Perfect day in O.C. for foodies
Soft shelled crab from Smith Island at Jules Restaurant in Ocean City. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / May 21, 2009)
Get a room with a menu. Stay at the Hilton Suites Ocean City Oceanfront, if not for the rooms — which offer fabulous ocean front views — then for the fact that you'll also have access to 32 Palm Restaurant. The much talked about restaurant offers a unique blend of Western Caribbean with Eastern Shore favorites. Plus, there's also a Starbuck's. (32nd Street, Oceanside, 410-289-6444 or 410-289-2525, oceancityhilton.com).
Make it to market. If there's heaven on earth for a foodie, it has to be a local farmers' market. Ocean City's Shore Fresh farmers' market located in the Phillips Restaurant parking lot in northern Ocean City is the perfect way to spend a morning. Open Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (142nd St. and Coastal Highway, mda.state.md.us/md_products).
Sip and say cheese. Have a light lunch sampling wine and cheese at Liquid Assets. Although at first glance it looks like an upscale wine and liquor store, there's also a restaurant with a full menu. The cheese menu comes with suggested wine pairings. (94th St. and Coastal Highway, 410-524-7037, ocliquidassets.com).
Go yard. Spend an afternoon at Costa Ventosa Winery & Vineyard. Located only 10 minutes from Ocean City this winery is know as "the fun-spirited winery" and offers samples, a tour of the wine processing area and a chance to wander through its vineyards. Taste all nine of the varietals for $5 and keep the glass. (9031 Whaleyville Road, Route 610, 410-352-9867, costaventosa.com.)
Try dinner at Jules. The menu is innovative and sophisticated enough to please even the pickiest foodie, while the presentations themselves are something to marvel. (11805 Coastal Highway, 410-524-3396, julesoc.com).