Eating Well in Chesapeake Country Goes Beyond Crabs

Tacos from JesseJay’s Latin Inspired Kitchen in Churchton.

By Kathy Knotts, CBM Bay Weekly Managing Editor

I grew up eating shrimp and crawfish, not crabs. But the communal spirit around a table full of hot seasoned seafood is the same. Eating together is something special. And eating outstanding food in the company of people you enjoy being with just tastes better.

The longer I live and work in Maryland, the more I realize that this state has more to offer than seafood restaurants and waterfront dining. And naturally, we have lots of those options.

The annual Dining Guide is one of our staff’s favorite issues. While crabcakes are delicious (and sometimes contentious), have you ever had the Dexter Burger from Galway Bay or the gnocchi at Luna Blu? Here in Chesapeake Country, we are blessed with a great diversity of restaurants and caterers.

This year, we asked our local restaurants and chefs to do something a little different for Dining Guide. Instead of just highlighting what they serve we asked for tips from their kitchens along with a few recipes. I, for one, cannot wait to build my own bulgogi sub, as suggested by Executive Chef Danny Choung from Blackwall Hitch.

The idea of mixing cultural dishes isn’t new to this region. Just take a look at some of the menus from our featured restaurants. Monica Alvarado’s Bread and Butter Kitchen in Eastport is just a five-minute walk from our new digs at the Annapolis City Marina. Her Banh Mi Burger is one of those great twists on a classic Vietnamese dish.

Head to any of the Irish Restaurant Company properties and find not just Irish classics, but seafood and burgers and inventive desserts.

We didn’t stop at the traditional sit-down restaurants this year, either. We also take a peek behind The Bell House Catering curtain and introduce you to an at-home baker creating delectable baked goods and savory dishes. If your stomach isn’t growling by the time you finish reading, we need to talk.

As I mentioned, we are back in the office this week. After two years of putting the paper together remotely, the majority of the CBM Bay Weekly staff is in a physical office together and it has been lovely. While I do miss being able to work in my pajamas, seeing the faces of my colleagues makes it worth getting fully dressed each day. From our Eastport offices I can see the Naval Academy Chapel, Ego Alley, and the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel out one side, and Boatyard Bar and Grill and Lewnes Steakhouse out the other. We celebrated our first in-office lunch with food from an Eastport favorite, Leeward Market. We eat well here. I hope this year’s Dining Guide will inspire you to sample and taste your way through Chesapeake Country this year.