Saturday, June 21, 2014

Those succulent crabs are finally giving up their meat

Soft Shell Crab Florentine was a lunch special on Friday at Seafood Gourmet, the wonderful fish market-restaurant hybrid in Maywood.


Seafood lovers have so much to celebrate year-round, but especially now when all of those juicy crabs come out of their shells.

The warm-weather crustaceans answer the prayers of crab lovers, who usually are frustrated by all of the work needed to extract the tasty morsels of meat.

Leave it to humans to swoop in when the crabs are the most vulnerable as they shed their shells in order to grow in size and get fitted with a new set of armor.

The result is great eating and, since every part of the soft shell is edible, no fuss, muss or waste. 

We had lunch on Friday at Seafood Gourmet, the Maywood fish market-restaurant with a kitchen that prepares soft-shell crabs from simple to sophisticated, as it does for all seafood.

Juicy, pan-seared soft-shell crabs with steamed vegetables.

Two preparations

We both wanted to have Soft Shell Crab Florentine, a lunch special, but I decided to try simple, pan-seared crabs with steamed vegetables ($15.99 each).

My wife loved her three crabs, which were layered with sauteed spinach, sun-dried tomato, corn and capers, and I agreed, judging from the few forkfuls I stole.

My three crabs were juicy and, with the vegetables, kept me satisfied until dinner.

My wife drank lemonade ($1.95 with refills), but I wasn't charged for two glasses of seltzer with a wedge of lemon.

Before we left, I asked and was told the soft-shell crab season lasts until September or October.

Fresh, uncooked soft-shell crabs were $6.99 each on Friday in Seafood Gourmet's market.

The dining room seats 38 at tables for two and four. Reservations are recommended for dinner, especially on the weekends.

Seafood Gourmet, 103 W. Pleasant Ave., Maywood; 201-843-8558. Closed Sundays. BYO, free street parking.

Web site: Where seafood is king

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