Under the steady hand of Coast Guard-licensed captain Larry Vazzano, the Wharf Rat slices through the blue waters of Chesapeake Bay. The intimate vessel's sails harness the breeze, turning this way and that above the heads of passengers to find the best angle to the wind. Its decks bustle with activity of guests helping prepare sails or taking the helm as well as relaxed onlookers enjoying the unique view. Meanwhile, viewed from the cockpit dining table, the sun reaches its zenith and glitters off the peaks of waves, or dips slowly behind the forested shoreline, dyeing the whole world in orange, red, and purple.
Captain Larry loves this experience––the Atlantic Sailing Experience, as he calls it––so much that he's shared it with over 600 guests. In addition to his nautical know-how, he shows off his prowess at the grill for brunch and dinner, churning out tasty barbecue and vegetable sides from his own garden. Of course, he doesn't just sail and eat. He also charters his ship for exciting sailboat races and the occasional voyage to the end of the Earth.
Supper Thyme's goal is to de-stress the breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours by inviting visitors to craft hearty and nutritious meals beforehand. After perusing the monthly rotating menu, customers can select an assortment of calorie-conscious, family-friendly, or organically inspired dishes and schedule an appointment to come in and assemble the ingredients. Staff members then gather all of the necessary ingredients and utensils, ensuring that each meal can be assembled in as few as 10 minutes. In between portioning out servings, visitors can enjoy a snack while listening to music or chatting with fellow attendees in the shop’s casual, low-stress kitchen environment. The meals can remain safely frozen in homes' freezers, with easy-to-follow cooking instructions allowing customers to quickly thaw and cook entrees whenever they might need to feed families, guests, or a lost restaurant reviewer.
Winner of OpenTable Diner’s Choice Awards including ‘Best Overall Restaurant’, ‘Best Neighborhood Gem’, and ‘Great for Lunch’, Moulin de Paris has courted visitors with delicate Eurasian fare for the last 29 years. Serving an elegant trifecta of lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea, chefs meld east and west by combining ingredients such as smoked salmon and sweet chili sauce or mango salad and roquefort cheese.
Inside the dining room, mounted, blown-glass sculptures decorate a lemongrass-colored wall, and dark wooden tables accommodate plates. During afternoon tea, three-tiered trays showcase spreads of mini sandwiches and desserts made in-house by a Parisian trained chef.
Though much has changed at Tall Oaks Restaurant in the last half-century—the steak-and-seafood restaurant has acquired new owners, undergone dining-room renovations, and sprouted a bar—many things have also remained the same. Chefs Dennis Walz and Joe Golden continue to craft classic American cuisine, pulling from founder Francis Hasse's original recipes for meatloaf, pierogis, and their famous fried hard-shell crab. They've also added a few items of their own to the menu, namely rosemary-dusted flatbread and Caribbean jerk mahi-mahi. The chefs focus their menu around local seafood and premium meats, such as certified Angus beef and Chesapeake oysters.
In the sunny dining room, white-clothed tables host guests lingering over last bites of warm chocolate lava cake and toffee cream pie. Bartenders shake up specialty martinis at the nearby bar, adding dashes of caramel sauce, pumpkin spice, and fresh blueberries as needed.
Half-moons, cylinders, and blocks of gourmet deli meats and cheeses fill the glass display case at Simple Sands Deli. From this bounty, the staff slices pounds of prosciutto, chipotle turkey, brazilian pork, and salami. They wrap their meats and cheeses in tidy parcels for home cooking, but these savory ingredients also compose the deli's menu of Italian breakfast sandwiches. The team makes the capicola and salami, as well as hearty lunch and dinner sandwiches such as the Smoked Mid-Western, which piles santa fe turkey, gouda, onions, tomato, and dill spread atop flyover-sized pieces of whole-grain bread. Jumbo kosher pickles and bags of Utz chips, as well as drinks from soda to iced caramel macchiatos, help round out each meal.
The allure of Bill Bateman's Bistro increases exponentially with a glance at the wide-ranging menu. Locally lauded for its superlative wings, Bill Bateman's Bistro's offers glazed poultry in a variety of sizes and sauces. Combine cuisines with 10 ($8.49) of the Sweet Thai Chili Wings, or firmly uphold winged tradition with 30 original buffalo wings ($22.99). Fifty Wings from Hell ($36.99) will sate the fire-deprived tongues of fearless wing devourers and can be ordered via a Ouija board that until recently was just a game. The shrimp-melt wrap ($10.99), jalapeñoed Heat Wave Burger ($8.99), and grilled-chicken-topped California Salad ($10.99) are but a few of the numerous bites capable of complementing the various cold draft beers. For the full rundown of possible palate pleasers, see the complete menu for each participating location: Parkville, Severna Park, Glen Burnie, and Reisterstown.