Crab Imperial

Made with pearly pieces of fresh lump crab meat, crab imperial is a lavish casserole. The crab is abetted by a buttery cream sauce with citrus twang and pepper pop as well as a shot of sherry, and the whole shebang is topped with a lid of melted Parmesan cheese. It’s at its best on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and in Maryland, but can be found in deluxe seafood restaurants in other places where there is access to good crab. Sting Ray’s in Cape Charles, Virginia, offers a meal called Smithfield crab imperial, for which a small casserole is lined with slices of country ham and the crab imperial is baked atop it.

Restaurants With This Dish

Harris Crab House

GRASONVILLE, MARYLAND

Shrimp, lobster & crab in a pool of butter in a hot copper pan
Crisfield

SILVER SPRING, MD

Big, pearly hunks of crab imperial swaddled in creamy sauce, perch atop a short stack of crisp-fried green tomatoes.
Café des Amis

BREAUX BRIDGE, LA

Narrows

GRASONVILLE, MD

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