Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Schroyer’s Tavern still swinging for perfection

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Tom Fedor⁄The Gazette
Chicken Chesapeake entree at Schroyer's Tavern at the Maryland National Golf Club outside of Middletown
What do you get when you take a group of individuals from Germany, Belgium and Ireland to a pasta night? Happy diners and wonderful food.

Our neighborhood group attended the ‘‘Taste of Sicily” held every Thursday evening at Schroyer’s Tavern in Middletown.

This special night allows diners to choose from different types of pasta and great sauces along with a chance to add fresh vegetables and chicken, beef, or shrimp to your selection.

The result is a superb meal!

The cost is $13.95 for veggies, chicken or beef, and $16.95 for shrimp.

A side salad and rolls accompany this delicious meal. You can substitute a Caesar for $1.50.

The tavern’s full menu of signature dishes and wide variety of tasty meals is also available on pasta night.

It so happened that in our group of eight, the ladies all saw the pasta bar and did not look back.

Our only disappointment was that there had been so many people at the restaurant before we arrived that the kitchen had run out of their delicious and famous French onion soup.

Krista, who is not usually a server, handled everything with aplomb and apologies, and offered us other choices. Two did try the barley with turkey soup and were happy with the alternative. Krista offered to serve salads early to those who did not order another appetizer.

Salads were cold with a nice blend of vegetables, and the rolls served ‘‘just out of the oven,” were a hit with everyone. Seconds were inevitable.

After the appetizers, we gals headed to the pasta preparation table. Executive Chef Eddie Hilton, made our short wait fun as he energetically explained the choices and skillfully prepared dishes.

Watching him toss the pasta into the air from the skillet was something none of us had ever seen, and certainly will never try to duplicate.

Angel hair, linguini, ziti or gnocchi were the pastas of the evening. Marinara, Vodka Marsala, lemon butter, garlic butter, Alfredo and a special chef inspired marinara Marsala were the sauces.

A tray of chopped fresh vegetables, spices, and cheese allowed diners to make their own unique creation. Adding meat was the final crowing touch to the repast served in a large bowl-shaped dish.

Three of the ladies had chicken, I had shrimp, and the sauces of the night were lemon butter, Vodka Marsala and the chef special. All brought rave comments. We even did a little sharing as everyone kept raving about ‘‘their choice.”

Two of the men had Chesapeake chicken and one had a petite filet. The comments were all good. I did not see anyone with a take-home box—only clean plates. The burger ordered by one of the men brought the comment, ‘‘This is the best burger in the valley!” He described it as wonderful and prepared medium just as he had requested. He was also pleased that the meat was very hot.

The tray of desserts was presented by Krista who graciously explained each yummy offering.

Once again, I was the lone ‘‘dessertaholic.” I had the Key Lime Cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. Krista said she does not usually do the decoration on the plate, but that night she made a pretty presentation with tasty raspberry dots. The cold plate and fork made this a real treat.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Schroyer’s Tavern is part of the Maryland National Golf Club. In the summer, you can dine with a panoramic view of the lovely golf course, or eat on the expansive deck.

In the cooler months, the view is still lovely, but to ease the chills, there is a large stone fireplace in the spacious dining room. We were fortunate to enjoy this amenity.

Soft black leather seats make dining a comfortable experience sitting under a beamed, vaulted ceiling. Lighting is subtle and the tables are neatly appointed with white clothes and black napkins folded to hold the silverware. This is all set off by gleaming white dishes.

The breakfast menu, available after 9 a.m. was originally offered for the golfer’s convenience, but it soon became something the public also enjoyed. Chef Hilton offers omelets, breakfast sandwiches and egg platters.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Schroyer’s has a full lunch menu of starters, soups, salads and sandwiches.

The evening menu is even more diverse and outstanding. The list of about 16 different and attention-grabbing appetizers is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Add to this the soups and salads and you could well make a meal. Light fare is a nice option, but the main entrees take the cake. Everything from South Mountain Meatloaf for $10.95 to ‘‘Hole in One” Surf and turf for $27.95, and everything in between will tweak your appetite. Meat, seafood, chicken and pasta dishes all sound like another good reason to return. Even the names sound good such as black ‘n blue rib eye steak for $29.95, Grilled salmon with scallion butter for $14.95, or whiskey chicken $15.95.

Any night — be it ‘‘ A Taste of Sicily,” ‘‘Butcher Block Night,” or simply sampling the regular menu — is a great night at Schroyer’s Tavern.

Schroyer’s Tavern

Maryland National Golf Club

8836 Hollow Road

Middletown

301-371-0000

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 4-March 14

Visa, MasterCard and American Express

Handicapped Accessible

Non-smoking