As a native Marylander, I’ve never associated crabs with winter. Balmy summer evenings on the Chesapeake with piles of Old Bay-spiced hard-shells seem far, far away during these frigid months. But down in Florida, it’s peak stone crab season at this very moment. If jetting off to South Beach isn’t feasible, cure your winter woes locally with fresh crab claws that practically taste of sunshine. At Ed’s Chowder House in New York City, a full roster of stone crab preparations beckons as a winter special.
Our favorite is the Stone Crab Mary, the best Bloody we’ve had in recent memory. The base is classic — nice and spicy — and then fresh crab meat is mixed in. Perched on top, beside the requisite celery stalk and olive garnishes, is a meaty crab claw fresh off the raw bar. This drink could make a very satisfying appetizer on its own.