Classically Annapolitan with Delicious Twists
Feb 13, 2015 10:34AM
● By Cate Reynolds
O’Brien’s Steakhouse 113 Main Street, Annapolis
410-268-6288 • obriensoysterbar.com
Located on Main Street Annapolis O’Brien’s is a perfect spot to stop in for casual dining or to get your fix of Maryland seafood. In a location with a rich history as a meeting place for merchants, sailors, and locals alike, the restaurant and large bar have a uniquely Annapolis feel. The atmosphere is casual and friendly. We ate in the dining room that is tucked away in the back, away from the bar. Our server, Jourdan, was very nice and hospitable. He was very helpful and knew everything about the menu and was able to help us decide on some delicious menu items.
For starters we had the Tokyo Tuna Tartar ($13), OB’s Famous Steamed Mussels ($11), the Crab Pretzel ($11.95), and a cup of the Cream of Crab Soup (market price). The diced Ahi tuna was very beautifully plated on a dish with curved up corners. It was a very fresh mound of diced tuna, cool in temperature and balanced with the spicy wasabi and Sriracha cream sauces. Fans of thinly sliced bright green avocado and crunchy strips of toasted flat bread surrounded the tuna mound. The soft delicate tuna and creamy avocado contrasted well with the toasted flat bread. It was a generously sized portion, definitely enough to share. The OB’s Famous Steamed Mussels is a large enough portion to share, but you won’t want to. The tender steamed mussels come in a drinkable broth of white wine, shallots, thyme, garlic, and cherry tomatoes. The dish is served with bread that’s perfect for soaking up the broth. All the mussels were open and steamed to perfection. This dish is classically delicious. It is perfect for dinner or a great bar meal while catching a game. The Crab Pretzel clearly is a best-selling item. It is a jumbo soft pretzel topped with crab dip. It’s great bar food, with lots of cheese and is very soft. It’s a great option to get your classic crab dip fix without the bread bowl or crackers. The Cream of Crab Soup was amazingly smooth. The base was flavorful and had large lumps of crabmeat. It has a very nice depth of flavor; clearly a made-from-scratch seafood stock base. I can see why almost all diners appear to have a cup on their tables as this is a must try item.
For entrees we tried the Filet Oscar ($36.50) and the Surf & Turf Burger ($11). The Filet Oscar featured tenderloin beef medallions topped with lump crab and Béarnaise Sauce. This main attraction is served with asparagus and an impressive helping of mashed potatoes. The Béarnaise sauce was lemony, complementing the sweet crabmeat, and brought out the flavor of the grilled steak. The Surf & Turf Burger is assembled with three buns. This “burger” has some serious layers of deliciousness. Working from the bottom up there is sautéed pork belly, coleslaw, and then seared scallops topped with crispy fried onions and served with a Sriracha Aioli. This was quite the surprise on the menu. I loved the contrast in textures; the soft bread and tender scallops mixed with the crunchy coleslaw and fried onions. The pork belly had a wonderful barbecue flavor that worked well with the sweeter notes in the scallops and coleslaw. I loved this dish.
For dessert we shared the Strawberry Zabaglione ($8.25). Made in house, this light custard is made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine that is then whipped to incorporate a large amount of air. It was very light and refreshing with flavors and textures similar to melted marshmallows, super smooth texture, and served with fresh strawberries. Definitely try this when you dine here.
O’Brien’s has a classic Annapolis menu peppered with some unique items. It’s worth the visit for a casual meal in the dining area or stop by the bar for a great bar dinner. They also have a first floor banquet room, outdoor café seating, raw bar, and full bar; all great for hosting get-togethers and parties.
Eastern Shore native, Diana Jeffra is a professional chef and aspiring food stylist. Her background in graphic design and her culinary degree from the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute have led her to begin work on her first cookbook. Past adventures have led her to culinary competitions and a summer cooking in Italy.