José Andrés Just Opened a Pop-up Crab Shack for the Summer
Located in Maryland, The Patio at Fish is an "an elevated take on the classic crab shack" and will only be open through September.
At Fish by José Andrés—a restaurant at MGM National Harbor in Maryland—you’ll find, as the name suggests, all sorts of seafood on the menu. Octopus is served with romesco sauce and a macadamia nut brittle, while sea urchins and lobster beckon at the seafood bar. There’s crab, of course, and the award-winning chef pays homage to the state’s specialty by incorporating it into salad, offering it at the seafood bar, and crafting it into those famous Maryland-style crab cakes. This summer, Andrés is stepping up his dedication to the humble crab with the opening of The Patio at Fish—an outdoor seasonal pop-up that will only be open through September. The concept is focused on Chesapeake cuisine, with Fish’s executive chef, Jon Heineke, calling it “an elevated take on the classic crab shack.”
“The best way to enjoy the amazing seafood of the Chesapeake Bay and the mid-Atlantic is to prepare it as simply as possible … and this to me is the Spanish way,” Andrés tells Food & Wine. “On The Patio, we are taking the best ingredients from the area, like the famous blue crabs of Maryland, and serving them in the most simple and delicious way. And of course, seafood is always better with a glass of crisp Albariño or Cava in your hand!”
At The Patio, communal tables come with built-in beverage coolers—the perfect environment for digging into a pile of fresh crabs. The menu features dishes like “Blue Bounty,” house-seasoned steamed or boiled blue crabs made for sharing; the Chesapeake Seafood Boil will be customizable to guests' tastes. (Options include Louisiana shrimp, andouille sausage, a pound of wild Cape Cod mussels, and a one-and-a-half pound Maine lobster, all served with potatoes and corn.) Or, go for other seafood classics like the lobster roll, middle neck clams, and peel-and-eat shrimp. The outdoor space will also have lounge chairs (pictured), and a bar with hand-crafted cocktails, in case you’re craving something other than beer—Spanish cider is available too.
The Patio soft-opened a few weeks ago, and will remain open through September. The hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 5-10 p.m.; Saturday from 2 p.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
José Andrés was recently named the recipient of the 2019 Julia Child Award, which honors an individual or team who has made “a profound and significant different in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks.” Past honorees include Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Danny Meyer, Jacques Pepin, and Rick Bayless—learn more in our full story.