Before I write about a restaurant, I usually go on line to check out the menu and the general “feel” of the place. After searching (unsuccessfully) for a website (and anything other than a (wrong) map from Yahoo), I called Two Seas to ask if they did, indeed, have some sort of Web presence. The matriarch of the Carr family, Emily, answered the phone. Unfazed by my whining, she cackled,
“Honey, we just got rid of our rotary-dial phone three months ago! And you want a website?” I knew that this place was going to be interesting.
Blink and you'll miss it. Except for a tall skinny sign, Two Seas looks like just another condo on Coastal Highway. But this multi-level eatery has been owned and operated by the same family in Dewey Beach for over 24 years.
Chef Russell Koon comes to Two Seas with impressive credentials, none the least of which cooking for the very picky Nancy Wolfe Wayson, founder of Rehoboth's iconic French restaurant Chez la Mer. In her appearance on my radio show in January 2015, she places him, “in the pantheon.” High praise from Mrs. Wayson. But she would know!
Most of the entrees come with a basic salad [pictured left]. But it's the details that make these stand out. First, the plates were very cold. Nice touch. Second, the obviously homemade croutons (toasted crispy with butter and a savory mix of what appeared to be thyme, sage and a little salt and pepper). Third, notice the waffle-cut carrots? Somebody stood over a mandoline (a sexy food slicer–not a little round guitar) and cut those things. Another nice touch. But, in the immortal words of the late George Carlin, “inside every silver lining…there's a dark cloud.” The salads were so crispy and good that everybody wanted them to be bigger! Did they seem small because they were so tasty…or could they actually have been bigger (especially for an entree price-point that averages around $30)?
The crab chowder had a great texture and was loaded with crabmeat, speckled with chopped parsley and lightly touched with Old Bay. One of the stars of the appetizer show was the Caribbean Sweet & Sour Barbecue Shrimp. Those lucky little crustaceans were wrapped in bacon and quickly sauteed to a crispy, caramelized plumpness. The spicy glaze (basically a mild BBQ sauce) played very nicely with the orange slices. On another visit, I had the Grilled Jumbo Scallops [pictured right]. Grill marks! Another nice little touch, along with the crunch of the toasted almonds and the little cubes of a green apple salsa. The tartness of the apples was nicely offset by the smokey curry vinaigrette. Also try the Vegetable Spring Roll. This simple preparation, presented with the standard Thai dipping sauce, was hot, crunchy and not greasy. One standout was the Fried Green Tomatoes special. Cross your fingers that they have it when you go. Firm and crispy slices are topped with a spiced and smoked tuna, crunchy cashews and a jaunty pink red-pepper aioli. The Massachusetts (Wellfleet) oysters on the half shell (6) were cold, plump, and tasted like seawater (that's a good thing, by the way…you don't want them tasting like fish, unless you have notified your next-of-kin).
When Emily and I were kibitzing on the phone (naturally I didn't let on that I was writing about the place), she suggested the Peach Chicken Breast entree [pictured left]. The nutty sweetness of the almonds and peaches created a delicate glaze on the two roasted breasts. Like most of the entrees, it was served with julienned veggies and simple roasted red potatoes. The Chesapeake Crab Cakes are baked, then broiled-off for a delicate, crispy crust. They are just about 100% crabmeat, and are nicely spiced with little discernable filler. One of my Foodies-in-Waiting ordered the Sea Scallops Rockefeller [pictured right]. It's so easy to screw up scallops: Too long in the oven and they're rubber bands. Not enough time, and they're mushy fish jello. Two Seas presented them en casserole, baked with a roasted garlic-infused cream sauce with spinach, red pepper slices, shallots and parmesan. Another of my favorite Foodettes had the Crabmeat Stuffed Flounder (a simple preparation topped with lemon-butter). The white, flakey filet was wrapped roulade-style around what must have been a quarter-pound of crabmeat. The picture I took came out terrible, so you'll just have to go there and order it (it was a special).
The Panko Softshell Crabs (a special on one of our visits) were perfectly fried. Note that Panko makes for a rather substantial “crust,” so if you don't like breading, get something else. But if you like a puffy and crunchy coating. You're gonna love these. Another special is the Pork Tenderloin. The sweetness of the fresh peaches and the light BBQ sauce works well with the pork. Actually, The Foodie maintains that pretty much anything works well with pork.
One of the special things about Two Seas is the layout. The dining room is multi-level, with a glass “sunroom” arrangement on the front of the building facing the Bay. The kicker, however, is the rooftop deck, complete with a little bar and tables. Take your after-dinner drink and climb up to the very top. It's one of the highest points in Dewey Beach and provides a panorama of the Rehoboth Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. They serve a little tapas menu up there also.
Two Seas is at 1300 Coastal Highway near Van Dyke St. on the ocean side of the highway. They can get very busy, and they do take reservations (302) 227-2610. By the way, y'snooze, y'lose—they open on Memorial Day weekend and close for the season on Columbus Day weekend, with limited hours after Labor Day.
And they finally have an online menu: Click here. (D., Bar) Price range: Expensive +.