With another real estate deal successfully closed, it’s decision time on where to celebrate. Like the proverbial light bulb going off over our heads, we head to the recently opened Shore Diner on St. Armand’s, which is located above Shore clothing store right as you enter St. Armand’s Circle, just past Foxy Lady.
While I’m not saying we should have come here sooner, I uhh, well that’s exactly what I’m saying, even though Shore only opened a month or so ago . . . Wishful thinking.
Shore Diner is yet another brilliant addition to the local culinary scene from that family with the seemingly Midas touch for knowing exactly what area foodies are looking for; the brothers Caragiulo. Add Shore Diner to their win record. The place is packed by 7:00 so if you’re a small party – come before then.
We climb the embedded shell staircase to the smiling faces at the hostess stand and decide that the “Chill-Lounge” inspired front patio is where we’d like to settle in, enjoy the evening and people watch. There are plenty of misting fans to keep the cool vibe going!
Normally, I’m a wine-with-dinner kinda guy, but how can I not have the house concocted bourbon infused with bacon? It’s as delicious as it is different and reminded me of the ideal Sunday brunch cocktail . . . the bacon flavor was unmistakably delicious. (Me liking something with bacon flavor? Duh!)
Jill chose the Shore Cocktail – with Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain, cucumber and mint, and once settled, we directed our attention to the menu.
I love a menu that is so enticing that it’s difficult to choose, because there’s not a single item here that doesn’t appeal to me. We were lucky to have Casey as our server, as he walked us through the ever changing menu offering suggestions. At Shore Diner managements actually listens to customer suggestions, and since opening several of their earlier daily specials have become main-stays on the menu. Smart!
Casey suggests we start with one of the more popular items from the Small Plates selection; the Seared Blue Crabcake, which is prepared on an 800 degree Spanish “plancha” cooking surface and served with some cool and crispy vinegar slaw and Old Bay mayo. I have to admit this was one of the best crab cakes I have ever had! Hot and juicy on the inside with a crunchy crust and just the right amount of spice. So how good a suggestions from our server “Casey at bat”? Home run number one!
Seldom passing up on Latin inspired cuisine, Jill orders the Surf & Turf, a grilled marinated skirt steak with chimichurri, and monster size grilled prawns served with a Peruvian bean summer succotash. The portion is large enough she shared with me and still took home enough for lunch the next day! Value and great taste?! Pow! Home run number two!
My choice runs to Shore’s Jambalaya with loads of alligator andouille sausage, plump gulf shrimp, blackened chicken, and blue crab in a spicy lobster cream over pasta. This dish was out of the ball park in my mind! Home run number three!
Both entrees are extraordinarily generous, expertly prepared, and delightfully presented by Casey, who goes out of his way (twice) to let us know the beautiful red micro-greens adorning our plates is called amaranth. (red micro-greens? What will they think of next?) Table visits by Molly, the general manager, and Mark Caragiulo ensure that all’s wel.
It’s going to be an easy decision to return to Shore Diner, and a lunch visit to arguably the best “diner” around is a lock next time we’re out on “The” Circle. Another considertion dining later in a clear evening when Shore opens the ceiling of the back dining area to the stars. Heavenly!