According to Shark’s Cove owner Eddie O’Malley, the view is the easy part. This upper story restaurant, just west of the “Fenwick Ditch” (and around the block on Bennett Avenue) hosts a natural panorama on the Little Assawoman Bay, and plenty of glass.
Outside seating on the deck opens this weekend, and inside, O’Malley has sparkled up the place with some nautical décor. There’s a piano at the end of the bar, and white linen and servers in classic black complete the elegant setting.
Chef James Parrott has made his place at Shark’s Cove for 12 years now, and O’Malley said that kind of longevity spoke for itself.
They’ve put together a menu centered on fresh seafood, with appetizer standouts like the Shark Bites (battered, deep-fried mako) and shrimp Lejon (stuffed with horseradish and whole-grain mustard, wrapped in bacon).
More than half of the entrées either feature or pair with seafood. “Mrs. O’Malley’s crabcakes” top the list — commemorating his mother, and O’Malley said they were built on the classic Baltimore-style recipe. “We only use local (Fishing Creek, Md.) jumbo lump crabmeat,” he stated — never imported substitutes.
Patrons may select rockfish with peanut lime chili sauce, salmon with dill hollandaise or tuna with wasabi mayo. Or there’s chicken, lamb and Angus Beef to choose from.
Entrée prices range from upper teens for the chicken marsala or margherita, to low 40s for lobster tail stuffed with crap imperial, with most of the seafood mid-range.
O’Malley jokingly noted his education in political science had been the obvious springboard into restaurants (actually, he said he wasn’t sure how he happened into the business).
Originally from Baltimore, he worked as a server through college, and then at various popular Ocean City spots (Bonfire, Fager’s). He eventually moved into management at Lombardi’s Pizza, and started thinking about getting into his own place.
O’Malley partnered on the Shark’s Cove location with his brother, Patrick, in 1990. His wife, Faith, and three daughters (Meghan, Tara and Colleen) came along, and they’ve all been working at the restaurant ever since.
He depends on reputation of the service. “We just get great people,” he said. “We just provide good service, good food, and hope those folks go out and tell all their friends.”
There’s a lot of traffic through the Fenwick Ditch, and he said jet ski, powersail and pontoon rentals brought some customers in from the Shark’s Cove docks below. And there’s boat parking for locals who’ve decided to leave the car in the garage for a change.
In addition, O’Malley said they had a lot of loyalty from the neighbors in Fenwick Landing — “not only good customers, but good friends,” and plenty of referrals from the staff at Sea Point Antiques.
O’Malley and company will be making a foray into the community on June 5, when the Taste of Coastal Delaware returns to the Marketplace in Bethany Beach.
He said they typically brought out their cream of crab soup, but hadn’t decided on what else they might feature this year – perhaps scallops wrapped in prosciutto ham, or the shrimp Lejon.
In the meantime, they’ll have their full menu in Fenwick Island — for information or reservations at Shark’s Cove, call (302) 436-8600 or visit the Web site, www.sharks-cove.com.