When Rare & Rye opened in Ocean City, we were intrigued. A new farm to table restaurant centered around whiskey and rye certainly got our attention. It wasn’t long before our intrigue turned to an absolute need-to-try-now after we saw the amazing reviews coming in. Rare & Rye has been open just over 3 weeks, and it seems that they’ve come out with a bang.
Rare & Rye is located in the La Quinta Inn building on 33rd Street. Admittedly, we sometimes feel a bit awkward going to a restaurant in a hotel, but Rare & Rye makes it easy for non-guests. The main entrance to the restaurant involves walking up the outdoor stairwell on 33rd Street, passing through their outdoor seating and entering the restaurant. Hotel guests or those that would like to ride the elevator can enter the hotel at the ground level, go up 1 level to the lobby and follow signs for Rare & Rye.
When we entered the restaurant, we were struck by the beautiful interior, and we were surprised to learn that it was designed to be an Authentic Green Space. This means that they have met certain standards for energy efficiency. Their outdoor seating area also features a few Living Canopies, a beautiful living shade that features solar-powered self watering systems.
When the restaurant opened, they featured 18 varieties of whiskey, bourbon and rye. In just a few weeks, they’ve added to that collection and are now offering 25 varieties. The owners anticipate that this list will continue to grow. Flights of whiskey, bourbon and rye are also available, with patrons able to choose which price point level they’d like to sample.
We asked owner, Sal Fasano, for recommendations when ordering. He raved about the Crab Cobb Salad, Brie Baked Oysters and Grilled Lamb Lollipops for those looking for starters or smaller portions. For entrees, Fasano suggests the 20 Ounce Grilled Ribeye, Country Fried Pork Chop and Pan Seared Rockfish. We were also pleasantly surprised to find great options for kids on the menu. This is not the sort of place parents will get the side-eye for bringing their little ones.
Rare & Rye’s menu was crafted by Head Chef Stuart Diepold. Prior to Rare & Rye, Chef Diepold worked at great Ocean City restaurants like Galaxy 66 and Shark on the Harbor. Everything that leaves Chef Diepold’s kitchen comes to the table beautifully plated. As a farm to table concept, Rare & Rye tries to buy as many ingredients as possible from local sources. They regularly work with local dairy farmers, fishmongers and butchers.
We really enjoy the atmosphere at Rare & Rye, but if you must, carry-out is also available. For those staying at the La Quinta Inn, room service is also an option. As of now, Rare & Rye is open from 5:00pm – close. Fasano anticipates opening for lunch by June 16th. Don’t miss this new restaurant that we are sure will become an Ocean City favorite!