The restaurant’s simple, windowless exterior belies the sophisticated urban atmosphere inside.
The small, softly lit dining area is separated by a full-service bar, which you can sit at if you need to wait for a table (reservations are recommended during the weekend).
The work of a local artist Josie Mai currently adorns the walls, creating a unique wallscape which changes regularly to feature different artists (the pieces are for sale, too). The feeling inside is cozy, but still busy enough to make you feel like you are out and about in a big city.
For an appetizer, we ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes.
This signature Crabby’s dish was served with a smoky roasted red pepper ragout, and the refreshing sauvignon blanc I was drinking provided a nice contrast to the dish. Crabby’s drink menu offers a variety of wines to pair with your meal, as well as cocktails to sip on while you socialize (the Raspberry Lemon Drop Martini is my favorite).
Our entrees came with the choice of soup or salad.
I normally choose the House Salad with Crabby’s light and refreshing Honey-Lavender Vinaigrette, but since the Butternut Squash Bisque had just returned to the menu for the fall season, I felt conflicted. In the end, I made the right decision: I chose the salad with a cup of the bisque.
The creamy bisque was slightly spiced, and lightly sweetened with a touch of brown sugar and molasses. This dish says, “Welcome, Fall,” and is a treat that I look forward to each year.
Travis chose an item that’s on the menu year-round: Seafood Chowder. The hearty chowder’s richness was accented by a dash of spice and smoky bacon.
Steak, pork, chicken, and duck dishes are alternative entrée options for those who want to order something besides seafood. However, Travis and I ordered seafood dishes because when in Rome…
I ordered the melt-in-your-mouth Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass, which was topped with mirin sauce and served on a bed of wasabi mashed potatoes, along with grilled asparagus. The combination of Asian-inspired flavors in this artfully plated dish make it a popular menu item.
Travis ordered the Grilled Scallops and Jumbo Shrimp, a Cajun-influenced dish served with smoked Gouda grits and bits of spicy andouille sausage. This is another one of my favorite dishes here, as it reminds me of the food I enjoyed when I lived in New Orleans.
You would think that we’d be stuffed to the gills by this point – and you’d be correct. But I felt that it was my duty to order dessert so that I could do a thorough job of describing the Crabby’s experience to those of you reading this. What a sacrifice, right?
We ordered the Signature Bread Pudding and the Creme Brulee, which were both delicious in their own ways. The hearty bread pudding was buttery and boozy, and a favorite of Crabby’s customers.
The fruit-topped Creme Brulee made an elegant dessert, with its dense custard contrasting nicely with the layer of crisp, caramelized sugar.
Crabby’s is a restaurant to visit when you want more than a meal. It’s where you come when you want an experience. And tasting Chef Damien’s creative fresh seafood dishes in landlocked Joplin, Missouri, makes that experience one of a kind.
Crabby’s serves lunch and dinner, plus Sunday brunch. It is located at 815 West 7th Street in Joplin. Click here to visit its website, and here to see its Facebook page.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.