Friday, July 24, 2009

Fontaine's Oyster House = Seafood Heaven

Hot combo platter with mussels, clams, crab legs, shrimp & oysters.

Last weekend I was invited to a complimentary meal at Fontaine's Oyster House, a restaurant I've walked past many times but had never tried before. As I'm not really into the bar scene, I was pleased that they offer patio seating on the long, communal patio shared with several nearby restaurants. For those who do like a lively bar scene, this is definitely a great choice.

The scene at the VaHi corner.

Soup of the day - gazpacho.

We started with a cup of the gazpacho, which had good tomato flavor but could have used more spicing, in my opinion (cilantro, hot sauce etc.). Next we tried the spinach artichoke dip, which was tasty, cheesy and creamy - everything one expects from a good dip. The melba toast crackers served with the dip were a surprise. I love melba toast but I think toasted pita points or bread would work better with the dip.

Spinach artichoke dip with melba toast crackers.

Our tools.

The highlight of the meal was the hot sampler platter pictured above: a huge plate (really, we could barely fit it on our table with everything else!) with tasty oysters, clams, mussels (we chose the white sauce, which was very tasty and buttery), snow crab legs and steamed shrimp. I loved it all and it was fun cracking the shells ourselves with the provided tools. The hot dog basket we ordered to round out our selection also pleased the palate, with a huge, juicy beef dog, cut in half to make chewing easier. The slaw served with the dog was simple, yet tasty. I was glad it did not contain too much mayo. The crinkle cut fries, fresh out of the fryer, were also addictive.

Hot dog basket.

Nice oyster!

We ate the whole thing!

For dessert we tried the two options they offered: chocolate icebox pie and a coconut-topped cake with white chocolate ganache filling and lemony cake layers. The coconut cake was the biggest hit - I couldn't believe we ate the whole thing! I would definitely recommend Fontaine's to anyone looking for great seafood at a good price. The service was very attentive and I really enjoyed dining outdoors on the patio. They also have some good "happy hour" seafood specials (see website). I look forward to returning soon to try some additional menu items.

White chocolate lemon coconut cake and chocolate icebox pie.

Fontaine's Oyster House on Urbanspoon