- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prime steak. Those two words define Lewnes Steakhouse in Annapolis and make it a prime spot for lovers of U.S. prime aged beef.

If you are a steak lover, it is worth the trip to this establishment, located a stone’s throw from Spa Creek in the city’s charming community of Eastport. The Lewnes family, originally from Sparta, Greece, has been serving food at the Fourth Street location since 1921.

It is, like many true steakhouses, pricey, but for that special occasion, the food and service are worth every penny.

Lewnes touts a wine list from around the world.

Most of the appetizers are seafood offerings: oysters on the half shell, crabmeat cocktail, clams casino and balls of jumbo lump crabmeat. The exception is a black bean soup.

The oysters ($8.95), referred to as Choptank Sweets, are farm-raised from the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Large and plump, they offered a sweet, clean taste that was very satisfying, much like that of bluepoints.

Crab balls ($14.95 on this night) were bite-sized morsels, delightfully crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside. They were very lightly seasoned, but a cocktail sauce will add a nice kick if you are looking for spice.

The reason to visit, though, is the meat. New York strip, filet mignon, porterhouse, prime rib or rib-eye. All cooked to order in a piping-hot broiler - with a little magic touch: butter.

The filet ($39.95 or $29.95 petite) was buttery-crisp outside and juicy-tender inside; medium here means medium-rare.

The veal chop ($30.95) is a hefty piece of meat featuring that famous broiler crust. This crust gives the veal a boldness not usually found with this mild, tender meat. It was perfectly medium-rare, as ordered, and the meat was meltingly tender.

Broiled salmon filet ($26.95) was selected because the kitchen was out of yellowfin tuna. The herb coating gave the fish a fresh, lively flavor. Like the meat, the salmon was expertly prepared, moist and flaky-tender.

Lewnes does a wonderful broiled jumbo Maine lobster, but it will cost you. On this night, they were $23 a pound. The scrumptious sea creatures start at 3 pounds, so …

The sides are large enough to feed at least two. Lyonnaise potatoes ($5.75) go beyond the standard fried potatoes and onions: They feature the pan juices, as one would use them in cooking steak and potatoes at home.

If this is not to your fancy, there are four other traditional spud plates from which to choose.

Mushrooms, creamed spinach, asparagus and onion rings round out the vegetables on the menu.

New York cheesecake ($5.50) is not made in-house, but it is the perfect end to a steakhouse meal. Extra-smooth and creamy, it had just a touch of tang in the filling and a subtle butter sweetness in the crust to balance out this luscious dessert nicely.

A freshly made hot-fudge brownie, plus lemon sorbet, vanilla and chocolate ice creams, sliced strawberries and pecan and Key lime pie round out the dessert offerings.

RESTAURANT: Lewnes Steakhouse, 401 Fourth St., Annapolis; 410/263-1617; www.lewnessteakhouse.com

HOURS: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday

PRICES: Appetizers $4.25 to $14.95; sides $5.75 to $7.75; entrees $18.95 to $40.95; desserts $5.50

CREDIT CARDS: All major cards

PARKING: Street parking

ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible

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