Holding up port in the Annapolis City Marina for more than 25 years, Carrol's Creek serves up finely grilled steaks and fresh local seafood with a lively dockside view of the Spa Creek harbor. The lunch menu presents a star line-up of aquatic delicacies such as a glamorous herb-encrusted rockfish fillet roasted with sautéed baby spinach, lovely lady jumbo crab lumps, and a tomato pesto risotto ($18), or a fried oyster po' boy sandwich made of pearl-less mollusks fried fresh and served on a roll with horseradish aioli ($11.50). Dinner allows a repeat performance of lunchtime favorites mixed with new appetizers such as Acapulco-style ceviche, which combines tilapia with onions, tomatoes, avocado, and fresh cilantro ($9), and caesar salad for two, made tableside so diners can witness the ritualistic slaughter of romaine hearts before devouring them with special dressing and freshly grated imported cheese ($15). Maryland jumbo crab-cakes are bursting with garlic-and-herb potatoes ($30), and a grilled filet mignon comes slathered with caramelized sweet onions, wild mushrooms, and a merlot glace to satisfy the largest land-loving appetites ($29).
A charming, two-story octagonal structure that used to be a light house rests above the waters of a harbor on Chesapeake Bay, drawing in visitors with the sounds of laughter and live music on weekends and during live Jazz brunch, as well as the scents of seasonal seafood and gourmet regional cuisine. Sam's executive chef Jim Wilder hitches the menu to the changing seasons to create an ever-changing slate of contemporary American seafood infused with contemporary influences. Guests make pilgrimages by land or by water to sample the restaurant's Sunday brunches of signature crab benedict or lobster mac and cheese, or to savor dinners of fresh Maryland rockfish, lobster rolls, and roasted duck breast.
Sips of wines and nibbles of Maryland crab cakes pair with the live strums of acoustic guitars. Inside, walls decorated with rustic wine crates, a full-service bar, and waterfront windows frame each forkful with an elegant, yet approachable surrounding.
For more than 25 years, French-born chef Jean-Louis Evennou has filled Café Normandie with Gallic cuisine peppered with flavors from the Eastern seaboard. A chef since the age of 13, Evennou seasons endive salad with strong roquefort cheese and rabbit with tangy dijon sauce and simmers beef bourguignon in another rich sauce. Dinners also include American-inspired recipes such as crab soup with Maryland vegetables, as well as housemade pastries and crème caramel.
In 2008, Café Normandie was certified as a sustainable steward by the city of Annapolis for its eco-friendly initiatives. The restaurant follows intensive composting and recycling guidelines; in addition, it stocks biodegradable carry-out gear and serves its meals on tabletops made of marble salvaged from the ruins of the Louvre.