Best of Knoxville 2009
It’s nice to see an old friend still doing well. One of the Copper Cellar restaurants, Chesapeake’s has lost none of its charm since its just-in-time-for-the-World’s-Fair 1982 opening, and only grew more polished with a facelift in 1993. The dining room is understated, tastefully nautical, and the seafood’s served Maryland/Virginia Eastern Shore style, including signature fried oysters and lump blue crab cakes that would pass muster in the snootiest Chesapeake Bay eatery. Featured cold water oysters of the day come from more distant shores. The selection changes out a couple of times a week, but Malpeque oysters from Prince Edward Island, or Buzzard Bays from Massachusetts are frequent choices.
Chesapeake’s does not seem to acknowledge being land-locked as a disadvantage for a seafood place. They fly in seasonal seafood every day from the Atlantic, the Gulf, and the Pacific, then fillet it on premises as they need it. And they actively support the management of American fisheries for species preservation and sustained water quality. That way, they can make a new generation of seafood-loving friends, too.