Rustic Inn Crab House, a sweet hideaway just off the beaten path in Fort Lauderdale is just as the name suggest, a seafood restaurant with a rustic flare. I cannot tell you that it is the best seafood restaurant in Fort Lauderdale since I have not been to them all, but I can tell you it has a great atmosphere, offers waterfront dining, and it’s not too far from the Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood Airport.
We went on a weekday at around 6:30 p.m. The main dining room was closed but the patio was open for seating. We checked in with the hostess and was seated towards the wall instead by the water, as there are two rows one towards the water and the other towards the wall. We were seated by the wall but as soon as the folks across from us got up from their table we asked to be seated there. If it wasn’t my first time going it probably wouldn’t have mattered but in this case I wanted to be near the water for more reasons than one.
From the menu you can choose from a variety of seafood items. Appetizers included items such as fried calamari, fresh oysters, Key West Shrimp, frog legs, yes frog legs, and believe it or not there was also fried alligators on the menu, as well as conch salad and more. Then there is the selection of mouth watering entrées like the Crab Sampler which is made up of different types of crabs served with parslied potatoes, Alaskan King Crab Legs or the one that I chose Dungeness Garlic Crabs.
The Dungeness Garlic Crabs comes served drenched in a buttery garlic sauce, and it’s also served with an additional bowl of garlic sauce. Looking at the photo on the menu I wondered if the crabs I ordered would be sufficient enough to fill me up because I noticed that it wasn’t served with any other side items like some of the others. So because of that I ordered a Caesar Salad to start with, but to my surprise it was more than enough crab than I could handle. I ended up having to take some home. I think it was more than enough crabs legs for 2 people, about 6 clusters of juicy, buttery, and fleshy mouthwatering crabs. I can still taste and smell them as a I sit here writing about it. My favorite parts are the claws because they are filled with all that meaty goodness 🤤.
Ok back to the menu… Other choices included Whole Broiled Lobster, Lobster Rolls, Filet of Mahi-Mahi, and The house Specials. They also serve up pasta dishes and for you none seafood lovers they also offer steak and chicken. There is also a kids menu for the little ones. In addition you can choose from a selection of wines, cocktails, and frozen drinks as well as non-alcoholic choices like hot tea, coffee, and juice, and who doesn’t like to end their meal with a good dessert.
Apart from my meal, and the waterfront seating, another thing I loved about the Rustic Inn Crab House is how they announce someone’s birthday each time over the microphone and invite everyone to pick up their gavels and start banging for the birthday boy or girl. Everyone would start banging them simultaneously.
You may be wondering why everyone has gavels, the gavels are given to use as a utensil, they are used to bang the crab legs to crack them open instead of the usual seafood cracker tools given at some restaurants. Also before you are served your meal, you are given a big plastic bib with the restaurant’s name on it to cover your self from splashes that will occur while cracking the legs.
Our waiter was nice and as I mentioned before the atmosphere was good. It was a great dining experience.