Nettie's Crab Shack is situated in the Marina of San Francisco, a place I rarely visit, due to its infamous reputation of elitist snobbery, without the good food to match. But when Michael Bauer, SF food critic mentioned his new top picks for 2009, Nettie’s crab shack made the list. With enticing descriptions of fresh crab and a modern take on American classics it sounded delicious and perfect for my crab addiction.
Nettie’s Crab Shack is a simple, slightly nautical themed restaurant with an open kitchen and blackboard specials. The cocktails are nothing short of fun and whimsical like a Boston freeze with bourbon, a spiced Louisiana lemonade, and a stellar bloody Mary. All delicious!
We ordered the manila clam steamers, which were highly aromatic with bay leaf and celery. A few clams had a little grit, but it wasn’t too bad. With the clams, we ordered a pail of shoestring potatoes, super crispy and rosemary scented.
I tried the crab roll served with pickled vegetables and homemade potato chips. The crab is simply prepared in tossed in drawn butter served on a soft fresh brioche like bun. The pickled vegetables added some needed acidity. And who can beat home made potato chips. The crab Louis salad, a San Francisco salad was re-invented with lil’ artichokes, beets, green olives and crab tossed in a peppery vinaigrette. The olives and beets worked really well with the crab. All the crab was succulent and fresh.
I also tasted the whole grilled petrale sole served with sweet and sour onions and roasted brussel sprouts. The whole grilled fish was light and flaky and the onion “marmalade” made the dish!
While Nettie's is no fine dining, it does classic American Crab shack well, really well.
Desserts were retro and cute, but nothing special. Pictured are the little lady caramel apples, the best ones we tried. But common, I was here for the crab anyways. Plus try Crab Sunday which offers a bountiful spread with a whole crab per person.
Nettie's Crab Shack
2032 Union Street
San Francisco, CA