Locally sourced food, like WiFi, can either be found at a café or stolen from the neighbors. Avoid bandwidth banditry with today’s Groupon to The Wild Orchid Café in Annapolis. Choose between the following options:
- For $39, you get dinner for two (up to a $103 total value), which includes:
- One appetizer (up to a $13 value)
- Two entrees (up to a $32 value each)
Two glasses of wine (up to a $13 value each)<p>
- For $12, you get $25 worth of lunch or brunch fare.<p>
At The Wild Orchid Café, proprietors and chefs Jim and Karen Wilder dish out gourmet seafood and hearty homestyle fare whipped up from ingredients sourced from local farms and fisheries, paired with fruity pours of wine from around the world. The restaurant’s dinner menu sounds the feasting horn with appetizers of truffle-gravy-draped Chesapeake poutine fries ($9) and mussels steamed in local ale ($10), followed by entrees of grilled bison sirloin ($29) and roasted wild rockfish ($29). Lunch plies noontime noshers with lighter entrees, such as a butternut squash lasagna ($10), as well as sandwiches, including grilled chicken and brie, trapping succulent cuts of poultry, crisp apple slices, and arugula between the folds of a kaiser roll ($10). Like setting a new high score playing jacks, the brunch menu pleasantly spans the chasm between breakfast time and lunch, boasting creative dishes such as a veggie omelet loaded with ratatouille and fresh mozzarella ($10), or a surf and turf Benedict, a toasty English muffin draped with grilled salmon, Canadian bacon and a smoked paprika hollandaise ($13.50).
The restaurant’s décor cultivates a comfortable, modern design with colorful light fixtures, rugged slate walls, marble accents, and cool hues of blue and purple. Guests can mingle over fine wines and cocktails at the full-service bar, or comfortably fit large gatherings of friends, extended families, or phonebooth-stuffing contest winners in two large dining spaces.
The Wild Orchid Café
When chef Jim Wilder put out an ad seeking a front-of-house and catering manager for his restaurant, he had no idea that he'd also find a soul mate. A pastry chef by trade, Karen seemed the perfect business partner, and two years later she became his life partner as well.
Together, the Wilders opened The Wild Orchid Café in 1995 in a homey, cottage-like space. Their recipes and shared cooking style favored locally sourced produce and protein, long before "farm to table" became a foodie catchphrase. In 2010, the restaurant outgrew its original home, and the Wilders pulled up stakes to move to a larger, more modern headquarters with stone columns, generous windows, and lofty ceilings, plus an outdoor patio guarded by blossoming trees.
"We have always cooked like that," says Karen of the pair's propensity for seasonal fare. On any given day, Jim, as executive chef, can be found inspecting the newest produce and meat offerings at local farms.
Jim and Karen work together on recipe writing, and though the menu changes according to what's in season, a few hard-and-fast staples remain. Grilled oysters burst with flavor when smothered in bacon and beurre blanc. Sweet wine, bacon, and grapes enhance sautéed chicken livers, and grilled bison sates appetites with much leaner bites than beef from cows or beefcake calendars.
Private dining rooms accommodate large groups, and one comes with a stone fireplace to warm up hands before they dig in.
200 Westgate Cir.
Annapolis, Maryland 21401