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Rockfish Chesapeake by Olde Crisfield Crab & Steakhouse

Feb 28, 2011 08:09PM ● Published by Ashley West

Purchased by Annapolis restaurateur Jerry Hardesty, the Olde Crisfield Crab & Steakhouse opened its doors late in the 2009 summer season once extensive renovations were completed. Now open for its first full season and accommodating up to 300 guests, the restaurant is a combination of several buildings and has a variety of seating options—there's the outdoor patio specifically for all-you-can-eat crabs as well as a waterfront tiki bar and indoor dining room. During the renovation, craftsmen were brought in to add some remarkable details to the space and furnishings. In the dining room, all of the tables have been had painted with a variety of artwork, ranging from water scenes to abstract crabs and fish. These original designs also are displayed on the seat of every barstool.



In addition to crabs and steaks, the Olde Crisfield Crab and Steakhouse has an extensive menu, whether you're craving some munchies at the the tiki bar or a full dinner in the dining room. From live entertainment to dinner cruises, it's no wonder Olde Crisfield has become the place to go when in Crisfield.


8 Questions with Chef Arthur Gross

How did your culinary career begin?

I started working when I was in high school. I worked for a master chef, James Gross, and he inspired me to stay in the business.


Describe the culinary influences present in your dishes.


I have been influenced by American-style cuisine and having been in Annapolis for 30 years, the Chesapeake Bay has had a marked effect as well.


How did you come to work at and/or open this restaurant?


The owner of Middleton Tavern, Jerry Hardesty, purchased Olde Crisfield Crab & Steakhouse last year. Being Mr. Hardesty’s Chef at Middleton Tavern, I came to Crisfield to open this restaurant and organize the kitchen staff.


What do you like the most about your job?

I think that the interaction with the staff and the chance to serve other people have been the most rewarding for me.


What makes this dish special to you?

Rockfish (or striped bass) is the state fish of Maryland and a staple of the Bay. After some lean years in the population, the fish has made a comeback with some government regulations. Rockfish is the most important commercial and recreational fish in the Bay, and this dish is very popular with our guests in Annapolis.


Is this recipe a traditional recipe or have you modified it?

This recipe is somewhat traditional with some modifications to make it more Chesapeake.


How difficult is this dish to prepare at home?

The recipe is very easy to prepare at home and has always been a favorite. Rockfish filets are available at most seafood markets.


Is there a particular wine, beer, or cocktail that goes well with this dish?


I think that a chardonnay, particularly a domestic one, would be a good match for this dish. Of course there is nothing more festive than a sparkling wine to celebrate an occasion. Sparkling wines can complement an entire meal, from seafood appetizers to the main course.


Rockfish Chesapeake

By Chef Arthur Gross, Olde Crisfield Crab & Steakhouse




3 TBSP butter

1 Rockfish filet with skin

2 Ounces Maryland crabmeat

1 Ounce chopped roasted red peppers

1 Cup sliced mushrooms

Flour for breading the fish

Salt and pepper

Mesclun greens

Balsamic vinaigrette




Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Begin melting the butter in a saute pan over medium high heat.


Add salt and pepper to flour to taste.


Toss the rockfish filet in the flour to coat.


Place filet in the saute pan, skin down, and saute for about 3 minutes.


Turn fish and saute for another 3 minutes.


Place fish on a baking sheet and transfer to oven, baking for approximately 7-10 minutes.


Begin sauteing the mushrooms using the same saute pan used for the fish.


Saute until soft and golden.


Add the crab and peppers and saute for about 2 minutes.


Toss the mesclun greens with 1 TBSP of balsamic dressing and plate.


Top the salad with the fish and finish with the crab, mushroom, and pepper mix.




Crab & Steakhouse Jerry Hardesty Middleton's Tavern Rockfish Chesapeake Chef Arthur Gross Olde Crisfield Recipe