When Lois Margolet first opened Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 years ago, she and her brother Alan worked from the second story of a boarded-up building, roasting 10–12 whole turkeys every night and churning out a “real turkey lover’s” sandwich each day. Today, Capriotti’s has expanded across 12 states, each location stacking the same award-winning hot and cold sandwiches, racking up such accolades as The Best of Las Vegas 2012 and Best of Delaware 2012 prizes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Delaware Today, respectively. Though the shop is still known for its slow-roasted-turkey creations—such as the Thanksgiving-inspired Bobbie, named America's best sandwich by AOL's Lemondrop.com, piled with cranberry sauce and stuffing—its menu now ventures into the realm of roast beef, italian deli meats with such sandwiches as the capastrami, cheesesteaks, and vegetarian treats, such as meatless chicken and turkey.
Canvasback Restaurant & Pub serves up elegant regional plates of seafood, steak, and pasta, while frosty beers and live music invite visitors to kick back their feet and relax. Like an EU agricultural treaty, the bill of fare unites Europe through food, with French onion soups and Italian tortellini plates paired with Irish ales and whiskeys. Guests tuck into tender steaks in Jameson sauce or crab cakes made with meat from Cambridge's J. M. Clayton Company as they tap their feet to the tunes of folk singers, jazz-piano players, and bluegrass bands. The bar offers 12 beers on tap including Maryland-brewed beers served in frosty mugs and Ireland-brewed ales.
Amid the stately storefronts of historic Annapolis stands Harry Browne's, an elegant eatery that has teemed with gourmet Continental cuisine and international wines for more than 35 years. In the 1930s-era dining room, servers ferry out the restaurant's most acclaimed dishes—steaming bowls of cream of crab soup, platters piled with crab cakes, full racks of lamb, and seasonal specialties. Upstairs in the State Circle Lounge, guests sidle up to a full bar to sip craft cocktails and swirl selections from a wine list more than 100 strong.
It’s important to Sakura Cafe that its sushi chef, David Li, be given free rein when it comes to creating new sushi rolls. That’s why its maki menu, with nearly 50 specialty rolls, includes creations that have likely never appeared on another menu. The New York roll wraps apple, fish eggs, avocado, and cucumber in soy paper. The Fuji Mountain roll combines eel and smoked salmon with green seaweed powder. And the Bonsai roll drizzles a spicy vinaigrette sauce over spicy tuna, fresh red tuna, and cream cheese.
For those who prefer something other than sushi, the immense menu also offers hot hibachi combinations, such as filet mignon and shrimp, and pan-Asian classics, such as drunken noodle and pad thai. It even has American options, including philly-cheesesteak wraps.
The chefs at Lemongrass fill two different Annapolis eateries with visions of modern Thai cuisine. To do so, they keep an array of spices at their fingertips—dried red peppers, curry powder, kaffir-lime and basil leaves, ginger, and blades of that eponymous lemongrass. Pinches and spoonfuls of such seasonings lend nuanced flavors to a long list of dishes, including pad thai, sautéed mussels, panang curry, and pepper beef. Cocktails and desserts such as sticky rice with mango top off each meal with a tasteful style that recalls Abe Lincoln's signature cake hat.
Even though Portuguese explorers couldn't pronounce the Swahili name for the African bird's eye chili—pili-pili—the sailors fully embraced its flavor shortly after landing in the region known today as Mozambique. Intrigued by the small, fiery pepper, they combined it with aromatic doses of herbs, garlic, and lemon to create the first peri-peri sauce. That sauce eventually became a wildly popular marinade for poultry, and the tasty concoction made its way to South Africa over the next several centuries. There, in 1987, two friends decided to honor this culinary legacy by founding the first Nando's Peri-Peri restaurant. The eatery continued to remain true to its South African roots, even while expanding to encompass locations in 24 countries across four continents.
Beginning with fresh chickens that never see the inside of a kitchen freezer, the chefs furtively marinate the birds in a secret peri-peri sauce for 24 hours before grilling them over an open flame. Diners dictate the heat level of their order, requesting that the grilled chicken arrive relatively mild or that wings be slathered with even more incendiary spices. The succulent chicken can be plated with hearty side dishes—such as Portuguese-style rice with herbs and peppers or peas with mint—or served in the form of a sandwich, wrap, or pita. To complement the menus' African flavors, Nando's worldwide locations collectively feature more than 4,000 pieces of African artwork.