Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Captains Table

NOTE: The Captains Table has since closed.

Overlooking the water off of Deep Creek Road, The Captain's Table looks to be the quintessential locals' choice restaurant-- slightly hidden, and very homey, with a welcoming front deck. It was fairly busy as a smiling hostess promptly took us to our table, weaving between families, groups of friends and young couples alike out for a bite.

The menu features fresh, seafood, along with the usual array of steaks, sandwiches and other family-friendly fare. After a quick perusal, I opted for the seafood platter ($17.95), while Dave honed in on the fresh flounder ($14.95). Both came with soup or salad, potato, a vegetable and rolls/scones. After the waitress had returned with our drinks, we settled back to watch the cute antics of a very well-behaved boy at the next table. I was sipping on a draft hefeweizen ($3.50), which tasted a little flat. Dave had a glass of the BV Chardonnay ($5.50), a simple chard that was suited more for consuming alongside the food.
He had his chance as our salads-- mine with oil & vinegar, his with blue cheese-- came to the table.
I couldn't help but to gasp and stare slightly googly-eyed at our plates. On each was a quarter wedge of a head of iceberg lettuce. Dave's was drowned beneath an explosion of creamy blue cheese dressing, while mine sat completely plain, browning a bit at the center and edges. Sorry, but a wedge of lettuce does not a salad make!

While I was still pondering my greens, the waitress came by and set down a second plate of scones and rolls. "I think that other batch was kinda old," she said, motioning to the plate that had been brought to the table with our menus. She was right, as I'd had only one sandy nibble from those scones. The fresher batch had a very nice flavor and texture, and both quickly vanished.
The waitress cleared our untouched salads to make way for the entrees. Dave's had two goodly-sized pieces of flounder, nicely cooked with a golden crust.
It looked nice, it crunched nice, but the crust had absolutely no flavor to it whatsoever. A dash of salt and a squirt of lemon helped greatly. The accompanying fries were well-cooked as well.
My platter included flounder, shrimp, scallops and a crab cake, all fried, thank you very much.
My flounder was about on par with Dave's. Both the scallops and the shrimp had been coated in a thick, spongy batter that completely stifled its contents. The scallops, once removed from the crust, proved to be slightly withered and over-cooked. The shrimp were very large and rather greasy-- not even cocktail sauce could alleviate that oily taste. Thankfully, the crab cake was quite lovely, filled with fresh crab and sauteed perfectly.

I chose my potato in the form of twice-baked. Aside from coming out pretty close to room temperature, it was unremarkable. What was interesting were our side dishes of broccoli, both wilting into mush and tasting strongly of fish.

We ordered dessert to go. I'd requested an apple brown betty, but received a portion of the bread and butter pudding ($2.95). Reheated later, it didn't have the power to draw me back in for another bite. The pecan pie ($4.50) fared a bit better, with a nicely sweet filling and plenty of pecans along the top-- the slightly stale-tasting crust was my only complaint there.
Throughout the meal, I observed many interactions between the staff and customers that displayed kindness and familiarity: Captain's Table is obviously a neighborhood favorite. With a little more focus on the cookery-- and perhaps a complete re-interpretation of their salad-- this could be a comfortably cozy retreat with a retro-family friendly vibe.

Captains Table Restaurant
663 Deep Creek Road, Newport News
Phone: 930-2413
Web site: www.captainstablerestaurant.org
Specialties: seafood
Price range: appetizers: $4.95-$11.95; soups & salads: $2.95-$8.95; entrees: $10.95-$18.95; dessert: $1.95-$4.50
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 5 pm.-9 p.m.; closed Mondays; closed Sundays for the winter
Alcohol: beer, wine, full bar
Smoking: only on the outside patio
Vegetarian: no
Wheelchair accessible: yes
Payment: cash, credit cards, checks
Noise level: conversational
Atmosphere: casual
Additional Information: nightly specials, large and private parties welcome
Star rating: food 2 1/2, atmosphere 3, service 3
(out of five stars)


Blogger sher said...

Wow!!! I jumped a little when I saw the picture of the salads--particularly Dave's blue cheese oddity. When I was a teenager, I worked at a steak house outside Chicago, where I made the salad. There was only one salad--chunks of iceburg lettuce served just like yours. I thought it was an odd salad then, still do!

10:12 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home