|Lemon-basil sorbet at Ananda|
Not just any sweets -- rice pudding, lemon-basil sorbet, and cardamom ice cream.
Next thing you know, we were sitting on the open-walled patio at sunset drinking cocktails and eating dessert. It's a beautiful space, serving ice cream that Mrs. HowChow rated like Capogiro, our favorite gelato up in Philadelphia.
This was the first night for Ananda, a new restaurant in Maple Lawn from the folks who own the Ambassador in Baltimore. They have been building for a long time, and they're opening slowly. For a few weeks, they'll do a $20 three-course dinner off a smaller, but pretty diverse, menu. They'll add a sign and eventually expand to a full menu.
Our light dessert makes us optimistic. Really terrific sorbet and ice cream -- both strong, subtle flavors and perfect consistencies. Really nice cocktails, one with rum, blackberries and ginger beer and another with cucumber, tonic and gin. The attention and ingredients make us look forward to actually eating a meal.
You can get such great Indian in Howard County that Mango Grove and Royal Taj both make my favorite restaurants. But I'm an actual homer when it comes to Ananda. We can walk here.
As much as we look forward to the food, we're just as excited to hang out in the space. It has taken almost two years, but they've built a beautiful space with a large bar and an entire room with garage-style doors that open to make it an open-walled patio. In other rooms, they have fireplaces that look like they'll be cozy spots in the winter.
7421 Maple Lawn Boulevard (I think)
Fulton, MD 20759
NEAR: This is on Maple Lawn Boulevard just south of Johns Hopkins Boulevard. It isn't near the other Maple Lawn restaurants. This is a stand-alone building -- for now without a sign -- across the parking lot from a Suntrust bank.