I have been riding past this place for over 30 years now and it looked like the type of place you went to with someone else. No one I know has ever mentioned this place or implied like they would like to go there with me so I never got there. Until now that is. There aren’t many places in the area that I haven’t reviewed yet and Trip Advisor is constantly prompting me to review more. Along comes restaurant week and once again I think aha the perfect opportunity to try new places. Once again it proved to not be the perfect time as I have a root canal scheduled for the first thing tomorrow morning. I’ve never been one to walk away from a challenge so I dined there just the same.
Let me begin by saying this place is NOT awful as I have some criticisms on areas they fell flat in and I don’t want that interpreted as “don’t eat there” as that is not my intent. I just like to strive for the perfect and comment as such.
Entering the place I noticed an outside porch seating area, an indoor screened outdoor section which was much seedier than the outdoor area, the bar that you have to go through to get to the main dining room and the dining room where I chose to eat. It was a beautiful evening but I have this terrible habit of attracting every flying insect within miles and I can’t stand them buzzing me while I’m trying to eat.
The place appears to be aiming at Irish Pub with rustic dated décor which is hampered by Christmas lights all around the windows and serving area. There’s a huge dated old chandelier that is totally out of place, old fashioned wooden tables and chairs with green plastic table clothes lined with flannel backing. One wall has a mirror that makes no sense at all. There is some art displayed on the wall but the Xmas lights totally distract from it.
Due to the occasion I had seen the menu online and decided up front which 4 course combination that I wanted. I went with the crab dip appetizer and was shocked that it was a full size bread bowl filled with a very well made and delicious crab and spinach dip. I got the house salad which was field greens with a pepper parmigiana dressing that was quite tasty. For my main course I opted for the chicken Chesapeake which is a dish common to the area and that I make myself at home from time to time. Their interpretation of the dish fell way short of my expectations. The dish is supposed to be a chicken breast covered with crab imperial which is a crab dish usually served on its own as a casserole containing lump crab meat in a buttery mayonnaise sauce. Their idea of the dish was to use the chicken breast as a cracker upon which to serve a crab cake. As such the chicken breast was dry as a bone and tasteless. To make it even dryer they shaped it to look like a crab shell with pointy ends which when they broiled the crab cake became sharp weapons just like a real crab shell. When I make mine I brine the chicken breasts and then soak them in buttermilk before cooking them. This helps to keep them moist and tasteful. Like I said all was not bad. It was an excellent crab cake but if I wanted a crab cake I would have ordered one and skipped the crab dip.
The dish came with boiled potatoes and a squash medley. Even though they were served on a hot plate and the chicken Chesapeake was hot the vegetables were cold.
I opted for the upside down peach cake for my desert which was really good but I had to force it down as that bread bowl crab dip would have been a normal dinner for me. I drank pink lemonade and with tax and tip the bill came to $42 which is quite reasonable for all of that food.
There was one other thing that was bothering me all through this meal and I couldn’t put my finger on it until I was waiting for my check. Smoking in public places has been banned in Maryland for several years now. Even so, the place reeked with decades old built up tar and nicotine which did not match up favorably with anything on my plate.