Crab battle extends to local restaurants

The Food Dude has recommendations on where to find food with flourishes from San Francisco and Baltimore.
by Dave Cathey Published: January 30, 2013
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The foods of Baltimore and San Francisco are well-represented by several local Oklahoma City's restaurants, which you might want to check out before the big game.

Crabcakes are fairly easy to find, and the Crab Louie isn't too uncommon either. But if you're not cooking at home, you might also consider another favorite from San Francisco: Cioppino.

Forget Rice-a-Roni, Cioppino is the true San Francisco treat. This Italian-American seafood stew was born and raised by late-19th-century Portuguese and Italian fishermen from the North Beach section of San Francisco from daily catches of Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish. The seafood is then combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, and served with toasted bread, either sourdough or baguette.

The new Saturn Grill in MidTown, 1012 N Walker Ave., spins a terrific version of the dish. Chef Joseph Royer said adding Cioppino to the menu came almost accidentally as he looked for ways to make efficient use of ingredients.

“It's one of my favorite dishes,” Royer said. “So, when I was thinking about what simple, delicious dishes to add to the menu, Cioppino was kind of a no-brainer.”

The Cioppino at Saturn Grill is a succession of heavenly spoonfuls of rich tomato broth with fresh herbs, scallops, shrimp and mussels. It comes with a crusty baguette slice that you'll use like a crouton, soaking up the goodness.

Saturn Grill isn't open Sundays, so swing by ahead for true taste of San Francisco before the big game.

If you're looking for crabcakes, I always recommend Rococo Restaurant and Fine Wine, which has locations at 2824 N Pennsylvania Ave. and 12252 N May Ave. on the north end of Northpark Mall.

Chef/owner Bruce Rinehart developed the recipe based on his years of experience working for Legal Seafoods on the East Coast.

“We have Chesapeake Bay blue crab flown in from Maryland daily,” Rinehart said. “Nothing against crab from other places — some of them are great. But to make a proper crabcake, these are the only thing we use.”

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by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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