Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Soft-Shell Crabs

This is the delicious soft-shell crab po' boy served at GW Fins in New Orleans.

The weather has been wacky this spring, particularly on the East Coast. Back in February, there were days during which the temperatures reached well into the 80s. A lot of my fellow New Yorkers enjoyed this, though the Master Gardener in me considers it a sign of the ecological apocalypse. One happy by-product of this eerily unseasonably warm weather, however, is the early arrival of soft-shell crabs. I indulged at a friend’s restaurant for the first time last night and relished every crispy bite, so much so that I am having them again today! 

Another Monkey, San Francisco, California: “Best Thai food I’ve ever had! Definitely order extra soft-shelled crab. Four of us came, and we split four dishes, and all were amazing. The crab was so good that when we finished, we ordered a second for dessert!”

 * Blue Water Grill, New York, New York: “I took my mother here to celebrate her birthday. She love soft shell crabs and they went above and beyond to ensure that they let us know that they were going to have thm especially for her. They were flash fried and extremely tasty.”

Chef’s Station, Evanston, Illinois: “Soft-shelled crab was on the menu and my wife and I agreed that it was about the best we have had. Foie gras appetizer was perfectly prepared, too. Definitely a find for us.”

Chez TJ, Mountain View, California: “Dining at Chez TJ was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The food was innovative and delicious and they were awesome when it came to celebrating our special occasion and food preferences. I loved everything we were served, but I must say the soft-shell crab was the best, most succulent, sweet and well-cooked soft-shell crab I have ever had.”

Cookshop, New York, New York: “Pizza with fresh ramps, sublime. Soft-shell crab delightful and generous. I’ll start combining appetizers at this nabe fave, but not because the scallops and pheasant don’t stack up–they do!”

Craft, New York, New York: “We had a great dinner with really different and exciting dishes. The soft-shell crabs were amazing. Crisp and incredibly favorable. One of the best meals we have had.”

ELEVEN, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “A magnificent soft-shell crab was served with freshly foraged ramps — those seasonal rarities which just go to prove exactly how good nature is at making food when not messed around with by mankind.”

* Food Wine and Co., Bethesda, Maryland: “Soft-shell crab was crisp and had a fantastic corn puree alongside.”

Gram & Dun, Kansas City, Missouri: “I had the special of the day — soft-shell crabs with a light breading and grapefruit sauce and truly enjoyed it.”

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Passover Restaurant Reservations: Reserve a Seat at a Special Seder

Every item on a Seder plate is part of the Exodus story.

Passover is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it, but it’s something we’ve only done at home. In recent years, though, a number of restaurants have started hosting gourmet seders of their own. Forget the anemic, jarred gefilte fish and stale matzo of your childhood! These restaurants are serving up delicious interpretations of classic  Passover dishes that will please even the most pious. I can tell you that eating the fried matzo at JoeDoe feels like a religious experience even when it’s not Passover.

Several restaurants have shared their menus, including:

Hearty, Chicago: Chef Dan Smith is serving up a super-hearty Passover seder with matzo ball soup with carrot dill broth, housemade gefilte fish, braised smoked brisket, “Hearty” chicken in a pot, and apple matzo kugel, offered April 6-16. Reserve.

Jar, Los Angeles: Chefs Suzanne Tracht and Preech Narkthong’s seder on Friday, April 6th, features three courses, which includes a choice of their signature pot roast or Alaskan halibut, plus passed hors d’oeuvres, sides, such as horseradish mashed potatoes and sauteed pea tendrils, and dessert. Reserve.

JoeDoe, New York: Jill Schulster and Chef Joe Dobias are putting on a progressive Passover on April 6-8, featuring fried matzoh, Jewish wedding soup, slow-roasted brisket and Komish cookie sandwiches. Reserve.

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