There’s something so satisfying about seeing an iced tray of gorgeous Eastern or Pacific oysters on the half shell appear at the table, served with fresh horseradish, mignonette, cocktail sauce and habanero-lime relish. Or the truly great Maryland Blue Crab – straight from the softshell crab capital of the world – where they are packed and flown alive and kicking direct from the Chesapeake to the restaurant several days a week.
I am the unabashed seafood aficionado in our family so I am always particularly thrilled when ocean fare is on the menu. My husband, on the other hand, is a strictly meat-and-potatoes man who will never eschew a perfectly grilled prime cut of beef.
With a lineup of exquisite seafood offerings (wild-caught and served fresh) and charcoal-grilled Harris Ranch steaks, Water Grill can’t be beat when it comes to crafting truly delectable memories. From the tall-backed leather chairs to the robust craft cocktail menu, every occasion is begging for the chance to be celebrated with such style and substance so we were confident both our culinary leanings would be handily satisfied when we made a reservation for our recent wedding anniversary.
Starting at the raw bar, dive into the aforementioned oysters or chilled shellfish like wild littleneck clams, jumbo Mexican shrimp, farmed Peruvian Bay scallops or large Channel Islands Red Sea Urchin. Can’t decide? Order an iced platter that arrives with a sampling of everything.
An all-time must-have on any self-respecting seafood connoisseur’s wish list is the California Spiny Lobster – now in season. Their counterparts from Maine are delicious, but this special crustacean boasts a sweeter flavor profile and more meat (generally around 25% more per pound). Caught off the California coast in the waters from Baja to Morro Bay, these beauties were incredibly succulent and didn’t need anything other than drawn butter to enhance the flavor.
If charcoal-grilled or oven roasted wild-caught fish is more to your liking, popular picks include the melt-in-your-mouth wild Alaskan black cod served with soba noodles or the flavorful togarashi seared local bluefin tuna.
Then for land lovers like my beau, Water Grill serves up Harris Ranch filets, prime New York Strip steak, prime split-bone “cowboy” ribeye or charcoal grilled “Mary’s” organic chicken paired with the favorite side of your choice: braised kale, Mexican street corn, grilled broccolini or seven-cheese mac & cheese.
Start with the wild Spanish octopus (charcoal grilled with fingerling potatoes) and wade through the raw bar until your tastebuds are begging for a break. Save room for their chocolate espresso ganache cake, or finish out your night with a French pressed espresso and homemade sorbet. Any are certain to be just as appealing as that first round of oysters.