Cool Springs Fish Bar & Restaurant | Dover
Chef Dennis Forbes knocked it out of the park when he opened Cool Springs nearly 15 years ago. The crab cakes exhibit the same approach he takes to all his food: a light but interesting touch that lets the freshness speak for itself. That means the crab cakes (two 4-ouncers for $22.95) are nearly pure crabmeat, barely seasoned and gently moistened with mayonnaise. Unlike many, they are sautéed. Try the appetizer of mini-cakes with roasted-pepper tartar sauce for $8.50. 2463 S. State St., Dover, coolspringsfishbar.com.
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House | Dover
Even though Doc’s is within a thoroughly contemporary casino, the vibe is vintage oyster house: soaring stamped-tin ceilings, dark wood walls and moldings, old oyster cans on the shelves, framed photos of watermen and fishing boats, models of schooners and skipjacks. The prominent bar features fluted pillars with Corinthian capitals and large mirrors lit by pendant lamps. Impressive. The $26 dinner features two 4-ounce cakes of seemingly imported crabmeat doctored with classic seasonings and served with a citrusy rémoulade. On the side: sweet-potato hay and apple-celeriac slaw. 1131 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 674-4600, doverdowns.com.
McGlynns Pub & Restaurant | Dover
With its dark-wood paneling, embossed paper walls, jacquard-patterned carpet and cushy seating, McGlynns seems almost too swanky for a humble crab cake. But it’s a beautiful place to indulge in a dinner of two 3-ounce cakes ($19.99), accompanied by coleslaw, cornbread and your choice of potato. The crab is sweet with just a touch of peppery heat. Every seat in the house offers a view of Silver Lake. Watching the sunset is even better on the patio. 800 N. State St., Dover, 674-0144, mcglynnspub.com.