Oceanaire’s Deadliest Catch

Crab from the Time Bandit.

In mid-October, the first crab catches of the new season will start getting hauled in from the waters of the Bering Strait and the Florida coast, then cooked and packed at the docks, and overnighted on ice direct to Oceanaire. But if you go there, don’t expect a lot of fussy preparations. Executive Chef and owner-partner Rick Kimmes is a staunch believer that the king crabs and stone crab claws he sources
don’t even need drawn butter, and are best enjoyed with a minimalist approach: “The meat is already
sweet and rich. It doesn’t need more of the same.”

Instead, Kimmes recommends eating the succulent meat “naked,” or the stone crab with just a squeeze of lemon and the king legs with a little of the same homemade mustard mayonnaise that’s served with Oceanaire’s legendary crab cakes. His belief in the goodness of the stuff itself is what puts Oceanaire at the top of the shell pile when it comes to offering the best crab around.

Part of Kimmes’s affinity for crab stems from the trade’s emphasis on sustainability. Anyone who has watched the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch has seen firsthand how efficiently the deckhands toss back undersize and female crabs. (By the way, Kimmes has been serving product caught by some of the show’s heroes, the crew of the Time Bandit.) When it comes to stone crabs, the catch is limited not only by size and sex, but also by a prohibition against taking more than a single claw from each crab. That leaves the animal able to defend itself and scavenge while the missing appendage regenerates.

Oceanaire Seafood Room
1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Su–Th, 5–10 p.m., Fr–Sa, 5–11p.m.