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What's Up Magazine

What's the Buzz in Annapolis?

Mar 02, 2012 11:38AM ● By Anonymous

The Annapolis Food and Wine Festival is returning this month, but not in the same incarnation as it appeared previously. The festival was first held in November 2010 as a strolling event, where ticket-holders were allowed to visit a variety of participating restaurants for samples of food and wine. When an overabundance of tickets were sold, the festival didn’t go exactly as planned. This year’s event, which will be held on Saturday, March 10th, will combat that by allowing a limited number of guests to preregister to visit a specific restaurant at a specific time. Each restaurant will determine how many guests can be admitted per half-hour shift, hopefully avoiding the problem of long lines and dwindling samples. In addition to this “Sip & Stroll” event, this year’s festival will feature a tasting event at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel, featuring a variety of culinary creations and wine from local restaurants. The third and final event of the festival is “An Intimate Date with the Chef” series, which allows guests to indulge in a private dinner presented by local chefs. Visit for details and ticket information.

• A new Indian restaurant, Basmati, has opened on Route 2 in the former location of The Blue Martini and Kava. Owner Debendra Sapkota is a native of Nepal who arrived in the United States about 11 years ago. After working in an Indian restaurant, he decided to follow his dream of opening his own restaurant. The menu features all the traditional Indian dishes, such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Biryani, and Tandoori. Visit

• Big changes are under way at Loews Annapolis Hotel and its accompanying restaurants. At the beginning of 2012, renovations began on the entire hotel, but primarily focusing on the lobby, public areas, and two restaurants, Breeze and The Weather Rail. The overarching renovations are a multiyear project says General Manager James Lobosco; however, a new tavern that combines Breeze and The Weather Rail into one restaurant is expected to open in June. The main concept, Lobosco says, is that it’s a restaurant that happens to be attached to a hotel, rather than a hotel restaurant. “I really wanted to design a restaurant focused on what the community wanted, as opposed to an amenity for the guests,” he says. The tavern, which doesn’t currently have a name, will have 130 seats, as well as an additional 30 outdoor. Its signature features will include an expo kitchen, raw bar, and private dining. While renovations are under way, Breeze is still fully operational, while a portion of the dining room has been turned into a lounge and full-service bar in lieu of The Weather Rail. Visit

Red Red Wine Bar on Main Street in Annapolis recently debuted a Sunday brunch menu, but they’re doing it in their own style. Owner Brian Bolter says the New Orleansstyle brunch is offered every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes standard New Orleans fare such as beignets, Crab Benedict, and red beans and rice. The weekly event also features what Bolter calls “eyeopeners,” such as Hurricanes, Cajun Bloody Marys, and Sazeracs, as well as brass band and Dixieland jazz music. Additionally, the restaurant will feature a spin on the “green” nature of St. Patrick’s Day by offering specials on organic, biodynamic, and sustainably farmed wine from around the world, as well as Jameson’s and Bailey’s Irish Cream deals. Visit

• In October, many Annapolis restaurants participated in the From the Bay, For the Bay Dine Out program, which raised more than $20,000 for Chesapeake Bay oysterrestortations efforts. More than 170 restaurants in the Chesapeake region participated by donating $1 per seafood dinner sold, but Boatyard Bar and Grill in Eastport was one of the top participating restaurants, along with two Baltimore and one Washington, D.C., eatery. This money will go toward recycling more than 300 bushels of oyster shells and planting 1.5 million baby oysters into the Bay.

If you have any food or restaurant news you’d like to share with the readers of What’s Up? Annapolis, email the food editor at