It opened in late March and we had been looking forward to trying this restaurant as it is very close to home and away from the downtown crowds (It has parking!). The view is great, overlooking the Academy and the Naval Academy Bridge. Looks like they need to rebuild the piers in front, but it really has some great potential as a boating destination when the river is not very rough. I realize they have just recently opened, but there are a few things that will either make or break them-
Get a host that likes people! He was aloof, bordering on rude to just about everyone who walked in or who he spoke to on the phone. We had reservations and one person in our party was unable to make it so we went from 7 to 6 people. He seemed a bit miffed about this and said to our waiter as he passed the host station, "your 7 top just went down to six." It was just his attitude that is not right for this business. He turned away several folks by telling them he had no openings til 8:30. He offered no apology, only directed one couple to the "pub." With some work he might be able to pull off the personality you need for the job...
The dining room is 2 rooms, that look like they can be divided by doors and every table has a water view. When I called for reservations, I asked for a window table and was told all 6 tops were in the center of the room, but all had a view of the water. This was correct, but when we got there there were 2 parties of at least 6 at window tables. Not a biggiee, but didn't they think we would find out? All tables are square or rectangular, which made it difficult to converse with all of the guests. Round tops would have been nicer. They also have the potential to put in many more tables and I guess they will do this when they hire more help. But, they turned away at least 4 couples while I was waiting for our group. Not once during our entire meal, was the dining room full. It actually seemed empty. There were only 2 waiters on the floor. So maybe they just haven't hired staff yet? Or maybe the host scared them away...
We ordered the Calamari, shrimp and grits and the Shrimp and crab cheesecake as starters. The cheesecake was wonderful. I certainly could have been shared by a couple of us. The calamari was a bit disappointing. It was a bit glopped together and had an oriental glaze on it that reminded me of General Tso's chicken. The shrimp on grits, recommended by our waiter was extremly hot and small, but tasty. After 3 or 4 trips back to the bar, we finallly picked a chardonnay they had. He initally told us they were out of the Cakebread only. The next 2 we chose they were also out of. We went with the BV that was $42. Two of us opted for the red house wine (Pepperwood). We wanted the Cab, but again, the chices were limited to Shiraz and something else.
For mains we had the Beef Wellington, Cajun Creole on Pasta, Tuna with a Mango?(Papaya?) salsa, veal chop w/ chipotle cream sauce and mushroom risotto. Two guests just split a nice looking Ceasar salad. The only main that was a bit disappointing was the Veal. Instead of being med/rare is was really rare. There was little evidence of the chipotle cream sauce. It was very bland and I did not notice any cream in the sauce. The risotto was a bit under done and had a bitter bite to it. The Tuna was a hit and the seafood and flavorings in the Creole were good. Crabmeat in the Beef Wellington was a surprise, but appreciated. There were some other offerings on the menu that looked good. Apparently the menu will change frequently, depending on available ingredients.
We will give them a month or 2 to straighten things out, but before we spend that much ($200 for the 4 that ate mains) for a meal in Annapolis, I hope they get the kinks out.
I have a couple of other comments, but I don't want to sound too negative. I want this restaurant to be wonderful!
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