Oceanside in Arcadia: The Yacht Club

The Apps: Oysters Rockefeller, Crab Dip w/ baguette
The Drinks: Perfect Storm, The Bitter Truth
The Dish: Wild Salmon, Halibut
The Place: The Yacht Club, Arcadia
The Location: 4231 E Indian School Road, 85018

By: Blake M. Wilson

So you bought that sea captain’s hat and ascot in the middle of the Phoenix summer, eh?…fear knot*, young sailor. 2014’s arrival of Arcadia’s Yacht Club provides an outlet for that seafaring fix you so desperately need. *See what I did there?

My maiden voyage, let’s just call it “date night”, began on white wooden chairs, cloth hanging below to support me throughout the meal. Old ship lamps illuminate the joint. Oars and small wooden boats line the white walls. It’s as if the Hamptons decided to just up and move to Arizona, sadly, forgetting to bring the ocean along.

Time to get my sea legs. My girlfriend and I snag the drink menu, ordering the rum drink I’d been imagining all week. The Perfect Storm tastes like a Moscow Mule if Moscow was in Jamaica. Rum, lime, vanilla and mint leaves. I’m the right amount of refreshed for some appetizers.

My girlfriend wants the crab dip, while I suggest the oysters Rockefeller. Being the amiable lady she is, we settle on the oysters as not to splurge too much on our evening out. I sneak in the crab dip order as well, because I take care of my girl…and also it sounded tasty.

Supposedly, oysters are an aphrodisiac. Yet, considering the openness of the restaurant, we decided to just relax and eat. Served on a bed of salt, each oyster was soaked in a creamy fusion of parmesan bread crumbs, spinach, pernod and of course, the oyster itself. Slurping never sounded so good.

Then for the sneak app attack, the crab dip with baguette slices. Now, I’m the type of impatient guy who will shove food down his throat when the plate is clearly steaming. Needless to say, I don’t win a lot of staring contests. As the menu mentions, the crab dip is “piping hot”, yet I dove right in anyway. The pain of the heat, mixed with the pure bliss of the flavor causes quite the conflict on whether or not to wait for a second bite. I scooped up some more immediately.

Taste buds still intact, I realize it’s about time for another drink. Trading in the sweet for the bitter, I grab the cleverly named Bitter Truth cocktail, a bourbon-based drink with lemon, honey, Elderflower liquor and Aperol with aromatic bitters for the biting flavor. The perfect cure for my eagerness.

Onto the main course, skipper. My halibut arrives on a bed of Provençal shellfish broth, covered in fennel and tomatoes. The perfect amount of flavors blend together for the satisfying taste of sea life. My better half bites into her wild salmon, hanging out with a side salad of arugula and beets with mustard sauce lining the edge of her plate. She’s in complete adoration, a feeling I thought she only reserved for me. I’ve been replaced with a fish. I take a bite, nonetheless and understand her emotions. I don’t have nearly enough great seafood in my life.

Alas, all good excursions have a finish line, and Friday night is still just a lad. The fact that seafood doesn’t leave you overstuffed, we’re ready to take on the dark, buzzed and content.

Our first Yacht Club excursion was exactly as I had expected; sea vibes with the high end taste of the ocean that’s ever so difficult to find in Arizona. Abort your dingy, and enjoy your permission to come aboard.

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