June 23, 2008

Annabel Lee Tavern

Annabel Lee Tavern
601 S. Clinton Street
Baltimore, MD 21224

I recently had the pleasure of dining at the Annabel Lee Tavern last Saturday (6/14). This tavern used to be a little dive bar known as the Clinton Street Inn that I never bothered to check out. Once the new owners moved in and it became the Annabel Lee, friends raved about this place.

The tavern itself a bit small with a narrow walk through the bar in front. The back of the tavern opens up slightly to accommodate several tables for dining. I would guess (I didn't count) that there were probably about 6 small tables in the back? You can also dine at the bar.

The decor of the tavern lives up to it's name in that it is dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe. The walls are painted a deep burgandy with the words of Annabel Lee painted across the tavern. The mood of the bar is that of a very cozy study.

My husband and I were starving when we arrived (approximately at 9:30pm). We didn't have reservations but we had 2 very patient friends waiting at the bar for us for about 2 hours. My guess is that you should probably make a reservation if you're going to dine there on a Friday or Saturday night as the tavern was packed. The staff was very friendly and made great suggestions for meals.

We started off with the Baked Brie en Cruet (Phyllo encrusted with brown sugar and pecans) for $7.50. It was A.MAZ.ING. We commented that it seemed more like a dessert than an appetizer but that doesn't mean we won't continue to order it everytime we go back to this tavern.

My husband had also ordered the soup du jour and I can't remember for the life of me what it was. He enjoyed it very much.

For dinner I ordered the Spinach and Portabello Burrito with roasted red peppers rojo salsa ($10.75). Again, amazing. I love when a vegetarian entree isn't smothered entirely in cheese or cream sauces.

My husband ordered a fillet of meat and also enjoyed it very much. And I don't remember what my friends had ordered but they are regulars at this tavern so I can tell you right now they loved their meals.

We ended our meal with the Edgar Allen Pate. It's a tri-chocolate pate served with maderia raspberry coulis ($6.50). My only complaint? There isn't enough of it! It was delicious and it was probably a good thing that the serving was a bit small (because in actuality it was just the right amount to satisfy my craving).

Overall I would recommend this restaurant to anyone. The staff is friendly, the cuisine is fantastic and because it isn't located in the uber popular area of Canton, parking is quite easy. You can check out their menu online but they also offer different menu items daily (posted on the board behind the bar).

The only downside of my experience here was that the service was a bit on the slow side but my friends assured me that it was only due to the high volume of traffic. Regardless, if you're in the neighborhood - check this place out!

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