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xmas eve day trip - annapolis/easton/st michaels?

hi all,
i'll be in town next week visiting family and on xmas eve we'd like to take a day trip to somewhere with excellent seafood where we can linger over our meal. somewhere within a 2-hr or so drive from DC. annapolis, easton and st michaels all popped into my head but i'm totally open to suggestions - we'll go anywhere for a great meal. thanks in advance!

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  1. Annapolis: O'leary's for seafood (some water view tables) or Lewnes's (steak place but good seafood too) both are in Eastport on Severn Ave a block apart between 3rd & 4th.
    Easton: head south a few miles to Trapp, MD - Mitchum's (as in Robert M.)
    Reservations a must at all these!

    6 Replies
    1. re: JRCann

      good to know, thanks! nicer places (as in, we should be decently attired) or just incredibly crowded during the holidays?

      thanks, and if anyone has other ideas, feel free to keep em coming! :) interested in knowing how far you'll drive for seafood and where to find those places... and hoping they're open on xmas eve. i've already emailed around to a couple places i've seen mentioned in the easton area with no response... wondering if the smaller towns' seafood places typically close for the winter?

      1. re: JRCann

        You might want to look into the Chart House in Annapolis (eastport really). We went for Thanksgiving, had a great meal and even better time. Plus you could drive around eastport and the rest of Annapolis and see all the Christmas lights. Oh, and the Chart house looks out at the Annapolis City dock and the Naval Academy. Easy to find on gps too.

        1. re: LucindaLC

          There are plenty of good places to consider in the area Chart House is really a chain (I've been to at least six -- RI, FL, ME, Ca). and so I think nothing really special (parent Co owns Red Lobster). Chart House does however offer some pretty good food and at least the Annapolis one has a great view! I usually only frequent the lounge/bar. (great for watching the sailboat races Wed Night and frostbite season.)

          RuthsChris is on the same block. I reccomended O'Leary's and Lewnes Steak as better alternatives to "chains" for a more "special" unique and authentic Annapolis experience. Rabidog really won't go wrong with any of the choices mentioned.

          1. re: JRCann

            sounds good, thanks! yea, i'm from philly and i live just a couple blocks from our chart house here (tho i haven't been)... o'learys is sounding like a good bet and i'm going to try to get some reservations there (two out of three in our party only eat seafood, no other meats so we might opt for a seafood place over a steak place)

            if we made a whole day out of it and did lunch in annapolis then went over the bridge... are restos in the smaller towns likely to be open on x-mas eve? we used to go to st michael's years and years ago when i lived in the DC area, but never during the winter and i can't for the life of me remember what the place was called.

            1. re: rabidog

              if we made a whole day out of it and did lunch in annapolis then went over the bridge... are restos in the smaller towns likely to be open on x-mas eve?

              I believe that O'leary's opens only for dinner.

              1. re: JRCann

                Yes, O'Learys is dinner only. I just got back from an excellent dinner there (fried oysters, shrimp, Chilean sea bass, and grouper).

      2. Oh, man, I was just about to tell you about The Inn At Easton, an absolutely wonderful place with terrific food, an ambience that transports you, and a little town that's quite lovely. A perfect day trip on Christmas Eve especially. We've not been there for a long time, but I have the best memories.

        So I looked it up, and found this - http://www.theinnateaston.com/

        My heart is broken. I even clicked on their Menu link, which is still a joy to behold - read the descriptions of each entree - and now I am just sad beyond belief.

        I hope you find an equally marvelous place for your trip.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Atlantis

          yes, that was one i read about on another thread as well and was very interested, because people raved about it. when i click on it i get 'the page cannot be found.' is it closed now? or for the season perhaps?

          to update you all... my trip went horribly wrong with me missing my original train and showing up late, and my brother getting called into work anyway... so we had to postpone the trip, and i hope to come down again in a couple weeks to do it! i remember easton from years ago and remember it being a wonderful day trip. i'm thinking we'll do st michael's/easton during the day, then wander over to annapolis for a long dinner and some more exploring. i'll definitely save this post and report back when it finally happens. now i am positively craving seafood. thanks all!!

        2. Having packed up the family and sold the house and moved to the Middle East, we no longer live in Baltimore. But at this time of the year when the weather out here is too warm for my liking and the most popular activity on Christmas day is a brunch at one of the hotels, I am growing misty-eyed for a proper East Coast Christmas.

          Go to Annapolis. It's a wonderful place to linger around for several hours and have a good meal. I second all the recommended places, and afterwards you can explore the side streets and courts of the colonial town and perhaps some of the historic houses will be open for special Christmas tours (Paca House and Hammond-Harwood House are two wonderful colonial mansions, especially the Hammond Harwood, which was perhaps the finest pre-revolutionary mansion in the American colonies from an architectural perspective). The Naval Academy is a handsome campus and right after you enter the campus from the Annapolis gate, there is a small museum with an extensive collection of model ships. The chapel will also be worth a view with its Christmas flowers.

          Taking a longer trip to the Eastern Shore isn't worth it ever since two of the best restaurants, the Inn at Easton and the Robert Morris in in Oxford have closed. Great food is surprisingly not easy to find in the Eastern Shore, which can be a shock consdering the wealth of the second homeowners and the tourism industry.

          A possibility is the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael's. For the price they charge, the food is good, but it won't be anything better than what you find in Washington.

          1. St Michaels would take the full two hours to drive to, but if that's what you want to do, I would second the idea of the Inn at Perry Cabin.

            In Annapolis, I would toss in the Severn Inn for your consideration.
            http://www.severninn.com/

            Another idea - the quaint city of Berlin, MD, and the restaurant at the Atlantic Hotel.

            1. I found the following restaurants in Annapolis, with availability tonight (Christmas Eve)... Aqua Terra, Breeze, Carpaccio Tuscan Grille, Chart House Restaurant, Greystone Grill, Morton's The Steakhouse, Phillips Seafood, Pusser's Caribbean Grille, Rams Head Tavern, The Rockfish, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Sam's on the Waterfront, Severn Inn, and Yellowfin Steak and Fish House.

              My personal favorite would be Phillip's Seafood, as it is located on the City Dock. I've never eaten at Yellowfin, but would really like to try it.

              As for Christmas day, it looks like the only two restaurants that are open are The Chart House (which is in Eastport, overlooking the Naval Academy) and McCormick & Schmick's.

              Merry Christmas!

              1 Reply
              1. re: cheribloss

                Sorry for the dissent, but as a native Annapolitan I find Phillips to be a mediocre, overpriced tourist trap. On par with its sibling in downtown Baltimore.