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Restaurant Review: Carrol's Creek

Jun 22, 2012 05:19PM ● Published by Anonymous

Since its opening in 1983, Carrol’s Creek has continued to impress us. It’s become an Annapolis landmark, comfortable in its contemporary nautical décor, and owner Jeff Jacobs has striven to offer the best food and service possible.

Jacobs is well known in Annapolis for the support he gives to the community, and his dedication and genuine care transpires through his staff as well. Among them are Chef Ricardo Bello, as well as servers who have been at the restaurant for up to 20 years. We were warmly welcomed, and our waitress, Alena, took very good care of us.

Upon arriving, you can take a seat at an inviting, modern bar or the dining room that’s set apart from it. Although you might be seated away from the window, the raised floor still invites you to a take in a beautiful view of Spa Creek, and it’s well-balanced with the paintings of Annapolis Sailboat races.

While sipping on glasses of Prosecco and Pinot Noir, we perused through the menu. We got started with the Loose Cannon Beer-Battered Shrimp ($8.50), named for the Heavy Seas beer used in the recipe. It came as two very large shrimp that were fried to perfection, served on a cucumber “boat” filled with Asian slaw, all drizzled with a blood orange reduction. The blend of sweetness and tanginess alongside the light ginger and sesame made it a masterful and scrumptious combination.

Our second appetizer was the Carrol’s Creek Salad ($6). Again, an exceptional combination of delicate baby greens topped with walnuts, dried cranberries, and blue cheese gently tossed with a tarragon vinaigrette. The key to this salad was that the toppings did not overpower the delicate greens.

We moved onto the second course, beginning with a fish special ($22). Properly seasoned, the tilapia filet was broiled and then served atop a delicious spicy risotto made with Tasso ham and peas. The whole dish was then finished in a lemon-chive olive oil—simply superb. Our next entrée was the grilled Flatiron Steak ($22). This is typically a flavorful and relatively tender cut of meat also called Top Blade Steak. It has a rich flavor and compares to Flank or Skirt steak. Mine was delicious, simply seasoned and grilled while the Madeira and Black Truffle Sauce did the rest. It was served with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli for a wonderful treat.

For desserts we ordered one of each of the two menu items. The Pots de Crème was silky chocolate custard topped with fresh whipped cream and toasted Hazelnuts; a true delight. The Caramelized Banana and Orange Bread pudding, although quite rich, was fabulous—the orange and bananas were a perfect union. It was also nicely accompanied with fresh berries and white chocolate shavings.

To say the least, this was an outstanding dinner, as we expected it from the beginning. The wine list is just great! I like the way the list is laid out, with great selections on half bottles from many regions and grapes, and an even greater selection of full bottles. I found it particularly attractive for the fact that the wine menu as a whole is a good mix of classics but also new wines.

Chef Ricardo did a absolute fantastic job; we were pleased both with his creativity and his balance of flavors and texture—and we didn’t hesitate to share that with Mr. Jacobs.

Carrol's Creek Restaurant is located at 410 Severn Avenue in Annapolis. Call 410-263-8102 or visit carrolscreek.com for more details.

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