Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tonight's the Night: Awesome Soft Shell Crabs at Sammy's Restaurant in Mendham, New Jersey

Stay away from my window,
Stay away from my back door, too
Disconnect my telephone line...

Tonight's the night...we're going to Sammy's for soft shell crabs!! I'm only disappointed that our good friends, Susan and Mike, will not be able to join us. So...a table for four with lots of garlic, please.

Just before we left for 10 days at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey, Rex reminded me that soft shell crab season had started, and that Sammy's Restaurant in Mendham, NJ, has the biggest, tastiest soft shell crabs in the entire world. We thought we'd have to rush out to Sammy's that night in late June to be sure to enjoy our soft shells in lemon garlic butter sauce before the short season ended, but I called Sammy's (973-543-7675) and the manager assured me that the soft shell crab season runs safely through July and frequently into early August.

To give you a little background on Sammy's Ye Olde Cider Mill... Every couple of months, Rex & I will be in the mood for a steak, and we'll round up some friends and/or take the girls to Sammy's in Mendham NJ. It's a funny place with no sign to announce itself, a white building on "old" Route 24 (353 Mendham Road West) in Mendham, near Westmont Montessori School.

From Sammy's web site: Established in 1933 and now run by third generation family members, Sam, Phil and MaryAnn Fornaro, Sammy's has outlived most other restaurants and the prohibition era to become a legend in these parts because it consistently serves its clientele the best.

You'll order your food as you walk in the door. The fun starts when they send you down to the bar in the basement, where the kids can play pinball and you can get a start on one of over 120 bottles of fine wine. Sammy's is where we discovered Darioush Cabernet with our friends Susan and Mike, Lynette and Tom, back when we all had kids over at Westmont Montessori and we'd all sneak off together after back-to-school night.

For about a month when they're in season in the summer (starting right now in late June through early August), Sammy's has the most amazing, huge soft shell crabs that they serve in a lemon garlic butter sauce. The rest of the year, we'll order veal chops, steak, lobster, or a little of both. I like Sammy's surf & turf combo because they'll serve a New York strip steak with a lobster, instead of insisting that filet mignon is the only "turf" in the house. Rex and I always start with shrimp scampi Sammy's style and spaghetti with roasted garlic & oil.

If you need directions, you can reach Sammy's by phone: (973) 543-7675.

I'm getting hungry just thinking about those soft shell crabs, but I'm saving my appetite. Rex just made me a delicious lunch of fresh arugula from the garden, feta cheese, and cherry tomatoes. Not another bite until tonight!


Reverse Phone Directory said...

strangely i have allergy from garlics. is this usual?