Dining Review: Bob Ashby’s Cantwell’s Tavern in Odessa, Delaware
The Rest is History: A refined country menu makes Cantwell’s in Odessa worth the visit.
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But there were occasional glimpses of the kitchen overextending itself. Pan-fried snapper, a fish special on one evening, arrived coated in a starchy flour dredge. Only instead of forming a light, crispy crust, the starch created an impenetrable rubbery armor. Worse, beneath the fishy bulletproof vest, the meat was mealy and mushy.
Cantwell’s brick oven pizzas lacked the crispy, slightly-scorched addictiveness of great brick oven crusts, and instead arrived dense as tack and looking unappealing dark brown in color—signs the pie spent too long in an oven that wasn’t hot enough. A few minutes later, I overheard our waitress inform another table that the brick oven was acting up. Where was our warning?
Such slipups didn’t do much to sink Cantwell’s, and most were forgiven in time for the dessert course, where the kitchen again shined. Decadent chocolate pecan pie zapped all the same pleasure zones as a perfect chocolate chip cookie, chewy and crunchy in all the right places. Colorful French macaroons, sandwiched around whipped butter cream, were inhaled ruthlessly.
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