On Sunday morning we got a Zipcar and took a day trip to Annapolis. After a day full of walking and light eating, were hungry. That is to say, there was no better place to be in Annapolis than Vin 909. Now, you will have to wait outside before the 5:00pm opening—the restaurant does not take reservations. Still, this is not a Rose’s Luxury type line either. It is very reasonable and it’s no place to shy away from just because there may be a line.
We were one of the first people in line when we arrived at 4:40. As a result, we were able to snag two of the four stools at the chef’s counter, facing the open kitchen. (Interestingly, were seated next to two guys we had been sitting next to at the bar at Preserve a few minutes earlier). Vin 909 has a concise menu and is known for its small plates. In fact, there are no traditional entrée sized dishes on the menu. The choices are salads, small plates and pizzas. I am not sure that the tiny kitchen in this former Sears Craftsman home could handle much more than that.
We started with the local dayboat sea scallops from Cape May with hand ground polenta, pickled ramp puree and sea urchin sauce. The seared scallops were some the best we have ever had, golden on the outside and soft on the inside. The polenta was rich, made even richer by the sea urchin sauce. We had the added benefit of watching our scallops prepared right in front of us.
Vin 909 makes “Eastport” style pizzas, named after the neighborhood of Annapolis where the restaurant is located. This style of pizza is rectangular and extremely thin, with a nice char on the crust. It’s more than enough for two people. We ordered the “OMG”, which looked like the epitome of spring. It had local Berkshire speck, asparagus, spring onion, cumin spiced olives, three types of cheeses and chive oil. Despite seeming like an odd combination, all the ingredients went extremely well together.
Our busy server abandoned us for a while after we finished the pizza, but we were able to order our dessert from one of the runners who came for our plates. There was a lot of teamwork on display among the staff members. It seemed like they genuinely wanted the restaurant to succeed.
We finished up with a light and airy butterscotch pudding, served with homemade caramel cookies for scooping. A sweet end to a delicious meal.
Marnay: the the “OMG” Pizza
Paul: the “OMG” Pizza
Vin 909 Winecafe: 909 Bay Ridge Ave Annapolis, MD 21403