Grab a brown-paper-covered table for a long afternoon of crab picking at Harris Crab House. Order all-you-can-eat ($30 per person) for unlimited trays of steamed crustaceans, an ear of corn, and a basket of peel-and-eat shrimp. Or splurge on an order of twelve colossal-size crabs ($90) —what Marylanders call “swamp dogs”—and get more meat with less effort. Wash it down with $11 pitchers of Shock Top, a Belgian white brew, or bottomless cups of house-brewed iced tea.
Take a seat in the heated garden area at Ava’s, where the wood-fired pizza oven turns out pies ($11–$17) you can top with items like housemade mozzarella, bacon, charred pepperoni, and local, organic veggies. It’s well known among locals for soft, saucy meatballs, which can be ordered on sliders or loaded onto a Chicago-style thick crust.
Cut into citrus-braised veal cheeks or pan-fried sweetbreads (entrees $22–38) at the Bartlett Pear Inn. Chef Jordan Leif helped open Per Se and worked there for a year, but his rich, five-course tasting menu served in the 200-year-old town house is a reasonable $60. Mull over the wine list—about 90 bottles strong—of mainly French and California vintages, including a handful of reserves like a 2005 Clos Manou Médoc from Bordeaux ($115).