Thursday, May 28, 2009
Hand crafted premium chocolates, pastries and more (including those addictive European Macaroons). What's not to love? If you're a choco-phile, like myself, there is nothing better than a simple espresso laced dark chocolate truffle, rolled in cocao powder, and because Cacao makes these in small batches by hand, you won't find any fresher. They use 100% cocao butter for a truly rich experience.
Truffles can be purchased in several gift box options and the prices are very reasonable. It's the perfect house gift when you don't want to bring the obligatory bottle of wine and better still, you can pick up something for your own selfish indulgences!
Cacao Fine European Chocolates
7129 Bethesda Ln
Bethesda, MD 20814
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I was hesitant to stop in so early after their opening and especially after reading the some of the early reviews on Yelp, but I am happy to report that Blue Dolphin met my expectations and I anticipate, in time, will become a Anne Arundel County favorite.
Please note: they are in soft opening mode.
Long time AACO and Balto county diners will no doubt be familiar with Timbuktu, G&M, Romano's and the Olive Grove Restaurants. If you fall into that category, then you will be pleased to note that the Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill is owned by the son-in-law of the owner of those venerable restaurants. Furthermore, if you are a G&M fan, you will LOVE the Blue Dolphin, because they are modeling their menu, including it's crab cake recipe on G&M's.
The space is interesting. Essentially, a small shopping center was built to house the Blue Dolphin. The owner of the restaurant also owns the shopping center (Crofton Princess Center) at the junction of Highway 3 and 424. The Blue Dolphin commands the premium spot on the corner of the center.
The interior is like a time warp. It's East coast Greek diner meets upscale 1980's dining room, with inset tray cielings painted Greek-Sky blue with clouds and large paintings of Greek seaside fishing villages. Crystal chandeliers, carved wood mouldings (check out the carved wood dolphins on the crown moulding) and white table tablecloths all adorn the space. Despite the subtle nods to Grecian decor, the menu is totally Maryland Seafood House and the almighty crab cake is king here.
If crab cakes are not your thing, you will not be disappointed, there are also a number of other seafood, chicken, steak and pasta options. We opted for the single crab cake platter which comes with two sides and a softball sized crab cake. We started with side salads which are enormous and come with homemade salad dressings. The bleu cheese is incredible with extra big chunks of the bleu in a creamy dressing. As for your crab cake, you can have it either broiled or fried. Have it broiled! It stays extra creamy on the inside with genorous chunks of lightly seasoned jumbo lump crab meat and nice crisp exterior. I know that they are using G&M's recipe, but I have to say... I liked this better than any crab cake I have ever eaten at G&M.
The single crab cake platter is $16.95 and the twin crab cake platter is $24.95. It all comes with a basket of bread and two sides.
BARGAIN ALERT! Keep an eye out for their weekly specials.Monday.... Lobster night. 1lb Lobster $8.95 (I'll be in next week ordering 2 of them)Tuesday... 1lb Steamed Shrimp.... $8.95!Thursday.... All fish on the menu are priced at $12.95.There were others but I don't remember them all. Our service was good. It was rather quiet in the dining room, but the lounge was hopping. I'm certain, with this restaurants' pedigree, they will work out any of the issues with service that others encountered, and since the Blue Dolphin is a scant 3 minutes from our house, I can see myself here again and again and again and again...