With an expanded menu of fresh seafood and steaks, this long-time Amelia Island favorite is a great destination for lunch or dinner.
The Crab Trap is a long-standing piece of history, a family-owned and -operated restaurant for over 34 years, located in the Seydel Building on North 2nd Street. Opened on Shrimp Festival weekend in 1979, its goal has always been to offer the best and freshest seafood and steaks. To last for that length of time, the Germano family has definitely been doing something right! I recently made a date with the restaurant's new sales and events manager, Tanner Garrard, to have lunch at The Crab Trap, and I was in for a treat.
Tanner and I began our meal with The Crab Trap's famous Fresh Blue Crab Soup. I say "famous" because this soup is truly a representation of the restaurant's staying power. It has been on the menu for years, and it is prepared the same way it was 25 years ago. In my opinion, this is how crab soup should be done. It is rich and satisfying, loaded with crab, very buttery, and not too thick. This is not bisque, but a true seafood soup. It's great for lunch or dinner, especially as the weather gets cooler.
The Crab Trap is switching up their menu a bit, as restaurants do from time-to-time, to offer new varieties of fresh seafood and steaks, including flounder, grouper, African pompano, salmon, and sheepshead, all available as the market can provide. I tried the Combination Platter, where one can choose shrimp, oysters, or fish. I decided on the pompano, grilled, and shrimp, blackened. The dish came with savory saffron rice, steamed yellow squash, two hushpuppies, and homemade coleslaw. The fish and shrimp were perfectly cooked, and there was a sweet and spicy coconut rum dipping sauce alongside, a specialty of the house. The Crab Trap's hushpuppies are sweet, crispy outside and moist and steamy inside. The platter was really delicious, and I loved that I could choose vegetables instead of fries. Their cole slaw is made in-house and it's one of the best on the island.
Tanner ordered a lunch on the lighter side, tender chicken breast served on a grilled tortilla with lettuce, tomato, onion, and American cheese. I tried Tanner's wrap and it was very tasty. The way it was grilled added a lot of flavor. I also tried a Key Lime Martini, a new drink at The Crab Trap and it was really special. Made with real key lime juice, pineapple rum, and Absolute Vanilla, shaken, it was a masterpiece! This drink was not overly sweet, a fine Florida version of that traditional classic.
After a taste of the martini, I knew we would have to order a slice of Key Lime Pie. The Crab Trap's Key Lime Pie is also one of their specialties. It's a custard-based pie, super tart, served with fresh whipped cream, and a wonderful ending to any meal. If you are as fond of this dessert as I am, you'll be happy to know that you can also purchase a whole pie to take home with you!
The Crab Trap has a few new things coming this fall and winter, like wine and spirit tastings, and live music upstairs in their newly renovated bar, which has great sunset views. Their steak selection now also includes Delmonicos, rib-eyes, New York strips, and petite sirloins. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and special events.