Last updated on December 4, 2016 by Liza Hawkins
Phillips® Seafood invited me to their Baltimore location to enjoy a complimentary meal at their family-run restaurant. It didn’t take me more than a few seconds to say, “YES!” after getting the invite. Fresh seafood (that I didn’t cook myself) and a date night FTW!
Growing up in Maryland, and with family that hails from the New England coast, you get on the fresh seafood bandwagon early. I think I had my first fresh lobster experience before school was even a glimmer on the horizon. You can add “steamers” to that list too (steamed clams served with drawn butter…mmm…).
Baltimore is about 45 minutes from where we live now, which makes grabbing an impromptu date night dinner at one of the many amazing restaurants a realistic proposition. (At least sometimes, anyway, when stars align and babysitters…aka grandparents…are free.)
Phillips Seafood has been an institution in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for over three decades. Their new location is across the harbor from the old one, right on Pratt Street; you can’t miss the giant illuminated 17-foot letters on the top of their brick building. They’re like a beacon!
We showed up for an early reservation during Baltimore Restaurant Week. It had just snowed, the streets were a sloppy mess, but the restaurant was buzzing anyway.
The inside of the Phillips Seafood Baltimore restaurant is dark, cozy, and it’s filled with lots of wood accents. The booth we were led to was big enough to easily fit a party of six (maybe even eight), but we had it all to ourselves. A treat!
Michael was exactly what we love in a server: attentive, but not a lurker. Laid back and funny, but not the life of the party (we’ve all had servers like that – it’s exhausting). He made us feel right at home, and we appreciated that.
I started the meal with a Mojito.
The Mojito at Phillips Seafood Baltimore was tasty; I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect – I would’ve doubled the mint – but I would order another, which says a lot.
Ordering a Mojito at restaurants is like how I approach Eggs Benedict, patty melts, or shrimp and grits: I have to try one everywhere I go. I’m in search of THE BEST Mojito (or Eggs Benedict, patty melt, shrimp and grits). One with plenty of mint, lots of lime, and the right amount of white rum-sugar-club soda ratio. Not too sweet, not too tart. Plenty of bubbles.
(A secret: I love a gin Mojito.)
Onward to the food!
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with a Balsamic Drizzle
I could have eaten two plates of these and called it a night. I’m serious. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the rest of the meal (I did), it’s just that CRAB. MUSHROOMS. BALSAMIC DRIZZLE. SALAD. It was delightful!
Caesar Salad with an Oversized Butter & Garlic Crouton
I could have used a titch more dressing (definitely a personal preference), but otherwise this simple classic was the perfect light, palate cleansing segue to my entree. And that crouton…that crouton made the salad. The huge Parmesan shavings didn’t hurt either!
Scallops with Creamy Crab…Something
That may have been a dollop of crab imperial underneath the scallops, but I just can’t remember! (I believe this particular entree was a special during Baltimore Restaurant Week.) That said, it was rich, creamy, and super filling. Like an imperial! The scallops were seared (my favorite way to eat scallops) and the veggies were cooked to a snappy perfection. I couldn’t finish the portion (um…mushroom caps and giant crouton?!), but took the leftovers home, which my husband happily gobbled up later that night.
Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake
Confession. Even if I’m too full to finish my entree, there’s always room for dessert. Always. In this case, I let my husband pick, and we ended up sharing this rich, chocolate-y slice of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. Heaven.
Are you hungry yet? (I am!)
Did you know?
Phillips Seafood is celebrating a milestone anniversary. As part of my visit, Danny, the sous chef, stepped out of the kitchen to give me a copy of the commemorative 100th Anniversary Cookbook! You can read more about it here.
Danny also made another appearance mid-way through our meal to check that everything was prepared to our liking. It was special treatment, for sure, and we appreciated it. Even Rich, the manager, made a quick pass by our table (and others around us) to ensure the experience was great. Little touches of “surprise and delight” go a long way in the service industry (or any business, really)!
Thanks for a wonderful night, Phillips Seafood Baltimore!
Disclosure: Phillips® Seafood invited me to their Baltimore location to enjoy a complimentary meal at their family-run restaurant.