Those who want a taste of the beach without the travel and traffic can take the advice of the Zagat Restaurant Guide and head to Choptank in the West Village. NY1's Michelle Park filed the following report.
308 Bleecker Street
This West Village seafood restaurant is serving up the surf with their seafood-centric menu.
"I like it to be fun. I kind of say it's based on dirty fingers," says chef Matthew Schaefer. "People come in, drink some wine, have some beer and get their fingers dirty eating tacos, fish sticks, fried chicken."
Zagat surveyors say this new West Village seafooder serves a traditional Maryland fish-shack menu in a setting that is slicker than expected, complete with a minimalist aesthetic and a glassed-in patio.
One of the biggest draws is the Maryland-style steamed blue crabs. On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, diners can get them all-you-can-eat for $50.
NY1 got an inside peek at the easiest way to get that crab meat out of the shell and into your tummy. After pulling off the crab's legs, flip the crustacean onto its back.
"You grab what they call the 'tab,' which is the lower little thingamabob on the bottom there. Pull that off," says Bobby Werhane, the owner of Choptank.
Stick an index finger under the top shell and pop it right off.
"You need to remove all the gooey stuff, the lungs and the stuff that's on top of the shell," says Werhane.
Pull the remaining halves apart and voila -- the crab meat pops right out.
If crabs aren't your preference, the restaurant also has a diverse menu of dishes, ranging from wild striped bass to fried chicken.
To wash down the grub, the restaurant is debuting some summer-inspired cocktails like the "Choptiki," which is made with smoked pineapple juice, rum, prosecco and lime juice.
"As the city starts to cook, we're looking to be able to hydrate and refresh people's bodies with good, clean beverages," says beverage director Nathan Holland.
For those who want to enjoy summer seafood from home, Choptank also offers crabs by the dozen for delivery or to-go.
As for the ratings, Choptank has not yet been rated but prices are listed as moderate.