St. Michaels, MD restaurants
- Alex Aug 18, 2005 10:58 PM
This is probably a little off the eatin' path but, I'll be staying in St. Michaels Maryland next weekend. Does anyone have any recommendations for restaurants in the area? It could be lunch or dinner.
St. Michael's has a few places that are not overpriced, mediocre and touristy, but do yourself a favor and drive a few minutes away to the Inn at Easton. One of the best restaurants in all of Maryland.
Let me say that my recommendation is based on comments from friends from my church that own a second home in St. Michael's (as well as all the DC area restaurant reviewers). They report that it matches the better spot in DC they have visited. I can say firsthand that I have visited St. Michael's itself 6 times and have yet to find a chow worthy spot.
I agree with a minor edit: St. Michaels has VERY few places that are not overpriced, mediocre, and/or touristy. We go to Tighlman Island a couple of times a year and just came back from a long weekend. What doesnt exist in the area to my knowledge is a hole in the wall with perfect seafood. In that location, and what you see on the menu is salmon!
Some restaurants that used to do some interesting meals at reasonable prices have slipped away. Of these, we used to like Bistro S. Michaels, which is still there, but we haven't been in a while, so I can't comment.
This time, I had an abyssmal meal at The Town Dock, where we had previously enjoyed meals. Very mediocre crab soup and an overcooked flounder francaise with an egg coating that was rubbery from sitting way too long under the heat lamp. My husbands ribs were fine, though. If you go to the Eastern Shore to have that kind of food.
We did have a good lunch of decent crab soup, soft shell sandwich, and fish and chips at Bay 100, which is on the St. Michaels side of the Knapps Narrows bridge to Tighlman Island. Over the years, they have consistently produced a decent piece of fried fish, but weve not strayed to much else of the menu except for salads, boiled shrimp, etc. The put huge slabs of ripe local tomatoes on their sandwiches.
In the past, we have found the Bridge (Tighlman Island side of the bridge) serviceable but nothing more. Haven't been though for at least a year.
Harrisons on the island can produce some good straightforward seafood meals but not necessarily. Weve had very average food there sometimes: too heavily breaded, greasy fried food. On the other hand, last New Years weekend we wanted a light meal at the bar. A cup of oyster stew had over 2 dozen oysters in it. I guess the catch was good that week. At the same meal, fried appetizer sizes of clams and mini crab cakes were perfect.
Years ao, we ate a few times at the Tighlman Island Inn. I once had a pristine fish there that I had seen the chef picking out earlier that afternoon from a fishermans boat that pulled up to the dock. There have been chef comings and goings over the years. Anyway, we don't do that any more, as we can do much better in the D.C. area for the price. For the same reason, we have been hesitant to eat at 208 Talbot. I havent heard any reports from others that have made me change my mind about either, although we probably will try the Inn at Easton sometime. Were just not up for driving all the way from Tighlman Island to Easton for a long dinner. At least not for driving back.
I have another recommendation for Easton, which is good for a lunch on the way to or from St. Michaels. Out of the Fire has some very good food and a good wine list. Weve never been for dinner, but I suspect it would be equally good.
The other day, they were full at lunch, so we went around the corner to the pub where we havent been in a number of years. We used to think it was good but this time were distinctly unimpressed with the crab soups (both cream and vegetable) and ruben. My steamed clams were ok, but how hard is that? Good beers on draft.
Highly recommend Bistro St. Michaels. Chef Stein is really doing great things there.
Also for more casual, continue out toward Tilghman Island and eat at The Bridge - for hard crabs or a number of other really fresh choices. Tilghman Island Inn is very close to The Bridge, and they have a first rate tasting menu and wine selection, and in good weather the outdoor bar is open in the evening with live music to watch the sunsets by.
There is some criticism of the over-priced and touristy aspect of St. Michaels, which should not be a surprise since it is a tourist destination. My girlfriend and I found great food at Bistro St. Michaels and while over-priced, the trick was to sit at the bar (they even have tables for two back there that count as the bar). Then you can eat appetizers, order oysters, have wine or even order off the full menu if you wanted to. We never even made it to a main dish and were able to sample some great food and had plenty to eat. Doing so kept our bill at half it probably would have been for entrees that were a little pricey/over-priced. Enjoy!