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  1. Been to Level in Annapolis 3 times in the past two weekends and my wife and I are convinced this is the best small plates restaurant in the Annapolis area. Large and crowded but we have been able to snag reservations on consecutive Friday nights. Place isn't quiet and adult oriented. I.E. I didn't see any children or really children friendly food. Small but great list of curated cocktails. My wife had a pair of Gimlets with Lime Foam and shaved Lime Rind and I have Moscow Mules with handmade Ginger Beer. Seemed like a good selection of Beer and Wines. We had Finca La Mata on Saturday night, a good wine which I have bought by the case. Annapolis is a drinking town and it doesn't disappoint in this regard. We have had salads, Fried Cuban Rolls, Lamb, Sea Bass, Pork Loin, frites and they were all great. They have 4-5 entrees in groupings such as sea, land, veggie, pasta and appetizers. On West street about a mile away from city dock, which makes for easier parking.
  2. Had the pleasure of celebrating an anniversary at Flamant in Annapolis last week. Slightly off the beaten path as Flamant is in a house in west Annapolis. This is a small and intimate space as the house provides 3 dining rooms each with 3-4 tables. This keeps the noise level way down but may be problematic in colder times as the front door opens into a dining room. The food was very classic and refined. The chef is Frederik De Pue, who has cooked in Washington and France previously. Annapolis is just a much smaller and friendlier atmosphere with less dining competition and a town where patrons know each other well. The menu is small but well executed with 5 snacks, 5 small plates and 5 entrees. We had the green Gazpacho which was excellent and shared a veal shank which was amazing. I didn't take picture like other here but will say that this is worth the trip. If you live in Columbia, Laurel, Bowie, Baltimore then this isn't far and is that good. Here is a link to Tom's review though I would give this a solid 3 stars. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/a-belgian-chef-takes-his-charm-and-whimsy-to-annapolis/2017/07/25/f4a79b2e-6d6b-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html?utm_term=.14411cd4cbec
  3. Forgive me Don if this is the wrong place to post this, but I needed to talk about our meal at Vin 909 in Annapolis. We thought we were lost when we got there because it's located in a residential neighborhood in what looks like somebody's house. When we saw all the people waiting on the lawn, we knew we were in the right place. It was just 6pm on Saturday night, but we waited about 45 minutes for a table. There's a pretty lawn with benches to wait for a table, so we ordered a bottle of wine and sat for a while. There are two small dining rooms inside and and a small patio out back. Also, there were two tables on the front porch that didn't look very comfortable. Oh yeah, the food. For starters I had the "Chesapeake farm raised clams" with wild mushrooms, grilled corn, scallions, garlic, smoked bacon, white wine, and cream. I think this was the best dish I ever had in my life. The clams were perfectly cooked, the bacon was thick and meaty, and the sauce was perfectly decadent. My SO, not as pro-cholesterol as I am, had the greens with blue cheese. SO loved it. Then we moved on to the pizza. Pizzas are sort of oval, pretty thin, but not soupy at all. Kind of Roman if you know what I mean. I had the Spotted Pig with spicy soppressata, wild boar meatballs, tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, and provolone. SO had the Trip, wild mushrooms,taleggio and fontina cheeses. Pizzas were AMAZING. Perfectly balanced amounts of sauce, cheese and toppings. Service was friendly and efficient. Char was just right. When informed of a food allergy, the server checked with the chef for each dish we ordered. Sorry, no dessert report, too full.
  4. I've visited Grapes Wine Bar in Annapolis at least three times in the past month as we are closing on a house nearby. We had a great dinner there Saturday night and prior times have enjoyed food and wine at the bar. This is a wine bar with a great selection of wines by the glass and bottle. Lots of chalkboard specials and special pours that night. Small but reasonable menu with good cheese slections and all good entrees. The whipped Goat Cheese with Fig jam is amazing. This is a locals spots on Forrest drive outside of downtown Annapolis. Thus the crowds aren't there and there isn't a wait to get seated. The prices are not upscale DC or Bethesda but reasonable and laid back Annapolis. I saw a bottle of Billecart Salmon Rose Champagne for $90, retail is not much less. I'll be drinking the Friday night after we close on this house.
  5. https://www.lasierrarestaurantinc.com/ Ok, this review requires an OMG for Annapolis. I will say this place was good, not just Annapolis good, this competes with the DMV, there isn't anywhere I have been in NOVA this good for these dishes, not that I have been everywhere. It is very different than Sin Frontera, it doesn't have quite so many unique different dishes, but it has a lot of staples and specials that aren't in your normal Mexican place either. This restaurant is off Riva Road in a little strip mall by Pho5Up (which I had no idea was there). The staff was so nice. The chips were super crispy and the salsa while close to normal just had something really good about it that made it just a touch better than your normal joint. Mom got Carnitas platter, which looks fairly normal, but the meat was really delicious, and I got Arracheres- thin steak grilled with green onions, poblanos, jalapeno, guacamole, refried black beans and tortillas. Both were juicy, the grilled vegetables were really good, the beans were seasoned really well. Seriously, I have only had one dinner here, but really good. If I had room in my stomach I would have eaten the whole plate, which was huge, and bigger than it looks in the photo. Anyway, if you are in Annapolis and are not trying to eat downtown, this is a good place to try.
  6. Please feel free to email me with any typos, suggestions, corrections, or comments. And as always, a big thank you to mktye for all her help. Cheers, Rocks.
  7. My Mom and I wanted to try out the new Annapolis Market House, as one of the owners lives down the street from her, and I was interested to see it's latest iteration. I felt like it was a more modern markethouse, similar to what you would see in other areas now. I know people lament the downfall of the old market house, but it is just never going to go back to that. I thought the areas were nice- there was a grab and go sandwich, salad, grain bowl, etc area, a bakery and coffee area, an ice cream place, a small market, and then a bar area with a seafood menu. Mom got a seafood salad from the bar area which was very tasty- fresh veggies and smokey, grilled seafood with a nice vinaigrette on top. I had a salmon grain bowl with beets and goat cheese, which was also good. They offered to warm it up for me, and I think it would have actually been better cold as more salad like, but it was still good. Mom's salad was better though. We both got glasses of wine, and it was a nice place to sit for a while and just hang out. I believe a farmer's market will be starting around it again when it warms up. Anyway, I would think in the summer it will be a good place to grab some lunch and take across the street to the docks.
  8. I'm shocked no one has started a topic on Preserve. This place easily is one of the best in the area, and I include DC metro. After having their chef's 5 course tasting menu there last weekend, it is no surprise that they are included in the Washingtonian list of best restaurants. It is in a great location right on Main Street directly across from Chick and Ruth Deli. We had a large group and a fabulous meal with great service. The place is rather small only 40 or so seats in total including a bunch of bar seating. There is an open kitchen right in the back of the long narrow dining room. It is a husband (chef) and wife (FOH manager) team. We started with a round of cocktails - my gin-based one was great accompaniment to the first snack course. $65 for 5 courses (not including drinks/taxes, etc.) was a steal as each course was really 3-4 items with sides. First, we had the Chicken Caesar Skins which was very inventive and delicious. You make your own sandwich of small strips of fried chicken skin, mini romaine lettuce leaves, and spread a bit of Caesar dressing on it (I think I'm forgetting one component too). Also in the first course was their potted, soft goat cheese with warm slices of bread. This was one of the few items that was only good, not great. Most were great. The cheese is topped with oil and possibly some pickled vegetables. ALSO for the first course was a great variety of different quick pickled vegetables - radish, carrots, and 3 more I can't remember. Each one had been brined in a different way - some sweeter, some spicier. I'm a pickle lover and maker and these were superb. Second course was individual bowls of pan-seared scallops with a bit of sausage in a fennel broth and family style plate of head on shrimp with butternut squash salad with a lime-serrano vinaigrette. I don't eat shellfish so I didn't try this course but everyone loved it. Third course was three family style dishes: 1) glazed porcini trumpet pasta with roasted mushrooms, preserved lemons, capers and parmesan - great for mushroom lovers and rich, 2) cheese and potato pierogis with caramelized onions and sour cream - very well made but a bit bland compared to the other bolder flavored dishes, and 3) crispy kale with cumin yogurt, sweet pepper jelly and red onion. This last one is their twist on Rasika's crispy spinach (or Bombay Club's crispy kale) with more mid-atlantic/PA dutch flavorings. The kale was awesome and like Rasika worth a trip. Fourth course was a bucket of delicately fried catfish, with various sides - creamy mashed potatos, Brussel sprout and carrot slaw, bread and butter tomato pickles, cornbread with honey butter and 4 different sauces - regular remoulade, spicier remoulade, and a green and red hot sauce (all house made). The fish and hot sauces were very nice, the pickles were excellent and the cornbread also really decadent with the honey butter. Mashed potatoes were good, but nothing special. Fifth course was dessert - individual portions of Tandy cake and shoo-fly mousse pie. The tandy cake is dense yellow cake with a rich chocolate/peanut butter icing. It was only ok. The shoo-fly was better with sweet but not cloying mousse on top of a thin crust. We also had them pair a white wine with the first 2 courses and red for the second two. I didn't catch the names but they were good and paired nicely. I highly recommend going to Preserve if you are near or passing through Annapolis. Despite the overwhelming amount of food described above, they are mostly an a la carte menu and have a nice mix of vegetarian and meat/seafood items. If nothing else, go for the pickled items and crispy kale.
  9. What are the nicest hotels on Main Street in Annapolis? Not looking for price-related issues; just absolute quality. Thanks in advance, Rocks
  10. I ate dinner last weekend at Sin Fronteras. My Mother and her SO has been raving about the place, so I was glad to get to check it out. The parking lot of this place was packed, which has to be a good sign. My Mom really likes the Margarita Salmon. She told me to get the Chile En Nogoda which is- A toasty poblano pepper, filled with seasoned ground brisket beef combined with raisins and sweet plantains, topped with our delicious, homemade cold creamy Nogada Sauce served with white rice. It was delicious- it had a really good mix of flavors and was savory, but fresh. I thought the combination sounded a bit strange, but it was really good. Not a huge portion, but just right with the chips and salsa and everything else. My Mom got a seafood soup that I tried which was also delicious- it tasted like a latin version of a bouillabaisse. SO had the tilapia which was also very good from the bite I stole. The guac had more cilantro than I like, (but I don't like any cilantro) but was good. The margarita I had was more than acceptable in size. I loved this place, the interior is a bit like a sports bar/diner cross in feel, very casual. The owner was so nice and wanted to make sure we liked everything, which we did. They take a lot of pride in their restaurant and food.
  11. First time at Fox's Den on Main Street in Annapolis. solid gastropub from same folks as Level and Vida Taco. Shared salad, meatballs and pizza. All were solid. Will go back as there as no wait and the food was solid.
  12. Saturday was a perfect day in Annapolis. I was with a friend of mine getting our hair done and she had some time and we were starving so we decided to go downtown. We got a parking spot near Pussers and decided to walk in and just see how long the wait was for an outdoor table. The wait was long, but when we went to the back bar to the self-seating area a table had just opened up. There was live music, it wasn't humid, just the right temperature and boats were consistently moving through Ego Alley to give us a nice view. We got rum punches and painkillers which were really good and just sat and enjoyed the day. I got some blackened mahi mahi tacos and she got the salmon with rice. Mine was a little too saucy to eat as tacos without making an incredible mess, so I ate them fork and knife. They weren't amazing in anyway, but it was good dock food on a casual day with good flavors, fries were definitely previously frozen seasoned fries, but they were fried well and soaked up all the extra taco sauce well. My friend enjoyed her salmon and was happy about the ample steamed veggies on the dish, we exchanged some fries for broccoli. Anyway, this place is definitely a bit of a tourist trap, but out on their back deck on a nice day, it really is worth it to just sit with a drink and a snack, especially when they have good music.
  13. Trying to organize a group dinner, and got too big. Wanted to do crabs, which seemed possible to have a walk-in group of 12, but now it's 20, and don't want to risk not getting seated. Any ideas? I don't love Chart House or Blackwall Hitch, but it seems like those will be the easiest to reserve 10 days out. Thanks S
  14. Website here:http://www.ramsheadonstage.com/ I didn't see a topic for Rams Head. They have multiple locations. The Annapolis location is pretty close to my Mom's house. We always find it to be pretty general purpose. The food isn't bad, although not necessarily remarkable, but it is a good place to go with pickier eaters because everyone can find something they will like, and it is pretty reasonable in terms of price. We went for brunch the other day as we just wanted some eggs and Miss Shirley's is crazy busy and kind of expensive, and Lucky Rooster and Chick and Ruths were a longer walk in the cold. We had a completely clueless server, who was very nice, but nevertheless clueless. I asked if they had any non-dairy creamers and he didn't think so; I had tea. It was brought in a mug that clearly needed descaled of coffee junk build-up, to the point, I was a bit surprised he brought it out like that. He took our order without writing anything down, I think that was a mistake for him. Mom wanted a water that never came (although we saw a water that was full on the empty table behind us, so maybe he sat it there and forgot?). She ordered poached eggs and they brought fried, they took it back, but by the time it came out, her english muffin was cold, although to me it didn't appear toasted in the first place. We had other servers that seemed to fill in and help and then he would come and be surprised someone helped us. It was a little odd, but normally service here is pretty adequate. They also have some good live music acts from time to time. They had jazz playing in the back which was nice, and had I been inclined, the $10 bloody mary bar seemed like quite a good deal. I had eggs benedict with a country style ham that was really good, the eggs were nice and runny and their breakfast potatoes have a nice crisp to them. When Mom's food came out, despite the cold bread, the rest was good.
  15. Not sure why O'learys does not have a thread here and shame on me as I have been here a few times. Had the pleasure of a Wine Maker dinner here last night arranged by the owner Wil Peterson and Dawn Carpenter from Wines Cellars of Annapolis. Suffice it to say that we were blown away by the food the chef put out. Pork Belly with a Mle Sauce put me close to a food coma. O'learys is a pretty space, close to the water and specializing in seafood. Dinner started with a Scallop with pesto done perfectly. Every dish was paired with wine and it was a perfect evening. Wil Peterson took ownership of O'Learys last year and he has just hired a great chef to raise the bar even higher. Annapolis hits it's stride once all the tourists have left and is really back to the locals once the boat shows in October have passed. Should be raised to Italic, highly recommended
  16. I tried Kyma yesterday evening for a light dinner and came away feeling - meh - another corporate concept restaurant. Think a very small Zaytynia without the zing (same architectural designers, the executive chef came by way of of Jaleo in Crystal City) - exposed brick walls, minimalist furniture and decor, open kitchen with wood burning oven. The place bills itself as a Greek mezze and Spanish tapas place. All menu items are color coded: yellow for Spanish, blue for Greek. We tried a couple of their "pizzas" - the pide "Athena" with Greek meatballs in a tomato and eggplant sauce with feta, and the cocas "Catalana" - roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and goat cheese. Both come on a long narrow piece of flatbread - tucked up in the corners for the Greek pizza. At $6.00 each, these were tasty and well executed. We also tried a couple of meat tapas: montado de lomo- marinated pork loin smothered in roasted piquillo peppers on a large toasted roll, and the pothi arnou - lamb shank morsels with eggplant puree and rosemary glaze in a baking ramekin. Neither one wowed us as the meat had very little flavor, the pork was tough, but the eggplant puree was nice. As with so many of these concept places, I'd wager that there was nobody in the kitchen last night who was either Greek or Spanish. I won't go out of my way to go back, but I'll probably try it again to try some of the other tapas. A couple of heads up notes: if you want some bread to sop up any sauces, it costs $5, and a soda will set you back $3.50.
  17. Hey Guys, Im in Annapolis, I am however originally from New York and up there we have some pretty great, fresh seafood markets. When I say fresh seafood what I am saying is a place where distributors sell directly to the public or a shop that usually deals exclusively with distributing to restaurants but willing to sell to consumers. Im willing to go as far as baltimore or DC and a little past to find a good place. Im looking for fresh tuna belly and fresh sea bass/fluke. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! S
  18. website Just had the most satisifying superior-ly delicious experience at Galway Bay- this irish restaurant knows how to do it RIGHT. from traditional irish dishes like sheperds pie- hearty with beef and vegetables baked under a this layer of fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes, to original dishes, like my oven roasted duck cheese steak, smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms with thin slices of tender, medim-medium well duck on a crusty roll with irish chips- i was in heaven. in annapolis, you HAVE to have the crab dip wherever you go, and Galway Bay's does NOT disappoint, creamy, fulll of shredded crab, served warm in a bread bowl with a side of carrots and celery. We also ordered the mussels- a heaping platter of lemon, garlic and wine soaked delights from the bay. Tender, not too chewy- only one of 30 had that briny, sea water taste i always try to avoid. Crowning glory- the tomato and Jameson's whiskey soup- the best tomato soup i have had since leaving germany in 1998. chunks of deeply ripened tomatoes and sweet onion in every bite, in a creamy tomato base with a zesty, tangy bite to it that we couldn't quite pinpoint, and fresh parsely. perfection. absolute perfection. Lots of excellent irish fare in Annapolis but Galway by FAR was the best we've had in years. not to mention the warm irish atmosphere (deep cherry wood, stained glass, and a frosted glass map of Ireland, good Irish tunes playing lightly in the backgroud) and superior service- Cristy, our waitress, timed every entree perfectly and kept our pints full. try the Galway Red Ale if you are a fan of red beer- it's a smooth delicious finish to every bite of whatEVER you order. I have a full happy stomach and thought i should share. The review- NOT the food. Go enjoy! I've got a case the the "itis" now... nap time!
  19. My parents and I are taking in the Annapolis sailboat show this Thursday. Where should we eat? Preferably someplace we can walk to from the waterfront. We had a longstanding tradition of going to Maria's, but they've closed.
  20. Was at Rockfish Saturday night with some girlfriends after a day at the salon. We normally go to Rockfish when we miss the deadline for brunch at Carrol's Creek and Chart House. But we had a really nice dinner. The wine selection is not huge, but we managed to find a good wine that was very reasonable. I started with a cup of MD crab soup, it was very good, had all the requisite flavors and the vegetables were not mushy. I really enjoyed it, it would have been even better last week in all the rain. I am really a big fan of MD crab soup when done right. It is one of my favorite soups. I then had the fish tacos- an app as an entree. There were three tacos with two very generous pieces of battered cod in each tortilla. On the bottom was a really good slaw with a little avocado puree. I thought they were good, although as I got full I ate the stuffing and left the tortilla. It had good flavor as was a little different from the normal entrees on a lot of Annapolis menus. My dinner mates had the crab and lobster pastas. The crab one looked incredible. The lobster smelled phenomenal, but you had to take the meat out of the shell and cut it and that made it really messy and difficult to eat politely, they should go ahead and take the meat out of the shell before serving the dish. Anyway this place is normally very solid, a little dark inside, but nice and a little more casual than O'Leary's or etc.
  21. Has anyone ever been to this place? I've seen their ad in the metro at Bethesda - it says opening Fall 06, but I'm not sure if it has opened yet. Here is their website: http://www.dysfunctionalcuisine.com/ [No longer works] Apparently there is already one in Annapolis: http://www.yinyankee.com/ [No longer works] What's the word?
  22. I had a meeting today at the U.S. Naval Academy, after which lunch was enjoyed at The Alley. This is a pleasant restaurant and bar, nicely appointed, with prices that can best be desribed as outrageously low. A low price buffet is available ($8.95 for non-members), but almost everyone at our table was having the crab cake sandwich. This being Annapolis, after all, I also ordered the crab cake sandwich. Good luck finding a $13.50 crab cake sandwich this good anywhere on this or any other planet! This was a serious crab cake, as if Annapolis has a "Reinheitsgebot" that defines crab cakes. Pure chunks of lump crab, almost no filler or binder. Just crab and flavoring and delicousness. Nice pile of hot and crunchy french fries on the side. $13.50. No tax. As good as any I've had on Kent Island or anywhere else. Our Midshipmen are eating well!
  23. I was curious about Wild Country Seafood after it was written up in the Washingtonian Kliman Chat. When I looked on the map it appeared to be at the Maritime Museum there by the Eastport Yacht Club. There used to be a restaurant attached to the museum that was a great place to get a crabcake. I believe it was taken out by Isabelle. So I wondered if something similar had reopened. It isn't at the museum, but it is very close. I will warn you I wouldn't want to drive a big car down Second Street in Eastport and the parking situation is pretty much, "be creative." But it was definitely an interesting place. The crabcakes didn't use lump crabmeat, but they were good- they probably sell the lump as you can sell it for more money. This doesn't really offend me, but I will say there are other places in Annapolis you can get a better crabcake. It was a perfectly acceptable and good crabcake, but I have had better. The fries were from a bag seasoned fries, but again good and perfectly acceptable- now if they had homemade MD boardwalk fries this place would be killer. Platters also came with slaw that was very tangy, but I like a tangy slaw. I was in the mood for a crabcake so Mom and I split a platter and got an extra slaw. This was the perfect amount of food for us. They also sold live and steamed crabs. Outside there were about 5 picnic tables with umbrellas. This was a very popular spot on Saturday and it was a bit slow only because of the sheer numbers. Mom and I managed to get seats indoors and the little countertop. Inside only has two counters, I think you could fit 5-6 people there max. But I would put this on the list as another spot in Annapolis to get crabs to take out or to eat there (when it is nice). They also had some very fresh fish and shellfish you could purchase there. It isn't a huge menu, but everything coming out of the kitchen looked good. I would go back and try some other things. If you are looking for crabs in Annapolis add this place to your list. They also seem to do a lot of catering for groups and parties, which is worth noting. http://www.wildcountryseafood.com/
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