|The shrimp dish jinga kararii at Ananda|
The Fulton restaurant is the closest food to my house, serving a cuisine that I love. And I'm just a hobby blogger, which makes me reticent to act like I know exceptional food after a meal or two.
But the professionals love Ananda, so I'm letting myself wax poetic. It's a new restaurant, but I think it already matches the best restaurants in Howard County.
We had another amazing dinner last night. Great cocktails. Spectacularly flavorful shrimp, chicken and dessert. The class of white tablecloths and subtle waiters, paired with the friendliness of a veranda full of families and kids. All as the cool evening rolled in through open walls.
he observation that the kitchen fuses Indian cuisine with a local seasonal vibe of a city bistro. Then Kathy Patterson of Minx Eats enjoyed both the drinks and food. Then yesterday Richard Gorelick gave Ananda four stars in the Sun:
Ananda strives to evoke something of the same nostalgic feeling, and it succeeds. The atmosphere is sophisticated but not stuffy. . . The food — in particular, the items listed as house specials — is elegant, too.Boom. Now I can say that I love the food without feeling like I'm infected with amateur-writer puppy love. We have eaten three meals at Ananda, each better than the last. This time, I ate the shrimp dish jingha karari and used rice and bread to lap up every drop of the sauce rich with ginger and garlic. Mrs. HowChow ate a chicken kabob that was juicy white meat chunks, cooked perfectly and then served with an herb sauce. We finished with a special peach crumble that rivaled our favorite seasonal desserts at Woodberry Kitchen.
Read the professional reviews. They all capture the place -- and Gorelick goes respectful when he describes the Maple Lawn development. I'm amazed that Ananda's kitchen is serving recognizable -- even traditional -- Indian food in ways that seem unique. It's a bit in the food itself. A bit in their offering plated entrees. My shrimp came with a choice of lentils or spinach as a side dish. A bit in the local and seasonal specials like the watermelon salad that we ate on an early visit and that Gorelick raved about.
We're not the only ones raving. The table next to us last night ordered three watermelon salads for three diners. It's so good that they didn't share. We have neighbors who have gone with their toddler every Sunday night since Ananda opened. They love the food, and they're making a family tradition.
As I wrote in my "first thoughts' post, Ananda has an atmosphere that welcomes toddlers in t-shirts and women in date-night dresses. You should try dinner on the veranda on a fall evening. But I can see that Ananda will covert into a cozy, warm winter spot once they bring down those glass walls and turn up the fireplaces. The bar and the interior dining rooms will give you all kinds of options. Gorelick's review got a laugh in our house because he called out Ananda's three televisions. It's a discordant sight here and in other really good restaurants. You'll just need to look the other way.
7421 Maple Lawn Blvd
Fulton, MD 20759
NEAR: Ananda is in the Maple Lawn development just south of Columbia. It's on Maple Lawn Boulevard, which connects Rte 216 and Johns Hopkins Road just west of Rte 29. Ananda is a stand-alone building. As of September, it had no sign. It is across the parking lot from a Suntrust bank.