From Friday morning until Sunday afternoon there has been a lot of food consumed, quite a few drinks, and a lovely homemade dinner. To recap, my fiancé and I left you on Friday the 13th to travel to Annapolis, Maryland for a lovely weekend getaway. Overall, it was a lovely weekend. Points in Maryland’s favor overall; service, view, and quality of food. The stores that we visited were awesome and the following restaurants were beautiful in execution of the cuisine were, Cafe Normandie, Ava’s in St. Michaels, Maryland, and Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland. Places that should have had a better sense of flavor, location, and overall quality that failed in my opinion were, Annapolis Waterfront by the Marriott and Paladar Restaurant and Rum bar.
The main reason that I give this rating is for the following reasons:
- Service: regardless of any place that you sleep or eat in, the quality of service is key. I don’t care if you serve only french fries or guacamole and chips. But if you don’t know how to make it the star of your dish, you have NO business making it. Points in Cafe Normandie’s favor: my filet mignon. Now, I will repeat this only once: I LOVE meat. It doesn’t matter if it is tartare, carpaccio, or better yet, medium rare, I love meat. Cafe Normandie, and the Executive Chef and Owner Jean-Louis, did a spectacular job in making my Friday night entree. Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant did a lovely lunch.
- After arriving around 12:30pm for our wine tasting, we headed up to the restaurant for lunch before checking in to our hotel and had a lovely lunch with ahi tuna taco’s, ahi tuna sashimi, and chicken egg rolls. All the above were fresh and spicy with a balance of savory and well-made. Picking up a dozen bottles also helped us out, and I promise that all of the Cooper’s Hawk Winery bottles will be featured at a later date.
- Also in St. Michaels Maryland’s favor was Ava’s. Ava’s is a pizza and wine bar just passed St. Michaels Winery and is a perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat or have a proper lunch. We stopped by on Saturday after a pre-arranged meeting at the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond. As my go-to pick, we ordered a turkey club sandwich. It was light and fragrant with a hint of spice in the mayo that was used.
- After checking in to our hotel, we found Cafe Normandie which was recommended by one of the shopkeepers at Blanca Flor, a jewelry shop in Annapolis, Maryland proper. Cafe Normandie has a few thing’s in their favor besides my steak, impeccable service, knowing how to pace a dinner properly, a fantastic Executive Chef that prepared our dinner perfectly, and reasonable prices and desserts. Even though it is a good 2 and a half hours to this restaurant, we would drive it for one absolute thing: the galette dessert that was served here. It was made with puff pastry and a custard filling that is to die for! Bon appetite!
Places that were either under par or just simply bad, Paladar Rum Bar and Restaurant and Annapolis Waterfront Hotel by Marriott. Main reasons were as follows: lackluster food and overall quality of selections. For breakfast, we had almost identical omelettes for ourselves. Mine was supposed to be without mushrooms, and as a side note, soy milk was to be brought instead of regular creamer or milk. What did we get? Creamer and 2% milk, along with my omelette having mushrooms. In addition, points out of the hotel where temperature in the food, Starbucks coffee that was lukewarm, and an absolute lack of plating in that there was no table to have breakfast on.
Next on the chopping block is Paladar Rum Bar. Paladar had great atmosphere, plating, and quality of service but for one little thing: The FOOD! The food was prepared well, but there was a lot of large portion sizes. My 21 day aged hangar steak was dry and had next to no flavor to it besides the smokiness of the grill. The empanadas were not stuffed in the chicken that was picked and were slightly undercooked. Overall, the only good part of our dinner on Saturday was the alcohol. Alcohol is not something that I will return to at a place that doesn’t deliver on simple, well-made food. I sincerely hope everyone has enjoyed my reviews on these spots and I’ll post on Sunday dinner tomorrow.