Within a 272-year-old fieldstone building, the aroma of pan-seared seafood and glazed meat drifts through dining rooms as patrons clink together glasses of fine wines. Throughout its history, the building served as a rest area for travelers and a prestigious school for boys. It wasn't until 1947, when Ivan Drechsler purchased the location, that it was restored and established as a country inn.
Executive chef and owner Brian Boston, who was named 2011 Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, crafts upscale American dishes in the Inn's bustling kitchen. To complement its food, the Inn boasts a wine cellar that includes more than 200 handpicked selections, which rest beneath colonial-style dining rooms illumined by tabletop candles and crackling flames from a rustic stone fireplace. The restaurant's romantic ambience and open-air garden terrace have drawn diners celebrating momentous occasions for many years.
Using healthy, natural ingredients, chef Lisa Honick crafts a diverse menu of fully prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare, as well as sundry entrees, sides, and desserts that long for the finishing flames of customers' home ovens. Early morning biters can grab a seat in the bright café dining room and hang a fang on the thick-sliced challah French toast, topped with rum-glazed bananas and candied pecans ($7.95). Classic lunchtime deli fare includes the moonlight in Vermont, a roasted turkey breast sandwich that lures lazy vampires away from daytime television and swaddles tongue buds with Vermont cheddar, apples, cranberries, Euro greens, and boursin spread ($7.95). Dinner entrees to go, such as the chicken marsala or glazed corn beef with pineapple sauce, arrive at hungry tables accompanied with salad, two side dishes, rolls, and dessert ($17.95/person, all dinners).
Gourmet Again emphasizes fresh groceries and homemade goods in its myriad marketplace departments. In addition to fresh meat, seafood, and produce options, guests can spring for picnic fare or fall into a summer lunch with Gourmet Again's extensive deli menu. Here, shoppers can top their choice of bread—options include rye, pita, Kaiser roll, multi grain, whole wheat, and French roll—with meats, condiments, and extras such as bacon, cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes. Indulge in egg salad ($4.95), dominate the Old Dominion flavor of Virginia baked ham ($7.50), or sink mouth hooks into jumbo shrimp salad ($9.50). Baked goods are also plentiful, with a wide assortment of daily-changing oven offerings such as pastries, fresh fruit pies, and homemade cookies.
The menu at Arlon's is even more accommodating than the carryout policy. Spanning classic dishes of American, Italian, and Indian cuisine, everything is available for preparation for gatherings large and small. Submarine sandwiches and stromboli are served among other popular hand-held eats, while entrees include house-made crab cakes and tandoori-style chicken and fish curries. Between all these eclectic dishes, though, the chefs are hard at work crafting their signature dish: thin-crust pizzas made with fresh dough and and a trusty sauce recipe. House specialties include the buffalo chicken pizza drizzled in spicy sauce and bleu cheese, and the seafood pizza, which features shimp and crabmeat seasoned with cocktail sauce and Old Bay.
There is more to chef Mohammad Rahman’s menu than the staples that diners have come to expect from an Indian restaurant, although crowd favorites do have reserved places. Rahman and his wife, Salma Khanam—who is the restaurant’s maitre d’—incorporate flavors from their homeland of Bangladesh, including fish fry combos and shak bhaji (made with custom-spiced spinach). Halal meats such as fish, lamb, goat, and chicken star in rich curry dishes, nicely accompanied by warm naan fresh from the tandoor oven. The eatery's lunch buffet pits stomachs against a bounty of dishes, piled high with delectables to reward diners who wore their nicest stilettos. Kitchen of India’s environment is warm and romantic, with white tablecloths serving as elegant yet neutral complements to colorful paintings and carved sculptures.
The Sip & Chow Tasting Tour guides culinary adventurers across a carefully chosen menu of savory snacks and sweets, exotic wine and liquor, and specialty beers. Each admission ticket grants diners 15 samples from a panoply of dishes and desserts, such as a mac 'n' cheese plate baked with fresh sausage, jumbo crab, and pulled pork slow-cooked in a secret Southern sauce as mysterious as the password to Robert E. Lee’s screensaver. Each bon vivant also receives 15 alcohol samplings that enable tasty combinations of creamy rice pudding, Corsendonk Abbey brown ale, and lucid dreams about living in a Masterpiece Theatre production. Sip & Chow Tasting Tour gourmands can expect to consume and imbibe the equivalent of four glasses of wine and a large plate of victuals before returning home sporting food-sated grins.