Despite the chilly weather, snow, and fact that it’s hardly even March yet, I am currently enjoying my last Spring Break. Although I am a little bummed about the way the weather turned out, I’m thrilled that my mom and I came down to the beach for a few days. Like me, she loves trying new restaurants, but it’s not always easy to do so when we visit the beach in the summertime because almost every restaurant we visit has at least an hour wait. With this in mind, we decided to visit our condo in Sea Colony for a few days and stop by some of the places we wouldn’t make it to otherwise. When we first arrived, we went to one of our favorites, Off the Hook. Since we made the decision to go straight there and not stop at the condo first, you’ll once again have to put up with some mediocre iPhone photos as my camera was buried at the bottom of my backpack at this point in the evening.
Before this trip, the beach was the opposite of what school was for me as a kid. During the summer, school ceased to exist for me, and during the rest of the year, the beach did the same thing, so I was pretty surprised when we walked into the restaurant and were greeted with many filled tables. This showed me that, contrary to my usual beliefs, the area is filled with locals who probably prefer going out during the winter when they don’t have to fight against the hordes of tourists to get a good meal. After I realized how wrong my previous assumptions were, I decided to kick off my meal with a drink called Bee’s Knees. This light cocktail was a mixture of gin, honey, simple syrup, and lemon that was a perfect way to start my break. It certainly had a summery feel to it, but was refreshing and boozy enough that it didn’t really matter what time of year I was enjoying it.
After taking care of the important drink aspect of dinner, my mom and I decided to start with the Potato and Leek Soup and Chopped Caesar Salad. The soup was great for a chilly night and came topped with some delicious, crunchy garlic croutons. The cup that I received was the perfect size to tide me over until my main course and only left me wishing there was one more bite in my cup. The salad was also really impressive because it came topped with a salty fresh anchovy, which I think should be standard for all Caesars. It also had the perfect amount of dressing on it. If you like your salads swimming in dressing, than you would definitely have to request some additional here, but if you are like me and want a salad where the dressing is just enough to enhance the other flavors, then this would be great for you. These were two fantastic ways to begin our meal and we couldn’t wait to try our entrees for the evening.
Since we were down in Bethany, I thought it would only be appropriate to get some seafood as my main course. I opted to try the Porcini Encrusted Tuna and I think I made a great choice for the evening. My meal came served over sage roasted Brussels sprouts, a light cauliflower puree, and a Madeira broth that had a fulfilling depth to it. The tuna was served nice and rare, while the prosciutto added a salty, crisp aspect to the entree. The one thing I was missing from the dish was the earthy porcini which would have rounded out the other complex flavors well. Overall, I thought my meal was balanced and incredibly flavorful, so I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.
The other entree we ordered was the Marinated Skirt Steak, which was easily another winner. The chimichurri and roasted red pepper sauces were different but worked together to build on the flavors of the juicy meat. The only thing I could have done without was the side of Potato Croquette which was just okay, but didn’t hold up to the phenomenal croquettes I had while I was studying in Spain. Considering the fact that everything else left me wanting to order seconds and came out perfectly cooked, one lackluster croquette wasn’t nearly enough to make me turn against this great spot.
Of course, as many of you know by now, I couldn’t leave without ordering a dessert. The one I ended up choosing was the Chocolate Terrine, a treat that satisfied all of my chocolate desires in every way that FARMiCiA failed. The deep, rich chocolate was sprinkled with coarse sea salt to make the flavors even more exciting, while the coffee ice cream undercut the powerful chocolate and the hazelnuts added a nice crunch to the otherwise one-texture dessert. This was everything that look for in a dessert and if I could, I would eat it every day, multiple times a day. The other dessert we ordered was the Key Lime Pie, which I didn’t try because it never does anything for my sweet tooth, but my mom raved about it, so I feel safe recommending it to others. After capping off our evening with these treats, I was one content college student.
This was my second time eating at Off the Hook and I have yet to be displeased with anything here. The menu is varied enough to appeal to a lot of different customers, but it is also small and focused enough to guarantee that every meal comes out the way it should. While there is definitely an emphasis on quality seafood, the meats and other products that don’t come from the sea are all consistently on point as well. To make the experience even more special, you can opt to sit at the Chef’s table which is their ‘bar’ at the back of the restaurant. We didn’t choose that option this particular evening, but it’s something I’m sure I’d enjoy. This location is a gem in Bethany Beach. If you’re ever in the area, even if it is during the busy summer season, it is one place that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is looking to get together with a small group of friends for some fantastic food.