Annapolis

From Blue to Red

Nestled near Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay is a seafood oasis to dream for. The sights and sounds of the freshest seafood the Chesapeake Bay can offer can be found at Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn.

Voted as “Best of the Bay” in 2011 by local voters for the Chesapeake Bay Magazine for being the Best Restaurant for Crabcakes, Maryland Crab Soup and the world-famous steamed Maryland Blue Crab. One drives over the river and through the woods on a road that dead ends in the parking lot for Cantler’s Restaurant.

Owned by a family of Chesapeake Bay watermen for over 40 years, this is a true local hidden secret. This is a classic Maryland Crab House with outdoor picnic tables covered in brown paper and crab mallets handed to each diner. Ever popular with Navy Midshipmen and their visiting families the restaurant is frequently busy in the evenings and weekends. Here the early bird gets the worm..or rather the crab in this case.

With spectacular jumbo steamed shrimp that looks like they’ve been fed steroids to mussels or clams served in buckets it truly is a seafood feeding frenzy.

Of course, the main attraction at Cantler’s is the steamed Maryland style Blue Crab. These blue beauties are brought in from Louisiana and Florida during the winter months, and local Chesapeake Crabs are served during the summer and fall. Covered with house-made Old Bay seasoning, these crabs are served piping hot and ready to eat.

Of course knowing how to tackle these crustaceans and get to their succulent white meat requires some tenacity and carefulness. There are sharp points on the shell and claw legs and even after being cooked, they still like to bite.

Each person has their own style of ‘crab picking’ but the best part is slowing down to enjoy dinner with great company.

There is outside seating and this week has been unseasonably warm for an April day. The skies were beautiful as the day was winding down.

On the lower level Cantler’s offers dockage for those that prefer to come to eat by water. During the warmer months, sloughing trays for soft shell crabs and horseshoe crabs are kept for one’s viewing pleasure. Nautical touches throughout the building complete the Chesapeake Bay experience.

Coming to Cantler’s is truly a classic Chesapeake Bay dining experience. As one of the few remaining waterfront restaurants that hold traditional Maryland dining to a high standard. It most certainly is worth the trip. Bon Apetit!

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