Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Grilled Oyster Company review - Cabin John/Potomac

The Grilled Oyster Company recently introduced a fall seasonal menu with several new dishes. I stopped by their Cabin John location to try some of them out.
New Belgium
Fat Tire Amber Ale
Their beer list is modest in size, but strong on craft beers. I chose the New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, an American amber/red ale-style on draft. It is 5.20% A.B.V., with a one+ inch head that dissipates quickly. It's refreshing and fairly dry, with minimal bitterness. The flavors are more toward bread and malt, and it pairs well with seafood. Four stars.

I started off with a complimentary vegetable plate, with crisp flatbreads and house-made cream cheese.
New grilled oysters
for fall
Fall Harvest oyster (left),
Farmer's oyster (right)
Fall Harvest oyster
Farmer's oyster
When you are at the Grilled Oyster Company, it makes sense to try the grilled oysters, right? I ordered the two newest additions for fall, the Fall Harvest and Farmer's oysters. The Fall Harvest is topped with roasted turnips, carrots, radishes, and qualjillo salsa. The Farmer's has an equally-autumn-appropriate topping of roasted beet, rutabaga, sweet potato and celery cream. Both oysters were tender, and could stand on their own without the trimmings.

Having said that, if you're seeking a richer grilled oyster experience, you should probably go for the traditional Rockefeller variety or the Maryland crab-stuffed version on the menu. The fall-themed ones are lighter and more earthy in flavor. They should inspire more than one home chef to add a new course to their Thanksgiving dinner, as you could easily serve these alongside the turkey and stuffing. Four stars.
Pan-roasted Chesapeake Rockfish
The rockfish is served with
sautéed kale, crispy bacon,
finely-diced sweet potato,
slivered almonds and a
brown butter sauce

For my main entree, I ordered the new Pan-Roasted Chesapeake Rockfish. It was perfectly cooked, just the way I ordered it. A crispy exterior gave way to a moist and tender interior. The fish tasted extremely fresh, with a very mild flavor. The almond slivers and brown butter complimented the natural flavor, without overwhelming it. I'm a big fan of kale, and the bacon was very crisp, just the way I like it. This was fantastic, and I would definitely order it again and recommend it highly. You can still be proud that the Rockfish is your official state fish. Five stars.
Fresh hand-cut fries
with Old Bay seasoning
I officially defeated the purpose of the healthier entree by adding a side of hand-cut, Old Bay french fries. These were shoestring fries like McDonald's - the best kind, in my opinion - but with the skin-on. Crispy and tender, I give them extra points for the retro 1950s checkerboard basket liner. You can't beat Old Bay on fries, and if anything, dipping them in ketchup only drowns out the classic spice combination. Five stars.
Chocolate Bourbon Cake
with vanilla bean gelato,
bourbon sauce and
whipped cream

For dessert, I decided on the Chocolate Bourbon Cake. Cake is a bit of a misnomer here, however. While it is technically an almost-flourless chocolate cake, the texture is somewhere between cheesecake and fudge. It's dense without being too heavy, and you can pick up the distinctive bourbon flavor throughout. The namesake sauce is drizzled over everything, as well as being the bottom layer on the plate. Considering that no trip to Ocean City is complete without fresh fudge on the boardwalk, the fudge-like flavor and texture makes this an appropriate finish to a Maryland seafood dinner. 🐟 Four stars.

The outdoor patio season is winding down, but they do have one with patio heaters out front and stringed lights. Cabin John Mall remains a model of what can be done with the traditional strip mall and indoor neighborhood-oriented mall in the suburbs - a nice variety of retail and quality dining options.

Grilled Oyster Company is at the top of that list, offering downtown D.C./Bethesda Row-style sophisticated dining - and market-fresh seafood - in a comfortable-yet-white-tablecloth neighborhood setting. Four stars.

7943 Tuckerman Lane
(Cabin John Mall)
[I-270 Montrose Road exit;
take Seven Locks Road south
to Cabin John Mall on left]


Anonymous said...

So was there anything that sucked?

Anything that earned less than "four stars"?

How much was your check?

Robert Dyer said...

5:52: The ratings are right there, if you are literate. How much was Tom Sietsema's check? Stop trolling and grow up.

Anonymous said...

So Robert, you're keeping yourself in pretty good company, you've now compared yourself to real reporters such as Woodward and Bernstein and now Tom Sietsema. Though Sietsema seems to hate all Bethesda restaurants, so maybe you're not quite biased like him.

But seriously, how much was all that?

Anonymous said...

Wow..a lot of jealousy from the anonymous blogger that *wasn't* invited!

Act polite, and maybe you'll be invited to stuff. Meanwhile, leave the Bethesda restaurant reviews to Robert Dyer.

Anonymous said...

A shameless conservative trolling for dinner. What an oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

A local blogger spending money locally. How novel!

Anonymous said...

1:39pm shouts at Bourdain on his TV: "you moocher! you're not even in disguise"
Please get over yourself.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:59 PM has Stockholm Syndrome

James Q. said...

How will the sale of Cabin John impact the local economy in your opinion Robert? I have said for a long time this place is due for redevelopment. Hopefully new ownership will understand the area's potential and put the money into this property that it deserves. Here's to many more oystahs!

Anonymous said...

I hope not. It's still functional and convenient. No need to screw it up.

Anonymous said...

Seems like another restaurant catering to Montgomery County's ELITE! Maybe Trump and his acolytes aren't so working class after all--After all its hard to be working class when you have billions....Then again, maybe he doesn't really have billions.