As its name might suggest, Preserve is all about lasting things. Chef Jeremy Hoffman, who opened the Annapolis restaurant with his wife, Michelle, in April, pays homage to his down-home roots with tricked-out classics like pickled bologna, pork and sauerkraut and, yes, authentic
Pennsylvania Dutch potpie. “It’s more like a soup—a whole chicken, a little saffron, served with egg noodles drizzled with chicken fat,” he explains.
The couple met at the Culinary Institute of America, where they were both on the chef track. But when they moved to New York City, says Michelle, “We realized we couldn’t live on two line cooks’ salaries,” so she stepped up to the front of the house—as manager at the Tribeca Grill—while Jeremy worked in such serious kitchens as Nobu 57 and Per Se.
They moved on to the Eat Good Food Group in Alexandria, Va., where Jeremy was chef de cuisine for Eve. Preserve, says Michelle, is not just about pickling and brining. “We’re also about preserving the local economy by putting money in other small business owners’ hands.” The restaurant’s rough-hewn decor incorporates repurposed sails, dishes from an Annapolis company and, of course, Maryland beers.
“For me, that’s the underlying meaning of preserve,” says Michelle. 164 Main St., Annapolis, 443-598-6920, preserve-eats.com —M.T.