St. Michael’s Sherwood’s Landing restaurant [classic article]

Sherwood’s Landing is the fine dining restaurant at St. Michael’s, Maryland’s Inn at Perry Cabin. I was very happy to be hosted to be able to experience it! Though I was there pre-season, when things are a little quieter in the area, even in busy times Sherwood’s never makes it feel like a mob scene, carefully managing bookings. With an elegant, intimate atmosphere – fireplace kept roaring and all – it feels like one is dining at one’s own grand estate, with personal household service.

Start the evening with one of “Miss Gussie’s” (in-house baker Gustina Harmon, in charge of the restaurant’s baked goods and turndown service’s cookies) cheddar-thyme rolls and a glass of the house champagne, Delamotte. Why not? Start things off with a dash of panache. The roll is light, like a popover. It has deep thyme flavor, served crispy and warm.

When it was time for my wine accompanying dinner, the server decanted it in the lobby, for more light. That’s someone who takes super pride in his work! He really wanted to see if there was any sediment, etc.

The amuse bouche sent by the chef was lobster mousse on brioche toast with olive oil and micro greens. It had rich mineral-herb flavor, as well as contrast of texture.

The local raw oysters – Chesapeake Sweets – were garnished with a mignonette and also a kind of salsa-sauce of pomegranate, cucumber, olive oil, parsley and soy sauce. Chesapeake Sweets are meatier, less salty, than oysters from up north.

The chef at Sherwood’s Landing has a way of taking classic dishes and really ramping them up, creating surprising flavors. Besides the oyster sauce, another good example is the salt roasted pear and Roquefort salad with port vinaigrette and walnut relish. The pear takes on a more savory flavor with the salt, creating a new veggie-like taste in your mouth. It’s an excellent take on the fruit/nut/cheese salad.

Duck is big-big-big on the Eastern Shore, but it’s only in wild game form – duck on menus has to come from New York. The restaurant serves Hudson Valley Moulard duck breast wrapped in bacon with Calvados jus. The duck was tender and the accompaniments brought out its natural sweetness. It was wrapped like a pork loin would be – a little culinary surprise!

Another entrée I tried was a seasonal local special: smoked rockfish (wild striped bass). Lots of different stronger fish are smoked in the area – such as bluefish – but I had never seen a milder fish smoked. It had a light smoke, not overwhelming. It was served with roasted carrots as well as delicious and rich creamed sauerkraut.

It’s worth taking the time to order the chocolate soufflé. I’m normally not even a chocolate cake dessert person, but it was highly recommended. I’m so glad I tried it! It’s very, very dark chocolate, served with red wine ice cream. The red wine ice cream had an intriguing salt note, perking up the flavors all around.

Petit fours were served as a post dessert.st

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