By Christine Fillat | Photography courtesy of VIN 909
It is a cold night in February, mid week, and we are told a table will be available for us in about 30 to 40 minutes. This Eastport wine cafe, in a vintage Sears Roebuck cottage, always has patrons lining up for a table, since they accept no reservations. The wines are fine, and there are lots of other folks also waiting. The vibe is neighborhoody, with a comfortable familiarity. There seems to be no rush.
Wines by the glass are a great way to dive into the sensibility of the wine curator. The Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel from Paso Robles, California, is a sure hit, and one that goes along with all the evening’s food. A value at $8.00 a glass or $28.00 a bottle, and it hits all of the right notes.
Food at VIN 909 is meant to be shared. That makes it entirely possible to try a variety of the menu’s offerings. Once seated in the main dining room, we start out with almonds, a selection of oil-cured olives, and a plate of buratta on basil pesto. The olives are just right in their warm saltiness. We would have liked the buratta to be warmer and softer. It lacked the creaminess we have come to expect from this delicate cheese.
The Cast Iron Skirt Steak comes to table perfectly medium rare, atop a spicy Moroccan sauce. This steak is just fantastic, cooked to perfection, and the sauce is delightfully piquant. Braised Swiss chard in a rich Parmesan Dijon sauce makes for a pleasing accompaniment to the steak.
VIN 909 is known for its flatbreads. We chose one that is not on the menu, but can still be ordered: The Superstar. Super in its rich ingredients: foie gras, dried figs, mozzarella, and truffle oil, this unusual flatbread combination is satisfying with its delectable flavors.
We would have ordered dessert and coffee, but the waitress informed us that the restaurant was closing up, and wanted to close out our check. Having waited for a table and getting seated later than we had anticipated, it was approaching the closing hour of 10 p.m. By then, the restaurant was mainly empty (save for a group having a drink at the bar), so we accommodated her request, and had to save the dessert for some future visit.
And speaking of some future visit, we are definitely planning a return, so we can savor the Roseda Farm Beef Slider (which was sold out the evening we dined), or perhaps the Gulf shrimp, or the mushroom flatbread, or the super popular avocado toast, and we haven’t even delved into the beer.
VIN 909. This neighborhood dining spot is worth the visit, and
well worth the wait.
909 Bay Ridge Avenue
Annapolis, MD 221403
Hours of Operation
Wednesday–Friday, 12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Tuesday–Thursday, 5:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Friday, 5:30 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
Saturday, 5:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
Sunday, 5:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Christine Fillat lives on the Magothy River and is an aficionado
of Chesapeake Bay cooking and living.
From Vol. 7, No. 2 2016
Annapolis Home Magazine