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.
Each day at Fenton Cafe, Meaza Gabru swirls thin layers of batter on crepe makers in her open kitchen, creating delicate shells for sweet and savory fillings. She stuffs more than 40 different crepes with ingredients ranging from chocolaty nutella and fresh fruit to smoked turkey, cheese, and egg. In fact, her selection of crepes is so overwhelming that the The Voice recommended that locals visit weekly "until the entire menu has been devoured." Bold coffees and espresso drinks accompany Meaza's signature treats, which diners can savor on the outdoor patio or while sending a breakup text to their pancakes.
Back in their native France, Fernand's family owned a farm and Odette's owned a bar in the region of Brittany. When the two met, therefore, it was only a matter of time before they decided to open their own restaurant. But the Tersiguels went above and beyond: they created a chef! Today, their son Michel is the executive chef at their eponymous restaurant.
It was 1964 when, with Michel on the way, the couple first came to New York. Within three days of being hired at Top of the Fair, Fernand was promoted to lead bus boy. And within four years, the Tersiguels had founded their first restaurant, La Poularde. They later opened their second, Chez Fernand, though after nine years of success the restaurant was lost in a fire. Though the experience was upsetting, the couple used it as an opportunity to move downtown to the Old Baltimore Shot Tower.
In 1990 they opened Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant in the heart of Ellicott City, and the family has resurrected their multigenerational commitment to food—and their passion for the industry—by serving seasonal plates of classic French favorites. Escargots, frog legs, and bœuf à la Bourguignonne dance across the menu before house-made chocolate mousse delights palates. Odette's own family recipe is used to make the pâté de Campagne. So deep is the family's dedication to fine food that some customers even sign up just to shadow Michel for a day, following the chef from his 5 a.m. market trip to the kitchen as he prepares that evening's meals and invents his own type of fire to uses in the oven.
Today's Groupon gets you $35 worth of French café fare and Belgian beer for $15 at L'Enfant Café & Bar. This Parisian-themed eatery is best known for their perfect crepes: "cooked enough to lose the doughy flavor and just thick enough to keep from tearing," according to The Washington Post. Get them with fresh strawberries, Nutella, amaretto liquor, lemon and sugar, stuffed with mushrooms and gruyère in béchamel sauce, or with roasted red pepper and goat cheese. With seven savory dinner crepes and more than 12 sweet options, L'Enfant can cook a staggering stack of crepe combinations (click here to see the sweet crepe menu).
Follow the tantalizing scents and stroll into Crepeaway, a crêperie originally based in Athens, Greece, which slings a variety of savory and sweet crêpes. Instead of mashing pancakes at home with a sizzling-hot blacksmith mallet, browse the mouthwatering menu and nosh on hearty crêpes such as the Big Papa with cheese, chicken, bacon, ham, turkey, and hot sauce ($7), the Leila with cheese, tomato, and fresh basil ($6.23), or the Antonio with cheese, ham, tomato, and mayo ($6.23). Pair foldable fare with a side of chips ($1), or wrap up filling lunches with sweet selections such as the Angel crêpe with Nutella chocolate, strawberries, and banana ($5.70). Crepeaway is open until 3 a.m. on Thursday and 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
What would the Mediterranean look like if it were relocated to a dance club? The answer would probably be Muncheez Mania. Amid upbeat music, splotches of UV lighting, and brightly painted cityscapes, the casual eatery’s cooks serve a mishmash of Lebanese, Italian, Turkish, French, Greek, and American food. On flatbreads and Mankoushe that are stretched by hand, they place authentic ingredients such as halloumi cheese, falafel, labneh, and zaatar plucked from Zeus’s lunch pail. The cooks also toss together tabbouleh and caesar salads and stuff pizzas into hot and hungry ovens. Customers can order sweet Nutella or Kinder chocolate crepes, or savory ham-and-cheese crepes from the curbside window that is open on weekends.