In honor of the 30th anniversary of its opening, the Rusty Scupper invited us to a complementary dinner. We hadn’t dined here in a very long time but the main restaurant dining room on the second floor with a mix of tables and booths under a rustic beamed ceiling felt much as we remembered.
and we discovered that the original, memorable view of downtown and the Inner Harbor now included awesome views of the new Harbor East area too. (FYI – Some tables which are 3 to 4 “rows” back from the windows have a more obstructed view)
The wonderful vista comes at a price though with ten “Starters” costing $10-$16, soup at $6.50 for a cup, and most entrees in the $23 – $34 range (with only 3 priced under $20 and with a handful ranging up to $49). We decided to start with a cup of Maryland Crab soup and a chopped salad with an order of Fried Calamari. For entrees, Marty opted for the Crab Stuffed Shrimp ($32) and John ordered the Bouillabaisse ($30).
Marty’s soup was excellent with evident pieces of crab and a tasty broth. John was disappointed to find that the avocado and bleu cheese featured in the menu description seemed missing from his $8 otherwise average side salad. The entrée sized platter of calamari (easily shareable by two…) earned our “Thumbs Up!” – the crisp but ungreasy parmesan-enhanced crust on the tender calamari were offset by drizzles of two different sauces – a red marinara and a white parmesan-pepper aioli. Marty’s half dozen large shrimp were wonderfully rich with a generous amount of crab stuffing and served with nicely cooked, fresh green beans.
John’s Bouillabaisse was almost as impressive as the view! A large and deep crock brimmed with shrimp, scallops, mussels and fish while garlicky crostini provided just the thing to sop up the incredibly tasty soup that they were cooked in!
For dessert, Marty indulged in an unusual Sweet Potato Cheese Cake while John opted for Apple Walnut Upside Down Pie. The best part of the pie was a scoop of accompanying ice cream; a half inch layer of rock hard caramel on top remained largely untouched and the apple underneath seemed average. By contrast, the cheese cake proved an inspired combination of sweet potato pie with a rich cheese cake totally and easily earned our “Thumbs Up!”.
The handsome young man serving us, beyond catching Marty’s eye, provided the kind of polished, attentive service we’d expect at an upscale restaurant like this.
If you’ve got the money, get table right by the windows and order the right dishes, we decided that dinner at the “Rusty Scupper” can prove memorable and can prove well worth the expense. (FYI – if you don’t have a full wallet, make sure that you enjoy the same incredible views of Baltimore for free from a park bench on the top of Federal Hill!)
BASICS: Rusty Scupper (Inner Harbor); 402 Key Highway; 410-727-3678; www.rusty-scupper.com; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; buffet brunch on Sunday ($37); Full bar; No vegetarian entrees; Adjacent parking garage costs $8 (no valet) (DiningOUT Visit on 5/11/2012)