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Friday, April 20, 2012

Rusty Scupper, Inner Harbor

I, along with my parents, had the opportunity to dine at the Rusty Scupper* to celebrate the restaurant's 30th anniversary, and we all jumped at the chance.  The Rusty Scupper!  The iconic Baltimore restaurant that's at the end of the Inner Harbor pier!  That awesome restaurant that everyone knows about, tourists and locals alike!  And yet.....I've never been there and have never thought about going....WHY!?!?  I always thought The Rusty Scupper was some old, stodgy restaurant that only catered to tourists with some bland seafood.  I WAS SO WRONG! You guys, this place is GREAT!!!

We had the fortune of going when it was a gorgeous night out, so our wonderful seat by the window made  us truly appreciate how beautiful our city really is.  Tourists shouldn't be the only people to appreciate the view!

We started off the meal with some soft bread served with a creamy red pepper spread that had a nice spicy kick. 

The 10 Cane Mojito ($8.95) was perfectly made.  I'd be all about ordering this again. My dad's Scupper Swizzler ($8.95) was very tropical and sweet, though I forget exactly what was in it other than Malibu Rum.

Artichoke and Crab Dip ($13) Served with melted cheese over crispy pita chips. This was a surprise - it was HUGE!  I thought they had given us nachos at first, since I was not expecting a crab dip appetizer to look like this.  I thought this was very tasty though, there are lots of large clumps of artichokes in the dip, but even the pita chips are yummy by themselves. This would be really good for a large group since there is so much and it's so rich - it's hard to have a lot without compromising your appetite.

The Caesar salad ($6.95) was a nice hefty portion, though a bit heavy on the dressing.  The Chopped Salad ($8) (pictured above) was colorful with large chunks of avocado!  This was a solid salad with an oil herb parmesan dressing.  I would definitely order this as a side salad again.

Grilled Chesapeake Rockfish ($30) Simply seasoned and chargrilled with wild rice medley, fresh vegetables in a fresh lemon butter sauce. My mum ordered the Rockfish which she really enjoyed.  She said the delicate flavoring was a good match for this robust and meaty fish. 

Authentic Maryland Crabcakes ($32) Lump crab cakes lightly broiled with three mustard sauce served with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. I had to order the crab cakes, of course, and I am glad I did!  They were wonderfully full of lump crab with hardly any filler.  They were VERY well done, and an excellent introduction to Maryland crabcakes to any out-of-towner.  The creamy garlic mash was a perfect complement to the dish as well.

Bouillabase ($30) Shrimp, Diver sea scallops, mussels and white fish in a saffron tomato broth with rouille and crostini. This just stole the show, I mean, look at it!  The HUGE Le Creuset dish was filled with with large pieces of shrimp, mussels and tomatoes swimming in the fragrant saffron and tomato-flavored broth.  Please just get this and share with 2-3 other people - no one person can finish it.

Save room for the desserts!  They were such a highlight of the meal for all of us that it would be a shame if you missed out on them!

Sweet potato cheesecake ($7) Served with warm pecan praline sauce and whipped cream.  I wasn't really excited about this initially, but oh boy I am so glad I got to try this because this was one of our favorites!!!  It was decadent!  Superb!  It was so creamy and I just loved the pecan praline sauce on top.  Perfect with a cup of coffee.

Apple Walnut Upside Down Pie ($7) Warm apple pie inverted with a crunchy-candy glaze of walnuts and brown sugar, topped with vanilla bean ice cream.  I loved the warm apples, pie crust and caramel glaze, but i wasn't a fan of the hard candy on top - it was too tough on my teeth.  I just moved it to the side of the plate and kept eating the rest :) It was too easy to finish.

Smith Island Cake ($10) Six layers of yellow cake and chocolate fudge icing served with Amaretto Biscotti ice cream.  I'm not normally a huge fan of Maryland's signature cake (SORRY!!!), since yellow cake and chocolate icing is just not my thing, but I can appreciate this cake for what it is.  I brought some home to Dan who LOVED it (though he preferred the sweet potato cheesecake).  It's served with an Amaretto biscotti ice cream which takes this plain (for me) dessert a bit further.  And, just as with all their desserts, these are all made for sharing!

Other notes about the restaurant:
- There was live piano music, and it was so lovely!
- This place is pricey, but please do keep it in mind for celebrations.  Pre-prom dinner, an engagement celebration, or an anniversary would be lovely in this venue. There are several private dining areas in various sizes.
- The views are spectacular when there's daylight, when the sun is setting, and when it is dark - you will want to see it all!  Keep that in mind when you make your dinner reservation!
- They have a parking garage right next to the restaurant, which they will validate for $6 BUT they also have a complimentary shuttle service available to guests within the city limits Mon-Sat, 5pm-Close!  That is AWESOME. Have a couple more mojitos!

My parents and I had such a LOVELY dinner at the Rusty Scupper.  They couldn't stop raving about the food, the atmosphere and the view, and I was the same way.  This is a really special Baltimore restaurant, and we should be proud that it's been around for 30 years - there's definitely a reason why!

Rusty Scupper on Urbanspoon

*DISCLAIMER: Though this was a free dinner, I was not asked to write a positive review and felt no inclination to write anything which did not reflect my true opinion of The Rusty Scupper.


Cupcake Crusaders said...

As a Baltimore resident, I've always thought what you did at the beginning, that this restaurant was just for tourist. I'll have to see if I can get the husband to rethink going there, if not, I'm sure I can convince some girlfriends to go with me. Thanks for sharing this review!

Nakiya said...

Absolutely!!! It's definitely a treat, but well worth it in my opinion

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