A Small Preview of the New West Kitchen and Tavern at Loews Annapolis
Aug 14, 2012 10:23PM ● Published by Anonymous
The first thing to note is that West current offers free valet parking, a definite plus. I don't know how long that will last, but it's incredibly welcome for people like me who don't like navigating parking garages or meters in Annapolis. I was greeted by General Manager Stacy Baird, who was formerly the GM for The Chop House in the Annapolis Towne Centre. As we waited for David, my husband, who was stuck in that terrible Route 50 traffic, she showed me around the modern restaurant, including a spacious outdoor dining area overlooking West Street. We then settled in to an area near the bar to try out the cocktail menu, which Stacy explained to me was designed by the Tippling Brothers of New York City. Naturally, I didn't have enough forethought to take a photo of the menu, and the name of my first cocktail escapes me – but it was a blend of gin and grapefruit juice with a rim of salt around the glass. For my second cocktail, I tried West's version of an Orange Crush, which incorporated brandied cherries and vanilla with the standard vodka and orange juice.
David finally arrived, and we let Stacy take the lead in ordering appetizers. She picked out the garlic fries, crab dip, and heirloom tomato pizza for us to try. Fun fact about the fries: Chef Kevin Relf makes the ketchup in-house, and it tastes much better than the packaged version. He also has a very complicated process for his pizza dough, which he explained to us, but I couldn't even begin to tell you how it works.
I'm sorry to say that we were so enamored with the pizza, which was a simple blend of heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garlic and olive oil, that I couldn't even remember to take a picture of it. From there, David and I moved outside to enjoy entrees for dinner (though how we ate another bite is beyond me!) I chose the Seafood Cioppino, which incorporated clams, shrimp and scallops with a tomato broth over pasta, while David selected the steak, mostly because he wanted more garlic fries that it was served with!
The final taste of the night was the light dessert, cherries and chocolate. Stacy explained how she brought these to a festival recently and people just kept coming back for another bite. It was the perfect finish to the meal.
West Kitchen and Tavern has only been open two weeks, but the team has put forth an impressive showing so far. We're going to let them master their craft and check back next spring, when our restaurant critic will head over there for a formal review. Thanks to Stacy, Jen, Kevin and the entire team at West and Loews for a great start to a birthday weekend.