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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
LANDMARK CRAB HOUSE
Chincoteague is a barrier island in the Atlantic a short drive north of Virginia Beach. It sits right next to Asseteague Island which is famous for it's wild ponies. Late each July, the completely wild horses are herded (they make 'em swim through a narrow body of water separating the islands) over to Chincoteague. They are allowed to rest and then some of the young ones are adopted and domesticated. The rest of the herd is forced to swim back to Asseteague and wait another year for a shot at an adoptive home!
The Landmark Crab House is in a very pretty setting right on the water. It's a very busy place during the summer "in season" so I'd highly suggest a reservation.
When I think of crab houses in this part of the country, the blue crab comes to mind. But you won't find 'em at the Landmark. Here you'll find snow crab legs, etc. You'll have to head over to a casual restaurant called Steamers for live blue crabs.
The Landmark has a very nice feel to it. On the one hand it's rather elegant with lots of wood and maritime decorations. But it's anything but stuffy and perfect for families. On this visit we were with our daughter, her husband, and their two babies. By the time the meal was over there must have been 2 pounds of projectiles heaved on the floor by our loveable little urchins. But no complaints from the wait staff. Just warm smiles.
Now -- down to the food! They have a nice salad bar to start the meal off. Not the biggest spread you've ever seen but certainly adequate and everything seemed to be quality stuff. Appetizers range from conch fritters (not all that common in the mid-Atlantic states and a welcome touch), calamari, oysters, crabmeat cocktail, the omni-present shrimp cocktail and steamed clams. Yummy small cherrystones. Very tasty.
For the main courses they offer various renditions of shrimp, clams, scallops, and a number of pasta dishes. Two local favorites are Seafood Norfolk---various shellfish simmered in a buttery sauce with sherry and Crab Imperial, which is the house specialty.
I got the "Landmark Seafood Dinner." It was offered fried or broiled. I opted for the broiled rendition and it was good. This feast starts out with a cup of your favorite chowder and proceeds onto portions of shrimp, fish, crab cake, oysters and scallops. As I said, mine was good broiled. But my daughter had it fried and her meal was sensational. Our son-in-law had baked stuffed flounder and it was good. My wife had the fish of the day which was oddly enough--grouper. That's a vacationing fish from the south. But it was good.
It had been hot that day so we swilled down a whole bunch of ice tea with our meal and failed to leave room for dessert. Oh well!
This was a very pleasant meal. Everybody enjoyed it a lot.
The Landmark Crab House is located on North Main Street. Just hang a left after you cross the drawbridge onto Chincoteague Island and it's just a block or so down on the left side of the street. Reservations would be wise. (757) 336-5552.
Chincoteague is a beautiful place. Tons of wildlife. Amazingly mallard ducks nest all over the place including the front yards of homes, in little bushes at hotels, etc. If you're ever over that way, it's worth a visit.