These regional specialties warm up menus in the Mid-Atlantic.
The Bay in a Bowl
You'll certainly find oysters and crab on menus in other areas of the country, but few places serve them with the enthusiasm of those near the Chesapeake Bay. This time of year, we're especially partial to the regional soups and stews. Bud Harrison, Jr.--who runs Harrison's Chesapeake House on Tilghman Island, Maryland, with his parents Captain Buddy and Miss Bobbie--says they sell gallons of their oyster stew. The secret? Fresh oysters that go from the bay to the kitchen. Because the family also owns an oyster shucking business, Bud personally hand selects the oysters they use at the restaurant. To make the stew, the cooks sauté the oysters in a butter-and- salt-and-pepper mix until they curl; then they add a milk-and-cream base. It's not something you can easily make ahead of time, so most bowls served here are made to order. When in season, they offer a oyster buffet on Friday night. 21551 Chesapeake House Drive, Tilghman Island, MD 21671; (410) 886-2121. Cup of stew: $3.75, bowl: $4.75.