Sunday, April 6, 2014

Open a casual seafood eatery, diners will come: Carmine's Crab Shack inPalm Beach Gardens

Carmine’s Crab Shack
2000 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
Open daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

By Jane Feehan

Carmine’s Crab Shack was open only two days when we ventured in to try some seafood. Normally I’d wait until a restaurant has its groove on before writing about it but this place is well on its way. Carmine Giardini has already chaulked up a number of dining successes in South Florida and in Palm Beach Gardens.

His newest eatery was filling up a few minutes before noon but we were immediately seated in the rustic sea-themed dining room at a large booth. Its table was covered with brown paper for those who indulge in crabs but for us it was too early to enjoy their headliner. Instead, we ordered a lobster roll, a Maryland crab cake sandwich and Clams Oreganata.

Delivered on a roll with a bulky piece of lettuce to give appearance of meat aplenty, the very fresh lobster sandwich would have been near perfect with a tablespoon more of the sea meat and a pinch of spice. Lots of fries and tiny sides of tasteless coleslaw or equally dull potato salad came with the meals.
(Management is deliberating whether fries will be included for the sake of presentation going forward. I vote YES.) The Maryland crab cake was made with more crab meat than bread, the way they should be. Clams Oreganata—clams in the shell baked with breadcrumbs and olive oil with a sprinkle of cheese—were delicious.

Carmine’s menu is ambitious with seafood galore: crabs, shrimp, lobster, fish, seafood tacos, PEI mussels, Ipswich clams, conch fritters, conch salad and more.  A few pasta entrees, some  meat dishes and a kids menu will quash any reason for not visiting Carmine’s Crab Shack.  It’s casual, reasonably priced and features a large, friendly bar (filled by 1 p.m.) for dining or socializing. Our server did a great job and the manager came by to ask if we had any suggestions as we left. This will be a busy dining spot; they are off to a great start.

Tags: Seafood restaurant Palm Beach Gardens, casual dining Palm Beach Gardens, lobster in Palm Beach Gardens, conch fritters in Palm Beach Gardens.

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