Recipe and restaurant review

True confessions.  I didn’t cook tonight.  We went to a new restaurant, True Chesapeake Oyster Company with friends.  Since I just got back to blogging, I felt guilty about not providing a recipe so I’m giving you an old favorite.  Since it’s a repeat, I’ll also tell you a little about the restaurant.

The restaurant just opened at the beginning of October in Clipper Mill.  The space is really neat looking, in fact the one server said “When I’m here, I don’t even feel like I’m in Baltimore.”  The menu is not extensive but if you like seafood, you won’t have any trouble finding something you like.  (I find it hard to believe that many people will go to a restaurant called True Chesapeake Oyster Company and order a $79 Tomahawk steak.)

There were 6 different varieties of oysters offered from the raw bar and we tried a sample.  The oysters were fantastic and were served on ice in big bowls with cocktail sauce, lemon slices, horseradish, mignonette and what looked like a medicine bottle that we were told was a hot sauce.  Not being a spicy girl, I skipped the hot sauce.  Keith tried it and reported that it was good.

I love a good oyster stew so could not resist ordering that.  I felt a little bit piggy ordering raw oysters, oyster stew and fried oysters but the portions were small so I ended up feeling happy that I had ordered what I did.  The oyster stew had wonderful flavor and the oysters were plump and delicious.  The fried oyster portion was 5 small fried oysters.  Again, flavors were excellent but I could have eaten a few more.  I would describe it as an appetizer.

Keith had oyster stew also and enjoyed very much.  He also had monkfish which was mild and flaky.  He thought it was well prepared with a nutty crust and a squash puree.  He gave me a taste and it was good, but again the portion size was small.  Keith said “Maybe it’s a restaurant for thin people.”

The server was very nice and enthusiastic but the service was slow, particularly for a weeknight when it was not crowded.  I would recommend True Chesapeake but we felt it was expensive for what we had.

If you want to be full, go ahead and fix the swordfish:

Grilled swordfish with tomato fennel sauce and cous cous

  • swordfish fillets (6 – 8 oz per person)
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil (plus additional for brushing on fish)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 28 oz canned plum tomatoes, drained
  • 2 TB chicken stock
  • 2 TB white wine
  • 2 TB capers, drained
  • 2 tsp butter
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • cous cous

In a heavy pan, saute the onion and fennel for about 12 minutes or until soft.  Add garlic and stir in.  Add tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat.  Add chicken stock and wine and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Add capers, butter and basil and simmer for 5 minutes.  (NOTE: You can make ahead of time and wait and add basil right before serving.)

Brush swordfish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill for 5 minutes a side over high heat (either on an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan).  Fix cous cous according to package directions.