Price range: From chopped steak, $4.95, to veal marsala, $11.95.
Atmosphere: Pleasant, unhurried.
Hours: Sunday and Monday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Special facilities: Accessible to the handicapped; booster chairs available.
Reservations: Recommended for dinner; two rooms can be reserved for private parties.
Credit cards: All major credit cards accepted.
One problem with suburban hotel restaurants is they often are for an out-of-town clientele: Meals tend to be overpriced, decorations gaudy and the foot not quite as tasty as the fare in the more community-oriented establishments.
But the Challedon Exquisit, an excellent French restaurant in the Sheraton Inn in New Carrollton, successfully combines neighborly hospitality with the quality food and decor found in hotel restaurants in the cities.
The Challedon has gold candelabras and crystal chandeliers and paintings of quiet country scenes. The carpet, tablecloths and furniture fit into a red, black and gold color scheme.
Right away we were impressed by the extensive menu. The choices run from chopped steak, at $4.95, to veal cordon bleu, for $7.95, to jumbo shrimp cooked in a flaming dish at table-side, for $11.95.
The children's menu consists of chopped steak of fried chicken or jumbo shrimp, for $2.50. The meals come with french fries and coleslaw, with beverage and dessert extra.
Our two-year-old daughter selected the chicken while our other daughter, 5, decided to try the fried shrimp dinner. However, when their orders arrived each was more than enough for one child. Next time we would probably order one dinner for both the children and ask the waiter to bring an extra plate.
After debating between the Greek style fillet of rockfish, smothered in onions, green peppers, simmered in olive oil, for $4.95, and the Maryland crab cakes, for $7.95, my wife settled on fried shrimp stuffed with crab meat, at $7.95.
I decided to try a truly French dish - veal cordon bleu, $7.95 - made with sliced veal stuffed with ham and cheese, breaded and sauteed. The dish provided an unusually tasty meal.
When I looked over the list of appetizers, I could not resist the Viennese fried mushrooms, a dish of lightly breaded and fried white mushrooms, which cost $2.50. My wife ordered the shrimp cocktail, $3.50, and we shared with the kids.
The Challedon Exquisit also offers a salad bar stocked with fresh breads and a good selection of crisp vegetables, several salad dressings and relishes.
While we waited for our main course, we watched diners a few tables away, where a waitress was preparing their dinner of jumbo shrimp in flaming white wine sauce.
At one point, the waitress preparing the meal added too much wine to the fire, creating a flash of leaping flames that startled diners throughout the room. The falmes were quickly controlled and the dinner served undamaged.
After we completed our dinner, which got a rave reviews from every member of our clan, I had just enough room for a slice of cheesecake, strawberry sauce, of course. My wife and I shared two slices, at $1.75 per slice, with the children.
We found the atmosphere at the Challedon Exquisit to be quite pleasant. It was nice to sit and enjoy dinner without being rushed. The dining room help was courteous, and the prices, although higher than usual dinner tab, were reasonable.
For our dinner, tea, milk and dessert, the total bill came to $34.03, plus tip.