Though the menu is full of sandwiches, the staff at Raemi's Cafe keeps things interesting by making classic favorites with a little twist. They dip whole-wheat bread in vanilla egg batter before grilling the Monte Cristo, and for the italian roast beef, they layer cheddar, beef, and housemade sauce atop asiago-crusted bread. On the menu, the wraps are described as "ridiculously large," and it's easy to see why with all the ingredients they enfold. Naimese chicken is drizzled in a hot-sweet sauce and wrapped up with broccoli, carrots, cabbage, and tomatoes, and the Mexico City's jalapeño cheese tortilla holds seasoned beef, salsa, cheddar, and avocado. When corporate clients plan big lunchtime meetings or breakfast after a sleepover, they assemble a meal with help of the café's catering staff.
Boneless chicken doused in a buttery cream sauce. Skewered minced-meat kebabs fresh from the tandoor oven. Spinach soaked in a creamy, spicy curry. Led by head chef Syed M. Ahmad, the culinary team at Delhi Kabab House specializes in these North Indian homestyle dishes, which they whip up fresh to order. With handmade art adorning its amber walls, the eatery's softly lit dining room hosts each vegetarian and meat-laden meal. After feasts, guests 18 or older can savor more than 50 flavors of hookah tobacco, such as hazelnut, blueberry pancakes, and even one called Scooby Snax, which visitors presumably receive after they unmask the ghost haunting the tandoor.
Like traditional florists, the inventive staff at FruitFlowers uses its collective eye for design to assemble a multicolored array of arrangements for special occasions, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine's Day. But rather than fill their bouquets with beautiful yet unappetizing flowers, they instead deck out their arrangements with intricately carved slices of melon, pineapple, and strawberries, many of which are dipped in chocolate, filled with marshmallow, and piled into fetching vases. FruitFlowers delivers the mouthwatering bouquets fresh, so they're best eaten right out of the deliverer's hand, much like hot-off-the-press newspapers.
When talking about his commitment to his store, Andrew Maggitti recalls the only day he didn’t open his shop himself¬—the day his son was born. But the new dad was back at it that very evening, overseeing the shop's daily bread kneading and sauce bottling to keep the goods flowing for his loyal customers. An award-winning executive chef and caterer, Andrew has cooked in restaurants across the country, but he seized the opportunity to showcase his passion for Old-World Italian cuisine when an old farmhouse in the area went up for sale.
Inspired by his Italian grandmother’s recipes, Andrew now rolls out meatballs and simmers from-scratch tomato sauce, helping the kitchens of locals to look and smell just like the ones he grew up in. Like the iconic delis of Baltimore’s Little Italy, he wraps capocollo subs in thick butcher’s paper and offers a small dining nook where customers can share his hot deli fare and whisper nutrition facts to one another. But it is the human bonds that come with being a part of his customer's lives, Andrew says, that ultimately connect his deli to its Old-World traditions. “Whether it’s me or my wife,” Andrew says, “you’ll always see a recognizable, smiling face when you walk in.”
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. The location didn't always have such a refined air; throughout its history it 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.
Today, executive chef and owner Brian Boston, who was recently named 2011 Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, crafts upscale American dishes in the Inn's bustling kitchen. Plates of artisan cheeses and steaming bowls of fresh Maryland crab soup travel to the dining room, warming up stomachs for later courses more efficiently than a series of lunges beside one's table. Entrees such as the 12-ounce grilled rib-eye steak and wild-mushroom-stuffed phyllo star in the inventive, upscale menu next to sides of grilled summer vegetables.
Nearly 200 handpicked red and white wines age gracefully in an underground wine cellar, which rests beneath colonial-style dining rooms illumined by tabletop candles and crackling flames from a rustic stone fireplace. The Milton Inn Restaurant requests that male guests don jackets, a prerequisite that arose after the short-lived “shirtless cummerbund” fad of the late 1980s. Diners that commute via four-wheeled steed can deposit their vehicles in the eatery's free parking lot.
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.