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What's Up Magazine

January Dining News

Jan 04, 2011 10:54PM ● By Anonymous


Perhaps this news will perk you up from the winter doldrums: Annapolis is getting not one, but two new wine establishments in the upcoming months. The first to be uncorked is Vin 909 Winecafe, which will open in February in the former location of Wild Orchid Café on Bay Ridge Avenue in Eastport. The new café is co-owned by father-and-son duo Chuck and Alex Manfredonia, who both have long histories in the restaurant business in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, Calif., as well as daughter Megan Hall. “We’re focusing on doing small plates with really interesting foods like wood-fired pizzas, paninis, stuff like that,” she says. “High-quality food at a really good price.” The restaurant has been a dream of the family for a number of years, she added, and because it required her brother to move back to Annapolis, “This is kind of our coming-home project.” Construction is still in the works, but Hall says they are optimistic Vin 909 will be open by Valentine’s Day.

The second wine establishment is brought to you by Washington, D.C., Fox 5 news anchor Brian Bolter. Red Red Wine Bar will open at 189B Main Street in May. It’s a strange second career for a news anchor, but one he’s passionate about right here in the town he’s chosen to call home—Bolter and his wife, Lisa, own a house in Annapolis. Red Red Wine Bar is planned to be a 2,400-square-foot establishment with 60 seats and plenty of good, yet moderately priced wine. Check back in upcoming issues of What’s Up? Annapolis for additional information as the project progresses toward completion.

Follow up that glass of wine with a delicious cupcake—Metro Diner Café and Nostalgia Cupcakes have paired up to offer freshly baked cupcakes in the Café’s Annapolis Towne Centre location. This partnership goes along with Metro’s firmly held belief in providing fresh and local products from within a 100-mile radius. The restaurant was getting cupcakes from Pennsylvania, says Carl, the kitchen manager, but decided to switch to an even more local company. The move has been extremely popular, he added, as the cupcakes have been a huge hit. Other local foods served include bison burgers with meat from Gunpowder Bison Trading Co. in Monkton, Md., and farm-fresh eggs from Martin’s Farms in Lancaster, Pa.

Would you rather try a slice of Maryland’s state dessert, Smith Island Cake? While the thinly layered cake can be found in certain restaurants in our area, it just got a whole lot easier to pick one up for dessert. The Original Smith Island Cake Co., based out of West Ocean City, Md., recently became exclusive partners with Giant grocery stores to offer miniature Smith Island Cakes in 29 stores in the Chesapeake area. Included on this list are the Annapolis stores on Forest Drive and Bay Ridge Road, as well as the newly opened Edgewater store on Lee Airpark Drive. According to Director of Sales and Marketing Maria Motley, four flavors are available: Original (yellow cake with chocolate frosting), red velvet (with cream cheese frosting), coconut, and the flavor of the month (January’s flavor is raspberry almond). The Cake Co. hopes to expand to more Giant stores in the future.

Speaking of the future, Wild Orchid in Westgate Circle in Annapolis has plenty of plans for the New Year, says owner Karen Wilder, including a new movie night. The event will

feature food-related flicks (such as Water for Chocolate) shown on a large projector in the blue crab room. The evening will feature half-priced bottles of wine. They also plan to offer a weekly jazz dinner every Friday night, Wilder says, with a band playing right in the main dining room. There will be two seatings each week at 7 and 9 p.m. There are no plans to make any special themes for the dinner—“Just good food,” Wilder says.

Caption: The Original Smith Island Cake Co. out of West Ocean City, Md., now sells miniature Smith Island Cakes in three Annapolis-area Giant stores.