This Restaurant Almost Turned Me Into a River Crab!

While dining at Morton’s and the manager Matt talked us into purchasing the Landry’s Card (you can read all about HERE) he suggested one of the places we should try is the River Crab in Saint Clair. We were deciding what to do the next night and dining outside on the water sounded like a perfect idea. He raved about the food and said he and his wife frequent quite often. He even said “register your card now and use your welcome $25 off there tomorrow.” Well folks if you are going to do this, you have to register your card a full 24 hours in advance until the email goes out and your account is updated. We had to go the next night sans coupon!

The restaurant is quite far. A good almost hour drive up I-94. It is located on the Saint Clair River with great views of Canada and the occasional freighter. It was an unusually hot day for Michigan, in the high 90’s and lots of humidity. We were a bit disappointed to find out they closed the outdoor dining because it was too hot for the staff. They did however, find us a seat near a large picture window looking over the river. There was a table right next to the window, which we requested but they said they were bringing another group of 4 right down to sit there. We were disappointed to not only see no one being sat for a long time, but then a couple finally sat there. It was odd that we were told no. That was our first inkling that things were a bit off.

I ordered a blood orange bullet sour, their own version. I had some hopes it would be similar to a whiskey sour, I dared not hope it would be close to the one at Eddie Vs. The drink was odd, It was very cirtusy as I probably should have expected, less sour than it should be but then what was that odd taste making my drink taste like Christmas? It was an odd addition of cinnamon in a drink it clearly didn’t belong.

Omar ordered a “New Fashioned” which was their take on a Old Fashioned. Omar said it was pretty good. A far better drink than my weird Christmas Sour. My second drink I ordered just a whiskey sour and asked them to not add any spices. It was better, but still lacking that world class cocktail taste we have grown so accustomed to at Eddie V’s. We really are getting spoiled.

For dinner, Omar ordered an “East Meets West” appetizer consisting of Seared Ahi Tuna and a Tuna Tartare, with a crispy slaw and wasabi cream. The appetizer was delicious and fresh. The flavors worked well together and it was just the right proportion. The bread is fantastic. Warm poppy rolls and flat multi grain crackers. They bring you butter and a really yummy salmon pate for dipping. Frankly I could have just ate bread all night. Omar also got the New England Clam Chowder. He actually ordered Manhattan, but they brought the wrong soup out and he just ate it anyway. The soup was flavorful and ample amount of clams. Besides my weird drinks, the night was going pretty well but that when the main course happened (insert ominous music here)…

Omar ordered Surf and Turf, A 6oz filet, lobster tail; maître d’ butter, smashed redskin potatoes, asparagus. His filet was over cooked. He asked for rare –  even mooing and it came medium rare. The way I like it! The lobster was overcooked, but had good flavor. The potatoes were ok, nothing special at all. Needed more punch of something, maybe fresh chives? The asparagus was way overcooked. Limp and tasteless.

I ordered a filet Oscar Style (with a Bernaise sauce and lump crab) along with the smashed potatoes, mixed veggies and a Ceasar salad. The salad was ok, ample in size but lacking that punch I like in a cesar and no hint whatsoever of anchovy. It was fairly bland, but fresh. My filet was also very overcooked. More like a medium well. Way too done for my liking. The bernaise sauce was not good at all. It had a very odd flavor. The crab was clearly canned crab, not very flavorful. The bernaise was not good. Perhaps too much tarragon? It was a huge disappointment. The potatoes I talked about and the mixed veggies had green beans where the stems were still left on. Gordon Ramsey would be appalled!

We skipped dessert and any other drinks. Overall, we liked the ambiance, and wanted so much to like the food. The entrees disappointed us, but the apps and bread were amazing. We would go again, but only if we are in the area. I don’t think we would drive an hour to go again. If you are in  the area, you can try it for yourself, just be wary about making an hour drive to go there.

 

O solo meal-no

Cantoro is a name I had heard often. Everyone who goes to their location in Plymouth swears that their Italian food is some of the best. Jen and I went to the new Troy location last night. We were able to secure a reservation and sat outside. Now this is the old Tremonti restaurant behind the San Marino club. The ambiance and atmosphere is very nice here. It is upscale and fancy but honestly not too pricey.

Their menu is limited, which for me is fine because this is the type of Italian food I like, You know, not Olive Garden. However, for my beautiful wife, a menu where lots of the items have octopus, calamari, mushrooms and veal is not gonna work for her. I however, love all those things.  So lets go over our experience step by step.

I ordered a martini with 3 anchovy stuffed olives. I got a martini with 5. Not gonna complain about that. Jen however, asked the waiter if they could make a raspberry Mojito, he said yes. He brought her nothing of the kind. First there was no raspberry in it at all. Heck, not even red or pink but appeared to be a regular Mojito. Jen said that it tasted like Rum with a splash of Sprite and a mint leaf tossed in. This is not a Mojito! The mint leaves should be muddled with either simple syrup or real cane sugar. One would think that the waiter would have said we cant do raspberry but will a regular Mojito do?

We heard the portions were large so we ordered a few apps while we waited for Jens pasta dish. I ordered the carpaccio which I loved but alas Jen would not try. I also ordered the spicy octopus in tomato sauce appetizer which I also really liked. Jen and I split the calamari salad. I asked for the calamari to be grilled instead of fried. Jen said she would just eat around the squid. I never had grilled calamari before, I had always either had fried or sauteed. Although it was a bit salty, I loved it. the actually salad itself was a let down. The greens on it were very wilted as if it had been dressed hours before and the dressing lacked a certain punch.  Jen makes grilled salmon atop her homemade dressed salad often and not only doesn’t it wilt, it tastes infinitely better.

Jens pasta dish was Strozzapretti alla Barese which is basically a rotini like pasta with ground Italian sausage and rapini. Not really too exciting, but the waiter in all fairness told her that it really wouldn’t be. I should also mention, that the bread served was very good but Jen would have preferred it served warm. The pasta entree was large and we took half of it home and ate it for breakfast this morning.

Overall, I would like to go back and sit outside again and have some calamari and a couple drinks. It will be a hard sell to get my wife to join me though, because she had such high hopes that came crashing down rather quickly.