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Cynthia's in Severna Park

a
AckAck Dec 7, 2007 07:43 AM

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..

http://www.washingtonian.com/restaura...

  1. j
    Jocko Rambini Jan 20, 2008 09:01 AM

    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
    ——— _ ———
    GRILLED PRAWNS
    julienne vegetables, red curry lobster nage
    Wine: Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc, 2005
    ——— _ ———
    SAUTEED SWEETBREADS
    wilted spinach, smoked bacon sauce
    Wine: Rustenberg Estate Chardonnay, 2006
    ——— _ ———
    CRISPY MOULARD DUCK BREAST
    honey glazed apples, cranberry gastrique
    Wine: Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage Blend, 2005
    ——— _ ———
    ROASTED PEPPERED VENISON LOIN
    potato gratin, mushroom asparagus ragout, cabernet sauce
    Wine: Mulderbosch Vineyards “Faithful Hound” Bordeaux Blend, 2004
    ——— _ ———
    CAPE BRANDY PUDDING
    pecan ice cream, brandy sauce
    Wine: Kanu Kia-Ora Noble Late Harvest, 2004

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jocko Rambini
      f
      flannagan Jan 26, 2008 06:50 PM

      We had dinner there tonight (five of us) and it was wonderful. Highly recommended. Save room for dessert though.

    2. j
      Jason1 Dec 7, 2007 11:26 AM

      It's very good for the area (and I'm including Annapolis in that assessment). I never realized that they were open for lunch. I just looked over their menu and it doesn't necessarily look as good as the dinner menu, but I'd be curious to hear some lunch feedback.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jason1
        d
        Denise Dec 7, 2007 01:54 PM

        I was there for lunch a couple months ago and the food was great. It is upscale in quality, and the prices reflect that.

        1. re: Denise
          c
          chowsearch Dec 8, 2007 10:33 AM

          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.

      2. p
        personalchef Dec 7, 2007 11:25 AM

        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!

        1. c
          chowsearch Dec 7, 2007 10:39 AM

          It's spectacular. Don't be surprised if you go at lunch (when it's largely empty) and there's a charge for the dinner rolls, which are free at dinner. Buy one or more and you'll see.

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