Food

Pix from Choptank in the West Village, a Restaurant Trying Very Hard to Be Baltimore

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The steamed topneck clams with garlic butter and herbs is one of the glories of Choptank’s menu.

This week, Counter Culture sails up the Chesapeake Bay to Choptank — the restaurant, not the river. Seafood is a particular specialty, some of it actually drawn from the bay, including big beautiful crab cakes, steamed clams, rock shrimp, and two or three kinds of oysters per evening. But the restaurant also does distinguished renditions of other Bal’more signatures, including fried chicken and Ostrowski’s Polish sausage. Alas, no pit beef sandwiches!

Named after a river that flows into Chesapeake Bay, Choptank assumed the old Bar Q space on Bleecker Street.

The oyster po’ boy was a thing of beauty, but we found the “tobacco onions” on the side superfluous.

The rock shrimp tacos tasted completely out of place among otherwise authentic Maryland dishes.

Among a very small handful of desserts, the banana bread pudding was a particular treat.

Next, a comparison of Choptank’s crab cake with the most notorious example in Baltimore, Faidley’s.

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Choptank’s generous crab cake is totally authentic, but comes with a frankly strange collection of sides.

Faidley’s are slightly bigger, shaped like a large ice cream scoop and identical in volume, and come with a choice of sides that reflect the Southern roots of Baltimore cuisine.

Check out some other pictures from my trip to Baltimore.