Simply Smashing

Jen gets crabby and happy at the same time at a Fort Lauderdale seafood institution

To answer the inherent question, the inn does supply carnivores with some meat choices, and fish fanatics fulfill fantasies with a variety of fillets -- dolphin, grouper, snapper, swordfish, salmon, pompano, tuna, or flounder -- grilled or broiled with onion-butter sauce. Shellfish lovers might be intrigued by appetizers like the "Super Combination Clams," a somewhat meager grouping of stuffed and oreganata clams (the restaurant had run out of both casino clams and oysters Rockefeller, both of which were also supposed to be included on the plate). Given the slightly gritty texture of the clams on the half shell, I preferred them in the Manhattan-style chowder, which, like the conch chowder, had a distinct bacon flavor. Overall, I favor the light, fluffy conch fritters or the tender conch salad (marinated nuggets of conch tossed with chopped peppers, celery, and onions) to begin a meal. Along with a bloody Mary, they evoke the taste of the Keys almost as much as does the sun setting over the water.

It's hammer time
Joshua Prezant
It's hammer time

Location Info

Map

Rustic Inn Crabhouse

4331 Ravenswood Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Category: Restaurant > Seafood

Region: Fort Lauderdale

Details

Lunch Monday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. till 2:45 p.m., dinner from 3 till 10:45 p.m. Lunch and dinner Sunday from 2 till 9:45 p.m. Call 954-584-1637.
4331 Anglers Ave., Fort Lauderdale

Like the clams, the mostly Cal-Ital wine list, stocked with familiarly priced standards, may not be all it appears to be. The inn had run out of the Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc we'd wanted, though we managed with a Chateau St. Michelle Horse Haven Sauvignon Blanc for $27.95. Then again, the Rustic Inn Crabhouse is not the restaurant for discovering a limited release of a boutique vintage. Rather, it's the place to seriously indulge in a rich wedge of peanut-butter pie for dessert -- or maybe a slice of the homemade carrot cake layered with cream-cheese frosting. In the end, a meal here is not only about smashing crabs; it's about crushing scales.

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