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The Early Word on West Village Seafood Spot Choptank

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Krieger, 1/11/10

Early reviews of the barely week-old Choptank are already trickling in, the new Chesapeake-themed restaurant from former Dell'anima/L'Artusi partner Bobby Werhane and Houston's alum Josh Morgan. From the looks of it, most of the reviews range from middling to excellent, but as always, a smattering of disgruntled Yelpers and boarders keep things interesting. Raves abound for the oysters, fried chicken, and the cheeseburger, while service snafus and deadly clams are among the caveats. Onward, to the early news:

The Pretty Good News: "Went during friends and family with a girl who knew the chef... this place is delish but the space is very weird.... it's like there are too many walls and very little decor. the whole space is off. that being said- the food is superb! I had...fried oyster po'boy, oysters on the half shell, virginia ham plate, the bone marrow, and the jumbo lump crab cake. they also had a homemade ice cream (pistachio) that was more like gelato. will definitely go back (prices and beer list are good). also the bar is pretty awesome... it wraps around." [Eater Inbox]

The Pretty Awesome News: "I thought it was pretty awesome. We ordered: Apps: Oysters, Mushroom & egg (best dish!) Virginia ham (such a great pairing. Ham & honey. Why didn't I think of that?) Marrow (what's not to love?) Crab cake, P'boy. All in all, the portions were perfect size & think it was a really great value. The music was great & the vibe was pretty cool." [Eater Inbox]

The Deep-Fried News: Always Hungry checks in with a early review that highlights the fried chicken: "Fried Chicken ($20) isn’t the only meat item on the menu at Choptank. It’s joined by several others, including the Virginia Ham Plate, a tasty Steak with Sweetbread Gravy, and of course, the obligatory burger. But Schaefer has reassembled the dish and he seems to have fine-tuned its preparation. The Mermaid Inn served three large, incredibly moist and juicy pieces. There are a few more pieces on this plate and while it’s still juicy, it’s not quite as wet, so the fried exterior seems to adhere better. The crumbly corn bread is gone, and the oversalted collard greens are now something to finish eating. There’s also a small saucer of black pepper honey, for dipping." [Always Hungry]

The Not-So-Good News: One Yelper freaks out over some unopened clams: "DANGER! DANGER! Dropped in at Chop Tank with my son for some seafood. He's loves clams. They are assassins! We ordered two orders of steamers. One order came with four claims that didn't open so they cracked them open with a hammer and put them in the bottom of the bucket. I thought is was strange that the shells on one side were broken into three pieces. Glad we didn't eat them. That is completely egregious. You are playing with your life if you eat there. Go anywhere else. " [Yelp]

The Mostly Good News: "Crab chowder was delicious and bacony as mentioned in the other review, but I would have liked it to be a little thicker...For our main courses she got the Crab cake and I got the Arctic Char. Crab cake came with wedge lettuce topped with a kind of spicy mayo dressing and saltines on the side. I have to admit that my favorite crab cake is the one served at Del Frisco's which is covered in a (somewhat) similar spicy sauce, which I realize isn't what this is. However, I found myself comparing the two and found the one at Choptank to be a bit dry and bland..However, the arctic char dish more than made up for it." [Eater Inbox]
-Kelly Dobkin


310 Bleecker St., New York, NY

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