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LocalsSay Cheers
' . " t i q t h e f ir st **akt*il* with
e h*r**t*r
,! warm day of
.ia.-spring and "You must
for once, owner try Lesley's
, --^ ^ ^ f . , , i r u rr
Eric Rosen, 5 r4 y L I
owner of St. drink," says
Michael's Crab Potomac
& Steak House, transplant and
is wrong about self-described
the businesshe "rookie regu-
has owned for lar," Charlie
16 years. Castle.Castle
"'We just hasjoined
opened for the long-time reg-
seasonand I ex- ulars, Sidney
pected things to
be slow today, Martha Nel-
but we've been son, on their
slammed." stools to enjoy
For the most the beginning
part, owner Libationsflow at the Cheers-like of another
waterside bar. Picturedare locals(L-R)
Eric Rosen is summer of afternoon drinks
Jack Zimmet Martha Nelson,Sidney
St. Michael's Woodruff, and CharlieCastle. and food on the restaurantt
Crab & Steak waterside deck.They enthusi-
House and is astically insist that I join them
involved in all the day-to-day responsibilities of run- w hen thcy seenle t aking pic-
ning the restaurant.-W'henI meet him, he is standing in tures, and when they find out
the door'way of the kitchen wearing an apron. He that I anr vi si t ing t o wr it e an
apologizesfor being too busy to talk at the moment article, they are more than
but encourages me to make myself at home. h"ppy to act as ambassadors
The outside deck is dotted with coioful umbrellas for their favorite restaurant.
and there is just enough breeze offof the docks to "This is the closestthing to a
keep customers cool as the seasonheatsup.Tablesof The bloody marys are one of Cheers bar you can get," Ne1-
the most popul ar dri nks. son tells me. It is a referenceI
customerslinger over late lunches of steamedcrabs.
The restaurant is popular with patrons for its steaks will hear from several different
and crab cakes,as well as what are referred to as"the best people who come and go over the next hour. Patrons
Caesars"-salads that are served with a variery of top- also are demonstrative in their appreciation for bar-
pings, including fresh crabmeat, steamed shrimp, seared tenders Lesley and Diane, who are well-loved for using
tuna, and fried oysters. fresh, generous ingredients and a creative presentation of
the crab and steak house is well known for its their mixed drinks.And while everyone agreesthat these
quality seafood within the undeniably competitive mar- bartendersservethe best drinks in St. Michael's,there is
ket of the Chesapeakeregion, it is service rather than debate over whether the bloody marys, the fruit crushes,
seafood that truly distinguishes this waterfront establish- or the cosmopolitansare the best.
ment. No sooner have I stepped out onto the sunny "-We are well known for our drinks but they are also
deck then I get a tasteof what separatesthis seafood more reasonablypriced than many other placesbecause,"
restaurant from others in St Michaelis. Rosen sayslaughing,"I appreciatea good drink."

Taste of the Bay *8 - J une 2009

&l i lr : t h* F *m il3r day night when patrons have been known to clear away
Rosen attendedThe Restaurant School of Philadel- some tables for impromptu dancing.And a brown
phia in the early 1980s before moving to Maryland to spanieljumps from the passengerseat of his owner's car
start his career in the restaurant business. and runs to the bar for the doggie treat he has come to
"I came down to the Eastern Shore when a classmate expect from Lesley.
of mine opened a Rosen chuckles when I ask him about his camne
restaurant in Easton clientele."You know, some days we'll have thirty to
and asked ine to be forty dogs who come here with their owners," which
the chef.There was seemsto remind him why he has spent a good deal of
another restaurant his life in the restaurantbusiness.
here and I took "I've been at this long enough that I wouldn't be
over and opened doing it if I didnt enjoy it," Rosen tells me. "At the end
my restaurant in of the day it is about the relationships we have with our
1994;', customers. I like it that everyone around here says,
One of Rosen's '-We'regoing to Eric's.'I like it that at Eric's everyone is
goals is to enjoy his honre."
work and it is re-
flected in the re-
S t. Mi chael 's C rab & S teak H ouse i s l ocated at 305 Mul berry
laxed feeling of the S treet i n S t. Mi chael s. Open spri ng, summer and fal l , Thurs day
restaurant.St. through Tuesday from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Fri day and
Michaelt Crab & Saturday. Closed Wednesday. 41O.745.3737 or
w w w S tMi chael sC rabH ouse.com.
Steak House has a
decidedly unpre-
Fresh crabs are served piping hot, in tentious and wel-
traditionalMarylandcrab housestyle.
atmosphefe, and
following the seafood, the focus is clearly on the rela-

tionship befween the staffand the customers.
"The difference betr;veenthis restaurant and other
restaurantsis that we are realiy family oriented," Rosen
later tells me. "My kids work here. Generations within
families work here.And a lot of employees have been
here since the beginning. People come here and ask for
employeesby name year after yerr."
-f f= , I i ,' ,. 1.,:. ,1i i --!
Rosen wants his customers to feel like oart of the fam-
rly too. Nelson tells me that Rosen tpo.rro.r a trlp to an
Orioles game every year.And last year, a group from the
restaurant went to New Orleans to celebrate his fiftieth
"-W'ehave a lot of great customers," he tells n1e."On
'li;u,',j;;t; i l
any night I'll know about a hundred people by name. It
is the big base of local patrons that really make this print your.*,n clrsisn,.sc
n'" 0,,r,*',lll,l1$.\r,or workrvithour qrephicclcsisner
Use the onlinc- estinrrtor ibr instarrt pricing.
A Home Away From Home
As the sun begins to set, Lesley squeezesgrapefruits rA$T
Most proJr'.t! sbip r[ 4li houls.
for another drink.The owners of another popular
restaurant stop by to spend some time with friends at
the bar.Another tray of large steamed crabs is served to
*f;r$.1 il
(ilr ibr large oncs.

an umbrella-shaded table on the deck.A 7O-something-

year-old known asJack "The Dipper" stops by for a DELMARVA
or '(sliiPfrnl:nq
bottle of beer, encouraging me to come back on a Fri-
rr visiiwww.deltnaruaprinlifig.c0tn

www.tasteofthebay.com - 9 - Sayyou saw it in Tasteof the Bay