Blue Wind Gourmet

American, Pizza
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Robert Plant graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., in 1984 and came to Southern Maryland more than a decade later to open and manage restaurants. Last year, he opened the Blue Wind Gourmet , a combination wine store and gourmet carryout in California, because, he said, "I wanted to open a place that I would enjoy going to." The enterprise, just off Three Notch Road across from Wal-Mart, is unlike most places in Southern Maryland: It's not part of a chain and it doesn't specialize in either barbecue or crab. Maryland crab soup (the vegetable version as opposed to cream of crab soup) is sometimes on the menu and is very good. But the emphasis here is on gourmet pizzas and sandwiches, including daily specials that feature such ingredients as roast pork (for a Cuban sandwich) and smoked duck. All the sandwiches are made on a choice of ciabatta (Italian bread) or focaccia (whole wheat Italian flat bread), and each comes with a small green salad with a choice of homemade dressings (the garlic-infused balsamic vinaigrette is a good choice). Pick up a bottle of wine for a great picnic.

--Nancy Lewis (April, 2006)