crab Legs and Seafood Buffet and world-class views of the ocean from their floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Heubeck, who originally hails from Baltimore, can only sing Horizons’ praises. He was making a living as a teacher before he picked up a second job as a bartender and eventually pursued bartending full-time when he realized he really enjoyed the job, particularly getting to interact with all the clientele.

“One thing lead to another,” he said. “I did the bartending, I managed a restaurant in Harborplace, I did catering for awhile…then I thought, instead of moving from job to job, hotels have all of that in one building.”

“The owner [of the Clarion] Dr. Berger dines here almost every night, and the food is prepared for him the way it’s prepared for everyone else,” he said. 

“If you are new to us, we try to make you feel like you’ve been here for a long time. We try to get to know everybody, and I think that gives you a comfortable feeling, that people care.”

A restaurant for all seasons, Horizons is always doing something special, whether it’s for the upcoming holidays–more on that below–or just a regular day in OC. Lunch specials are $8.95 throughout the year, happy hour is 4-7 p.m. every day, dinner entrees are 30% off from 5-7 p.m. in the off-season, steak is 30% off three days a week and there are always NFL food-and-drink specials, too. More menu information is available on their website

All decked out for the holidays. Horizons is a fantastic place to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, with a candlelight Christmas buffet on Christmas Eve and Christmas day serving up holiday favorites like turkey, ham and candied yams, and a ticketed black-tie party on New Year’s Eve. “A lot of your freestanding restaurants are closed for the holidays–hotels never close, so Horizons is always open,” Heubeck said. “No one wants to come down for the weekend and spend it in the kitchen cooking, so that would leave us for the place to go for the holidays.”
What’s on the menu? Well, a little bit of everything. My family happened to be staying at the Clarion over the weekend and wanted to try the fare at Horizons, so I enjoyed a crabcake sandwich (left) while my parents split a Crab Imperial entree with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables (right). As for the rest of the menu, they’ve got just about everything from seafood to lasagna to baby back barbecued ribs (plus kids’ favorites like chicken tenders and fries have been added in the past few years, too).
Speaking of dessert… Horizons is the kind of place where you’ll ask what’s for dessert and they’ll bring out an entire platter with all of their cake, cheesecake and pie options–like a delicious slice of lemon meringue and a rich chocolate-with-chocolate-chips cake slice pictured here.
Prime rib, crab legs and seafood. “Everybody loves the crab legs and the raw bar,” Heubeck said. “If you’re not from the Eastern Shore, it’s good to pretend you’re from the Eastern Shore and enjoy it.” Photo courtesy of Horizons.
Not a bad front yard. I wasn’t lucky enough to visit Horizons during the daytime to see the breathtaking beach view that they’re best known for, but I will say that the glimpse I caught as the sun went down is enough to get me coming back for another meal (plus, that lemon meringue pie was just really, really good). “What’s nice about the holidays is we start so early that you can really sit and enjoy the view,” Heubeck said. “Not a bad front yard, that’s what I always tell people.” Photo courtesy of Horizons.
Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.

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