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Trip with family to St. Michael's and Eastern Shore

In-laws are traveling to St. Michael's and would like some nice restaurant recommendations. They are from Cape Cod, so I would like to recommend some restaurants that show how nice the Eastern Shore is, that feature good examples of tasty regional foods. Please, no recommendation to the touristy crab places. Thanks in advance.

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  1. The Bartlett Pear in Easton has some promising early reviews.

    1. You might co-post/search on the mid atlantic board. I really like the Key Lime Cafe for a simple lunch. There is a very good coffee shop one street back from the main strip (where the general store is).

      For dinner think about 208 Talbot. You should also consider Easton. It is a charming little town with some good food,as well. And perhaps Smith Island for a sample of some Smith Island cake and real crabs. The Narrows on Kent Island is good although not as much the fine dining ambiance you might be seeking.

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      Key Lime Cafe
      207 N Talbot St, Saint Michaels, MD 21663

      2 Replies
      1. re: ktmoomau

        Smith Island is no where near St. Michaels/Easton and you have to take a ferry to get there.

        1. re: hon

          Yes, but if you are in the area for a few days on vacation it can be a lovely little day trip. There is only so much to do in St. Michaels itself and the ferry is fun (they are from the cape should be used to travelling on ferrys).

          And it is one of the main epi-centers for crabbing in Maryland. I thought it was worth a mention because I could only keep myself entertained in St. Michaels for about a day and a half.

          Tilgman island is also a nice drive.

      2. I would recommend Bistro St.Michael's with the following caveats: tell them you want to sit downstairs (upstairs is Siberia), and be prepared to spend a lot more money than you might think you'd spend at a Bistro with very casual ambiance. The food is good, and the service is very good.

        1. It doesn't get much more Eastern Shore-authentic than Harrison's Chesapeake House on Tilghman Island but stick to the oysters, crab dishes and rockfish. Whatever you do, steer clear of the buffet.

          1. at least once you need to sit outside on the water and have a maryland crab feast. The Crab Claw in St Michaels fits the bill

            1 Reply
            1. re: dining with doc

              Yes.

              The first time I had a true crab-feast, I looked up after a couple hours of eating, talking, drinking beer and was intoxicated by more than the beer! Probably the salt had a bit to do with it, but it's a wonderful experience meant to be had with many friends over many hours.

              Though unfortunately I haven't been to one in years. I don't really miss it. I did the thing for a few years straight and now with kids and a wife with a new allergic reaction to shellfish.... (and even though she's a Marylander by birth she never was a big crab fan). But - I know that this will just lead to more time away and then (hopefully) one angelic experience again when the memory has faded even more.

            2. Love The Bartlett Pear Inn as well as Out of the Fire, both in Easton. Mason's is very good and so is Scossa's, itlalian, All in Easton.

              At Kent Narrow's are a few OK places but none great like those above. However, if you want flavor and not so much great food, then Harris's Crab House and Holly's give you that, both around Kent Narrows, the second, small bridge..

              1. Thanks so much for all the wonderful recommendations - we may have to "test" some of them beforehand. They all sound tasty.

                1. They should consider heading down Rt. 33 past St. Michaels about a dozen miles to Tilghman Island to The Bridge or Harrisons. (It's too early for local crabs, and too late for the oysters right now, although they will probably find plenty of crab and oyster on the menu.) Another option, somewhat of a drive, would be Suicide Bridge Restaurant in Secretary.

                  I had dinner at the Bartlett Pear Inn last night. While food and service were very nice, I am not sure it would rate a return trip. From the rather limited menu, we sampled the steak tartare, country pate', an app of cuttlefish and scallop ravioli, and a steak. Everything was prepared as expected, plated very nicely and presented professionally. Our complaint was that the flavor profile generally was lacking - needed to ramp it up several notches - kind of safe and bland. Their house made baguette was simply outstanding, and the cuttlefish dish was beautifully done as well. Surprisingly no soups or salads (other than a Nicoise) on the menu. Maybe they need a little more time to settle in.

                  I'll also put in a plug for the BBQ Joint,also in Easton. Fantastic brisket and ribs, but not exactly emblematic of Eastern Shore cooking.