Cincinnati isn’t on the coast, but that didn’t stop Derek dos Anjos and his wife Jocelyn from opening their seafood restaurant, The Anchor
, on Sept. 14 in Over-the-Rhine. The Anchor’s menu boasts fresh oysters, a catch-of-the-day whole fish and a New England-style lobster roll, all lovingly prepared by Derek.
The dos Anjoses are Cincinnati natives, but they’ve spent the last 16 years in New York City, where Derek was part owner of Brooklyn Fish Camp
. The couple moved back to Cincinnati with their two young children last August. Their plan was to open a restaurant and share their passion for seafood with Cincinnati.
The following September, they began looking for a space for their own restaurant. The Race Street building provided the ideal location: The Anchor-OTR is across the street from the newly renovated Washington Park
and a mere block from Cincinnati Music Hall
, and in close proximity to the thriving restaurant scene in the Gateway Quarter
Although The Anchor isn’t on Vine Street with many of Cincinnati’s up-and-coming restaurants, Derek hopes it will start a new trend in the Washington Park area and become a destination eatery for Cincinnatians. The dos Anjoses also wanted to be part of the neighborhood.
The dos Anjoses are excited to be part of Over-the-Rhine and to help contribute to its revitalization. The Anchor is the first of what will soon by many restaurants and businesses to open around Washington Park.
“We love the urban feel of the area,” says Jocelyn. “It feels like a little piece of Brooklyn in Cincinnati.”
The Anchor has a rustic feel but with an upscale atmosphere. The outdoor seating area that overlooks the park and Music Hall allows diners to imagine they’re eating anywhere in the world.
As a chef with years of experience under his belt, Derek wanted to bring different things to the table when it came to his menu. The Anchor gets its seafood daily from Bluefin Seafoods
in Louisville and Mike Luken at Findlay Market
The Anchor features a raw bar and a boutique wine list. The menu is small and changes to reflect available produce and seafood. There’s a tomato salad on the menu that will be changed to something else in the coming weeks when tomatoes go out of season, says Jocelyn.
For diners in search of the perfect meal, the couple suggests starting with a dozen oysters, six East Coast and six West Coast, a glass of Muscadet wine, followed by a cup of The Anchor’s clam chowder. For a main course, the dos Anjoses suggest the whole fish, grilled or fried, with a bottle of rosé. And for dessert, homemade blueberry crisp with ice cream is a must.
Currently, The Anchor is only open for dinner, but in the next few weeks, the dos Anjoses plan to introduce a lunch menu that features lighter fare, such as salads and sandwiches.
By Caitlin Koenig
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