Wild Orchid blooms in Annapolis
I heard about the Black Orchid in Annapolis from two different sources, so I couldn't understand why it didn't have a phone number. When I finally tracked it down, I found out why: It's actually the Wild Orchid, located in the quaint little house in Eastport where Cafe La Mouffe used to be (909 Bay Ridge Ave.,  268-8009). (I still haven't figured out why the mix-up.)
The small dining room with fireplace has only 30 seats, but the kitchen's ambitions are large. Jim Wilder, who with his partner, Linda Davis, also owns Company's Coming catering, calls it "creative American cooking." That includes dishes like autumn greens and mushroom soup, rotisserie duck, and lamb chops with sun-dried tomatoes. The Wild Orchid is open every day for lunch and dinner, with brunch on Sunday. Entrees at dinner time run from $13.95 to $18.95.
If you don't see it, ask
I was struck again recently that at the best restaurants you should always ask for exactly what you want -- you'll probably get it. My guest at Tio Pepe was disappointed that the pheasant with green grapes and wild rice that he had had before wasn't on the menu. When we asked the waiter about it, he said the kitchen might be able to fix it for him anyway. (Which it did.) I know Tio Pepe is sometimes accused of not treating its nonregular customers as well as it should, but the waiter and the kitchen won me over that night.
Bagging the doughnuts
According to David Rosengarten, the host of "Taste" on the TV Food Network, here's what's in and out these days: "Cajun food sort of shot across the sky and disappeared." What's in at restaurants, he says, are huge servings of basic food and "interactive desserts." "There's a restaurant in New York where they serve doughnuts -- and you have to take them out of a paper bag."
Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or fax to (410) 783-2519.
Pub Date: 12/12/96