My husband and I have been regulars at the cozy, pub/restaurant the Hunters Inn on River Road across from the Potomac Shopping Center in Potomac, MD. But, up until March or April of 2003, I considered most of the food, except for the red meat dishes, to be substandard, particularly the stale, watery pasta dishes. Since the Spring of 2003 when (I was informed) new management took over the restaurant, the food has improved steadily and this past Saturday night's visit proved no exception to the new rule. We enjoyed their crusty, non-stale bread, to which raisin and French has been added olive bread. Following that, we split an appetizer of Shrimp Cocktail, five perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp with a zesty with horseradish and lemon cocktail sauce. A worthy appetizer too much for one person but we enjoyed sharing it. My husband ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana entree which, in the "old days" tasted to me watery and virtually flavorless with not enough gooey cheese but which, now tasted robust and flavorful. This dish could stand up to many Italian restaurants I've been to. I ordered the grilled lambchops over a saute of wild mushrooms, roasted potatoes and grilled white and green asparagus. The chops were cooked exactly as I had ordered and the mixture of sauteed vegetables and potatoes were a nice complement to the chops. Fabulous. For dessert, which are supersized, we split their Bread Pudding topped with a Southern Comfort, caramel sauce. The caramel sauce could have been cooked a couple of more inches short of burned. Still, the mixture of flavors, including the nice, slightly boozy flavor of the Southern Comfort, was very tasty.
The cocktails are, like the desserts, supersized, but our Martinis were made just right - dry - and accompanied by fat cocktail olives. Yum...
There is a decent selection of wines by the glass, though again the restaurant has to labor under Montgomery County's restrictive monopoly on wines.
The Hunters Inn is located at 10123 River Road. There is a free parking lot right outside. The phone number is (301) 299-9300.
Reservations are not required, but are suggested particularly for the prime booths in the dining room, particularly our favorites right by the fireplace.