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.
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.
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.
As a small child, Jason Farrell toddled through his family's seafood diner, Marley's Seafood and Subs, acquiring the nautical food know-how and original barbecue recipes that would serve him well when he returned to his childhood neighborhood to found Barbecue, Blues & Seafood. Jason—along with brother Brian and cousin Duane—recently celebrated the restaurant’s first anniversary by grilling an entire pig and regaling guests with the choicest cuts. Jason’s young daughters, Reghan and Julia, tag along with him daily to give their favorite menu items a barbecue-coated thumbs-up.
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 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).