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Jul 18, 2008 01:57 PM

Antrim 1844 in Taneytown

We were there very recently and I wanted to share our experience since it is such a highly regarded spot.
Took advantage of one of the emailed special price packages and booked the fixed-menu dinner.
Reservation for 7:30pm did not mean you were seated at 7:30. Went down to parlor where passed apps were served and $15 glasses of wine offered. Other guests were surprisingly unsocial, especially given the circumstances (seating together on sofas, stand-up mingling/walking around). At 7:55pm, asked staff why we were still not seated (and had already seen several others do the same) and they said we'd be seated in a moment. We were seated at 8;10.
Dining area a surprise compared to last time- definitely more tables moved into the room, seated very closely to other diners (who were too casually dressed IMO).
First course choices were lovely- I chose pate and hubby chose soup. Both delicious.
Then came salad, also very nice, but not as special as I expected. Dressing very bland.
Their version of sorbet followed
Then main course. My crab dish had been reheated and hubby's steak was COLD. Not what we had expected. It is now after 10pm and I'm on the verge of being uncomfortably drunk. Hubby is very dissatisfied and lets the staff know it. They took the dinner off our tab. While I appreciate that, I would have preferred to be seated timely, and eaten dinner without a 20+ minute wait between each course (somewhat awkward for table of 2). We both felt our food had been sitting around awhile.
Bottom line- we were herded in, treated like a large group catering (i think everyone was eating the fixed menu, no ala carte options available) and the food was not given the TLC it deserves. We won't be back, even at that discounted price it was not worth it.
There were chocolates and a rose on the bed when we got back to the room.
On the other hand, the next morning we were served a fantastic breakfast in a different dining room with maybe 8 other people seated. Some of the best scrambled eggs I've ever had in my life. Wow.

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  1. I had dinner there this past fall and found the appetizers and food to be outstanding. The atmosphere was great, but we found the service to be their shortcomming. I'll probably go back again this summer (they took care of us after we complained) and will certainly raise cain if it's not excellent - for that kind of money (call me funny for believing $200+ to be a lot of money) and their positive reviews expectaions should be high.

    1. We had an outstanding meal there about 6 months ago. I knew ahead of time that they did the wine/cocktails/finger foods beforehand. We took the time to walk in their gardens which are LOVELY. Our meal was incredibly good, romantic, and quiet. We went on a weekday and it was not busy.

      I'm sorry to hear you did not have such a great experience.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ryzaroo

        Our two most recent visits were wayyyyyyy less than stellar.

        Last summer(2007)six of us set up a celebration there.Did not like the dress
        code exception granted to another large group,shorts and flipflops.Add on lousy wine service/service,perhaps due to the loud flipflop party.A reasonable
        complaint,what gives here,this is not what we agreed on or expected was ignored.At this $$$$$,lowering the bar and cutting corners is remembered.

        Next 2008,as the guests of another couple(I tried for a change of venue)the
        food had slipped a notch or two,wine service was sloppy and ?inept,service
        in general left much to be desired.Again we spoke up.The response was of
        the token variety at best.

        We won't be back unless we hear a flood of glowing reports.

        1. re: lcool

          Simuliar experiences. Wife and I love to stay here when we are doing Fall hiking in nearby mountains so my observations are over a period of time. I have always felt the food was much better and service also when we first started coming there. My first few experiences were close to perfect and we did it in both large and small we have been in later years, I agree the perceptions voiced in terms of quality and service. The passed aps course is very odd and I concur as to the lack of other people present being social and drink prices were too high for what you receive. It is one of my biggest pet peaves...I do not mind paying $12-15 for a drink but give me a real glass and not a thimble. Our last time there we by-passed the course and asked the staff if they could provide a small sample tray of hors to our room. They complied and my wife and I drank some special Scotch we had brought in front of our fireplace and asked the staff to call us when our table was ready. Our last dinner there was above average but totally unremarkable. All in all, we do love this place but we will probably not return until we hear the food and service is up to the old standards.