Fine dining in Laurel area?
I'm approaching desperate. We're planning our wedding and thought that a nice intimate dinner of about 20 guests in Annapolis would be ideal (following a ceremony in PG county/Glenn Dale). Unfortunately, our big day is the same weekend as the Naval Academy graduation.
Help!!! I need a fining dining restaurant somewhere proximal to Glenn Dale/Beltsville - perhaps Laurel or Savage? I don't want to have my guests driving all over the beltway. And I already know that the Elkridge Furnace Inn is booked. :-(
Well...the fiance and I visited King's on Saturday, while they were closed, to check out the space. The location and available private rooms are what we're looking for (easy to get to and a good amount of space in the Crown room, which is nicely decorated). They are also willing to do an "open menu" for parties of 20 or fewer.
We have reservations for dinner later this week ...we'll give it a taste and see...
Thanks for your other suggestions...I'm not feeling so desperate any more...now that I see we have more options. :-)
Well, we tried King's last week. In short: we had a very nice meal...both enjoyed our appetizers (he: mesculin salad with a smooth goat cheese and me: sashimi tuna with crab over an thin avocado sauce), main dishes (he: pork tenderloin and me: seafood bouillabaise), and the hazelnut-chocolate mouse that we took home to share.
My conclusion: the flavors were clean and not overly salted or buttered and the service was polite, knowledgeable, and not too intrusive. I would rate my collective impression of what I tasted an 8 out of 10; each dish was good but each also missed the one ingredient needed to make them exceptional. I think it would be easy for all guests to find something they like on the menu and I have confidence all the dishes would be at the minimum good, with some being great.
As an aside: we did find ourselves near Mrs. K's Tollhouse yesterday, so we stopped for lunch. Very quaint place and pleasant-enough staff. I enjoyed my mixed mushroom ragout over two grilled polenta cakes - the green beans were not overly cooked, but I could have done without the strong butter flavor (maybe a heavier hand on the lemon?). He enjoyed his crab cake sandwich: not to big and not to little with just enough filler to bind the cake.
Congrats on the wedding. We did exactly what you're planning--a ceremony followed by a restaurant meal for 20 guests. I briefly considered the Dorsey chapel but ended up doing everything in VA (Hollin Hall and 2941). Have you considered these places:
Mannequin Pis--very small restaurant in Olney with great food. Not so formal but you might be able to rent out the whole space
Inn at Brookeville Farms--their food was not what I was looking for but they do lots of weddings. The address is technically Silver Spring but it's up GA quite a ways. They have a good website.
Mrs. K'sToll House in Silver Spring--not the kind of food I enjoy but it's not so far from PG.
Okay...now we're getting somewhere. Thanks for the suggestions.
I came across an ad in my MD wedding guide for The King's Contrivance Restaurant in Columbia. They have private rooms and their menu looks inviting: simply prepared dishes of fish/pork/beef with clever sauces/flavors. Thoughts?
There are several options in the Colombia/ Ellicott City area. Ranazul in the new Maple Lawn Development (off 29 on 216) has a private dining room that seats about 20. It is small plates mostly, but rather elegant. You might also try Tersiguel's in Ellicott City, country French with several smaller rooms. Just don't take the upstairs dining room that is too plain for such a festive occasion. Cafe de Paris in Columbia also has a private dining room. And there is also Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia, which has a separate room with a high table, which might not be the most comfortable for wedding dining, but the food is great and the wine prices (retail store plus $10) are great bargains. There is also a rather nice restaurant in Crofton, Christopher's, that has a private dining room. And Les Folies, closer to Parole than downtown Annapolis, has a rather private corner that might be appropriate. Food is very good.
Maybe look into renting private spaces with outside cater like Savage Mill
or Montpelier Mansion
Here is a link for historic rentals in PG
Thanks for the suggestions:
I think we're looking for something a little more upscale than Pasta Plus (wedding gown and all) and probably American/seafood, given the likes/dislikes of such a mixed group. However, I will try PP the next time I'm in the area...the menu on their website is tempting.
Actually, MrsWheatie - our wedding ceremony is AT one of the pgparks sites: Dorsey Chapel - it's wonderfully small and quaint. To make the most of our budget, I was hoping to avoid the site fee and put the $$ into the food itself...thus the idea of a restaurant with private dining.
Any ideas for the Columbia area?