The Inn at Osprey Point
Feb 16, 2012 12:28AM
● By Anonymous
Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, the understated 18th-century charm of the Colonial-style farmhouse comes through at every turn. With the traditional, yet elegant, décor in the dining room and the turn-of-the-century exterior façade, you feel like you’ve stepped back to a time before the advent of social media, where the pace of life seemed slower and more deliberate. This is not a contemporary space, but you’ll immediately find it warm and welcoming.
The best way to start your meal here is with one of the 10 signature cocktails. Ranging from classic drinks to contemporary creations (check out the gin and tonic made with a saffron-infused gin), you can find a pleasing drink, made with care, to start your meal. The Hemingway Daiquiri ($9) shows a hint of maraschino and great balance among the myriad of components, showcasing acidity from grapefruit and herbaceous rum notes, while the Osprey Outrigger ($9) highlighted a fruitier approach while still delivering balance and packing a punch from the base spirit.
After you’ve settled in with your cocktail, march on to a quality wine list that spans the globe. You can dig into a Spanish Rioja, a Burgundy Grand Cru, or an Oregon Pinot if you’re in the mood for red; try a Alsace Vouvray for a white. The list ranges from affordable to extravagant, with wines that start in the high $20s and move as high as $600 per bottle.
We chose to start our meal with Crab Bisque ($9) and Duck appetizer ($16). The crab bisque was rich, well seasoned, and filled with large pieces of jumbo lump crab. There is no place to find better crab than the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and this soup showcased exactly why. The duck preparation was intriguing and well prepared, coming out a beautiful medium rare, and topped with a crumble that added depth and texture, although the fig compote was slightly too sweet.
The entrée portion of the menu from Executive Chef Matt Whitehair is small, with only four entrées listed, and on this particular night one dish was out of stock leaving us with only three options for our main course. That was fine, however, as the seafood entrees were available and were the most intriguing options listed. We continued our meal with Crab Cakes ($32) and Scallops ($30). The scallops came out beautifully, caramelized and seasoned with flaky sea salt. They were prepared exquisitely, providing texture and nuance that you only find in kitchens with dedication to culinary technique. The scallops were layered on top of a pork confit and the contrasting textures and flavors of pork and scallop worked in harmony, providing a unique combination of flavor for each bite. The sauces that accompanied the scallops lacked depth and fell a little flat, but they weren’t required to make this an outstanding dish.
Crab cakes are a quintessential Maryland staple, and they’re too often made without care and quality, seen more as a necessary evil than a dish to be celebrated. Fortunately for everyone involved, this is not a problem at Osprey Point. Here, jumbo lump crab meat comes together with minimal filler and is seared to form a crispy outside layer and a soft luscious filling. If it were up to me I’d vote to ban crab cakes from the fryer altogether, and this broiled dish shows you exactly why. The integrity of the crab is maintained while producing two distinctly different textural components. It’s a beautiful thing when done properly. The crab cakes were accompanied with a little bit of starch from seared fingerling potatoes and balanced with the bracing bitterness of broccoli rabe.
The portions here are substantial and you could leave here satisfied having eaten appetizers and entrées only, but there is a dessert menu option at Osprey Point. And so we tried the “Pumpkin Pie” ($8), a pumpkin-spiced crème brulee with a crispy sugar top. The texture of the brulee was well defined. We also enjoyed the Mocha Cheesecake ($8) was accompanied by a lovely strawberry sauce that made it a moist, interesting dish.
At the end of the day, the drive to the Inn at Osprey Point is one worth making. There is no doubt that it is a destination location and one that you should seek out when you’re looking for a special occasion meal.
20786 Rock Hall Avenue, Rock
Dinner: 5–9 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 5–8 p.m. Sunday
Brunch: 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Sunday