18 January 2011
The Flavours of Chesapeake Bay
Savour the fruits of the ocean alongside more earthy delights at St Michaels, USA.
For the consummate Chesapeake Bay experience, take a crabbing excursion from the Inn at Perry Cabin dock, out into the salty air and across the shimmering waters. Once the 3000-foot trotlines go out from Fun4U, the 26-foot Dockside Express boat, the crabs will keep you busy non-stop. Scoop them off the bait before they drop back into the water, measure them, separate males from females (as an ecology-based organisation, females are instantly returned) and let the captain tell you all about their secret lives.
Back at the Inn, have your crabs prepared and served outdoors with all the trimmings. And then comes the good part, as one hard-working crabber reports: "Eating crabs is a messy process: you need copious amounts of beer to combat the burn of the Old Bay seasoning." Extracting the meat takes some work, but it's well worth the effort.
Highly recommended for eating out on the town is 208 Talbot for fine dining, or its wine bar, 208 Burger, where your order comes in 1960s diner-style plastic baskets with wax paper underneath. Don't miss the milkshakes - spiked or not, decadent either way.
The Inn at Perry Cabin Front Office Manager Angela Sabino also recommends Bistro St. Michaels for fine dining, and Ava's Pizzeria & Wine Bar for "phenomenal" casual meals, including build-your-own gourmet pizza and an extensive wine list. For casual pub fare, there's Carpenter Street Saloon. Market House is a funky upscale deli with good pastries and Sunday brunch. And guests are reporting good things, she says, about the brand new Ruperts Bar & Tea Rooms.
By Karen Kullgren, a US-based writer and editor, specialising in travel, culture and food.
What other great tastes have you discovered in St Michaels?