After nearly 40 years of combined experience in the restaurant industry, Dave and Pam Keohane knew how to please their patrons when they realized their dreams of restaurant ownership and opened Greenhouse Grill in 1990. Inside, cozy booths and warmly toned walls encourage diners to linger over dessert and chat over draft beers and expertly mixed margaritas. All-American starters such as bacon cheese fries and crab dip stop stomach rumbles long enough for guests to peruse the menu, which mingles hand-cut steaks, seafood specialties, and sandwiches accompanied by bottomless fries. The chefs also toss pasta specialties with meats and seafood such as crab and shrimp, and several homestyle specialties ensure whole families or incomplete sets of green army men have plenty of options to choose from.
The esculent artisans at The Olive Tree serenade diners with an extensive menu celebrating seafood and cuisine inspired by regions all throughout Italy. Evening diners can entice taste buds with comestible selections from a far-reaching dinner menu. Rouse appetites with fresh sautéed mussels reclining in a bath of garlic wine sauce ($10.59) before chowing on ricotta-stuffed baked manicotti ($11.99). Exercise incisors on grilled pork chops Italiano, served with grilled veggies and a side ($14.99) or crash a shrimp scampi slumber party jumping on a bed of linguine ($18.99). All entrees are served with unlimited garden salad and enough breadsticks to construct an edible scale model of Michelangelo's David. The dinner menu is rounded out by a variety of homemade desserts, including homemade cannoli ($4.95) and tiramisu ($4.95).
In 1744, a brick tavern began pouring brews on the edge of the Patapsco River. James and Andrew Ellicott bought the establishment in 1810 and added a stately home for their family. More than a century later, when Daniel and Steve Wecker discovered the former Ellicott property in 1988, it had fallen into disrepair. But, seeing the promise in the neglected building and its surrounding 16 acres of flourishing linden, holly, and magnolia trees, the brothers convinced the state of Maryland to lease them the property. Together, they restored the rooms and much of the original 18th- and 19th-century craftsmanship, transforming it into what is now The Elkridge Furnace Inn. Today, guests walk over original longleaf-pine flooring and admire the stairway’s tiger-maple spindles and the molding’s Colonial-style dogwood motifs on their way to the historic dining room, whose atmosphere helped earn the restaurant a spot among OpenTable's 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the country.
The restaurant’s lavish French cuisine plays no small part in its success, garnering laudations and media attention from the likes of the Washington Post. Daniel Wecker takes the helm in the kitchen as executive chef, burying game meats—such as rabbit and quail—and fresh seafood beneath rich glazes and beurre blanc sauces. When faced with too many choices from an encyclopedic wine list, diners can consult the menu for recommended vintages to pair with their dish.
Maynard’s Cafe's flavor slingers craft a surf 'n' turf menu brimming with oceanic delights and land-locked meats. Dining companions can warm up for competitive chew-offs with the Maynard’s Combo, an amalgam of finger foods that include crab balls, jalapeño poppers, chicken tenders, and steamed shrimp among other handheld poppables. Then order up a heftier entree, such as the chicken fettuccini, crab legs and drawn butter, or fried oysters. The new york strip steak cohabitates with crab cakes and brings two sides to the table. Guests can savor their meals while oogling karaoke performers crooning after 9 p.m. Wednesday–Sunday or watch cards go flying during rounds of Texas Hold 'em or high-stakes Go Fish on Thursdays.
Owner Elmer Esh fills bellies with Amish homestyle meals at Esh's Barbeque Pit, and doles out portions of fresh ribs and roasts at Esh's Meat. Sandwiches and barbecue chicken basted in homemade sauce sate urgent appetites, and sausages hand-stuffed onsite and steak cuts from the meat shop build a base for future meals or edible sculptures of John Adams. With a focus on high quality meat, Elmer sources his ribs and beef from livestock raised by Amish farmers at Ontario's Pennfield Farms.
During their travels abroad, the owners of El Anafre Restaurant found themselves inspired by the small clay pots used for cooking in Honduras and other Central American countries. They decided to open a restaurant that used the traditional pots to serve hot dips such as queso fundido and other regional specialties. They even named the restaurant after them—the word anafre means pots or grills made out of clay.
El Anafre Restaurant serves other Central American specialties, too, including pork tamales, beef-tongue tacos, and pupusas—handmade corn tortillas that can be folded around meat, beans, and cheese and then mailed to a friend. The restaurant also caters to Tex-Mex fans, with chefs preparing cheesy quesadillas, enchiladas, and chimichangas.