Location, location, location! This place has it. Donnelly’s Dockside, at 1050 Deep Creek Avenue in Arnold, offers diners spectacular water views, inside and out. Choose from seating in the bar or in the bright, airy restaurant area. Or, if it’s a beautiful day, take advantage of the large waterfront deck. This cozy spot is a neighborhood favorite.
On a Monday afternoon, just a few folks were eating lunch, but the restaurant began to fill up within a short time. The excellent wait staff chatted amiably, apparently familiar with many of the diners.
Our waitress, Jess, was a perfect server — friendly, knowledgeable and proficient. We ordered the stuffed avocado for our starter, and it was an excellent choice. I don’t really care for avocados, but I read it’s a favorite item, so we gave it a try, and I’m glad we did. Beautifully presented and perfectly ripe, the fruit made an ideal bed for the generous portions of crab meat with chopped red pepper, onions, tomatoes and jalapeno cream filling. It was light and tasted healthy, with just a touch of heat.
My dining companion ordered a cup of cream of crab soup, soothing for a chilly day, with a moderate amount of backfin crab meat. The proffered bottle of sherry at the table added a nice touch.
I had perused the menu online before arriving at the restaurant and immediately gravitated to the sugar cane sea scallops. My companion chose jumbo shrimp steamed with Old Bay, with Vidalia onions and red potatoes.
My scallops, skewered on sweet sugar canes, were seared and slightly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and they paired wonderfully with the soft, creamy citrus rice and vegetables with pina colada butter. Though the sauce was excellent, there was not the slightest pina colada flavor. The dish came with green beans that were a bit too crisp for my taste.
The shrimp were steamed to perfection, and spicy. The potatoes and onions were cooked to the right consistency; they just needed more flavoring. With good-sized portions, this was a nice, filling lunch.
We finished off the meal with coffee and key lime pie, topped with whipped cream and a slice of lime. The generously portioned pie had the consistency of cheesecake, with a strong lime flavor that wasn’t overly sweet. It was excellent.
Everything tasted fresh. The creams and sauces were light — not overwhelming.
The menu offers a large selection of seafood, as well as a few beef and chicken entrees and plenty of sandwiches. Some items that looked tantalizing included the Magothy River club sandwich (which features fried crab cake, shrimp salad, bacon, lettuce, tomato and herb aioli served on Texas Toast), the seafood penne, or the salmon BLT.
Though we stuck to soft drinks, those who prefer something stronger can choose from a nice selection of beer, wine and cocktails.
In addition to happy hour from 3:00pm to 6:00pm Monday through Friday, Donnelly’s Dockside also offers brunch from 10:00am to 2:00pm every Sunday.
This is an excellent place for any occasion, and the price is moderate. The meal with two entrees, an appetizer and soup, a salad, dessert, and soft drinks was about $75, and we really did get a lot of food.
Put this on your list of restaurants to visit, enjoy the food and drink in the view.