H&H Seafood

956A Ocean Drive, Cape May

One of the joys of this summer-long seafood safari has been discovering spots that were not previously on my radar. A reader wrote in to suggest H&H Seafood in Cape May — a spot I had never heard of. Now I have and I am happier for it, as they put out some truly great seafood in the most no-frills atmosphere possible — we’re talking picnic table seating and piles of crabs actually being served in those large plastic basins that most restaurants reserve for dirty dishes. Yeah, it’s brilliant.

H&H sits waterfront on a small stretch of land connecting Wildwood Crest to Cape May. The staff is friendly, not to mention quite helpful — we weren’t sure the proper technique for opening our steamed oysters, so the kid who brought them out to us first showed us how to do it, then proceeded to open them for us as a courtesy. Stop in and have a taste before the crisp claws of autumn turns this place back into a pumpkin.

Keep it:

She crab bisque ($5): Absolutely outstanding. One of the best, if not the best, I have had all summer. A twist on the classic she crab soup — this time cream-based with a subtle kick of spice. Get it, then head over to the fish market, where they sell it by the quart, and take some home.

Steamed oysters ($7.95): Locally caught and simply prepared, these wonderfully briney steamed oysters made for a perfect app. A bit tricky to open until you get the hang of it. A touch of cocktail sauce added the perfect zip.

Steamed snow crab clusters ($28): I know they are not even remotely local, but I love snow crab and these were just about perfect. Not rubbery, not overly stringy and downright heavenly when dunked in a bit of drawn butter. They came served with corn on the cob, adding a nice touch of Jersey freshness to a not-so-Jersey crab species.

Lobster mac and cheese ($10): Heavily spiced and very different from most versions of this dish that you will find. I tasted old bay in it, which is unusual for a lobster-based dish. A nice portion for the price.

Throw it back:

Crabby guacamole with chips ($10): Not terrible, but ultimately a somewhat forgettable version of the Mexican classic. While visible, the crab flavor was lost in the mix.

Trophy Winner:

She crab bisque

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