An Old Favorite… Better Than Ever
300 Second Street
Annapolis, Md. 21403
Raw Bar: $8.95 to $19.95
Appetizers: $4.95 to $11.95
Entrees: $15.95 to $34.95
Extensive wine list
Dinner: Mon. - Thurs., 5 - 10 p.m.
Fri. - Sat., 5 - 11 p.m. Sun., 4 - 10 p.m.
Lounge: Mon. thru Thurs., 5 - 11 p.m.
Fri. and Sat., 5 p.m. - midnight
Sun., 4 - 10 p.m.
Brunch: Sun., 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Isabel stormed into the Annapolis
Harbor on Sept. 18,2003, bringing a surge tide from seven to 10
feet. Marina docks and piers were submerged and damaged or lost
in the assault. Among the startled victims was the Chart House
Restaurant which suffered lost exterior decking and ruined interior
equipment and décor.
first floor was awash, all the furniture floating,” according
to Executive Chef Rodney Seeberger as he recalled the height of
the water at about four to five feet on one of the many glass
panes in the floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase a spectacular
view of the inner harbor and City Dock.
Closed for six months, the entirely refurbished restaurant opened
in early March and is now a daringly handsome and updated facility.
Seeberger, an experienced chef for 14 years, had been at the Chart
House chef’s helm for only eight months when the tropical
storm hit. He thinks it’s serendipity that he now works
with all new equipment, including state-of-the-art ovens, cooktops,
grills, freezers, coolers and the endless array of metal machines,
prep and serving spaces.
The ceiling in the lounge soars to cathedral height of 30 feet
boasting a maze of stained beams and crossed timbers which creates
a dramatic gallery for a model of the schooner yacht America,
a dazzlingly varnished model of the U.S. Navy rowing shell Champion,
and a variety of beautiful half- models. An open fireplace with
copper- towered hood forms a focal point in the large space inviting
guests to relax in plush lounge chairs and sofas to consider dining
on an array of choices from the “serious about seafood”
On a recent evening we selected a dozen Blue Point oysters that
swam in oyster juice within their shells. Patrons may watch the
servers in the “O” bar shucking the bivalves fresh
for each order. Another outstanding choice was the crab, avocado
and mango stack consisting of jumbo lump crabmeat layered with
avocados and mangoes. It was beautifully dressed, super fresh
When queried, the executive chef enthusiastically noted that the
most favorite appetizer from his galaxy is the seared, peppered
ahi tuna served rare with mustard sauce, ginger and wasabi. Other
popular appetizers are the coconut crunchy shrimp with sweet plum
sauce, blue crab dip baked with cheese and served with French
bread crostini, and crab-stuffed mushrooms. On a return visit
we tried the crab-stuffed mushrooms baked in an irresistible white
wine sauce—well worth the trip.
Many diners, intrigued with the raw bar appetizers (about 20 in
all), stay glued to the lounge and make additional choices including
dynamite scallops (the dynamite is an oriental sauce with zing)
on the half shell with crab, lobster spring rolls with mustard
sauce, and lightly fried calamari with sweet and spicy peppers
and Thai dipping sauce. We confess that we snuck in some portabella
mushroom fries served with chipotle aioli and horseradish cream—crisp,
lightly fried and uniquely delicious.
The attractive dining room behind the lounge features 10 appetizers
from the above list along with soups and salads and the famous
Chart House salad bar with more than 60 items to choose from.
Our entrees included the fresh Atlantic flounder stuffed with
crabmeat joined by rice pilaf— moist and flavorful. The
most popular selection here is the macadamia-crusted mahi mahi
with warm peanut sauce with a hint of Frangelica, mango coulis,
and coconut ginger rice that promises layers of flavor. Of course,
the journey is complete only when we sample the crab cake platter.
This one proved to be a good choice with moderate-sized cakes,
consisting of large white backfin lumps and appropriately sparse
binder surrounded by caper butter, a different and delicious accompaniment.
A variety of fish is fresh daily and may include red snapper,
Chilean sea bass and rockfish. An old Spanish proverb advises,
“Fish, to taste right, must swim three times—in water,
in butter and in wine.” It happens here.
Enticing is the 22-ounce prime rib after a six-hour slow roast.
Steaks and chicken, solo and paired with seafood offer another
interesting variety. Maine lobsters and Australian lobster tails
are available. If you’re a chocoholic, the hot chocolate
lava cake is memorable (allow 30 minutes for preparation). Unusual
drinks and multiple coffee creations are tempting as well.
General Manager Anthony Felli credits “the success of the
Chart House to Pittsburgh CIA- trained Executive Chef Rodney Seeberger
and his superb team.” Still standing on this location since
first opening in 1969, the Chart House looks better than ever
and offers a variety of fine fresh seafood and other quality foods
with a breathtaking harbor view, including ringside seats for
the summer sailboat races on Wednesday evenings.
Patricia Barry, a Pisces who resides on Mill Creek, has been a water and food
buff for three decades.