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“WOW WOW WOW” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sam's on the Waterfront

Sam's on the Waterfront
2020 Chesapeake Harbour Dr E, Chesapeake Harbour Marina, Annapolis, MD 21403
+1 410-263-3600
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Ranked #183 of 307 Restaurants in Annapolis
Price range: $16 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Edgewood Road
Description: "Well worth the Trip" Is what the Washington Post and many others say about Sam's on the Waterfront. Tucked away in the middle of Chesapeake Harbour Marina, Sam's is a true visual and culinary experience. Built in 1986 & designed after the historic Spider legged Screw pile lighthouses, this uniquely crafted building on the water, provides the most elegant of settings. Make no mistake about it Sam's is dedicated to providing the most fresh, creative dining experience possible. Their New Exec. Chef Jim Wilder (Formerly of the Wild Orchid will tailor your meal to meet any of your special requirements and their staff will make sure that all of your expectations will be met.Sam's has a truly remarkable modern American cuisine w/ regional influences. The menus change seasonally with weekly special. Winner of Wine Spectators & Wine Enthusiast "Award of Excellent" and Zagat's "Best Bet Award" Sam's offers the best live Music every Friday and Saturday Nights. Sam's outside Dock Bar & Cafe open Seasonally.
Annapolis, Maryland
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

First, the setting is great: it's a hexagonal (octagonal?) building out over the water in the Chesapeake Harbour marina. Second, the menu, which varies seasonally, is great. The service is attentive without being chummy. Only the noise level detracts (that's dependent upon bar crowd and/or live music). In the summer months, there's a dockside option.
This visit we had starters: the tempura shrimp with a soy dipping sauce contained fresh, tender, sweet, huge shrimp. The cornmeal-crusted oysters were tasty and the dipping sauce peppery. The winter salad was a pleasant mix of fruits, blue cheese and greens with a wonderful orange vinaigrette and the caesar salad was generous in size and anchovies-- mmmmm! (both could have been on larger plates for a better presentation-- as they hung over the sides of the smaller plates-- hardly something to complain of). The seared scallops on sweet potato cakes served with pistachio butter were to die for. The scallops were large, juicy, tender, and sweet and just barely carmelized. I order scallops whenever possible, and these vie for the best I've ever had. There was a chocolate confection at the end (I didn't order, but had a taste) that was a bit of heaven: light, very chocolate-y, warm, and with a cold caramel sauce. I'm usually not a chocolate person, but this could convert me!
This is a lovely place for lunch or dinner, with a decent wine list. Specials are both chef creations of the day and fixed deals like Wednesday is 1/2 price for a bottle of wine. I'm salivating just remembering last night's meal. Oh-- and we eat there regularly: the food is unfailingly good!

Visited March 2013
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94 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Annapolis, Maryland
1 review
“Best Sunday Brunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My experience at Sam's for Sunday brunch has been wonderful! (ordering from the menu--not a buffet) I stopped going to this restaurant several years ago because the food was mediocre and the prices high. Well, the management and chef have changed and my ventures back, while limited to Sundays so far, have proven that there has been a huge improvement. You will not find better breakfast potatoes in this town. The eggs were perfection (they give you 3 of them!) and the bacon and sausage perfectly done. The staff is wonderfully friendly and make you feel right at home--they even mentioned that they try to make it like Cheers--a real neighborhood kind of place. I also tried carry out lunch and the pot roast sliders with shoestring fries was delicious. I plan to come back often now that I know what a great restaurant it has become in my absence. And by the way, do not be put off by the security gate you go through to get there-it is no hassle--they just give you a paper to put on your windshield. The only thing I would recommend for continued improvement is that they invest in a toaster...

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

Don't go here. Food was bad. Atmosphere tacky. Utensils were dirty. Plenty of better options in annapolis area.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville, Maryland
Top Contributor
240 reviews 240 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
“The $16 hockey puck”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We have been here several times in the past. While the view is nice and the prices high, the food and service had been OK. Well, this time, it seems that all the good is in the past. It was not all that busy, but the kitchen managed to mess up everything. The most glaring was the $16 burger that was ordered medium and arrived past well done. The NHL could use it for a hockey puck. The fires were cold and hard. The expensive trout was also over done. It would have been nice if the wait person checked to see if everything was OK -- but there was no wait person to be found. So, while two waited a respectful time before eating, the other two watched until a wait person could be found. The rent must be high for this place because the prices are bordering on outrageous. Wines by the glass, a small portion reflect a 5 retail times cost and by the bottle at least 4 times retail cost. Have water. This review is meant to be a wake up call to Sam's. I suggest that they take it to heart and get control over their kitchen and price their wines a little more fairly. They have lost us as customers who have been there several times and will likely lose many more if they share any part of our experiences. There are other places in the area with nice views and better food and prices.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

The atmosphere at this restaurant is very charming (live music over brunch, view of the water). However, the service and quality of the food leaves a lot to be desired - especially at the prices!! The coffee was delicious - unfortunately, it was COLD and we had to ask several times for a warm cup. And then wait....and wait... The beignets were also super delicious. That is the end of the compliments. Half of the dishes were overcooked (dried up "hangover hash" with burn potatoes and overdone eggs; burnt french toast), and the other half were undercooked (someone actually said of their omelet "I hope it tastes better than it looks", because it looked a soupy mess; and No, it did not taste any better than it looked). The manager even came over to the table to address the issue and basically left us with a "well, we know this was not a great meal, and we are working on it." The End. No apology. No discount. No coupon for next time - or even an "I hope you will give us another try." And, to add insult to injury, they automatically added a 20% tip. Maybe they were worried that we would not tip the waitress since the food was so dismal. Whatever. With so many super-yummy brunch options in the area, we will never come back here again.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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