One of the best parts of summer dining is finding places with outdoor seating. Even when it’s hot, it’s nice to escape the air conditioning in a beautiful setting. I’ve had some wonderful meals recently at the Ambassador Dining Room on its elegant patio, surrounded by greenery and colorful blooms, and Sanders’ Corner’s porch, which overlooks the dense, wooded area around Loch Raven Dam. You just want to linger for hours, watch dusk turn into dark, and soak up the relaxing ambiance.
But I also recently rediscovered the Manor Tavern in Monkton. I hadn’t been to this horse-country restaurant in years, mainly because I was living out of town. It was definitely time to try it again. So last Friday, my friend, Mr. Scrapple (yes, he eats anything), and I went there to sit on the covered terrace and check out the food.
Even in the sizzling heat, the covered patio was cool and comfortable in the evening, and the view of the verdant countryside was tranquil. After having worked downtown all week, it was a pleasant respite from the city hustle bustle. And the food we had was good, too. Definitely start out with the whopping plateful of lightly breaded calamari with red and yellow peppers and chunky marinara sauce. But the dish of the summer is the citrus seafood salad, a mix of crisp romaine and mixed greens in a subtle lemony vinaigrette with fat shrimp, a generous portion of lump crab, and outstanding diver scallops. I could have done without the canned mandarin oranges, but that’s a small quibble to enjoy these wonderful flavors—and sit outside on that great terrace.