By Krista Pfunder
After crossing the Bay Bridge en route to Ocean City last week, I stopped at one of my favorite places to eat on the Eastern shore: The Narrows Restaurant in Grasonville.
The restaurant features a small, glass-enclosed dining area that is my preferred seating area, especially after dark. The cozy atmosphere at night of white tablecloths, very few tables, and the reflection on the windows of the candles on each table combine to set a romantic scene.
During our late lunch stop, there were quite a few diners but we were able to get a table in the lounge area where we could still enjoy a view of Kent Narrows.
Full disclosure: The stop at the Narrows may have been prompted by the fact that it’s one of the only places that carries my favorite wine: Fess Parker Riesling. The California-based winery is not usually on local menus, so finding it is quite a score.
I convinced my date to split a bottle of the wine with me (actually, I didn’t even ask; after he ordered a glass I went ahead and changed the order from two glasses to a bottle for $35). The Riesling is just as good as I remembered. An off-dry wine with prominent apricot, white peach, lychee nut, Granny Smith apple, and lemon cream flavors, the white wine pairs well with many dishes, including spicy fare, fruit dishes, seafood, or a BLT.
Our server brought slices of crusty French bread and butter, which had a nice flavor, with almost a hint of sourdough.
I started with a Caesar salad ($11) and my date opted for a cup of French onion soup ($7). My salad was a pretty standard Caesar salad, crisp and well made. I could taste the anchovies in the dressing, which is how I prefer it. My date’s French onion soup was a bit sweeter than I am accustomed to, but it was still quite tasty.
We decided to split two appetizers for our meal, to leave room for dessert if we wanted to linger.
The crab tart ($18) features feta, provolone, spinach, tomato, and jumbo lump crab on a flatbread crust. It was a large portion, making it appropriate for an entrée (especially paired with a salad or cup of soup). The toppings did not go quite as far as the crust, but there was a decent amount of crab.
Our second appetizer was a special that day: pan-seared scallops ($22). Three good-sized sea scallops were drizzled with balsamic and served over sautéed spinach, strawberries, and garlic aioli. The scallops were well prepared and we both commented that while strawberries were not something we’d usually pair with scallops, the flavor combination worked well. (Note: this dish is also available as a dinner entrée for $40).
We were stuffed at that point (couldn’t even finish the last scallop) and so declined dessert. We still had wine left, so we asked for a bag to take it with us. Thanks to the wine “doggy bag” bill, passed in 2006 in Maryland, diners who don’t finish a bottle of wine can take it with them so long as the server has recorked or recapped it (note that the bottle must be transported in the trunk, cargo area, locked glove compartment or area behind the rear-most seat of an automobile).
Just in time for fall outdoor dining, The Narrows is set to open a new outside patio (complete with heaters) in the next week or two.
Call for reservations (410-827-8113); online ordering is available: https://thenarrowsrestaurant.com/.