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These Mouthwatering Crab Dishes Will Blow Your Mind

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From breakfast to dinner and from appetizer to entrée, crabmeat can cross most of today’s culinary concepts. You’ll find it in tacos, pad Thai and marinara sauce. It adds a lux touch to tater tots. It can be light and refreshing or sinfully rich. Here are a few ways that local restaurants are serving up Delaware’s favorite crustacean. (Prices are subject to change.)

 

Brunch bounty

On Sunday Funday, crabmeat turns poached eggs into an indulgence at Fork + Flask at Nage, where the eggs Delmarva includes Maryland lump crabmeat atop a buttermilk biscuit with Hollandaise sauce and potato hash ($17). •• 19730 Coastal Hwy, Rehoboth Beach, 226-2037

 

Sip and start

Moving on to lunch or dinner, crab bisque, crab chowder and Maryland crab soup are standard starters. Off the Hook elevates the expected with its roasted corn-and-jalapeño crab bisque ($8). The soup, which is also featured at Just Hooked and Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar, is a little sweet, a little spicy and wonderfully rich. • Off the Hook, 769 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 829-1424; Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar, 38069 Town Center Drive, Nos. 19-20, Millville, 539-4111; Just Hooked, 1500 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 581-0098

Like bisque and chowder, dips are popular vehicles for crabmeat. Two Stones Pub’s Chesapeake crab dip goes beyond the typical spinach and cream cheese by including artichokes, hot sauce and Delco Lager from sister business 2SP Brewing Company. Forget pedestrian potato chips. This dip comes with truffle-Parmesan pita chips ($14.95).  Visit twostonespub.com for a list of locations.

Chesapeake & Maine’s take on chips-and-dip features house-made potato chips with Maryland crabmeat, lemon mascarpone, caramelized shallots, herbs and olive oil ($12).  316 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-3600

Nachos take on new meaning with crabmeat—and fried wonton chips—at Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen. Along with lump crabmeat, the pile includes cheese (naturally), fresh pico de gallo and cucumbers ($15).  270 E. Main St., Newark, 737-2931

Grub food becomes gourmet food with just a touch of crabmeat. Fins Fish House & Raw Bar, which helped launch the Fins Ale House empire, stuffs potato skins with crab imperial, shrimp, scallops and cheese ($12.99). You’ll also find them at the Fins Ale House restaurants Visit finsrawbar.com for a list of locations.

Speaking of potatoes, who needs regular tater tots when you can have cheesy crab tots at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen? These little beauties are sprinkled with scallions and Old Bay ($14). • 29F Atlantic Ave., Ocean View, 537-1785

Tots prove that everything old is new again, and so do deviled eggs, which are platforms for a variety of creative combinations. Among the appetizers at JAM Bistro by Eden are deviled eggs with lump crabmeat, candied bacon, jalapeño and an Old Bay dijonnaise ($13).  21 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth, 226-JAMM

In this area, mushrooms are also the base for a tasty appetizer. At Jake’s Seafood, throw calories to the wind—order mushrooms stuffed with jumbo-lump crabmeat topped with imperial sauce ($15).  29 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6237; 19178 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 644-7711

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, you spot the crab cake eggrolls at Ropewalk Oyster House. Stuffed with lump crabmeat, these tasty packages come with Thai chili aïoli ($13).  700 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 581-0153

For something light, try the seafood stack at Schaefer’s Canal House, a tower of lump crabmeat, shrimp and avocado with mango salsa, cilantro oil and a roasted red pepper coulis ($14).  208 Bank St., Chesapeake City, Md., (410) 885-7200

 

Breaking bread

When it comes to crabmeat and lunch, most diners think of crab cake sandwiches. But at Chelsea Tavern, it’s all about the crab panini: lump crabmeat tucked between two slices of herbed focaccia bread with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, baby spinach and basil aïoli ($15). • 821 N. Market St., Wilmington, 482-3333

The eagerly awaited soft-shell crab BLT at Harry’s Savoy Grill, which only appears when soft-shells are in season, features applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a zesty Sriracha aïoli ($15.95).  2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 475-3000

At La Fia, lump crab is packed into a split-top bun with a hint of Dijon mayonnaise, shredded romaine and tomato ($15).  421 N. Market St., Wilmington, 543-5574

 

Crossing boundaries

La Fia’s sibling, Merchant Bar, makes a rave-worthy crab pad Thai that proves crab complements a variety of cuisines. The snowy jumbo lumps play peek-a-boo in lovely tangles of rice noodles, bean sprouts and salted peanuts ($20). • 426 N. Market St., Wilmington, 543-5574

Around the corner, Cocina Lolo’s ceviche is a bracing medley of jumbo-lump crabmeat, coconut milk, lime and basil, served with crisp plantain chips ($14).  405 King St., Wilmington, 384-6186

Crab also swims south of the border at Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Fenwick Island, where crab-and-corn queso fundido is sprinkled with chili dust ($14). • 38929 Madison Ave,
Selbyville, 436-7272

Local sushi restaurants typically offer a spider roll made with fried soft-shell crab. But sushi is no longer limited to Asian restaurants. Striper Bites, a casual seafood-centric restaurant, offers a crispy sushi roll with crab-and-citrus salad, pickled red onion, jalapeño and spicy mayo ($12). • 107 Savannah Road., Lewes, 645-4657

Italian dishes have jumped across concepts, and, as a result, so has crab. At Ulysses Gastropub, jumbo-lump crab and shrimp tumble with diced tomatoes in a Parmesan cream sauce ($14.95/$26.95). • 1716 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 691-3456

Caffé Gelato blends lump crab and sautéed shrimp in its rose sauce, which is served over house-made capellini ($25.75).  90 E. Main St., Newark, 738-5811

Carbonara at Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar contains crabmeat, bacon, arugula, peas and pecorino ($24). The finishing touch: yolk cream and grated smoked egg.  1111 Coastal Hwy., Bethany Beach, 539-7111; 30115 Veteran’s Way, Rehoboth Beach, 278-7395

 

Stuffed and topped

Part of crabmeat’s appeal is that it harmonizes so well with so many ingredients. For proof, turn to the menu at Cool Springs Fish Bar and Restaurant, where chef Dennis Forbes tucks his crab imperial into baked shrimp ($22.75), flounder ($23.95) and rockfish ($24.95).  2463 S. State St., Dover, 698-1955

At Abbott’s Grill, trout is stuffed with crab and served with lemon beurre blanc and a shaved asparagus salad ($22). • 249 NE Front St., Milford, 491-6736

At beef-boosting places like Walter’s Steakhouse, crab imperial is an optional topping for your steak. (It’s also offered as an entrée and a topping for chicken in a seafood cream sauce.)  802 N. Union St., Wilmington, 652-6780

Vincente’s Restaurant gives veal the crabmeat treatment. Veal JR is stuffed with jumbo lump and bathed with a white wine sauce with shrimp and mushrooms ($29.95). • 5914 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 543-6451

 

Surf and turf

As a light alternative to filet and lobster, Columbus Inn twists the usual surf-and-turf by pairing jumbo-lump crabmeat and charred beef carpaccio with tart lemon vinaigrette, stone crab mustard and arugula ($16). It’s the perfect light bite to start a meal. Of course, you can always follow it up with a tender filet with sautéed asparagus and lump crabmeat. Because when it comes to crab, you can never have enough. ($34). • 2216 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 571-149