Cynthia's in Severna Park
Anyone been to this place? I'm going there for a work holiday lunch. Someone in our office
chose it based on a review of it in the Post. Looks pretty good but wondering if anyone has eaten there and if the review is accurate, yada yada..
We finally made our way to Cynthia’s in Severna Park, MD on Friday and attended a South African wine tasting dinner in five courses with passed hors d’oeurves. 54 people attended and, of course, the restaurant was closed for this event to the general public. The décor inside is nonexistent and spare with a tasteful bar at the back. Everyone were seated at tables of 8. Brian and Cindy put on a wonderful event and the restaurant was very loud with all of the talking that got louder as more wine was consumed. I expected tasting portions but they were anything but that. The hors d’oeurves were plentiful. The prawns were giant and there were 3 of them. Only one of the courses is on the regular menu and that was the crispy moulard duck breast. Everything was perfectly cooked and the only criticism that I would have is that many of the courses were over seasoned. With the venison course, all I could taste was the cracked pepper crust. It was like eating pure cracked pepper and overpowered the dish itself. Backing off on the seasoning would have made the dinner perfect. The dessert was perfect and ethereal. I wanted more of that. An odd aspect of this dinner is that they poured coffee before the dessert with the dessert wine. I refrained from drinking the coffee until after the dessert and wine so that I would not ruin my palate before drinking the wine. After the dinner, we talked with Brian and Cindy. This was their first wine tasting dinner event that was not tied to a wine store. At the end of dinner, we were all given a gift wrapped cinnamon streusel muffin to take home. I would rate the experience equivalent to a one star Michelin restaurant. Very good but not exceptional overall. However, the experience was way above average for the DC area and well deserving of a place in the top 100. We will definitely go back. Below is the menu and wines for that dinner.
Passed Hors D’oeuvres:
King Crab with Pineapple and Mango
Peri Peri Chicken Wings
Beef Satay with Ginger Peanut Sauce
Curried Lamb Samosas
Sweet Potato Chips with Chickpea Puree
Wine: Raats Family Wines “Original” Chenin Blanc, Unwooded, 2007
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julienne vegetables, red curry lobster nage
Wine: Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc, 2005
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wilted spinach, smoked bacon sauce
Wine: Rustenberg Estate Chardonnay, 2006
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CRISPY MOULARD DUCK BREAST
honey glazed apples, cranberry gastrique
Wine: Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage Blend, 2005
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ROASTED PEPPERED VENISON LOIN
potato gratin, mushroom asparagus ragout, cabernet sauce
Wine: Mulderbosch Vineyards “Faithful Hound” Bordeaux Blend, 2004
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CAPE BRANDY PUDDING
pecan ice cream, brandy sauce
Wine: Kanu Kia-Ora Noble Late Harvest, 2004
Lunch is only Tuesday-Friday, no weekend lunch or brunch. It hasn't caught on at lunch, so there's room, the chef couple have time to interact, and if I recall correctly, has some cheaper items. There are few companies in the area looking for business lunch, so it's a more leisurely crwod--people chatting, not in a rush. But the quality is tops.
I just had dinner at Cynthia's last Saturday night. It was my first time there, and I picked it because of reviews in the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. It's definitely worth the time. The presentation on some the entrees can leave a little to be desired, but the food is great. Get the rolls and get dessert!