Fathoms' Grill on Sunset in West Ocean City. Opened two years ago last year it was runner up for the Maryland Restaurant Association's New Restaurant of the Year award.
This whole area which is off of Golf Course Rd. just before the bridge going in has become the "in" place in O. C. The area is anchored with Ocean City's prime upscale marina and three restaurants also including an outpost of Crisfield's famous Captain's Galley (Ocean City's best crab cake but still somewhat short of Angelina's, Jerry's and several others). Immediately beyond the marina is an a new development of semi detached houses and townhouses with most originally selling in the high 200's and low 300's when new three years ago and now topping out in the mid 700's.
Fathoms' is owned by the owners of the marina. It is their only restaurant and, I belive, their first attempt in the restaurant industry.
Although dress is casual the overall feeling is actually rather upscale with six tables on an enclosed air conditioned terrace immediately next to a dock (request these when you reserve and, yes, reservations ARE NECESSARY ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY-three to four days in advance for a decent time!). Upstairs are more tables as well as an open deck overlooking the dock.
Prices generally are in the $16 to 25 range for entrees with wine actually cheap (virtually everything is under $30). The emphasis is on mixed drinks which range from $6.25 to $8.25 for what must be the ABSOLUTE BEST FROZEN COCKTAIL THAT I HAVE EVER HAD: a Frozen Chocolate Martini. The rim of a large bordeaux style glass is coated with sugar and chocolate is squirted in several rings around the inside of it. Then, in a blender, single shots of Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Bailey's, White Creme de Cacao along with a double shot of Godiva Chocolate Liquor are mixed with ice. The result is poured into the chocolate rimmed glass and is so good it can almost be chugged!
Fathoms' dinner features a knockout cream of conch soup which is almost exclusively heavy whipping cream, sherry and butter with a lot of conch meat. Awesome. Crab gumbo is an interesting variation on Maryland crab soup and excellent in its own right. A notch below the cream of conch, though.
Fathoms' has the absolute definitive Maryland crab imperial. This is a GREAT dish. Perhaps only Angelina's in Baltimore can equal this. The imperial crab alone is a reason for leaving Coastal Highway to find this restaurant. It is awesome! Crab cakes are very good, but a notch below Captain's Galley which is an inlet behind. The imperial can also be order topping broiled shrimp or broiled flounder (good but not as good as Crisfield's which is actually poached). I would stick to the imperial by itself.
Steak, prime rib and typical O. C. seafood round out Fathoms along with fresh veggies, good redskin potatoes and excellent homemade tartar sauce accompanying a number of the dishes. All of it looked good. But with the cream of conch, the crab imperial, a frozen Chocolate Martini (they also have an outstanding Pina Colada) this represents O. C.'s best.