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Mar 26, 2007 10:37 AM

What Seafood is in Season?

Traveling to Baltimore for a conference on Weds 28 March and want to be In Season with the seafood. What should I look for, and where?

There will be several thousand academic, college and research librarians in town for the conference. They are all chow hounds....


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  1. Shad.
    An Atlantic coast fish. Available only for a brief time in the Spring. Local fishing is currently suspended but it will be available probably from the Carolinas. Not farmed, only wild.
    Restaurants will serve filets and the roe. It won't be cheap so look for it at better places and call ahead to make sure it's on the menu.
    It is delicious but IMHO best in traditional simple preparations, and you may want to seek those.

    The local oyster yield has been historically low this year but the Chincoteague may be available so try it if you find it. Wonderful.

    Crabbing has started for the year but the catch is not stong yet. Much of what is available is still being brought up from the warmer waters of the Gulf. Same Blue Crab but Maryland cooks it well.
    Crab cakes, steamed crabs, soups, others dishes. Enjoy.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Chownut

        I think trophy/recreational rockfish season is coming up, but this occurs when the commercial fishery is closed. I may be partially mistaken in the details, but I think rockfish can be harvested commercially 9 months per yearin the Bay, excluding March, April, and May. Limits and methods vary by time of year. Dec-Feb is gill net season. Ocean rules are different and I don't really know them at all.

    1. Okay, MakingSense and Chownut. Coincidentally, I'll be in VA & DC at the same time and would love to track down some shad. Now that you've told us it should be available, the next question is Where? (Thanks!)

      5 Replies
      1. re: ericstuff

        There was a big spread in last week's washington post food section on Thursday. For sure, the Blue Duck Tavern in the Parky Hyatt Hotel on 24th and M st. NW has it.

        1. re: ericstuff

          Commercial rockfish season doesn't open until mid-May in MD. There's a one month trophy season for recreational fisherman starting April 21 but they can't sell them so you won't see those in markets or restaurants - or at least you shouldn't.
          Last year, Oceanaire, Clyde's, Old Ebitt and the more traditional restaurants in town had shad and shad roe. Í guess since it's such a regional fish, it doesn't appeal to Asian, Italian, Spanish, etc. style chefs. I'd try also places like Kinkead's, Vidalia, Willard Room, Butterfield 9, Seacatch, Pesce, any place that does very seasonal American food, especially seafood. Some of the steak places like the Palm might have it.
          I'd call ahead to make sure.

          1. re: MakingSense

            You guys rock. Thanks very much. If you need any help with LA and SF (or even PDX), let me know.

            1. re: MakingSense

              Sorry...hadn't seen this before my similar post above. I defer to MakingSense on these matters, as my knowledge of the estuarine commercial fisheries in this region is outdated and polluted by overexposure to the carolinas. In other words, my post is probably wrong, but I will leave it there for people to rip in to.

              1. re: Lowbar

                My info is real local - Maryland Chesapeake Bay - which I get from neighbors and friends over on the Eastern Shore who have captain/pilots licenses and take out sport fisherman. The trophy season opens 4/21 and runs to 5/15. The commercial season opens in MD on 5/16 and runs to 12/15. It's different for VA and up and down the East Coast so that's why shad is already showing up is some restaurants.
                So your post isn't wrong or outdated at all, Lowbar, just broader. The season is still short though.

          2. The Peppermill on York Road north of Towson will have shad roe. This is an "Old Baltimore" type place and is popular with the older generation. Older than me that is and I'm not young.

            1. Thanks to everyone for the input. I can't wait for dinner. -xrastka