Fresh is king at O’Brien’s Crabhouse.

Danny Raskin
Senior Columnist

Dan Dunksy, a larger white man smiles in a button down shirt.
Dan Dunksy Newsroom

He has had many tempting offers to move his fine seafood restaurant to other sectors, but owner Dan Dunsky’s O’Brien’s Crabhouse continues to be among Michigan’s finest fresh seafood restaurants on his 28th anniversary at the same location … And proof again that a restaurant name is only as good as its reputation … That of O’Brien’s Crabhouse is excellent.

Located on South Opdyke Road in Auburn Hills, it maintains a favored seafood reputation as a gathering place for lovers of its large and fine selection of fresh seafood favorites … That word “fresh” is extremely important in seafood … and Dan is noted for his freshness obsession.

The traditional East Coast seafood restaurant has few equals when it comes to freshness … But Dunsky considers this very important word in a big way when it comes to his catches …  To call itself a very good seafood restaurant, it must also have excellent favorites like O’Brien’s seafood sauté of fried Ipswich clams and shrimp Mozambique … And its best sellers of perch piccata, stuffed flounder and seafood diablo continuously go over in a big way … as do the preparations of catches that are only obtainable in season.

There may be many seafood restaurants … and those that call themselves such, but a true sea-farin’ eatery must have a large selection to be noted as such … O’Brien’s prides itself on this and true freshness … No overly fancy frills … just a very good seafood dining operation that is concerned only with service and stocking of a full complement of fresh seafood … emphasis on fresh.

Dining hours at O’Brien’s Crabhouse are … Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dinner, 4-9:30 p.m. … Saturday, dinner 4-9:30 p.m., Sunday, 4-8:30 p.m.

The inside of O’Brien’s Crabhouse showing booths in a row with some hanging lights

READER MINI REVIEWfrom Jerry Silecchia … “My wife, Doreen, daughter Andrea and her husband, John Papadopoulos, went to Ottava Via in the Corktown section of Detroit. Arriving early, we waited at the bar and ordered some of their specialty cocktails. We had two fine appetizers of Caprese salad with a house mozzarella, seasonal tomatoes, basil, balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive oil, and the flour-dusted calamari with lemon caper aioli and house tomato sauce. Both were delicious. We shared a chopped salad with mixed lettuce, cucumber, garbanzo beans, aged provolone and Finocchiona salami with drizzled vinaigrette dressing. Next, we ordered a Salsiccia pizza featuring sweet Italian sausage, aged provolone and bell peppers. We tried the Truffle Butter Pasta, consisting of Bucatini noodles, a mushroom blend and creamy truffle butter sauce. It was outstanding! Our last dish was Ragout a la Bolognese, a pappardelle pasta with tomato-braised veal and pork along with ricotta cheese. This, too, was great!”

QUESTION & ANSWER DEPT. … “Is one of the owners of Pepino’s the same Chris Hutchinson that played football for University of Michigan?” … Saul Ellman.

(Yes, Dr. Chris Hutchinson in emergency at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak is the same All-American, Most Valuable Player, team captain and star of four Rose Bowls for the Wolverines … His son, Aidan, is a freshman and also plays defensive tackle on the U-M football team, plus wears the same number 97 as Chris did.)

fish on the wall at O’Brien’s Crabhouse and a sign that says "maryland crabs" with some fish net around it.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE (many are repeated by large request) … “While visiting in Israel, Morris buys a ticket and wins the lottery. He goes to claim it and the man verifies his ticket.

“I want my $20 million,” Morris says.

“It doesn’t work that way, sir,” says the man. “We give you a million today, and then you’ll get the rest spread out for the next 19 years.”

“Oh, no,” exclaims Morris. “I want all the money RIGHT NOW! I won it, and I want it!”

Again, the man patiently explains that he would get only a million that day and the rest during the next 19 years.

Morris, furious with the man, screams out, “Look, I want my money!! If you’re not going to give me my 20 million right now, I want my dollar back!”

CONGRATS … To Rita Geiringer on her birthday … To Molly Abraham on her birthday.

Danny’s email address is

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