Crab Season is Underway on the Half Moon Bay Coastside

crab with tomatoes and glass of wineAhoy! The highly anticipated Dungeness crab season has kicked off on the Half Moon Bay Coastside and runs through the end of June. This beautiful coastal region, located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco, comes together each year to celebrate this seafood delicacy with scrumptious dishes at local restaurants and opportunities to catch your very own crab! These large, hard-shell crabs with a sweet flavor and flaky texture are found along the northwest coast from Alaska to Northern California. Half Moon Bay has one of the largest concentrations of Dungeness crab with more than 50 commercial boats fishing off Pillar Point Harbor, the last working fishing harbor between San Francisco and Monterey.

Below is a summary of “all the things crab” along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. To discover the freshest catch of the day, simply download the FishLine app that lets users know where to buy fresh, locally harvested seafood. Purchase directly off the fishermen’s boats at Pillar Point Harbor (call 650-726-8724 to find out the freshest catch of the day) or from local seafood markets, farmer’s markets, restaurants and cafés, as well as by mail order. Directions and recipes are available on FishLine, but if cooking doesn’t sound appealing, leave the work to the fine folks at Princeton Seafood Company who are happy to clean and cook your fresh catch Monday-Friday!

Special Note: All locations are in Half Moon Bay unless otherwise noted.

– CATCH YOUR OWN –

Huli Cat Sportfishing
For those who seek a truly hands-on adventure, Huli Cat Sportfishing offers fishing and crabbing excursions out of Pillar Point Harbor. Customers may choose between a rockfish and crab combo or embark on a crab-only excursion. Pillar Point Harbor, (650) 726-2926, www.hulicat.com

– INDULGE IN CRAB DISHES ALONG THE COASTSIDE –

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
A beloved destination known for its award-winning, handcrafted beer and sustainable coastal cuisine, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has quite a catch of Dungeness crab this season! Enjoy an assortment of dishes such as warm whole cracked crab with pesto, half crab cioppino, crab and pumpkin bisque, Dungeness crab roll, crab cake Benedict and even a crab omelet! 390 Capistrano Rd., (650) 728-2739, www.hmbbrewingco.com

It’s Italia
Located on Main Street in charming Half Moon Bay, It’s Italia is a Cal-Italian style trattoria specializing in gourmet pizzas, house made pastas, creative starters and salads, along with seafood and meat selections from their rotisserie and mesquite grill. Joining in on the crab festivities, It’s Italia is offering baked Dungeness crab cakes, crab and shrimp Louisa salad, a grilled cheesy crab and shrimp sandwich and a Dungeness crab cioppino. The weekend brunch menu will feature Dungeness crab Benedict on polenta cakes and a crab and Brussels sprouts omelet with goat cheese….and throughout the holiday season, be sure to try a Dungeness Crab Martini from the bar! 401 Main Street, (650) 726-4444, www.itsitaliarestaurant.com

La Costanera
Known for their contemporary Peruvian cuisine and breathtaking views of the Pacific, La Costanera is celebrating crab season by featuring Pastel de Cangrejo, a potato chip-crusted Dungeness crab cake with mushrooms and sweet Rocoto sauce that is sure to delight palates. 8150 Cabrillo Hwy, Montara Beach, (650) 728-1600,www.lacostanerarestaurant.com.

Miramar Beach Restaurant
Incomparable views, exceptional food, and impeccable service provide a dining experience that exceeds the expectations of seafood lovers wishing to celebrate Dungeness crab season. Diners will enjoy the seasonal whole cracked crab and seafood cioppino. 131 Mirada Road, (650) 726-9053, www.miramarbeachrestaurant.com.

Moss Beach Distillery 
Renowned for their stunning ocean view dining and great local seafood, Moss Beach Distillery is offering their Distillery Cracked Crab, a whole Dungeness crab sautéed in a white wine garlic butter sauce. In addition, fresh crab is available every Friday through Sunday for the duration of crab season. 140 Beach Way, Moss Beach, (650) 728-5595,www.mossbeachdistillery.com

Pasta Moon 
Known for their award-winning seasonal Italian menu, Pasta Moon embraces Dungeness crab season with a variety of mouth-watering dishes such as the popular linguine with fresh crab and fennel and kobocha squash soup with fresh Dungeness crab and spiced pepitos. Right after the Thanksgiving holiday, scrumptious Dungeness crab cakes with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette and house made tartar sauce will grace the menu. The crab dishes pair wonderfully with their Wine Spectator award-winning, all-Italian wine selection. 315 Main Street, (650) 726-5125, www.pastamoon.com.

Princeton Seafood Company
Located in Pillar Point Harbor, Princeton Seafood Company offers a relaxing atmosphere while providing exquisite seafood. This crab season, customers will enjoy crab scramblers and crab Benedict for breakfast. A variety of crab dishes such as a Cajun crab cake sandwich, crab cakes, crab cocktail, crab cioppino, crab Louie and cracked crab platter grace the menu. New this year is the garlic crab bowl (1/2 cracked crab, New Zealand Cockles and mussels in Anchorsteam beer infused seafood broth) and the crab pasta. They also have crabs available in the fish market (live or cooked) and customers can also bring in their fresh catch (Monday-Friday) to be prepared while they wait. Crab dishes are good through January 30. Nine Johnson Pier, (650) 726-2722, www.princetonseafood.com.

Sam’s Chowder House  
Known for fresh, off-the-boat seafood and stunning views of the Pacific, uber-popular Sam’s is featuring their mouth-watering, fresh local crab, steamed or chili-garlic style during the season, along with their year-round line up of crab wonderment such as cioppino, jumbo prawns stuffed with Dungeness crab and wrapped in smoked bacon, crab cakes, New Orleans style gumbo, Sam’s Dungeness Crab Louis and blue crab sandwich. 4210 North Cabrillo Highway, (650) 712-0245, www.samschowderhouse.com. Media Contact: Julie Shenkman, (650) 726-1005, julie@julieshenkman.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay will treat guests to a crab-inspired culinary adventure in Navio that highlights the season in an unforgettable way. For breakfast, try the Coastal Eggs Benedict with Dungeness Crab, artichoke spread, and lemon hollandaise and for dinner, enjoy the Dungeness Crab, house-made smoked pumpkin ravioli, squid ink pasta, rainbow Swiss chard, crab cream sauce, and sage foam. In the Conservatory, during the month of November delight in the handpicked Dungeness Crab sandwich on brioche bread with avocado and Sriracha mayo. One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media contact: Deanne French, (949) 240-5088,Deanne.French@ritzcarlton.com.

VIA UNO Cucina Italiana & Bar 
Pamper your taste buds with the cuisine of Southern Italy combined with fresh, seasonal Dungeness crab dishes throughout the season including Polpette di Granchio (Italian mini crab cakes with fresh crab meat, herbs, and spices served with a wasabi aioli),Fritelle di Granchio (fresh crab fritters served with a spicy gazpacho chutney), Zuppa di Granchio (hearty soup of fresh crab, mussels, clams, calamari, and salmon with cherry tomatoes in a light, spicy tomato sauce), Tagliolini al Granchio (pasta with fresh crab in a light champagne cream sauce with lemon zest) and Ravioli di Granchio (ravioli filled with fresh crab, potatoes, and parsley in a light champagne cream sauce with lemon zest). Mangia bene! 2810 Cabrillo Highway 1 North, (650) 560-8858, www.viaunorestaurant.comMedia Contact: Tonya Hayes, (925) 285-0001,hayesbusiness@yahoo.com.

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