Sips & Bites

Tastes to tide you over till we meet again.

Tastes to tide you over till we meet again. 

There are few things better than the simple pleasure of joining friends at a favorite restaurant, passing plates and sharing general conviviality. While we’re all supporting our dear friends in the restaurant industry by doing limited-capacity, in-person dining and lots of takeout, we can’t wait for sunnier days when we can pull up a seat at the bar and dig in with a crowd. To tide us over until then, here are tastes (with drink pairings) from three favorite spots around the Bay.

Baked Rappahannock Oysters Chesapeake

This part of the Northern Neck is known for oysters. “I like this recipe because it showcases two regional jewels of the Chesapeake—oysters and blue crab—in a rich and decadent presentation with silky garlic cream and smoked bacon,” says Chef Jones. “It pairs well with both a crisp, light Chardonnay or a rich, oaky one. It’s perfect for enjoying oysters on a cold day or night.” Adds Assistant Director of Food & Beverage, Tori Kersh, “Rappahannock Cellars offers a rich, buttery Chardonnay that has a crisp finish, so it doesn’t take away or hide the sea taste and texture of the oysters.”


  • 4-6 Tbsp Roasted Garlic Bechamel sauce (recipe below)
  • 6 each Rappahannock oysters
  • 1/4 cup Chesapeake Bay lump crabmeat
  • 1 Tbsp cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Carefully shuck the oysters and loosen the oyster from the shell, but leave it in the lower shell. Set aside.

Mix the crabmeat, chopped bacon, chopped parsley, and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
Once mixed, scoop a generous portion on top of each oyster in the shell.
Place the oysters in a heat-proof pan and bake in the oven at 400° F until you see the sauce bubble and start to turn golden brown, approximately 5-8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Bechamel

  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1 cup roasted garlic purée, approximately 15-20 cloves
  • 1/4 Tbsp salt 
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated

Melt the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook the roux for about 2-3 minutes, then add the stock and cream. Whisk to dissolve the roux into the liquid. Turn up the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the garlic purée and seasonings, and whisk to combine. Simmer this mixture for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and, when cool, store in an airtight cooler until needed. 

Chesapeake Crab Dip

The in-house restaurant at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is known for great food, and a great setting. Socializing is a natural on their expansive flagstone patio, centered around a great stone fireplace—the perfect place to dig into this appetizer. “The inspiration simply was to be a little different, thinking these flavors would blend together well,” says Executive Chef Paul Shiley of his take on crab dip. The ham gives it an extra bit of saltiness and texture. Beverage director John Michael Fromert suggests pairing it with a sauvignon blanc, such as Rodney Strong. 


  • 1 pound softened cream cheese
  • 1 small diced onion (sautéed until translucent) 
  • 2 ounces chopped artichoke hearts
  • 1 ounce chopped spinach (fresh) 
  • 1 ounce country cured ham (chopped fine)
  • 2 dash Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 dash Tabasco
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream first 8 ingredients together, then fold in 1 pound of jumbo lump crabmeat. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Crab Bisque

“It’s the flavors of the Eastern Shore, all rolled up into one great soup,” says General Manager and Chef Michael Fox about this house favorite. We suspect Jimmy Buffet agrees; on a recent visit, he had some onsite and took more to go. Assistant General Manager Corey McDaniel likes pairing it with their (adult-only) Lemon Spring Water.

  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium peeled carrots
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 gallon crab stock
  • 3 tsp Old Bay
  • 1 quart 40% heavy cream
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat

Blonde roux 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

To make roux:  Melt down 1 cup of butter. After the butter has melted, add flour and cook over low heat until the mixture starts to turn a blonde color. Reserve for later use.

To make the soup: Mince all the vegetables. Sweat the vegetables in butter. Add sherry to vegetable mix, and simmer to cook off the alcohol. Add crab stock and bring to a boil. Season with half the Old Bay, then thicken up the soup with the roux, adding slowly to avoid lumps. Add heavy cream to thin to desired consistency. Add crabmeat. Add additional Old Bay to desired taste. Serve hot.

Lemon Spring Water

  1. Muddle 3-4 lemons with a splash of club soda in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill with ice.
  3. Pour in 2 1/2 ounces Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka.
  4. Add club soda and top with Sprite.
  5. Shake well and serve in a pint glass.