Treaty of Paris
Jun 06, 2011 01:02PM
● By Anonymous
It has particular meaning to me as it was the place where I first met Veronica Tovey, What’s Up? Annapolis publisher, in 1998, and accepted an offer to contribute to the magazine. Of course, I have dined at Treaty of Paris on many occasions since. Beyond the food, the history of the establishment seems to radiate through the bricks, wood, and stones of this wonderfully crafted sous-sol. Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Adams, and many more have dined here, perhaps sharing a pint when it was still a tavern. Above the restaurant, The Maryland Inn served as the location when George Washington and the American Congress of the Confedation ratified the Treaty of Paris in January 1784, a step toward ending the American Revolutionary War.
Many chefs have made their own history here, but in this review, we follow the lead of Chef Brian Meehan, a two-and-a-half-year veteran. We were served by Erkan, a Turkish native, who was just about everything we could have asked for from a server: cordial, attentive (but not overwhelmingly), and pleasant. I particularly liked his candor and sense of humor, displayed because the menu was out of a couple of items. This can present a level of hardship for a server, but Erkan handled it extremely well.
Treaty of Paris’ menu highlights cuisine of the Chesapeake Bay region. Of course, crabs are a huge component of this, so we decided to feature them throughout the entire dinner. We started with a Crab Bisque ($7), which turned out to be a very good choice. It was rich and traditionally prepared, nicely garnished with beautiful lumps of crabmeat.
We decided on two items for appetizers. For the sake of comparison, we tried the Crab Dip ($8), interested in how Chef Meehan prepares it as compared to other dining spots. We judged it thoroughly, and determined it was creamy and smooth with a well-balanced ratio of ingredients and a good crab flavor; however, it was on the salty side. My dining companion was craving a good Caesar salad ($7), and we were satisifed with our pick. The romaine lettuce was fresh, crispy, and lightly tossed with dressing, tender croutons, and a sharp touch of shaved Parmesan cheese. We could not resist trying the Stuffed Lobster ($30) for an entree—what a treat! A scrumptious tail of lobster was cooked to a plump and juicy texture and abundantly covered with a delightful crab imperial.
We’ve been relunctant to order lobster in the past, afraid it might come out dry and overcooked. But kudos to the chef; this lobster was masterfully prepared. In the same tone, I was extremely impressed with my Stuffed Rockfish ($27), which was fresh, delicate, and moist, stuffed with the same delicious crab imperial and laced in a creamy shrimp and crabmeat sauce. The side dishes: fresh string beans sauteed with carmelized onions and buttery mashed potatoes, should also be mentioned. While I enjoyed a refreshing nonalcoholic beer, my companion sipped a glass of wonderful French Beaujolais. I perused the wine list, and although it might not be a state-of-the-art menu, I found it comprehensive, particularly when it comes to wines-by-the-glass offerings.
We ended our adventure at Treaty of Paris on a sweet note. The dessert list is not very extensive, and unfortunately, one of the desserts was sold out. We tried the two still available: cheescake, which was good, but not outstanding, with nice flavors and textures, and the Baked Apple Dumpling, which had a flaky dough, warm and tender apples, and a zing of caramel sauce. A dollop of vanilla ice cream added just the right touch.
Overall, a nice dinner all around. Treaty of Paris lived up to expectations although we were missing the Escargot and Coq au Vin!
Treaty of Paris
1 Church Circle, Annapolis
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