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In the old Obrycki's space, Angie's Seafood offers a more polished take on coastal cuisine

People still walk into the old Obrycki's spot on Pratt Street in Upper Fells Point looking for steamed crabs. Until last fall, they were out of luck.

Now diners will find Angie's Seafood, which opened in September, offering hard shells and numerous seafood dishes.

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"We get at least one or two people a week looking for Obyrcki's," said Zack Ahmed, who is a partner in the restaurant with Angela Fiorenza. "Someone was just here from Hong Kong."

Ahmed and Fiorenza worked together at another Baltimore restaurant for 10 years before venturing out on their own. The former Obrycki's space was just what they were looking for, Ahmed said.

Angie's looks similar to the former crab house landmark, which closed in 2011, but it is brighter and more polished, with a lively front bar, white tablecloths and upholstered seating. In the main dining room, brown paper covers the linens beneath Colonial-style chandeliers.

We didn't partake of steamed crabs on our visit, and none of the few filled tables did, either. But our bounty of seafood dishes was impressive. The portions are generous, and the quality of ingredients is impeccable, though the prices are high — an entrée of crab cakes and two sides runs $33.95.

We started out with a lump crab cocktail that was fabulous in its simplicity. Thick white nuggets of crab were mounded on a doily of lettuce leaves and accompanied by a perky cocktail sauce.

We also appreciated the bowl of cream of crab soup that featured crab lumps nestled in the center of the rich, silky liquid. The oysters Rockefeller was another sumptuous appetizer, with six plump bivalves happily buried beneath a coverlet of spinach and buttery sauce.

The steamed whole Maine lobster was an indulgent beauty. The fat, red specimen was packed with sweet meat that didn't really need the melted butter on the plate. We added sides of mashed potatoes and a well-stocked garden salad with a creamy house dressing.

Most entrees come with two side dishes, we later learned, but the lobster was supposed to have only one. Our pleasant waiter didn't realize that until after he took our order, and he kindly didn't charge us for the fluffy spuds.

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Our other main dishes were wonders in their own right. The baked stuffed shrimp, puffed with crab imperial, were captivating. A salad and a soft, foil-wrapped baked potato with sour cream were solid accompaniments.

The shrimp-and-crab Alfredo, tumbled with fettuccine, shimmered with a delicious, creamy Parmesan sauce. The vegetable du jour was a thoughtful mix of sauteed zucchini and carrots, plus a small section of corn on the cob.

There are several other Alfredo pasta dishes on the menu paired with chicken, salmon and more, as well as seafood-based marinaras, lasagna and shrimp scampi.

Obrycki's will keep a location at BWI-Marshall Airport, but plans for a new location at the Arundel Mills mall have fallen through, owner Rob Cernak said. The family is exploring locations outside the state.

Carnivores are sated with offerings like chicken scaloppine and filet mignon. Several surf and turf variations — like the steak Nina, topped with shrimp, scallops, crab imperial and bearnaise sauce — will satisfy lovers of both.

Desserts are homey but ordinary. The apple pie a la mode was our favorite. A traditional pastry wedge of tender apples balanced a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate.

The satisfying strawberry cheesecake was light and creamy, with a thick strawberry sauce glazing the top.

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The bar was packed when we were leaving. Fiorenza was floating from group to group and engaging in stories with patrons. It looked like a fun place to indulge in cocktails like a Cosmo, beers like Heavy Seas or recognizable wines like a Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.

The legacy of Angie's Seafood may be just beginning, but the spirit of Obrycki's lives on in the building. The new chapter is off to a good start.

Angie’s Seafood

Rating: 3 stars

Where: 1727 E. Pratt St., Upper Fells Point

Contact: 410-342-0917, angiesseafood.com

Open: Noon to midnight Sunday through Thursday, noon to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Prices: Appetizers, $6.95-$16.95; entrees, $17.95-$37.95

Food: Seafood, steamed crabs

Noise/TVs: The main dining room was quiet on our midweek visit; three TVs in the bar area.

Service: Our waiter was pleasant and eager to please.

Parking: A small parking lot next to the restaurant or street parking

Special diets: Can accommodate.

Reservation policy: Accepts reservations.

[Key: Superlative: 5 stars; Excellent: 4 stars; Very good: 3 stars; Good: 2 stars; Promising: 1 star.]

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