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Review: The Blue Dolphin

I enjoyed my first dining experience at The Blue Dolphin in Crofton, MD. Located almost halfway between DC and Baltimore I don’t make it out to Crofton much; however I was meeting my college besties for dinner and since one of them lives past Baltimore, Crofton seemed like a great central location.

We arrived for an early Friday night dinner around 6pm and despite the parking lot and lobby being packed, we were able to be seated right away in the dining room.  The Blue Dolphin is most known for its bar and lounge area complete with live music on select nights. The atmosphere and menu reminded me of another Baltimore-Washington favorite Timbuktu.

I ordered a cup of cream of crab soup to start; the soup was delicious but I’m glad that I specifically inquired about a cup as the menu only mentioned bowl portions. Given the richness of the soup, I would not have been able to finish a bowl. For my entrée I decided to try the stuffed mushroom caps with a side of sautéed spinach and applesauce. The mushroom cap entrée included 6 medium-sized mushrooms each stuffed with what was essentially a mini-crabcake.  The crabcake stuffing was pure lump crabmeat, no filler (that’s how us Marylanders prefer our crabcakes) and as yummy as it looks.  The spinach was freshly sautéed in olive oil and garlic and topped with feta cheese  – a garnish that I would’ve never thought of but it was absolutely fantastic! The applesauce, fresh and chunky served as a nice dessert-like finish. The portion sizes were ample and the food was simple yet clean in flavor.

The Blue Dolphin is a great option for a casual seafood dinner (please note: there are plenty of non-seafood options i.e. steak, chicken, pasta, etc.). The service was good and the ambiance was relaxed, low-key and very family-friendly. For more information about The Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill, visit the website: http://www.bluedolphingrill.com/index.html.

Have you ever been to The Blue Dolphin? What’s the best crabcake you ever had? Leave your sunshine below.

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Review: Art and Soul

Last week my brother-in-law was in town for a brief business trip. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to finally try Art Smith’s Capitol Hill eatery, Art and Soul. Known for it’s fine dining twist on southern classics, I am embarrassed to admit that I had not previously dined at the nationally recognized establishment.

Located inside the Liaison, a very sleek boutique hotel, Art and Soul boasts the type of modern decor that attracts typical Hill patrons and business travelers alike.  After a brief wait in the restaurant’s swank lounge area, our party was seated in the very lively main dining area.

The bread basket offered two types of freshly baked bread, neither of which needed the accompanying butter. My BIL, mom and I decided to order some drinks and appetizers while waiting for my fiance to join us.  I ordered an apple cider drink that I have forgotten the name and ingredients of and my mom ordered a ginger inspired drink.  Both drinks were good but not great. We also ordered the shrimp and grits as well as each of the night’s featured hoecakes to start. All three appetizers were delish!

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For the main course I opted for the dirty rice, a vegetarian mushroom dish reminiscent of a risotto, and a side of brussel sprouts. The dirty rice was good but a little bland but the brussel sprouts were on point! My BIL had the duck and dumplings which he reported were very good and my mom and fiance both had the restaurant’s signature fried chicken. My mom enjoyed the buttermilk chicken although my fiance thought it was a bit too crunchy.

Since it was a special occasion, we ordered dessert as well. Me and my honey had the heirloom apple crisp, my mom had the chocolate pumpkin bar and my BIL went all out with the Art and Soul baby cakes, a sampler of five different mini-cakes. The apple crisp was super fresh and the cranberries were a nice touch. My mom enjoyed her pumpkin bar but my BIL thought that the baby cakes were dry.

Overall (minus a few misses) we enjoyed the drinks, food, service and ambiance. I definitely plan to return and try some different menu items such as the macaroni and cheese. Bonus points: the restaurant reached out to me on Twi.tter when I checked in on Fou.rsquare to ask about my experience. For more information about Art and Soul, please visit the website at http://www.artandsouldc.com .

Have you been to Art and Soul? Has a company ever reached out to you on Twi.tter? Leave your sunshine below.

#FPAD A Fav Photo of You

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Oh how miss my short ‘do

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My 3 yo nephew’s 😉

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Laundry :-/

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#FPAD Drink

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On deck tonight =D

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I don’t own any clocks or watches so allow me to share one of my fav songs, This Time by one of the most underrated singers.

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