Last Monday, we headed to Christopher's on Lincoln in Carmel to follow-up a tip for FRESH soft-shell crabs flown in from Maryland. Not listed on the printed menu, I was a bit nervous that we might have missed the special. No need to worry, our server advised us when she came to take our order. The soft-shell crabs are coated in panko bread crumbs then fried. They can be ordered in appetizer size for a single crab for $16.50 or an entree portion of two crabs for $33.
The soft-shell crabs are available in two different preps. This shows the tostada style in entree size, served on a crisp tortilla and topped with black beans and avocado salsa.
The second prep is piccata-style with a lemon-butter sauce and capers. This shows the single crab appetizer. The entree portion comes with mashed potatoes and haricots verts and carrots. Of the two preps, I preferred the piccata-style though the tostada was a more unique take. The crabs turned out to be bigger than expected, meaty, sweet and greaseless.
Besides the soft-shell crabs, we also shared Fanny Bay oysters baked with spinach, parmesan cream and bacon that were quite tasty.
The grilled asparagus salad was okay. I'm not fond of balsamic reductions and the greens were sort of tough and not so fresh.
And we ended with dessert. This is the pizelle wth fresh berries that I did not try.
The profiteroles with vanilla ice cream seemed like they came straight out of the freezer, as the puffs were still hard as rocks. The two sauces were food service quality.
While the food was somewhat inconsistent, the price point was quite reasonable for a tablecloth venue with a full bar. Service was friendly and attentive. Tables are spaced further apart than typical these days and the dining room was calm. It was a good spot to catch up with old friends, as we could converse without shouting.
The restaurant expects to offer the soft-shell crabs for about another month. Yet, best to confirm availability before making a special trip.
Christopher's Restaurant on Lincoln
Lincoln Street between 5th and 6th
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
Phone: (831) 626-8000