So Delaware Group Annoints June soft-shell crab month at all eight restaurants

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It’s soft-shell crab month all June at Rehoboth-based restaurant group, SoDel Concepts..While Summer is notoriously known for steamed crabs, increasingly, soft-shell crabs have become the darling of coastal diners. To showcase the many possibilities, SoDel Concepts’ eight coastal restaurants are highlighting different soft-shell crabs on their menus: Fish On in Lewes; Lupo Italian Kitchen and Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Rehoboth; Matt’s Fish Camp and Bluecoast Seafood Grill in Bethany Beach; NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View; Catch 54 and the first Papa Grande’s in Fenwick Island.


But first, a bit of history on the baby crab. Soft shell crabs are at a growth stage when the crab sheds its outer shell. It must be removed from the water within a few hours of shedding, before the tender skin hardens into another larger shell. Soft shell crabs are sold whole. They're in season from April to mid-September and vary in size from 4-6 inches.


“Offering local, seasonal food continues to be a hot restaurant trend, and soft-shell crabs are both local and seasonal at this time of year,” said Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, which also owns Plate Catering, Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, a food truck, and hospitality management and consulting companies. “We can serve a dish that’s become a favorite for so many of our customers in so many different ways.”

Seen left: Chef Matt's interpretation, Fish On.


Many other restaurts in the Mid Atlantic are boasting soft shell specials. See our article on Baltimore Soft Shell Crab Week.

Most recently, in Rehoboth Beach, DE, I enjoyed a spectacular meal of pan sauteed, soft shell crabs over a bed of julienne veggies and salad dressed with a truffle oil vinaigrette (seen left)at JAM BISTRO. Might I suggest pairing your meal with a crisp rose, so many to choose from: Provence is one of the most well-known wine producing regions in the world. Provence is the largest wine region specializing in dry rosé worldwide and is a continuing rising favorite among American wine lovers.


Seen left-softshell dish from Catch 54

The dish from Fish On in Lewes features flash-fried jumbo soft-shells with potato puree, Brussels sprouts, heirloom turnips, mushrooms and bacon.




The SoDel Concepts’ chefs are getting creative, and a wee bit competitive, during soft-shell crab month. “While preparing soft-shell crabs is a tradition along the ‘Culinary Coast,’ each chef can bring an individual style to the dish,” said Doug Ruley (seen left), corporate chef for the company. “While all of our chefs are happy to collaborate on projects, they’re all vying to prepare the most delicious soft-shell dish to impress both customers and their colleagues.” (Photo Courtesy: CITYPEEK)


At Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Fenwick Island, Chefs will prepare the soft-shell crab two ways: two soft-shells battered and deep-fried then placed atop a bed of sizzling peppers and onions and served with warm corn fajitas, rice, beans and crema and two, two tacos with a battered, deep-fried soft-shell served on a bed of cabbage and topped with pickled onions, cilantro and a sriracha cream drizzle.


Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Rehoboth Beach is also serving soft-shell crab tacos. At NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View, guests can try the flash-fried soft-shell crabs, served with a farm salad made from local greens, basil-mayonnaise, tartar sauce and lemon.


Lupo Italian Kitchen is taking a Mediterranean approach by serving buttermilk-fried crabs with marbled peewee potatoes and gremolata (an Italian condiment made with parsley, lemon zest, olive oil and garlic).


Bluecoast Seafood Grill in Bethany Beach features very lightly fried soft-shells over a salad with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber and grilled corn gently tossed with red wine vinaigrette.



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