Sbagliato Summer Cocktail Recipe

The Buzz

Think (and Drink) Pink

Make Whaley’s Sbagliato to start summertime fun

By Tim Ebner, photography by Jennifer Chase

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The Sbagliato

  • 1 ounce Tiber orange liqueur

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 3–4 ounces sparkling grapefruit rosé or prosecco 

  • 2–3 drops peach bitters

  • Garnish with a blood orange or grapefruit peel

Fill a large goblet or wine glass with ice. Then pour all the ingredients into the glass. Next, slightly stir the drink and garnish with either a grapefruit or blood orange peel. Finally, raise your glass and say, “Saluti!”

To add a pop of color into your summertime fun, skip the ordinary—your G&Ts, Moscow Mules or Rum and Cokes—and opt instead for something with more flavor and flair, yet still easy enough to make at home. 

The Sbagliato, which in Italian means “mistaken” or “messed up,” is a drink you can make in minutes, and it’s only a bit messed up in that it doesn’t call for your standard rail spirits—gin, vodka, rum, bourbon or whiskey. Instead, this drink calls for an aperitif, and there’s no better option this summer than Tiber, a slightly bitter orange local liqueur made by Capitoline Vermouth (bottled and sold at New Columbia Distillers in Ivy City). You can think of this aperitif as the much cooler cousin to Campari or Aperol. 

And when poured into a cocktail it makes for the perfect shade of pink, which is something meant to be for Whaley’s summertime Rosé Garden, where everything is pink, including the drink menu. At this summer-only outdoor bar, Tiber is being used for a distinct variation of the original Sbagliato. 

Whaley’s Wine and Beverage Director Brian Zipin says his version has much more of a bold and refreshing bite—thanks in part to the Tiber, but also to some sparkling grapefruit rosé, peach bitters (he uses Fee Brothers) and Cocchi Torino sweet vermouth, known for its red and orange citrus flavor. When these ingredients are mixed together, it becomes a simple way to cut through DC’s horrendous heat and humidity. 

“This drink is so easy to make, and it’s going to be your classic summer, hot weather, aperitif cocktail,” Zipin says. “It’s an aperitif drink that’s slightly lower in alcohol and is so versatile. It works for brunch. It works for a cocktail before dinner. It works for barbecues. Or, it works for anytime when you’re, like, ‘Hey, I don’t know what I want to drink yet.’”

Together this cocktail blends together places near and far, highlighting the greatness of DC’s distilling scene while also featuring a French style of rosé.

“We wanted to feature the local distillery scene here this season at the Whaley’s Rosé Garden, as well as the range of rosé worldwide,” Zipin says. “We use a French grapefruit sparkling wine, which I thought was a joke when I first heard of it. But I was doing a tasting, and this stood out and really surprised me. It’s well made, balanced, refreshing and not too sweet at all.”

If you’re in a pinch and can’t find a dry sparkling grapefruit rosé, Zipin says any sparking rosé or prosecco will do the trick. Just steer towards ones that are less sweet, so as not to overwhelm the main star of the cocktail, the Tiber orange liqueur.

“The spirit is really well-defined as its own voice—it’s not Campari and it’s not Aperol, but it’s reminiscent of those Italian aperitifs,” Zipin says. “Of course, Tiber being local is great. But even if this wasn’t local, we still would have used it. It’s very good.”


Our Associate Publisher, AJ Dronkers, also made this drink on Fox 5 DC with Erin Como as part of a summer drinks segment.



The Biggest Little Farm is a must-see for Summer

A lot of people spoil their dogs. Very few purchase farms for them.

But when John and Molly Chester faced either eviction from their cozy Santa Monica apartment or giving up their boisterous rescue dog, Todd, they chose the dog.

So begins the premise for the film, The Biggest Little Farm, out in theaters this week.

Biggest Little Farm Poster. Photo Credit: NEON

Biggest Little Farm Poster. Photo Credit: NEON

“This all started with a promise we made to a dog," said John, a cinematographer, who doubles as the movie's narrator and director.

The film follows the couple, plus Todd, as they work to revive an abandoned farm in Ventura County, California, using regenerative and biodynamic farming principles. The farm they find, Apricot Lane Farms, is far from the Eden that they envisioned. The soil is dead, and so are many of the fruit trees that once grew here.

“The first thing we had to do was rebuild the soil,” said John. They found a mentor in the agricultural guru, Alan York, who helped them “diversify, diversify, diversify.”

Under Alan’s instruction, the Chesters planted over 75 different varieties of fruit trees and hauled in hundreds of chickens, as well as cows, sheep, ducks, and a pregnant pig named Emma.


But when you import swells of life, you must also be prepared to confront death.

The film bends towards the philosophical when the couple is forced to deal with death on a colossal scale; pests and predators swarm the farm, enticed by the biodiversity the Chesters have cultivated here. Coyotes flock to their chickens, killing indiscriminately, snails adhere to the trees while gophers gnaw at the roots below and birds descend from above, pecking at the fruits of the Chesters’ hard-won labor.

“From a spiritual perspective,” said Chester, “I’ve begun to appreciate the impermanence of life.”

Perhaps nothing brings the temporality of life into focus like farming, which is predicated on harvesting life for profit. The film doesn’t shirk away from this notion, dutifully documenting Chester as he is forced to put down sick animals, send healthy animals to slaughter, or even shoot and kill a covetous coyote.

You feel incredible loss when things die,” said Chester. “Beyond the economic impact, this loss of life requires a tremendous amount of grief. Acceptance of that grief is part of the job.” In the process of becoming a farmer, Chester realized that “death is not nothing.”

To Chester, soil is death reborn. And soil becomes the main focus of Apricot Lane Farms. “Soil is not only the alchemizer of all death back into life, but it is also the central supporting element of our entire planet’s immune system,” he said.

John and Molly Chester with their son, Beauden. Photo credit: NEON

John and Molly Chester with their son, Beauden. Photo credit: NEON

Although the film never defines it, the Chesters’ farm Apricot Lane regeneratively and biodynamically, which is to say, everything they do is in service of the soil. The film makes it clear that it isn’t easy to farm this way, especially in California’s protracted drought. It also presents a pathway for how to move away from a monocultural agricultural model.

But convincing others that farming in a way that helps sustain the earth rather than extract from it wasn’t as easy as they initially thought. It wasn’t until they starting selling their eggs that they saw interest in their products skyrocket.

“Our eggs were like this gateway drug into the world of what regenerative farming could produce,” said Chester. “Once you’ve had an egg that has that deep mineral-rich flavor and buttery taste you become a convert. You want to know how much further this can go.”

Todd the rescue dog. Photo Credit: NEON

Todd the rescue dog. Photo Credit: NEON

Over the span of eight years, the Chesters have transformed this barren land into a thriving Shangri-la. “We reversed 45 years of extractive farming methods in seven,” said Chester, “but that was with consciousness.” This film too, sparks a new consciousness about what farming should look like, and at the very least, what our food should taste like.

Now when you John ‘who saved who’, he will always tell you that it was Todd who rescued him and Molly.


The film is currently screening at Landmark E Street Cinemas and ArcLight in Potomac, MD.

Jessica Wolfrom is a contributor to Edible DC and a graduate student in journalism at Georgetown University.








Cocktails for a Cause

By Tim Ebner | Photography by Jennifer Chase

Carlie Steiner has a lot to say, America, and she’s speaking out loud, one cocktail at a time.

Carlie Steiner has a lot to say, America, and she’s speaking out loud, one cocktail at a time.

Carlie Steiner has a lot to say, America, and she’s speaking out loud, one cocktail at a time.

Taking a nontraditional approach to cocktail design, Steiner, co-owner of Himitsu and manager of their drinks program, recently debuted a trio of cocktails that she designed to help spotlight social causes she supports.

These are also cocktails that have unique backstories, each with roots from Steiner’s life. From the rugged mountain terrain of Bolivia, to that week she spent volunteering with migrants at the U.S.–Mexican border, each cocktail tells a new story of impact that she hopes others will recognize and support.

“In 2018, I gave myself a lot of excuses that I was just one person, so what could I do to change things?” Steiner says. “This year is all about making an impact both in big and small ways.”

It’s a sentiment that inevitably spilled onto Himitsu’s spring cocktail menu. Look for three new drinks to know by name: The Tamarind Chufly, Don’t Call Me Lady-Boss and We Fed an Island.

In three acts, here are Steiner’s stories of impact, the ride-along recipes (for the at-home bartender) and three ways you can join Steiner in her causes.

With this cocktail, named the Tamarind Chuffy, Steiner says you’re already supporting Bolivian farmers who have made singani for centuries, but she encourages people to take their impact a step further by donating money to Water for People, a nonprofit that works on water accessibility issues in Bolivia.

With this cocktail, named the Tamarind Chuffy, Steiner says you’re already supporting Bolivian farmers who have made singani for centuries, but she encourages people to take their impact a step further by donating money to Water for People, a nonprofit that works on water accessibility issues in Bolivia.

ACT 1: RAISING BOLIVIA OUT OF POVERTY

Drink: The Tamarind Chufly

Backstory:
Steiner’s introduction to singani, a popular Bolivian spirit, came through a close friend and partner from Chufly Imports, Tealye Long. In the bartending world, singani is a bit of a dark horse trailing behind mezcal or pisco, but in the DC bar scene, thanks in no small part to Chufly Imports’ presence, singani is almost always on a drink menu or bar shelf. The spirit, which is produced from high-altitude fermented grapes, has a light, floral and citrus expression that makes it easy to work into many cocktail combinations. In Bolivia, the natural drink of choice is the Chufly, a simple cocktail made with singani and ginger ale or ginger beer. Steiner’s take on a Chufly involves infusing tamarind for several days. “I like the tamarind flavor because it’s a really beautiful balance of both sweet and sour,” she says. “And I wanted to incorporate that into my own take on a Chufly with other natural ingredients—ginger and lime.”

But how exactly did a Bolivian cocktail make it on the menu at Himitsu, a restaurant that specializes in Korean fried chicken? Steiner took a trip to Bolivia and it was love at first step into her home away from home. “As a solo traveler I was very nervous about going, but the truth is I didn’t have a single bad day there,” she says. “I also found that there’s an inherent kindness to the people. It’s incredibly family-oriented and based always in love.” But Bolivia is also a land of extremes—high altitude and poverty and where clean water and access to sanitation are not always guaranteed. With this cocktail, Steiner says you’re already supporting Bolivian farmers who have made singani for centuries, but she encourages people to take their impact a step further by donating money to Water for People, a nonprofit that works on water accessibility issues in Bolivia.

The Tamarind Chufly

½ ounce lime juice
1 ounce cold-pressed ginger syrup
2 ounces Rujero singani infused with tamarind for flavor

In a cocktail shaker mix all the ingredients together. Shake vigorously, then strain and top with soda water. Garnish with a lime.

How to support the cause? Drink Bolivian wine and spirits, take a trip to this magical country or donate to Water for People (waterforpeople.org), a nonprofit that offers high-quality drinking water and sanitation services to communities in Bolivia.

The Don’t Call Me a Lady-Boss cocktails features equal parts (pun intended) Rodham (as in Hillary) Rye whiskey, Capitoline White Vermouth and Tiber, which is an even better stand-in for Campari, according to Steiner.

The Don’t Call Me a Lady-Boss cocktails features equal parts (pun intended) Rodham (as in Hillary) Rye whiskey, Capitoline White Vermouth and Tiber, which is an even better stand-in for Campari, according to Steiner.

ACT 2: WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN

Drink: Don’t Call Me Lady-Boss

Backstory:
When Steiner went looking for a DC-specific Negroni, it didn’t take her long to realize that she could do so using ingredients sourced exclusively from women-owned spirit brands found inside the District: Republic Restoratives and Capitoline, both located in Ivy City.

“How amazing is that? I think it’s fate,” Steiner says. “This drink is all about women and supporting women in this battle of equality.” The drink features equal parts (pun intended) Rodham (as in Hillary) Rye whiskey, Capitoline White Vermouth and Tiber, which is an even better stand-in for Campari, according to Steiner.

“What I love about a Negroni is that it’s so easy to make,” she says, “and it’s the perfect drink to for some outdoor drinking on a warm spring day.” The naming of this drink—Don’t Call Me Lady-Boss—came from Steiner’s experience rising in the ranks of the food and beverage community and working in an industry that’s oftentimes male-dominated. “As I went along, people would always call me a lady-boss,” she explains. “I thought, ‘Why are people calling me a lady-boss? I don’t call you a man-boss. Just call me a boss.’”

Don’t Call Me Lady-Boss

1 ounce Republic Restoratives Rodham Rye
1 ounce Capitoline White Vermouth
1 ounce Capitoline Tiber
A few drops of cold-pressed orange oil

Add all the ingredients together, then stir and garnish with a few dashes of orange oil.

How to support the cause?

Make a point to support women-owned craft spirit brands like Capitoline Vermouth and Republic Restoratives in Washington, DC.

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About this drink, named We Fed an Island, Steiner said: “This cocktail and this cause are two things that bring me so much joy, and it’s another place worthy of a donation or hours of volunteering.”

About this drink, named We Fed an Island, Steiner said: “This cocktail and this cause are two things that bring me so much joy, and it’s another place worthy of a donation or hours of volunteering.”

Act 3: WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN

Drink: We Fed an Island

The Story:
Earlier this year, Steiner had the opportunity to travel with a group of DC chefs to Tijuana to cook and serve food to migrants fleeing their homelands in Central America. It was during a time when many families and children were stuck at the U.S.–Mexican border with nowhere to turn for housing, food or water, and it was also another example where World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization led by Chef José Andrés, showed up to help.

“It was an extremely grueling workplace,” Steiner says. “But I’ll never forget walking across the border into Mexico. That was a very profound moment. It’s almost a feeling of guilt because so many others can’t do so.”

Something else she’ll never forget is Andrés’s spirit of generosity and hospitality. “My love for him and all things World Central Kitchen can only be matched by my love and admiration for what I think is the perfect cocktail—the Daiquiri,” Steiner says. So, to make a drink in Andrés’s honor, she found ingredients from countries where World Central Kitchen has set up humanitarian relief: Puerto Rico (limes), Indonesia (passion fruit), Haiti (Rhum Barbancourt) and, for good effect, Manzanilla sherry from José Andrés’s homeland of Spain. “This cocktail and this cause are two things that bring me so much joy,” Steiner says, “and it’s another place worthy of a donation or hours of volunteering.”

We Fed an Island

¾  ounce passionfruit syrup
¾  ounce lime juice
1 ounce Manzanilla sherry
1 ounce Rhum Barbancourt

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the drink into a coupe glass.

How to support the cause?

Volunteer your time or donate money to support José Andrés’s nonprofit World Central Kitchen.

Edible DC Wins Platinum and Gold Awards

Hermes Creative Awards Announces 2019 International Winners

Hermes Creative Awards announced winners for the 2019 international awards competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media.

Edible DC was honored to win a Platinum Award for photography for “Winter Around a Campfire” photographed by Jennifer Chase and written by Kristen Noel, published in the magazine’s 2018 Winter Holiday Issue. The magazine also won a Gold Award for writing in the advertorial category for “Annapolis: A Trip Fit for Foodies” from the Spring 2019 Issue, the story was written by Susan Able and photographed by Jennifer Chase. The magazine also received two honorable mention awards for “Female (Up)Rising” by Whitney Pipkin, photographed by Jennifer Chase from the Edible DC Spring 2019 issue and for “Travis & Ryan Host an Oyster Roast” by Susan Able and photographed by Jennifer Chase, published in Winter 2018 issue.

The Hermes Creative Awards recognizes outstanding work in the industry and had over 6,000 entries from throughout the United States, Canada and dozens of other countries in this year’s competition which had 200 categories. The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production and free-lance professionals. Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.

“We were really thrilled to win at this level; these awards are very competitive, but we’ve been testing our creative muscles and I thought we should throw our hat in the ring as this was a great chance to see where we stood in the market against creative firms. It was a total happy surprise to win a platinum and gold,” said Susan Able, publisher of Edible DC.

Images below are from “Winter Around a Campfire” photographed by Jennifer Chase. “Annapolis: A Trip Fit for Foodies” can be found here.



It’s a Dirty Business—and He Loves It!

In conservation with soil expert Steve Darcey

Steve Darvey gives  Edible DC  the dirt—on dirt.

Steve Darvey gives Edible DC the dirt—on dirt.

By Lani Furbank, photography by Laura Chase de Formigny, from the Edible DC spring issue

Steve Darcey knows soil is more than just dirt.

“Soil is the sustainer of life,” he says. Throughout history, “the civilizations that destroyed their soil destroyed themselves.”

 That’s why Darcey, a fourth-generation farmer born and raised in Prince George’s County, has spent nearly all his life protecting soil. In the 1950s, his family grew tobacco and had a herd of cattle on their farm in Upper Marlboro, MD. Today, he still tends that soil—growing corn, soybeans, wheat and straw.

Darcey, 60, started at the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District in 1986 as an entry-level engineer, eventually working his way up to district manager in 2013. Through it all, he’s never wanted to leave his hometown or stray from farming. “My love is the land,” he says. “I have a really hard time ever thinking about parting from that farm.”

Today, Darcey splits his time between the farm and the soil conservation district, where he and his team work to implement soil and water conservation practices on farms and in urban communities. “Everybody uses soil,” he says. “If they live in an apartment, guess what: The soil is providing support for that building. As they play in the playgrounds, maintain small gardens or play golf, everybody is using the soil.”

As the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District prepares to launch a new branch focusing on urban agriculture conservation, we sat down with Steve Darcey to ask him about the past, present and future of soil.

Why did you join the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District?

It’s the best job an old country boy like myself could ever want. I took all my knowledge from the farm and brought it to the job, and then as I learned things on the job, I took it back to the farm. If there was a program that came along, I tried it, then I could come to your farm and tell you “yes, do it,” or “no, don’t do it.” It gives me more depth and knowledge of how to sell conservation to you, because conservation work is basically a sales job—the only one where the more product you sell, you get no more commission. You just get more work. So, you have to have a passion. Conservation—I feel it’s God’s bidding, and I’m glad to be able to do that.

What is a soil conservation district and why are they important?

There are about 3,000 soil conservation districts nationwide. Our mission is to develop and implement locally led soil and water conservation programs. Soil conservation districts were a direct result of the Great Dust Bowl [of the 1930s]. That was when the government gave people free land to go out to the Midwest and homestead. Farmers started tilling this black soil that was tens of thousands of years old, not really realizing what they were doing. Then, there was an extended drought, and everybody learned a really hard lesson. In 1937, President Roosevelt passed legislation to form the Federal Soil Conservation Service, which directed each state to come up with local soil conservation districts.

What are the challenges of selling soil conservation?

Believe it or not, there are some places in the country that are still doing conventional tillage, and they’re having Dust Bowl–type symptoms right now. Perspectives are hard to change. That’s why I’m a big proponent of incentive-based conservation. If you can give farmers a monetary incentive, it works so much better than non-incentive and legislated. There’s a bad taste in a farmer’s mouth when the government tells him he has to do something.

How does the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District support the community?

We have five main programs. We’re working with farmers every day. Then we have our outreach and education program—reaching the kids, that’s critical. In urban development and review, we’re not only charged with erosion sediment control, but we’re also charged with dam safety. Then we have our ag land preservation—that gives stability to the whole system. If you can preserve that land, it will never be developed. And then, of course, our newest program is urban agriculture conservation. This gives us a whole chance to reach a much broader audience and really have a positive impact on where our food comes from, how much we can produce locally, and do it in an environmentally friendly way.

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What are the top soil conservation practices that you recommend?

We’re trying to get commodity crop producers to implement no till-planting, to plant cover crops every year to protect the soil in the winter and add organic matter, and to rotate crops and diversify. Biodiversity is key because soil microbes are very much like us: They like a varied diet. The more varied their diet, the healthier and happier they are. Healthy happy microbes, healthy happy soil, healthy happy crop.

What’s the cost of soil conservation to farmers?

It’s more of how you look at soil and how you look at your commodity crop. You really have to think, “Am I raising a commodity or am I raising soil?” If you start folks on soil health and farming to build soil, the commodity will come with it. From an economic standpoint, we’ve always looked at increasing yield to make more money. That’s not necessarily true. With good soil health practices over time, we may be able to keep the yield the same, but my inputs are much less. If I can cut my commercial fertilizer in half or to zero, I don’t care if my yields haven’t improved, because all my inputs are a lot less. It’s not all about maximizing yield; it’s about maximizing your output with minimal input.

As the climate changes and the population grows, how do you see your work changing?

I don’t think our work is going to change at all. Farmers have been blamed for a lot of woes in the environment. The fascinating thing is the soil is a huge carbon sponge. If we could get the entire nation to really practice good soil health, we could actually help offset emissions by being a carbon sink. I think our mission is still as viable as it was back in the 1940s. Different programs come along and we learn as we go, but I think we’re as relevant now as we ever were.


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Lani Furbank is a freelance food writer who’s always looking for a new restaurant to christen as the home of "the best meal she ever ate." Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @lanifurbank or read her work at www.LanisCupOfTea.com.







Annapolis is A Trip Fit for Foodies

Your Weekend: Planned!

Monica Alvarado welcomes you to her dockside diner featuring local ingredients.

Monica Alvarado welcomes you to her dockside diner featuring local ingredients.

By Susan Able, photography by Jennifer Chase, Edible DC

The fun fact about Annapolis that most people don’t know? It was the United States capital in 1783–84. When George Washington came to the new statehouse, it’s a safe bet that he had a hearty meal of seafood. Oysters, crabs, scallops and all types of fresh fish were a big part of the coastal Colonial diet and a thriving industry in Annapolis.

Over 200 years later, the Bay’s oysters and blue crab still rank high on the list of favorite Annapolitan foods. But if you haven’t visited this historic town in the past few years, you may be surprised to learn another fun fact: Annapolis has developed a notable food scene far beyond the classics of crab cakes and Orange Crushes. New restaurants with flair and quality have created new iconic “must-have” dishes, meaning that food lovers have new reasons to plan a visit.

Justin Moore and Alex Manfredonia at VIN 909 in the Eastport neighborhood.

Justin Moore and Alex Manfredonia at VIN 909 in the Eastport neighborhood.

Start with “Eastport-style” pizza. VIN 909 opened in 2012 and quickly caught positive notice with food critics from DC and Baltimore. The wood-fired pizza, created by Chef Justin Moore, is famed for its thin crust and exceptional toppings. The rest of the menu is no afterthought; the small plates and salads are exceptional. Co-owner and wine director Alex Manfredonia met Chef Moore when they were both working at high-end restaurants in San Francisco, and decided to throw their hats in together—with the idea of bringing California flavors and Mediterranean style back to Alex’s hometown of Annapolis.

One of VIN 909’s classic wood-fired pies.

One of VIN 909’s classic wood-fired pies.

The VIN 909 pizza is considered to be tops in the region, as is their outstanding list of wines by the glass. Personal favorites are The Spotted Pig, with spicy soppressata and wild boar meatballs, and The Popeye, with—you guessed it—spinach, ricotta, mozz and orange blossom olive oil. Located in a restored bungalow in the Eastport neighborhood, lines form quickly for dinner service, but carryout options are available and lunch is served Wednesday through Sunday.

Fresh market buns await at Bakers & Co., a local bakery with a big following.

Fresh market buns await at Bakers & Co., a local bakery with a big following.

Also in the Eastport are other great options. Bakers & Co., open at 7am (W–Su), has a full coffee bar and a lineup of freshly baked breads, scones, croissants, pound cakes, muffins and their famous market buns, a buttery dough kissed with cinnamon and orange zest. Lucy and Chris Simmons, the owners and bakers, also serve lunch. An example of “farm market to bricks and mortar,” Bakers & Co. developed a loyal following and long lines at the weekly Anne Arundel County Farmers Market, giving them the confidence they needed to start their bakery. Mentioned in Food & Wine as a top breakfast spot in Maryland, Bakers & Co. is a popular gathering spot, with outdoor seating. Also a great grab-and-go option for boaters, picnickers and those who want breakfast at home.

The spicy chicken biscuit sandwich at Bread & Butter Kitchen, topped with an egg.

The spicy chicken biscuit sandwich at Bread & Butter Kitchen, topped with an egg.

Want to soak in Annapolis’s nautical side with breakfast? Grab a seat at the counter at Eastport’s Bread and Butter Kitchen. The passion project of Monica Alvarado—a former career consultant who started food blogging and developing recipes, then took the leap to take over a lease and launch her own concept. She believes in supporting “local” and uses many ingredients from her farmer and food maker friends (think jam, kraut, pickles) and local dairy products. Her breakfast includes breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches and Salsa con Huevos. In the mood for something sweet? Order open-face banana and Nutella toast or a seasonal scone. Iced coffee aficionados: The ice cubes here are made of coffee (who wants a watery iced coffee?) and the straws are pieces of tubular pasta—no plastic! My favorite sandwich is the fried chicken breast with honey sriracha sauce on a homemade biscuit—and homemade chips. Monica, we’re very glad you made a career change.

The Hoffmans, Michelle and Jeremy, welcome diners to their intimate restaurant that features house-made ingredients for the bar and kitchen, from local ingredients.

The Hoffmans, Michelle and Jeremy, welcome diners to their intimate restaurant that features house-made ingredients for the bar and kitchen, from local ingredients.

Wander up Main Street from the Annapolis Town Dock and you’ll find Preserve. Husband and wife Jeremy and Michelle Hoffman, graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, developed at some of the country’s top restaurants (think Tribeca Grill, Per Se, Union Square Café and Nobu). When they decided to strike out on their own, they chose Annapolis with a very different concept than standard tourist fare. With the idea of tapping into Jeremy’s Pennsylvania Dutch roots, Preserve serves up unique twists on home food using local and seasonal ingredients, many that Michelle pickles and preserves. Their expertise shines through in execution and service; both are on point always. Michelle is the mixologist, and her cocktail menu is one of the best in town. She weaves local spirits into concoctions that often feature her own shrubs, infused syrups and dried fruits and hot peppers.

Preserve’s famous flash fried crispy kale.

Preserve’s famous flash fried crispy kale.

This year marks their fourth anniversary, and Preserve has created one of Annapolis’s “must-have” dishes: their fried crispy kale, an homage to Rasika’s fried spinach. You’ll always find pickles on the menu and for spring, the salmon toast is a new must-have. My soft spot is for the slow-cooked pork and homemade sauerkraut with mashed potatoes, but it is just as easy to make a meal of shared small plates. The front windows are garage style, so in temperate weather they go up, all the better to watch the passersby and the Navy cadets in their summer whites.

Scott Herbst welcomes guests to Sailor Oyster Bar.

Scott Herbst welcomes guests to Sailor Oyster Bar.

Happy hour? You’ll want to stay long after it ends at Sailor Oyster Bar. No more genial hosts exist in Annapolis than Scott and Gabrielle Herbst, whose bar and restaurant quickly won the hearts of locals and tourists alike. Decorated with brilliant whimsy, Sailor stays on theme with nautical gear everywhere and servers outfitted in French-sailor-style striped T-shirts. What’s fascinating about Sailor’s packed house is that they serve a dinner menu in a restaurant that does not have kitchen. When the Herbsts planned to open their new place in a centuries-old Annapolis rowhouse, the fact that there was no commercial kitchen did not hold them back. With confidence gained by owning Tsunami, another successful restaurant a few blocks away, they decided that great drinks, a solid raw bar and a top-quality tinned seafood program could satisfy guests, all they needed was a toaster and a blow torch. Throw in other menu items like cheese and a poke bowl and you’ve got dinner the way many of us prefer: minimal but delicious, accompanied by a great cocktail. The drinks menu comes sorted by three levels of strength and the octopus comes torched. Be forewarned: Happy hour starts promptly at 4pm, Tuesday through Friday, and even midweek it is the most popular place in town.

Chef Frederik de Pue designed not only the menu, but also the space at Flamant.

Chef Frederik de Pue designed not only the menu, but also the space at Flamant.

Many DC eaters will know Chef Frederik de Pue, formerly of DC’s Table and Menu FBK. In 2017, de Pue came to Annapolis and purchased a bungalow in West Annapolis to launch Flamant. This Flemish chef designed the restaurant, and the transformation is stunning. In addition to dinner service, de Pue is also runs a catering business and hosts small events in his restaurant. The menu at Flamant changes often, but de Pue has kept on the dishes that fans can’t quit—his Maryland blue crab rolls are crispy, Old Bay–kissed and addictive; other favorites are de Pue’s duck confit dome wrapped in savoy cabbage and his roast veal shank for two. My favorite dessert of last year was Flamant’s sour cherry clafoutis. A simple dessert, but in de Pue’s hands it was a beautiful thing—served in a tiny cast-iron pot with ice cream. Flamant was nominated this spring for Favorite New Restaurant by the Maryland Restaurant Association.

A seasonal food recommendation would include the soft shell crab basket at Wild Country Seafood, next to the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Eat “caught that day seafood” under a tiki umbrella in a parking lot and know what the good life is. The Mahoney family, MD watermen for generations, knows how to run a fry-o-lator for their soft shells, rockfish bites and large fried oysters, called Patty’s Fattys. Some of the best fried seafood around and its BYOB. Crabs by the bushel are available for order.

Murals pop up in unexpected places throughout Annapolis.

Murals pop up in unexpected places throughout Annapolis.

Now that you have eaten your way through Annapolis, what about walking around town for exercise? The U.S. Naval Academy welcomes visitors on foot, and traipsing from Eastport up Main Street to West Street and back will burn off three miles’ worth of food.

The city’s historic architecture is perfect for taking in with a long leisurely stroll.

The city’s historic architecture is perfect for taking in with a long leisurely stroll.

For shoppers, stroll down Main Street, but do a lap on Maryland Avenue off of the State House Circle, where you will find small shops run by locals. One favorite is Natalie Silitich Folk Art, for antiques. You’ll also find home décor, clothing, Annebeth’s gourmet store with lots of local items, a bookstore, coffee shop and an Irish pub. On your way, don’t miss the Annapolis Pottery and the Maryland Federation of Art, both devoted showing the work of local artists.

Nightlife, well, yes, there is. In addition to a hopping bar scene, Rams Head Tavern is famous in the area as an important music venue; 49 West Coffeeshop & Jazz Bar has interesting lineups of local musicians.

Saturday mornings should dictate a stop at the Anne Arundel County Farm Market on Riva Road; on your way into town swing by and pick up award-winning cheese, fresh eggs, organic and grass-fed meats, breads and baked goods.

More exercise? Bring your bike and do the B&O trail, which starts in Annapolis and goes all the way to BWI airport. Quiet Waters Park has 340 acres that abut the South River, and miles of trails and paths as well as enclosed dog parks and a dog beach. In the summer months, try your hand at paddleboarding at Capital SUP, opening for the 2019 season in the Ellen O. Moyer Nature Park in Eastport, or kayaking at Kayak Annapolis. Check out the Annapolis Sailing School, or go full throttle at JWorld. Really need to destress? Annapolis even has its own float spa offering relaxation and sensory deprivation at Paradise Spa.

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So much to do. Spend the weekend? Multiple stay options exist at larger well-known hotels, such as The Westin, the Annapolis Hotel or Annapolis Waterfront Hotel. A new Hilton Garden Inn also opened on West Street. Multiple bed & breakfasts operate downtown and in Eastport. Know that the town books up quickly in the summer, for fall Navy football games, Naval Academy commencement and ever-popular Annapolis events like the spring and summer boat shows, the annual Tug o’ War, Eastport a Rockin’ and the yearly .5 K run over the Annapolis Bridge (no, that is not a typo). Most things downtown and in Eastport are walkable, but should you find yourself outside of downtown or Eastport, plenty of cabs, Uber and Lyft and, in the summer, pedicabs and water taxis service the town.

Website resources for tourist information

www.visitannapolis.org

Restaurants

www.vin909.com

www.bakersandco.com

www.breadandbutterkitchen.com

www.preserve-eats.com

www.sailoroysterbar.com

www.flamantmd.com

www.wildcountryseafood.com