Wednesday, July 13, 2011

City Crab Review: Spend your money elsewhere

Ever since college, I had wanted to try this place, so when Restaurant Week came around we made a reservation.

First bad sign, we had a reservation for 7:45, we waited at least 20 minutes and watched people without reservations get seated before us. Not even a "sorry for the inconvenience" from the staff.

We ended up ordering a la carte, but it would have been nice if our waiter had a least mentioned the prix fixe dinner available. It wasn't till after we ordered that we noticed the tiny printed menu off to the side with the $35 three-course special. At first we were happier with our choices.....till they arrived:

Buffalo wing shrimp: according to Bob they were good, but there were FOUR pieces for $16. These weren't jumbo shrimp either. $4 a piece for shrimp in batter and hot sauce?!

North Atlantic Steamers: This was my appetizer. Why serve a side cup of clam broth when the clams are sitting in an inch of it already? And I know steamers are supposed to be simple, but usually there's an attempt at seasoning, maybe a clove of garlic, some herbs.....Nope. This was like clams in dishwater, with a side of dishwater and melted butter. I was also unprepared for the gross neck-like protrusion that these clams had, which reminded me of mini geoduck. I also think leaving crunchy bits of grit = FAIL at a restaurant.

Maryland Crab Louisiana Style Gumbo: Bob described this to me as "muddy." I had a taste, and it was the perfect description. "Bad" would be another suitable term. It tasted like someone had boiled all their leftover vegetables together and added some cajun spice to try to mask the underlying taste. Possibly one of the worst soups I've ever tasted.

At this point, we had to order a second basket of bread, because we were starving.

Maryland Lump Crab Cake: This was actually pretty good. At least, one out of the two were. The second one had a few too many cartilage bits ground into the meat. It was served with a mediocre side salad of argula, corn, lima beans, red peppers and carrots that I pushed around the plate.

Blackened Louisiana Catfish: Bland and boring. Bob usually doesn't add a lot of salt to his food, but he did tonight. 2 pieces came with a mound of unseasoned rice pilaf. Not bad, not good either.

Service was sloooooow.

Somehow, this place was packed. I guess people really think that if you charge a lot for seafood, and it's on Park Ave, it means it's good. We had a similar experience at The Chart House, where the view is nice, but the food is really overpriced and sub par. Our bill came close to what we pay when we go to Nobu, but came nowhere near the standards.

City Crab, you get a D.