Restaurant Week in resort features innovative dishes
(April 21, 2017) More than 20 restaurants are showcasing popular menu items or trying out new dishes at reduced prices during the 11th annual Ocean City Spring Restaurant Week, which begins on Sunday and continues until May 7.
Eateries will feature special fixed-price menus ranging from $10 to $40 in addition to great deals and their regular menus for lunch and dinner.
“We have a mixture of good deals and price points with scrumptious entrées,” said Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, which organizes the annual event. “I’m going on the dessert tour from the salted caramel brownie sundae at Waterman’s to the lemon lasagna dessert at Longboard. [There’s also] Maddy’s famous peanut butter pie [at BJ’s] and a chocolate chip vanilla crème brulee at Horizons.”
There are three newcomers to Restaurant Week this year including the Shrimp Boat, the Big Easy on 60 and Grotto’s Pizza.
“There is a place to please every palate in Ocean City with a variety of restaurants and price points,” Jones said.
BJ’s on the Water on 75th Street has participated in Restaurant Week since its inception.
“Whatever we can do to bring people into town during the offseason,” said owner Madlyn Carder. “It’s not an easy task with such huge competition. Restaurant Week is a win-win situation for a year-round business. There is a wide variety of different foods at a good price.”
BJ’s will be offering a $21 lunch menu with three courses, including the choice of soups, a teriyaki chicken salad, a rockfish wrap, crab imperial pizza, a half-pound hot dog and desserts.
“We showcase regular menu items at a reduced price,” Carder said. “The reason I stick with the regular menu is because I want people to remember the dish they enjoyed and come back. It’s a great deal with a wide variety [of choices.]”
The dinner menu costs $30 with the choice of four courses including selections of crab imperial, chicken and shrimp teriyaki, ravioli and a New York strip steak wedge salad.
“We do it seven days a week with no exclusions from 11 a.m. to close,” Carder said. “Restaurant Week has been successful for us and [it’s] one more thing to bring people over the bridge.”
The Skye Bar & Grill on 66th Street will offer three courses for $30 during dinnertime, which will include the choice of appetizers, salads, soups, entrées and desserts.
“Restaurant Week is great for locals and visitors to try a lot of different items,” said Roger Cebula, owner of the Skye Bar & Grill. “It’s a great value and opportunity to try local restaurants you haven’t been to before.”
The special dinner menu includes a choice of starters such as a colossal shrimp cocktail, tenderloin tips, fried calamari, raw oysters, clams casino, soups and salads.
A single broiled lump crab cake with chipotle tartar sauce, a roasted garlic-rubbed bleu cheese crusted petite filet with truffle demi-glace, a Cajun grilled salmon in a tarragon lemon cream sauce, lobster macaroni and cheese, fresh seared tuna and an award-winning cheesesteak make up entrée options, along with four others.
Desserts are homemade with a triple-layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing, a vanilla crème brûlée, chocolate decadent cake and French toast bread pudding with ice cream and a caramel maple-syrup glaze.
“We offer these deals seven days a week for two weeks straight, which is a great value,” Cebula said. “Hopefully a lot of people get a chance to come out and try it.”
The Hobbit Restaurant on 81st Street is offering three courses for $35 including the choices of a salad, appetizer, entrée or dessert.
The special dinner menu includes a choice of appetizers such as shrimp toast, a soup of the day, ham and cheese croquettes, three salads and St. Jaques scallops.
“The scallops are tasty and a new dish we are offering,” said Garvy Heiderman, managing partner and operator of the restaurant. “The crab cakes are awesome this time of year and our salmon dish is new and has been receiving good feedback on our regular menu.”
Entrees include a crab cake, slow-cooked short ribs, a mustard-crusted salmon with Paris gnocchi, sole with buttered potatoes and chicken confit.
“The event gets people into the restaurant who otherwise wouldn’t and is great for locals,” Heiderman said. “It’s a great way to get bartenders, servers and families to experience your restaurant and the chef can try out new dishes. Susan and Liz do a great job and do not get enough credit.”
The two-week restaurant specials are designed to draw customers through the doors when business is slower, and gives chefs an opportunity to create a unique menu or try out new innovative dishes ranging from local pubs to fine dining.
“Jules [Restaurant] always has nice selections with a lot of different options and they are offering a bonus: a free glass of wine,” Jones said. “Longboard Café is also offering something for everyone.”
Jones brought the idea for Restaurant Week back from a travel summit on the western shore in 2007, she said.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to enjoy a date night or girls’ night out,” Jones said. “Get out and try some new restaurants because the deals are so tremendous. I always love an excuse to eat out.”
Alcohol, tax and gratuity are not included in Restaurant Week’s special menu prices. Participating restaurants will still have regular, full-price menus available during the special.
“Prepare your palate,” Jones said. “Restaurant Week is starting on Sunday.”
For participating restaurants’ menus and prices, visit www.oceancityrestaurantweek.com.
• BJ’s on the Water, 75th Street
• Bourbon Street on the Beach, 116th Street
• Captain’s Table, 15th Street, in the Marriott Courtyard
• Crab Alley, Golf Course Road, West Ocean City
• Crab Bag, 130th Street
• Culture/Authentic Eatery, Sunset Avenue, West Ocean City
• Greene Turtle West, Stephen Decatur Highway
• Grotto Pizza, 124th Street
• Happy Jack Pancake House, 25th Street
• Horizons Oceanfront Restaurant, 101st Street, in the Clarion Resort Hotel
• Jules Restaurant, 118th Street
• Ky West, 54th Street
• Lighthouse Sound Restaurant, St. Martins Neck Road, Bishopville
• Longboard Café, 67th Street
• Ocean City Fish Company, Harbor Road, West Ocean City
• Seacrets, 49th Street
• Sello’s, Golf Course Road, West Ocean City
• The Big Easy on 60, 60th Street
• The Hobbit Restaurant, 81st Street
• The Shark on the Harbor, Sunset Avenue, West Ocean City
• The Shrimp Boat, Stephen Decatur Highway
• The Skye Bar & Grill, 66th Street
• Touch of Italy, 66th Street
• Waterman’s Seafood Company, Ocean Gateway, West Ocean City