Restaurant Review: Middleton Tavern
Sep 25, 2012 12:28PM ● Published by Anonymous
On our most recent visit, we enjoyed Middleton's other perks, such as the lovely porch where you can dine on beautiful days and enjoy the excitement along Ego Alley and the downtown area. Also quite exciting is the daily live entertainment. From regular entertainers on Mondays and Tuesdays to Annapolis Unplugged on Wednesdays—Middleton Tavern has a beat.
Owner Jim Hardesty keeps that heart beating, staying deeply involved in the kitchen, constantly adding items to the menu while consulting with longstanding Executive Chef Art Gross.
Over the years, the menu has evolved, offering a variety of new dishes, along with longstanding favorites. We got started with a traditional Maryland Crab Soup ($8), which turned out to be one of the best versions I've had recently. It featured the bounty of traditional flavors, including a gentle sweetness, and was well-garnished with lump crabmeat. We also ordered the Crab Dip ($13.95), a dish we had tried previously here, to see if it was as good as we remembered. The answer is yes, though it was slightly cheesier than before, it remained excellent with a smooth blend of cheeses and an abundance of crabmeat.
For my entrée, I tried one of the newer items on the menu, the Espresso Sirloin Gorgonzola Crostini ($29.95). I was delightfully surprised. An excellent cut of beef, this 10-ounce steak is rubbed with a blend of southwest spices and espresso, and then seared to your liking and served atop a Gorgonzola-spread crostini. The meat was tasty, tender, and served with spicy Aioli fried potatoes. This isn't exactly the platter you'd be looking for if you're watching your figure, but perfect if you like a substantial meal.
My dining companion stuck to the traditional, ordering the Maryland Crab Cakes ($34.95). Rich in crab, light in binder, and seasoned just right, this is a solid dish. It was a nice touch to serve the crabcakes on fried green tomatoes and, of course, accompanied by traditional tarter and cocktail sauces. We also shared a fresh salad tossed in a creamy Parmesan sauce that perfectly suited our entrees.
The wine list is short, but has an option for just about everyone. Teddy Goebels, the manager, joined us for dessert. While we shared a superb Crème Brulée ($7.95), smooth with a crispy caramel top, we chatted about the Middleton Tavern activities. "It's quite simple, "he said. "We want our guests to come and have a good time with great food, great drinks, and live music every day." Well, we must agree, the Tavern was hopping, and all guests seemed to enjoy themselves.
2 Market Space, Annapolis
Gilles Syglowski graduated from the Lycée d'Enseignement Professionel Hotelier in Metz, France, and is a certified executive chef, certified culinary instructor, and food-service consultant. Mr. Syglowski has more than 30 years of experi- ence in the hospitality industry and is currently assistant general manager of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.