Our experience last evening down under in La Plata, Maryland was not road-side bbq, and not a weathered dockside joint with the word Captain in its name. This time we headed to The Crossing at Casey Jones. A bit more upscale than most anything else in that area. Décor is pleasantly Frank Lloyd Wright meets art nouveau with stacked sandstone and knotty pine on the walls, muted arts and crafts style fixtures, hand-painted murals and displays of period artifacts.
Having come from an abundantly catered business reception we headed straight to the main courses after the basket of warm crusty bread. The two orders of Chilean sea bass with a nap of au poive butter, lobster mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach and crispy salsify arrived perfectly presented and prepared. Reminded me more than anything of a similar dish I used to like at Café Deluxe. Perfectly acceptable. The queen size prime rib also perfectly acceptable, and as a special that evening, it was about $18, so a bargain as well. One item contained so many diverse ingredients that I simply had to order it to see if they could all work on a single plate: espresso-crusted Long Island duck breast with cherry and foie gras sausage over seared polenta and braised fennel and onions, drizzled with blackberry coulis. Only foam was missing from the list. The duck was a generous portion of tender, perfectly cooked and well-seasoned (but unsliced) meat. It was indeed draped over a bed of nicely carmelized onions scarcely any fennel, but with some soft pancetta tossed in, as well as some fresh dill. But the house-made sausages tough casing and crumbly dry filler had too many nubs of hard gristle and scarcely a hint of foie gras and the polenta it sat upon was jarringly mismatched bland and heavy. Better to have kept it simple, eliminated the (two) coulis , and yes . . . the yellow foam (what was that?) and berries scattered on the plate. The wine list, while extensive, offered only four undistinguished reds by the glass including one cab - a Maison Nicolas Consensus 01 Vin De Pays dOc. So, if you find yourself headed down Rt. 301, and don't want to get bbq or tartare sauce on that suit and tie, head to The Crossing, and keep it simple.