Originally Posted by chef2sail
Level Small Plates...have heard that place is nice with good wines...can you elaborate? BTW are you coming to the Rondevous on June 11?
Que? Some how I keep missing the the rendezvous threads! I will check on that one--we'd love to make it this year. I'll reply on the rendezvous thread when I have more info. Thanks for the invite!
As for Level, the best reference might be their site, with menu, wine list, etc: level small plates lounge: 69 west street annapolis, md 21403 410.268.0003
. Their site says they've made "best" lists with Baltimore Sun and Washingtonian.
That said, here's my take on it. It's a smaller restaurant, but has plenty of seating and a small bar, then upstairs is all "lounge" with a larger bar, as I recall. It's a step above the average fair downtown, and to me feels more fresh (both atmosphere and food) than the spendy seafood places in Eastport. It's casual, but personally, I wouldn't wear shorts or t-shirt there--I'd go a step above.
We've sampled several wines on the list, including some reds from Argentina that went very well the bison carpaccio I mentioned, which we always order when we're there. We've tried the hummus (love the garlic), the grilled calamari (lemon, sea salt, capers...), spicy tuna tartare, gnocchi, several of the flatbread pizzas, and a rockfish ceviche... At the minimum, everything we've tried has provided a nice experience--interesting flavors and nothing "standard". The staff is helpful and advocate for their locally acquired ingredients. Questions we've had about a wine here and there have been answered by someone who'd obviously tried it personally.
Now, I should remind everyone that I'm no chef! But I think Level's worth checking out. I'd recommend visiting on a weeknight if possible--weekends tend to be busy, like most restaurants in the historic area.
I hope that helps! If you check it out, let us know what you think.