Are you looking for a great restaurant option in the Annapolis, Maryland area for a romantic dinner, and not sure where to go? Well, I’m sure many of you are having that predicament this time of year with Valentine’s Day approaching. I have three suggestions for you, and you might be surprised considering two of them are chain restaurants.
My favorite restaurant for a romantic night out is The Melting Pot. This restaurant is located off Route 2 near Annapolis just before you get to West Street. The Melting Pot is a “fondue style” restaurant. For those of you that are not familiar with fondue it involves having a communal pot in the middle of the table where everyone shares it for a couple different purposes. For cheese fondue, cheese is melted along with seasonings and a liquid and then you are presented with bread and vegetables to dip in the cheese. For the entrée either hot oil (if you choose the fried food style) or a broth with seasonings are prepared in the pot. Then you are presented with various meats, potatoes, and vegetables to cook in that broth or oil. Finally, dessert is prepared with different types of chocolates and other items mixed in that you wish. For this you will be given small pieces of cake, fruit, and marshmallows to dip in the chocolate.
Now that you know what it is, you might wonder why I consider it a great choice for a romantic meal. Well, the key here is that it takes a long time for your entire meal. A typical meal at The Melting Pot involves all the courses I mentioned above, along with a salad in between the cheese course and the entrée course. A typical meal will take two to two and a half hours. This gives you time to speak with your loved one and enjoy their company.
At different times of the year The Melting Pot will have a set menu, so you will want to call ahead of time to find out. Some of these times are New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. If you don’t like the set menu you could always go on a day around that time of year but not the specific day so you can choose your items off the menu instead. If you wish to dine at The Melting Pot on a Saturday night between 5:30 and 9:30 pm a reservation at least a week in advance is suggested. If it is for a holiday meal, I would suggest calling two weekend in advance at least.
My second suggestion is another chain restaurant, but then you really don’t feel like you are at a chain restaurant when you dine there. It is Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Here you will find some of the best steak you will ever have. They cook it in a oven at over 1800 degrees, let’s see you get that type of heat in your oven at home or your grill! The reason I say you won’t feel like you are at a chain restaurant is the service. The tables are covered with nice white linen cloths and the table is perfectly set. You will have a wait staff of two that serve you at your table acting as a team. They can explain each entrée to you in depth if you wish. You will never have to wait to have your beverage refilled very long as service is very attentive. They even “crumb” your table between courses if you wish.
The steaks there are incredible, they are top quality U.S. Prime steaks. As I mentioned before they are cooked in a 1800 degree oven giving you a perfectly cooked steak that is seared on the outside but perfectly moist on the inside. I would not recommend ordering a steak any more done than medium-well or you lose some of the benefits of this high quality style of cooking. All of the side dishes at Ruth’s Chris are “ala carte”, so I would suggest choosing one or two to share with your significant other as they are very large portions. The desserts are very good as well, but remember the main attraction here are the steaks. Your service team will not rush you, which allows you to enjoy the time with your significant other enjoying a delicious meal.
My final suggestion is Northwoods in Annapolis. As you drive up to Northwoods, it appears to be a rustic, quaint restaurant. The truth is many of us like to keep this restaurant a secret as it has great food at a reasonable price for the quality of food they serve. This is an Italian restaurant, but it specializes in the foods of Northern Italy. This means it is different than what some people may think of as Italian foods. The menu is not loaded with items that come in different types of marinara sauces. The concentration is more on the meat themselves instead and usually with a cream sauce designed to compliment the meat.
Northwoods offers a large variety of seafood entrees, along with beef and duck. As stated above, you will not find a lot of pasta entrees on the menu (which changes seasonally). Northwoods offers a great special. For $32.95 for an entire dinner it includes any appetizer or soup, any entrée, and a selection off the dessert cart. Just for comparison, appetizers average $8-9, entrees $25-30, and dessert cart offerings from $6.95 to $8.50. So as you can see that special can save you about a third off your selections if you ordered them separately. As I mentioned the food may not be what you view as ‘traditional Italian restaurant fare”, but it is perfectly cooked, and the service is first class. They do not rush you out of the restaurant and allow you to linger over dessert, which is incredible homemade selections.
So, whether you want a fondue style restaurant, a steak restaurant, or an Italian restaurant, the choices above should meet your desires. The thing that makes all of these perfect romantic restaurants is the fact that they offer great food in an environment where you do not feel rushed to hurry up and leave. This way you can enjoy the time you have to enjoy your meal with your significant other.