It's in these most trying of times that we turn toward warmth and comfort. Also, we start trying to endear ourselves to anyone with access to boatloads of fresh blue crab. And guys with pier and harbor connections.
So allow us to present Choptank, a refined seafood joint in the West Village and your new Chesapeake Bay hookup, opening its doors this coming Monday and now taking reservations.
The owner, Bobby Werhane—a Maryland native and former owner of the well-loved Italian nooks Dell'Anima and L'Artusi—has turned away from wine bars for a minute to build the kind of seafood joint that you've been longing for the past couple of years—basically, an aquarium where the contents are conveniently edible and the water has been removed for breathing purposes. A place decked in brick and dockwood, spotted with framed documents about old ships and lit by hanging lamps wrapped in burlap nets that just happen to cast a soft light on the population of shellfish chilling on ice at the raw bar.
This is all specifically calibrated to inspire uninhibited oyster shucking and, when in season, close encounters with sumptuous piles of handpicked blue crab meat. We recommend showing up with some fellow ravenous seafood enthusiasts and, if you're feeling bold, heading to the heated patio out back, where you can sink into some rare Trappist beers and Maryland staples like Boardwalk Fries, Peel ‘N' Eat Shrimp and Fried Chicken With Black Pepper Honey.
At which point you may begin to feel nostalgic for your Chesapeake Bay-area youth.
Or all those summers spent at the local raw bar.