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The Kitchen at Rock Hall - Steve and Monica Quigg's Outstanding Crabcakes on Main Street in Rock Hall

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With a strong cold front blowing in on Friday, we sailed into Rock Hall, MD on Friday instead of anchoring out, tying up at the marina next door to Waterman's and only ten minutes' walk to Main Street.  Most diners who seek out Rock Hall are headed straight to Waterman's, but another recent restaurant addition in town begs your attention.  The Kitchen at Rock Hall (5757 Main Street, 410-639-2700) opened in 2011 and while it won't be contending for a Beard nomination anytime soon, the crabcakes are outstanding and worth a detour if you're anywhere in the area.  Mostly jumbo lump, very little binder or filler, just a hint of mustard, and lightly browned.


Also winners: the jumbo dry scallops, and a chocolate bread pudding so moist and rich that it puts a good volcano cake to shame.


Not to my taste: the housemade mozzarella, a new addition, was overworked and a bit rubbery.  And the bbq ribs, although extremely meaty and tender, were devoid of smoke and chew, and the sauce didn't really work for me.

Seriously, you should go for their crabcakes.  You should return again and again for those and other reasons.  This is a tiny mom-and-pop venture.  Owners Steve and Monica moved out to the eastern shore with their kids a couple of years ago, escaping the DC hustle and bustle.  One or both of them (owners, not kids) is in the kitchen doing the cooking.  Steve has been actively pushing the education of his young staff, training his dishwasher to step up as sous, and nagging others to finish their GEDs.  In a small town where the local teens still drop out of school early, and the current big debate is whether or not allowing a chain dollar store in is going to destroy the wonderfully old-school local grocery (Bayside Foods), The Kitchen creates much more important opportunities than just an hourly job.

Only 18 seats, reservations recommended.

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Is this the best seafood restaurant in Maryland?  It looks remarkably similar to Staunton's The Shack:  https://www.facebook.com/TheKitchenAtRockHall/photos/a.187109167966204.49813.187108904632897/187109171299537/?type=3&theater  Two Maryland magazines have also called it the best seafood restaurant in the northern Bay (defined as Rock Hall south to Solomon's island also including Easton, St. Michael's and Annapolis) http://www.chesapeakeboating.net/Media/Feature-Stories/Best-of-the-Bay-  is from Chesapeake Boating while What's Up Magazine has named its chef as the best for two years in a row.  Throw in best crab cakes (beating the Narrows which placed third and had previously won 14 or 15 years in a row), best "undiscovered restaurant" and several others and this represents a remarkable haul for this tiny restaurant and an adventure for us to drive the two hours to find it.. http://bestof.whatsupmag.com/2012/index.php/site/winners/1-best-of-eastern-shore-2012-food-dining is  the listing from What's Up?

Serious question.  In Rock Hall.  18 seats and they take reservations.  Could this possibly be Maryland's best seafood restaurant?

A real sense of anticipation...

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