Husband-and-wife team Jeremy and Michelle Hoffman have turned their Annapolis restaurant Preserve into a destination for seasonal plates and fun ferments, and it’s a regular on Washingtonian‘s 100 Very Best Restaurants list. Garten, their forthcoming beer-and-wine garden, aims to capture the same ethos but with a modern spin on old-world German and Northern French fare. It’s slated to open in Anne Arundel County’s Severna Park, less than an hour drive outside DC, on October 5.
“This has always been an idea in Jeremy’s mind. He comes from German heritage. His grandfather spoke German and Pennsylvania Dutch, and his family has a farming, agricultural background,” Michelle says. “Garten is kind of like the baby sibling of Preserve.”
The food menu, overseen by chef de cuisine and Preserve alum Greg Anderson, will feature local cheeses and charcuterie plus heartier dishes like schnitzel with shaved garden vegetables or a brat burger with smoked provolone and curry-ketchup aioli. Expect lots of the ferments Preserve is known for too: Giant pretzels will come with homemade mustard, while spinach dip will use tangy sauerkraut instead of artichoke. Sausages from Baltimore’s Binkert’s German Meat Products might get dressed up with curtido, the Salvadoran-style slaw.
An eclectic wine list, selected by general manager Chris Walker (another longtime Preserve alum), will highlight primarily organic, sustainable, and biodynamic bottles—they span from an Italian Pinot Grigio to funkier unfiltered orange wine. Later this year, wine subscriptions and DIY gift boxes will be available.
Beers range from steins of traditional German lagers to draft “patio-pounders” and Garten’s house beer—a German-style pilsner—brewed by Pherm Brewing Company in Gambrills, Maryland. Lead bartender Delaney Pendry will draw from the garden for a cocktail list that will include plenty of classics plus both low-alcohol spritzes and no-alcohol refreshers with housemade juice blends and botanical sodas.
The indoor-outdoor space, with capacity for 140, aims to feel like an “extension of everyone’s backyard or living rooms in this community,” Michelle says. Opt for a picnic table on the pergola-covered patio, cozy up near the fireplace in the dining room, or grab a high-top in the wine-and-beer bottle shop. The place will have live music, plus festivities for Oktoberfest. Plus, Michelle has taken up beekeeping on-site and plans to harvest honey for cocktails and other menu items.
“I am a 38 year old woman that has a very busy lifestyle with now two restaurants, a 10 year old. I just needed a hobby and something for myself,” Michelle says. “After the craziness of the pandemic and everything, it’s nice to have a hobby that will be nice for my mental health, but also it’s going to eventually be delicious on a cheese board here.”
Garten. 849 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park.
Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.