Mar 22, 2011 02:43PM ● Published by Anonymous
If you’re in Annapolis and want to enjoy a beautiful sweeping view of the harbor, there are only a few restaurants offer that privilege. At Chart House, located on Spa Creek in Eastport, diners are treated to a panoramic view of the harbor. I particularly appreciated the bar area with the center fireplace, as well as the floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you the sense of being right over the water, a special touch that boosted the overall atmosphere. If you want the experience of the expansive views, sit in the bar area for your entire meal—you can order anything off the menu while dining there.
Kim, the evening manager, cheerfully greeted us and took us to our table in the dining area. While the lovely Danielle, our server, described the specials of the day, we nibbled on the Hummus Trio ($7.99), which offered three flavors: traditional, red roasted pepper, and edamame served with thin fried plantains strips and crisps pita chips. The dip had the right consistency and well presented, so we declared it interesting, tasty, and satisfying.
Listening to recommendations from Danielle, we tested Chef’s Rodney soups skills with an offering of a soup sample ($7.99), allowing us to indulge in three soups: the Clam Chowder, which was delicious and probably our favorite; the Cream of Crab soup, silky and tasty, but perhaps heavy on the sherry; and the Gazpacho, which I found to be one of the best I have tried lately.
Coming to our appetizers, we selected the Fried Calamari “with Friends.” Those “friends” are battered and fried jalapenos, sweet potato chips, green peppers, and peppercinis—very original and a lot of fun. The Crab Avocado Mango Stack ($14.99) was simply scrumptious and subtle with wonderfully blended flavors. One of the newer items on the menu is the Lobster Shrimp Spring Roll ($12.99), which I would describe as unexpected, refreshing, and creative.
We were off to a good start to the meal, so after a small break, we were eager to try the entrees. A dining companion chose the special of the day, the Stuffed Salmon ($31.99). It was a nicely baked filet topped with a blend of spinach, crabmeat, and cheeses, and laced in a light lemon butter sauce. It certainly wasn’t an eccentric dish, but always a pleaser. We were dazzled with the Snapper Hemingway ($35.99), a generous portion of pan-fried Parmesan-encrusted filet, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, and finished in a lemon and shallot butter sauce—it was excellent. The ginger and coconut rice on the side was the perfect accompaniment. For my own meal, I decided to go with a classic surf and turf—prime rib and lobster tail ($44.99). As expected, the prime rib was well prepared to my liking—tender and juicy—while the lobster was succulent. The dish came with drawn butter, a creamy horseradish sauce, and au jus. The accompanying baked potato was plump and fresh.
To cap off the variety on the table, as well as to expand on testing chef’s skills, the final dish was a reasonably priced Chicken Marsala ($19.99). The generous portion was plump and juicy, in a traditional mushroom Marsala wine sauce that perhaps missing a little “zing,” but definitely offered quality. The Yukon Gold mashed potatoes were a good complement to the chicken. We ordered sides of fresh vegetables, creamed spinach ($6.99) and fresh asparagus ($5.99) that were prepared near perfection.
Looking at the wine list, the focus is on American wines, but there is a selection of South American and Australian wines, with few Italian and French as well. That said, the quality of the wine and the names are remarkable. This wine list has a definite signature. The Malbec Graffigna ($8.50) and Pinot noir Cycles Gladiator that we tasted accentuate this statement. Wine-lovers will find true pleasure with this menu.
Talking pleasure? Let’s describe how totally satisfying the desserts were—first, the Raspberry Crème Brule ($7.25, a traditional, creamy, and delectable dessert. The Raspberry Sorbetini ($3.99) seemed homemade—rich, silky, not too sweet, with a slightly tanginess. But I kept the best for last— the Key Lime Pie ($5.99). The filling was smooth with the right sweetness and acidity, while topped with real whipped cream.
The manager, Kim, and Executive Chef Rodney Seeberger are both Charthouse veterans (seven and 20 years, respectively), and they joined us at the end of dinner for a chat. We took advantage of the opportunity to congratulate them for a wonderful evening. A landmark on the Annapolis waterfront, the Chart House is easily reached by boat, water taxi, or car. By land or by sea, the adventure is well worth it.
300 Second Street, Annapolis
When to enjoy:
Monday to Thursday - 4:30–10 p.m.;
Friday and Saturday - 4:30–11 p.m.;
Sunday - 10 a.m.–2 p.m. (brunch), 2–10 p.m. (dinner)
What to pay:
Wines glasses: $5.50-18
Wines bottle: $23-295