WEST OCEAN CITY – A new smokehouse restaurant is bringing exceptional food and service to the West Ocean City community.
In February, Matt Ortt Companies opened its newest restaurant, Coastal Smokehouse, at the corner of Route 50 and Keyser Point Road. Featuring premium grade steaks, smoked dishes and unique culinary creations, operators say there is something for everyone.
“It’s the next step in the progression of Matt Ortt Companies,” said Managing Partner Matt Ortt. “We started out with management contracts, and now we own restaurants.”
Last year, construction crews began the months-long process of transforming the former Hooters restaurant building into a contemporary smokehouse complete with an open-air patio, a new bar and a renovated dining area.
Managing Partner Ralph DeAngelus said nearly everything – from windows and kitchen equipment to tables and chairs – was replaced.
“This is a totally different space …,” he said. “No one is going to walk in here and say, ‘Ah, it’s an old Hooters.’”
Director of Operations Lewis Sherman said just as much work went into crafting the restaurant’s menu, which takes its inspiration from traditional steakhouses and smokehouses, albeit with a coastal flair.
“Our price is structured so people can come here frequently,” he said. “We don’t want to be a special occasion destination. People can come here frequently and work their way through the menu because there’s so much variety.”
Menu items include braised short ribs with nitro milk stout gravy and bourbon pecan sweet potato casserole, coastal grits with jumbo shrimp, lump crab meat, pork belly and roasted pepper jus, and a fried green tomato appetizer with jumbo lump crabmeat, corn relish, baby arugula, roasted tomato aioli and queso fresco.
Coastal Smokehouse also offers an assortment of grilled and smoked meats, house-made sauces and a selection of toppers and add-ons.
“We’ve got a lot of classic items you can expect at a barbecue place, and a lot of nice, high-end steaks,” said Managing Partner and Executive Chef Stuart Diepold.
The menu also features an extensive list of bourbons, whiskeys and ryes, as well as an array of beer and wine selections. Signature cocktails include a Sweet Mojo with Malibu, muddled mint, vanilla syrup, fresh lime juice and soda water, a BBQ Smoked Old Fashion with Bulleit, BBQ bitters and brown sugar syrup on a smoked rock, and a Bloody Hell Mary with Makers Mark, house-made green tomato mix, sriracha ice, smoked salt rim and peppered bacon.
“There are a lot of things to try here,” Diepold said.
Matt Ortt Companies currently manages four restaurants in and around the resort area and owns two others – Coastal Salt and Coastal Smokehouse. Ortt said the hope is to add another Coastal location in the near future.
“I guarantee there will probably a third Coastal coming sometime,” he said. “We’re going to play off that … We’ll do different Coastal restaurants up and down the shore.”
Sherman said Coastal Smokehouse opens daily at 11 a.m. and will operate year-round. For more information, visit coastalsmokehouse.com or any of the restaurant’s social media accounts.