We made our first foray for crabs this year, heading to the old original, Cantler's outside Annapolis. We arrived at opening time on Sunday, 11:00 A.M., and managed to get seated on the deck. Because they assigned a waitress who hadn't arrived yet, they ran out of crabs before we could order. Crabs apparently are unpredictable--also fewer--this year. There are fewer mature blue crabs and more females, so the future looks better.
Vanessa and I are the only true hard-crab crackers in the group so we did order other stuff. First, though, we put in for steamers, spiced shrimp, and calamari--the last for Dave, whose birthday it was Sunday. Everything was good, including the crabcakes and my soft-shell crab stuffed with rockfish (a switch on the more frequently found rockfish stuffed with crabmeat.
Then our waitress--who was a good sort even if her late arrival caused us to miss the opening crab order--came by to advise that more crabs had arrived. It seems she wasn't the only late arrival. So Vaness and I enjoyed sharing a half-dozen big ones. They were great. The sun was shining, the view of the arm of the Severn Cantler's borders was delightful, and we hadn't had to wait in a line. It was a feast we hadn't exactly planned.
Monday night Eileen and I headed to Le Diplomate for our anniversary dinner. It's 51 years and we've known each other for 55. It rained but Le Dip has wooden chambers along the street, complete with built-in heaters that they can turn on from inside the restaurant. As always, the service was superb--which is not usual in these parts.
It was a cold wet day so Eileen ordered the one dish designed for those conditions: French onion soup, a bistro classic, and Le Dip is nothing if not a classic bistro. I had tuna carpaccio, not such a classic but excellent all the same.
It's always satisfying when Eileen can get steak frites grilled well-done. I had the special--dorade en papillote. Creme brulee to conclude for E; profiteroles for me. Possibly because of the rain, we even found a nearby legal parking space.
This was a week for dining out, something we really don't do as often as we have this week.Last night, Wednesday, we weren't so lucky, joining a friend at La Piquette on Macomb St. We got there on time and had moved our table from outside to inside, and managed to get a real table, not a high one. There had been a storm at 5:30--our reservation was for 6:30.
Service was slow from the gitgo. There was a large party--8 or 10--across the way from our table. First course didn't take too long. I saw them hustling to get main courses served for the large party. It had been a while and we got assurances but nothing happened. By the time I spoke to the manager, since no one else had helped, we then were finally served.
I had hoped we might finish by the predicted time of the next storm: around 8. It was not to be. I was partly responsible having order a dessert to share. The storm arrived with a vengeance. I ended up running around the corner--the car was pretty close--and somehow we made it home without being struck by lightning. Eileen ordered the one excellent dish--a fricassee of wild mushrooms.
We're dining at home, tonight and over the weekend.