Sometimes a name does say it all. Real Seafood Company is my first thought when I yearn for American-style fish. The love affair started many years back, at its annual Oyster and Beer Festival. That one-evening event proved I wouldn't be seafood-starved in my new hometown. You can consume forty dollars' worth of raw shellfish and twenty dollars in beer, so the salad, entree, and dessert are essentially on the house at this $59.95 event (held the first Wednesday in October).
It's really, really hard for me to pass up Real Seafood's cioppino. Fully flavored with a rich seafood stock and lots of saffron, the big bowl is a nearly bottomless pit of clams, mussels, crab leg, shrimp, an occasional scallop, at least two finny fish (typically salmon and swordfish), and redskin potatoes. They float grilled, cheese-covered toast on top, reinforcing the bouillabaisse connection. This is my annual birthday treat, thanks to Main Street Ventures' birthday special--essentially, free food for the birthday child (bring at least one companion and proof of age).
Another favorite, the Waterman's He-Stew, is an enormous bowl of heavy cream and oysters, seasoned with bacon, onions, celery, and a pinch of saffron. Can that possibly be bad? Just don't make the (otherwise delightful) mistake of trying to consume full orders of both this and the cioppino at one sitting.
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