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Dec 12, 2007 08:55 AM

Annabel Lee Tavern (B-More)

The fellow and I went on Monday night, and it was quite empty (maybe a combo of first week open and people not being sure it was open on Monday, in particular). We had a nice meal. Several veggie options for me. I ended up with the Bruschetta, which was 4 big pieces of crisp and chewy bread (not soggy at all) piled with tomatoes, and covered in melted cheese. All on a pile of green, so it ends up being a tasty salad when you are done with the bread. The fellow had really really good cream of crab soup, according to him. And he liked the applesauce meatball sandwich, but didn't love it. Thought it needed some sort of sauce (even though he was quick to point out the meatballs weren't dry). We also tried the chocolate dessert (I forget its name), which was good, but the texture was slightly different than I am used to, so I couldn't make up my mind about it.

Great service. Nice bartender who also came over to our table. There was a guy at the bar who ordered the calamari, but it came out sprinkled with cheese (this was not mentioned in the description on the menu) and he was allergic (?) and they took it back without any hassles and made him a new one. They offered us the first one because they said otherwise it would have gone to waste.

Chill atmosphere, but mostly for couples or people looking to eat at the bar as the weren't many (any?) tables that could seat more than 4 (which would be a squeeze). They have Resurrection on tap, which is a plus for the boy, and reasonable wines by the glass for me. No smoking, small TV in the corner, but I got a sense it would stay off unless someone asked for it to be turned on. Confirmed that the chef is from Lulu's. I hope people give it a try...

Annabel Lee Tavern
Baltimore, MD, Baltimore, MD

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  1. I've been twice since the 'soft opening' and snacked both times. I thought the food was really good... the meatball sandwich will be getting sauce, i asked... it's the owners grandmothers recipe. I really like the atmosphere, low lights, low music, no tv's with sports or sportcenter blaring, no smoking already (can't wait for the ban). My friend tried a special of pecan crusted chicken with sweet tomato rice... very nice. I like the fact they have menuire sauce on the menu... don't see that in bmore much. Small but good beer selection of draft and bottles, very nice and small wine list. Perfect place for pre or post Paterson/Creative Alliance shows. there is a small blurb about the annabel lee in the sun today (weds 12.13).

    5 Replies
    1. re: frites

      I went the other night and people were smoking. There were a few high-top tables but no low ones; there was room for more, as if they were waiting for them. I think they need a few more weeks.

        1. re: hon

          I thought so too, but it was enough to make me try Yellow Dog instead, which was smoke freer, and was readier for actual diners with a real dining room with tables and servers and lighting to be able to see the food.

          1. re: chowsearch

            Interesting. Everything I've read about the bar has mentioned it being smoke free. When I was there during its opening, it was a smoke free atmosphere, so I'm not sure what was going on the night you went I enjoyed the food, but it absolutely is a bar first and restaurant second. Seating is a bit haphazard and quite limited.

        2. re: chowsearch

          It is a smoke free bar/tavern... some people aren't used to it yet so they light up and are immediately asked to take it outside. I called and talked to the owner.

        1. I am so glad that people are already talking about this place. sometimes you just want really good pub grub, & you shouldn't have to settle. annabel lee fits the bill. annabel is quaint, with low lighting, & very tiny, which i find alluring, because unfortunately too many baltimore diners moan about the size of their dining space to the point of ruining their entire experience. this is humorous to me, because in many other cities, the tiny local joints are consistently packed, and patrons even enjoy rubbing elbows and socializing with the next door table. much like peters inn & jack's bistro, annabel lee, despite a small space, has a delightful menu, that ends up exceeding your hopes in delivery! the calamari comes over pasta with capers, tomatoes, garlic, & rosemary. we tasted basil, not rosemary, but the appetizer was very tasty, and the presentation unusual and pleasing for calamari. the shepard's pie could not have been better either. & ooh, the sweet potato fries. meatballs on the sandwich were definately dry, and a sub roll would have been easier to work with than a kaiser roll. i hope annabel lee adds some green vegetables as there are none offered, but they do have vegetarian offerings. Quiet music, no tv, no smoking. it's a good place to enjoy superior pub food, and the person you might be spending your evening with.

          1. We had dinner there last night. Mostly it was a positive experience, but there were a few minor problems.

            After we were seated, I kept smelling something strongly floral. My husband pointed out the "plug in" about a foot from my nose. There was another room fragrance jar sitting on the window ledge. I removed the "plug in" and left it on the table. I can't understand why anyone would want their patrons smelling those while eating. That's worse than scented candles at the table.

            But on to the good stuff....

            We shared the crab dip appetizer and it was really good and bubbling hot. My husband ordered the scallops special that was offered that night. He said it was very good and, although well-priced, a bit small. It wasn't listed as a "small plate." I think they should have charged a couple more dollars and made it more of an entree.

            On the other hand, I had the pasta primavera which was also a special that night. I was anticipating your typical pasta primavera and was pleasantly surprised. It was very peppery and spicy. There were lots of veggies in it including brussel sprouts, which I thought was very unexpected. However I do think the description should have mentioned that it was spicy...not sure everyone would have liked it as much as I did.

            I think we will be back. The food was good and there were lots of interesting specials that night including venison pot roast. The drinks were also well-priced.

            1. We actually went here Friday night too, I figured I would post because it got bumped. I had a garden salad and the chili-rubbed sea bass. The fish was excellent, but it was definitely a small plate. I ordered it off the specials board and it didn't say that it would be a small one, I guess I should have known better. I think if I had gotten a more hearty starter I wouldn't have gotten hungry an hour later. My SO got the Venison Pot Roast. The flavor of the stock and veggies was awesome, but the cut of the Venison was unfortunately too chewy and fatty for both his taste and mine. The waitress was great and took $7 off without us even asking because she found out my SO wasn't crazy about the food. We left her a nice big tip. I'll definitely go back again, I'll just remember to order more food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: enginerd

                That's maybe my only problem with them - some of the small plates are easily enough for a full meal and some are very much not so. It's probably wise to get into the habit of asking the waitress for a little guidance.