Friday, July 06, 2007

Delaware Coast Seafood Hotspot

Mrs. Yi and I have dined twice this year at the bluecoast Seafood Grill and Fish Market ,which stands alone along Delaware Route 1 north of Bethany Beach. In years past, the premises housed a restaurant called Redfin. We loved Redfin, and we love the current incarnation. Our first visit was in the off-season on the Monday, May 20. I've never enjoyed a meal at a restaurant on the Delmarva shore so much. Last Tuesday night, July 3, Mrs. Yi and I returned to bluecoast accompanied by four friends.

What had been a busy restaurant on a Monday in May was now a hotspot where the din was clamorous. bluecoast doesn't accept reservations. However, the bar area and the market area inside as well as a spacious front deck make waiting over libations a pleasure.

Delaware Today's critics cited bluecoast Grill for "Best Seafood." bluecoast is one of four lower Delaware seafood restaurants that are part of the SoDel Concepts restaurant group. According to bluecoast's web site, the chef, Jeffrey Potts, earned his culinary masters from Cordon Bleu in Paris after having worked at the French Laundry in Yountville, California.

With thanks to friends, I had the opportunity to check out much that's on the menu at bluecoast. Here are some highlights:
The $9.00 Iceberg Wedge salad at right might seem an odd
item to bring up when writing about this type of restaurant, but it was just soo good. With its Danish blue cheese, pickled red onion, tomato, bacon, and ranch dressing, the best way to enjoy is by first chopping and then tossing as shown. After doing so, we shared small servings around the table. Everyone nodded at my suggested that the lettuce wedge genre had here been taken to a new level.

Moving on to entrees, one selection "to die for" was Pan Roasted Jumbo Scallops listed for $25, and served with Crab, Cheddar Grits, and Spiced Tomato Beer Broth. Even more delicious, though less photogenic and therefore not pictured, was the $24 Lobster Penne with Sweet Peas, Crisp Italian Ham, Parmesan and Lobster Vanilla Cream, which was everything its title suggested. My favorite entree of all, even if the cell phone picture at right insults the mastery of its preparation, was the Delaware Seafood Stew with Market Fish, Mussels, Clams, Shrimp, Scallop, Chorizo, Saffron Tomato Broth, and Herb. At $28, it's the most expensive selection on the menu. The best way I know to describe it would be as a composite of French bouillabase and a San Francisco cioppino.

The only item with which anyone was less than thrilled
was a $26 entree of Pan Roasted Halibut with Fresh Corn-Soybean Succotash, Pea Shoots, and Curry Oil. The completely fresh---like everything here---halibut had been cooked enough to be just a bit dry.

As an exciting prime spot for fresh seafood and largely local ingredients prepared with a modern American/fusion twist, we all agreed that the bluecoast Seafood Grill and Fish Market' s absolutely was"the place."