Chef Gary Beach returns to Ocean City, bringing back old menu favorites and trademark service in a new oceanfront setting
If enjoying fresh, local seafood, meats and other culinary delights in a beautiful setting is your foodie dream, then you won’t be disappointed with Marlin Moon Restaurant, which opened at a new location in June.
Previously known as Marlin Moon Grille, the restaurant can now be found at the Double Tree by Hilton on 33rd Street, oceanside. Though the location has changed, and the name is slightly different, Chef Gary Beach is back with his signature dishes and some new creations, as well — all with a fresh flair.
“We have the same fundamentals and a lot of the same menu items from way back when,” Beach said. “We’ve added a few things I picked up in my travels.”
Making the ingredients the stars of every dish is what motivates Beach to create satisfying and delicious dishes that are sure to please even the most particular palate.
“We keep it simple, using fresh ingredients, almost exclusively, whenever possible,” Beach said. “I like to keep it interesting, sort of tongue-in-cheek, but I always remain respectful of the ingredients.”
Indeed, succulent seafood, juicy steaks cooked to order and a variety of local fruits and vegetables are prepared with the same flavor and finesse that Beach brought to previous Marlin Moon locations.
Marlin Moon combines an eclectic atmosphere with a mid-century interior design in cool blues, perfect for a beach restaurant. If beach casual with an elegant atmosphere is a design trend, then Marlin Moon has hit the mark. With its oceanfront location, the atmosphere at Marlin Moon is certainly beautiful, but unlike real estate, it’s all about the food. Customers are often aware of Beach’s culinary skills, which result in delectable dishes that are both elevated and simple. In fact, the restaurant opened in June to a great reception, and the response from customers continues to be positive.
“I’m not a perfectionist; I just like to excel, and we make strides to get better every day,” he said.
Craft beer, wine and an assortment of mouthwatering libations combine nicely with menu selections. Many menu selections can also be made to accommodate gluten-free diets. Beach’s personal favorite dish on the menu is Freddy’s Seafood Pasta — sautéed jumbo shrimp, back-fin crab,
sea scallops, squash and tomatoes in a light garlic sauce, tossed with Mafaldine pasta — named after a childhood friend.
“He ate four of them in a 24-hour period,” Beach recalls with a laugh. “I had to name the dish after him.”
Dinner always features at least one meat special, such as a bone-in rib-eye roasted to perfection. Other options include veal chops with Marsala sauce, New York strip steaks and fresh, local soft-shell crabs that are flash-fried and served with creole mushroom sauce,
with bacon and tomato. The menu also includes choices such as chicken Chesapeake — broiled, marinated bone-in chicken breast with lump crab, diced tomato, Old Bay béchamel atop pasta — and beef tenderloin, roasted-garlic-rubbed 8-oz center cut, Blue Stilton-crusted with house tawny port demi-glace.
Food fads may come and go, but one thing that Beach insists on is that Marlin Moon use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
“We have purveyors who really take care of us with local products, whether it’s seafood, meats, produce or ice cream,” Beach said.
Beach did not attend culinary school, but he learned from his family early on that he loved cooking, beginning with his grandmother. She proved to be an impressive creative influence on the young Beach because of her Cajun, French, Spanish and Swedish backgrounds. “She used to cook two full meals a day, so I learned a lot from her,” he said, while noting he also gathered inspiration from reading books and working with trained chefs to create and perfect his own culinary voice and style.
In addition to wearing his familiar chef’s hat, Beach is also the food-and- beverage director for the hotel.
A winner of the Maryland People’s Choice Award, Marlin Moon continues to exceed expectations with classic seafood and steak dishes with a fresh viewpoint. It’s no surprise that residents and visitors alike have returned to experience this legendary Ocean City restaurant. The restaurant does not take traditional reservations, but call-ahead seating is available. Marlin Moon is open year-round. Visit their site for menu details.
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