Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ananda Has Opened Softly, And The Open-Walled Patio Is Pretty Sweet; Full Menu In A Few Weeks

Lemon-basil sorbet at Ananda
Ananda, the new Indian restaurant in Fulton, opened softly this evening.  We already had dinner at home, but Mrs. HowChow saw that they're serving sweets.

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.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

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.


Christy said...

We must be neighbors as we can walk here as well! The crab was excellent and they were very kind to my three small children in such a beautiful space. I can't wait for the promised happy hour sans kiddos!

Lisa B, Mrs. S. said...

We went tonight. The crab dish is an excellent mild dish; the shrimp was as well. I loved the lamb vindaloo. Honestly, everything tasted really good, the environment was great, and the service was friendly. I can see this being a regular spot for us.

Anonymous said...

Soft opening as you said. Went there last night, Friday, and sat at the bar. Good drinks and nice 3 course menu for $20 (will expand). Looks like they know what they are doing! Very nice looking building, both inside and out.

Anonymous said...

We ate there last Saturday night and it was superb in every way. The space is amazing, the service spot-on, and the food was fantastic. The owner/manager came over to our table twice, once to check up on us and again to present us with a complimentary glass of champagne. I had the avocado and toasted corn salad, crab Malabar, and cardamom ice cream (they have several vegetarian offerings as well). Don't miss the $20 fixed price menu while it is still available.

Anonymous said...

Just ate at Ananda this evening and agree with the last post, it was a great evening all-around. The ambiance on the patio (with the garage doors) was lovely with a cool breeze blowing in off the garden. Service was attentive without being overbearing. We had a mix of dishes, including the crab Malabar, a shrimp dish, and a chick pea dish (Chana Masala I think). We all enjoyed our choices and are thinking of trying again while the $20 prix fixe menu is still available.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a meal at Ananda tonight. We dined at the other side of the restaurant as the patio side was full... Will eat there next time but did like the space where we were sitting. The room is designed very tastefully and there is a fireplace. There is also a private closed room that seats at least 10... Would be great for a special occasion. The food was delicious. We had the crab, lamb and chicken dish and everyone enjoyed their meal. We each had drinks with gin and the added ingredients really elevated the drink. Skimmed through the wine list and there were many reasonable choices. The waitress said they will expand to the full menu within the next week.