Maryland Seafood II: Dining Out
You might think the Midwestern Gentleman and I got our fill of seafood at the home of my cousin Spencer and his boyfriend, Adam. Oh, no. Annapolis and Baltimore offered seafood options too tempting to resist.
A walking tour of historic Annapolis brought us to the Middleton Tavern, where we sipped cocktails at a table on the patio and shared heaping plates of lightly fried calamari (complete with tentacles, thank you very much) and steamed mussels in a flavorful broth seasoned with garlic and thyme, and garnished with cherry tomatoes. Rounding out the meal, I ordered bacon-topped Clams Casino for my entree (a nod to my new home in pork country, perhaps). The clams were tasty, but they had definitely been overshadowed by the appetizers.
The Chesapeake Bay is known as much for its oysters as for its crabs. The next day, under Adam’s tutelage, the Midwestern Gentleman and I enjoyed our first introduction to “oyster shooters.” We stopped at two different venues to experience them two different ways. At Shooters, the raw oysters are served on the half shell, accompanied by a chaser of beer (or vodka) with bloody mary mix in a shot glass rimmed with Old Bay Seasoning. Lemon and cocktail sauce were served on the side.
At Ryleigh’s, we enjoyed some great, non-seafood happy hour snacks and sampled a different way of enjoying oyster shooters. Here, the raw oysters were removed from the shell and dropped into a mixed drink (see menu above). We went with the Bawler Slurp & Burp, which proved to be a tasty blend.
I liked both types of shooter, but my favorite were the ones with the oysters served on the half shell. I like being able to taste the brininess of the oyster itself before the flavorful chaser shot. The Midwestern Gentleman preferred the oysters on the half shell, as well. Considering he started eating seafood of any kind only a few years ago, I give him a lot of credit for trying raw bivalves at all. High five for culinary adventure!