RE: Southern MD: The Roost
The chef who actually started Stoney's on Broome Island and received the original rave review from Phyllis Richman in the Post in the late'90's has moved to a place called Tony's River House in Benedict. I have not been there. However, a recent trip to Stoney's was mildly disappointing. There are two other Stoney's locations, in Lexington Park and Solomons-neither was ever on par with the original Broome Island location. The recent visit was particularly disappointing since my wife and I have annually made the 180 mile round trip drive from where we live in Reston, VA to Stoney's. At this point I think we have been to virtually every decent seafood restaurant in Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert County along with far to many east of the Bay Bridge. Stoney's is no longer one of the ones we will deadhead too. I put a post on another board for what I think is currently Maryland's best for Maryland style seafood and crabs as well as crab cakes.
Crisfield's: I grew up with Crisfield's when it was a cheap alternative fifty years ago to going downtown to O'Donnell's on Pennsylvania Avenue or to Bethesda and either O'Donnell's or Bish Thompson's. (1950's) At some point Julia Child and Calvin Trilling both discovered Crisfield's and then Phyllis in the Post and later others began to rave about it. Overnight their prices went through the roof! Then, as now, it has superb crab stuffed flounder, Chincoteaque oysters, Norfolk style, fried chicken (yes, authentic chicken fried in Crisco in a blackened skillet) and very good breaded fried seafood. Good clam chowder, too. But for crab cakes, crab imperial and a host of other dishes Crisfield is very poor. Still, there is tradition and a hint of former greatness. It also looks and feels the same as it did in 1959. On our last visit several years ago it still had the same WINX clock in the raw bar room. I doubt that anyone going to Crisfield today knows the name of a single disc jockey from WINX when the sign was first put up! (Hint: Barry Richards)
Crisfield's namesake, Crisfield, MD has a singularly great seafood restaurant, The Cove. It is actually worth a lengthy drive to visit. Perhaps not the 160 miles from Sivler Spring but certainly if someone is on the Eastern Shore a stop at. It is also far superior to the more nationally famous Captain's Galley. If you go to the Cove have their crab cakes and their crab imperial. At $19.95 their lump Maryland crab cakes may, just may, be the absolute best anywhere on earth. My wife thinks so. I rank them second to the Narrows in Kent Island.