Delaware Today magazine Savor dining review: A review by dining critic Matt Amis of Just Hooked, a restaurant in Fenwick Island owned by Steven Hagen
Totally Hooked: Just Hooked brings a familiar but delicious formula to Fenwick.
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1500 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 581-0098
Braised short ribs, crab bisque, chocolate truffle terrine
Starters: $7-$11, entrées: $18-$24
Steve Hagen opened the doors to Off the Hook, his minimalist masterpiece, in June 2010. Blocked into a Bethany Beach strip mall, the restaurant stood out due to its straightforward, almost stark, approach to coastal cuisine. His uber-fresh seafood seemed to soothe and excite diners like an unplugged acoustic concert—stripped down, unembellished and honest.
Hagen’s open kitchen plated humble yet meaty fish like tautog, fluke and blues with few embellishments. His dining room, save for a few 8-by-10 prints, was mostly bare and white. What Hagen wasn’t doing with his new restaurant became more intriguing. He and his crew knew that it took gentle flavors—a squirt of lemon, a handful of grape tomatoes—to supplement stellar local product.
The idea clicked. Off the Hook knocked Bethany locals on their backfins.
Now, meet the sequel.
Just Hooked, which opened in May, isn’t quite “The Godfather: Part II,” at least not yet. But like all solid sequels, it exudes equal parts enjoyment and familiarity. Most all of my favorite characters are back, but the recycled lines didn’t quite deliver the same impact.
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