Dish of the Day: Shuckers Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab

August 7, 2012

Every now and then I get a hankering for Dungeness crab. And one of my favorite places to indulge my craving is at Shuckers in The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle.

I love the restaurant’s ambience, the kind of bustling, clubby sort of place place you’d want to claim as your own personal watering hole. Rather surprising to learn that the space–all beautifully carved oak paneling and pressed-tin ceiling–served as a haberdashery in the 1930s.

Shuckers is a good choice for just about any type of seafood–oysters on the half shell, the superlative Lusciously Loaded Louis Salad with shrimp or crab, daily-changing catches of the day that are simply, but perfectly, grilled. (Ruby trout and steelhead are two of our particular favorites).

But the Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab with Rosemary Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus truly stands apart from any other seafood dish in town.

The thing that sets this crab apart is the use of fresh sprigs of rosemary in the roasting process. It’s a truly brilliant use of this aromatic, pine-y herb that works a particular magic, making the crab more hearty and savory tasting than it usually is.

A bit of butter gives the dish richness, but not enough to overwhelm the crab. The dish usually comes beautifully roasted potatoes; since I’ve been trying to follow a low-carb diet lately, I asked for extra asparagus and was entirely sated (and even took half my and asparagus crab home for next-day nibbling).

Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab is a Fairmont Lifestyle Cuisine option–“dishes created using fresh and nutritionally balanced ingredients that are natural and organic so that they contribute to optimal health and wellness”–so you can feel good about eating it while you pick and pile the sweet crab nubbins.

For all of these reasons, Shuckers Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab more than merits our Dish of the Day.

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