Little Italy in Stevensville, MD.

Hi Y’all,

Did you know that Little Italy existed in Stevensville, MD. ?  the tiniest town on the Eastern Shore right after the bay bridge, with the tiniest Post Office building I have ever seen in my entire life:

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Sherry told me a while back that she had found the best Italian restaurant in this tiniest little town, a friend of hers had told her about it when she used to live in that area and been a fan ever since.

This blog is actually overdue as we cheated, and went there before, but pigged out on all the food so quickly that no pictures were taken (sorry!), but we promised ourselves to go back soon and give it the credit it deserved.

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I found out on a Tuesday evening that my husband was going to the ball game with a vendor of his the following evening. Of course, I asked my partner in crime Sherry if she was doing anything that night since I had a hall pass. Being the woman after my own heart I know she is, she didn’t hesitate and suggested that we go to Rustico (http://www.rusticoonline.com/). I never experience dinner there so I figured it would be such a treat for the both of us.

We got there around 6pm,  it was a little chilly but the sky was bright blue. Only wusses would sit inside. Besides, to help our case, there was a firepit calling our name. Since we own every joint we go to, we decided to completely rearrange the outside seating furniture to make sure that our table would be the closest to the firepit. Don’t they know the Hungry Women were in town, doesn’t matter how tiny the town is.

We specifically asked for Jesse, the best waitress in the whole wide world. The reason we asked for her, is because the day we were pigs the first time we were there  (and didn’t take pictures remember?) she was a trooper and answered every single ones of our every needs.
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We even moved from where we were and followed the sun to the front porch, which looks like this:

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DO NOT GET ANY IDEAS! THIS PORCH BELONGS TO THE HUNGRY WOMEN. We are actually seriously considering putting a chrome name plate right on the wall there, to make sure that everyone knows that this is our spot. Of course, we can lend it to you when we are not there, but you will have to make sure to ask the staff if we around first.

Jesse proceeds to let us know that on Monday and Wednesday’s, they offer half price bottle of wine, all evening, throughout the entire restaurant and wine bar : that means THE WHOLE WINE LIST WAS HALF PRICE, get it???

So what do we get??:

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Yes sir, for $84 a bottle, we paid $42 ! for any connoisseur of Amarone, you know that is a steal. 2 Glasses of Amarone, firepit, you would think life can’t get any better than this.

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Well it did, because she brought this home made fresh warm baguette and the fruitiest, heaviest, flavorful olive oil with this hint of yumminess herbs (whatever they were)

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I mean seriously, look at that picture again, and tell me you are not drooling right now! (because Sherry and I are as we are writing this!!!!!!)

Jesse offered the special du jour:

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I personally never had Zucchini blossoms before, never did Sherry. Since we are the adventurous kind, we of course had to try it (with a little of help from our dear waitress who kept raving about it).

This is what Zucchini Blossoms with crabmeat, ricotta cheese and fresh herbs, flash fried in a light tempura looks like:

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And just like that, it was gone.

Sherry has always been addicted to the Insalata Mediterranean (field greens, marinated mushrooms, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, caper berries and artichoke hearts topped with feta cheese and their house made mustard vinaigrette). I wasn’t in the mood for a salad as I was already putting all of my efforts and concentration into the main courses as it was extremely tough to decide. However, she ordered it, and of course, I was forced to eat it with her, because it looks so horrendous:

 

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After finishing this (soooo) refreshing dish, and enjoying our wonderful forty two dollars Amarone, and while enjoying this beautiful early evening, I looked at Sherry and said: “I wish Nathan was right here serenading me with his guitar”, because quite frankly, that was the only thing that was missing. For those who don’t know, Nathan is this wonderful and talented musician, who also happens to be Sherry’s son. And out of the blue, this happened:
20150513_185711I am not kidding, as I was saying that, across the street, these 2 exceptional musicians came out from that house, and started to practice on their front porch!  Now why the hell didn’t I ask for a million dollars! Or play the lottery for that matter!

Her voice was angelic, and exactly what was missing to make this evening just perfect. You can’t make that shit up!

Jesse came back, and proceeds to tell us that the band across the street practice there quiet often, and that there will also be some live entertainment inside around 8pm (Keri Glorioso, very soulful voice that we heard before at Two Rivers in Pasadena). What a treat!

As far as the entrees, because the Hungry Women still had to eat, I had the Cavatelli Pugliese (cavatelli pasta sauteed with italian sausage, fresh tomatoes, arugula and garlic topped with ricatta salata, I know there is a lot of cheese on top):

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Sherry had the Crespelle di Mare (house made savory crepes stuffed with shrimps, scallops, jumbo lump crabmeat and spinach, with bechamel sauce served with plum tomato relish):

20150513_192104Honestly, we couldn’t decide which one was the best as they were both fabulous

However, before going in, we had to settle with Jesse because she couldn’t serve at the bar, so she brought us the bill:

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DID YOU SEE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear I should have asked for a million dollar that night…. Well instead of the million dollars, we got the Executive Chef Antonello Marangi! He came to see the Hungry Women and even got a picture with Sherry:

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We finished the wine (sniff) and decided to go in to list to Keri and perhaps, entertain the thought of having desserts. There is a reason why I put an s at the end of dessert. You see, we had a very stressful evening, if you read carefully, desserts spelled backwards is stressed, we had to get some. The choice was made for us.

As stressed as we were, we asked for the Panna Cotta (Italian for cooked cream, their citrus version of panna cotta is made with vanilla beans, lemon zest and orange zest, served with creme inglese and berries):

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I know it is already half eaten, consider yourself lucky that you even got a picture at all. I remember that we placed the order for the “stress”, I asked for 2 of them, Sherry yelled at me and said “2?? are you out of mind??”, trust me, she ate hers without a guilt.

You add to that another wonderful voice:

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I think we can say that we hit the jackpot after all.

As always, stay hungry my friends!

 

Aida and Sherry! THE Hungry Women…

You Had Me at Foie Gras

Bonjour Y’all!

This winter has been a tough one for the Hungry Women! We don’t much care for cold and snow so we have had to resort to food for our comfort. Surprise! Surprise! Last Friday evening we had a friend who was visiting from Hagerstown. On the spur of the moment, we decided to jump in Aida’s SUV and take our friend to Vin 909 in Annapolis. This is one of our favorite spots and we wanted a respite from the winter. We were not disappointed. First of all, this is one charming little  Eastport house…almost like going to Grandma’s.

There are no reservations, so you take your chances. We had some prosecco, our friend had a Southern Tier oatmeal stout (so good!) and we waited for about 20 minutes for a table. We settled in and began to read the menu. There are always seasonal items and new discoveries and we love to try anything with foie gras on it. So, when our server, Melissa, told us about the pizza special which had Hudson Valley foie gras, black garlic and prosciutto on it, a collective groan of approval was heard all over the restaurant. We exclaimed, “you had me at foie gras”! The thin crust pizzas are all exceptional. In particular, The Rockstar is always a winner. Again, the Hudson Valley foie gras, black summer truffles, black garlic, figs, fontina and taleggio cheeses make this pizza a delight! The mozzarella cheese is made fresh daily. The vegetables come from a farm on the Eastern shore called Groundworks Farm. Truly fresh ingredients make ALL the difference. This is evident in the salads served here. We had a fresh baby arugula, local goat chèvre, fried shallots and prosciutto with white balsamic vinaigrette salad that was excellent. This plate represents what was left of the salad:

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Our friend chose the special which was a delicate sturgeon fish served on top of a delectable hash which had many complex flavors. Aida, being the foodie that she is, identified coriander, much to everyone including our server’s amazement! If I am not mistaken, it was after that I saw Aida tearing up over how insane our food had been all evening! If licking the plate is a compliment, and you all know I am famous for such behavior, then Aida shedding a tear is an accolade of the highest order. The Hungry Women take all of this very seriously.

My son, Nate, also got in on the fun. He had the idea to take 2 of the pizzas and make a sandwich out of them. This is a creative bunch so we all thought that was an excellent idea.

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On to dessert. Let me say that the Chocolate pot de creme is to die for! I get it every time. We also had butterscotch pudding…..beautiful! My husband had a blood orange curd served in half of an orange that took me back to Italy! To top it off, we ordered a French press coffee that complimented our sweets.

Our server, Melissa, our new best food friend, graciously brought us a coconut gelato which we promptly dipped in our French press coffee. Because that was so tasty, we started dipping our other desserts in the coffee! Dipping and sopping, 2 very technical terms, are a huge part of any dining experience when you are with the Hungry Women.

Melissa ended up sitting with us and telling us her fave eateries in both DC and Baltimore. We have added her to our list of like minded “Hungry Women”. She gets us. She loves food and wine and fresh ingredients. Dining is a shared experience. Food creates friendships and memories. Vin 909 had us a foie gras.

Stay warm. New food adventures await us in the Spring.

Sherry

Top 10 hungry women favorite foods for 2013!!!!

Drum roll please….

Announcing our top 10 food winners for 2013!
1-frites in duck fat and truffle oil. Grapes Winebar Annapolis (https://www.facebook.com/Grapeswinebarannapolis)

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2-Coq au Vin Les Folies in Annapolis (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Les-Folies/201131288817)

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3-Foie Gras Les Folies in Annapolis
4-Garde Manger Board (charcuterie, pate, grapes, dried apricots, cornichons) Grapes wine bar

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5-Duck Confit Petit Louis in Roland park  (https://www.facebook.com/petitlouisbistro)
6-Popcorn soup with grilled lobster Rose’s Luxury Washington DC (https://www.facebook.com/rosesluxury)

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7-Pickle brined fried chicken Rose’s Luxury
8-Chocolate pot de creme Vin 909 Annapolis (https://www.facebook.com/vin909)

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9-Tunisian pizza Aida’s kitchen, Pasadena, Md. (and no this is not a restaurant!).
10-Lamb with pistachio pesto Aida’s kitchen.

These dishes are in no particular order….all fabulous! We have been so fortunate to find such lovely local food.
Honorable mention also goes to Liquid Assets in Ocean City, Md.,  Woodberry Kitchens in Baltimore, Hawthorne Fine Pastries in Severna Park, Md.
Nothing makes the Hungry Women happier than exceptional food. We will be on a quest in 2014 to discover more incredible places to tell you about.
Merry Christmas and Happy new Year
Sherry