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Last Updated: Jan 07, 2011 10:02PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

New Wine Passport Program Announced

Printed Passports Free For A Limited Time

Suzy Bogguss

Nashville darling, though raised in a small Illinois farm town, Suzy Bogguss’ country road to country fame took her across the U.S.—and back several times—before she settled on a gig at the famous amusement park, Dollywood, in the mid-’80s. It didn’t take long before she was discovered by record label Capitol Nashville and earned accolades as Top New Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music in 1989, followed by Country Music Association’s Album of the Year in 1994.

Mitchell Reiss, President of Washington College

Mitchell Reiss assumed presidency of Washington College on July 1, 2010, after serving the College of William & Mary as diplomat-in-residence, provost for international affairs, and professor of law and government.

Josh and Mathew Shockley: Creative Geniuses Behind PLB Comics

Brothers Josh and Mathew Shockley grew up in a small town on the Eastern Shore called Snow Hill, Md. But a small-town upbringing doesn’t show in the appearance of the brothers. With a last name like Shockley, the image of a super hero comes to mind, which is appropriate, as these brothers are the creators and owners of PLB Comics, one of Maryland’s locally owned and managed comic book companies.

Free Oral History Training Sessions in Denton and Cambridge

Support the Harriet Tubman Railroad 2013 Initiative Most people know that Harriet Tubman was a Maryland native. But did you know that there’s a state park being built in her honor, a multi-million-dollar initiative to highlight Tubman’s work and to bring recognition to the area that once was the Underground Railroad?

Polar Bear Plunge

Celebrating 15 Years of Plunging for a Special Olympics

Eastern Shore Dining News | January

The dreary days of January might make you want to hibernate, there are plenty of restaurants on the Eastern Shore offering delicious food to keep you warm through spring. Perhaps this news will perk you up from the winter doldrums: There will finally be a place to get fresh sushi in St. Michaels with the transformation of the St. Michael Perk Coffee House into a sushi bar, scheduled to open in March. The desire to open a sushi restaurant stemmed from the lack of similar eateries in St. Michaels, says owner Chris Agharabi, who also own Ava’s Pizzeria. “There’s nothing like that in St. Michaels, so we’re going to give that a try,” he says. Ava’s also already has an experienced sushi chef on staff, which made the decision easier. The restaurant will be casual and moderately priced. The menu will start small and focus on “good vegetarian options,” Agharabi says, with growth depending on what the market dictates. If you’re looking for a new place to eat right now, though, try the Lemon Leaf Café in Chestertown. The restaurant, located at 117 S. Cross St., serves classic homemade Eastern Shore fare, says owner JR Alfree, such as chicken and dumplings, crabcakes, and homemade chicken or shrimp salad stuffed in puff pastry. The restaurant serves breakfast every day, and according to Alfree, everyone raves over what they calls a “Flannel Cake,” which is a cross between a crepe and a pancake and drizzled with apricot syrup. From Thursday through Saturday, the café is open for dinner until 8 p.m. (it closes at 3 p.m. other days). Alfree strongly suggests reservations for dinner because they are very busy and frequently sell out. Call 443-282-0004. If you’re looking to take advantage of some winter specials during the months that tourism on the Shore is down, plan a visit to Sherwood’s Landing at the Inn at Perry Cabin. In celebration of oyster season, the restaurant offers an oyster special every Friday through the winter, where you can dine on oyster shooters, oyster po’boy sandwiches, oysters on the half shell, oyster stew, plus a different chef specialty every week. The oysters are paired with Pommery champagne for $12 a glass, a price that “is just ridiculous,” manager Ron Didner says. “Champagne goes wonderfully with oysters.” There’s also a pairing for Chablis for $10 a glass. To finish things off on a sweet note, Two Tree Restaurant owner Dennis Hager wants to remind you that the restaurant is still serving its incredible desserts. Each dessert is made in-house with unexpected varieties such as persimmon pudding, which recently graced the menu. The Millington restaurant offers a Tuesday-night dessert special: buy two entrees and get dessert free.

Amanda Bramble, 30, Owner, Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill

Amanda Bramble’s early years gave no indication that she would one day own a successful seafood restaurant in Cambridge, a town she calls “the heart of Chesapeake country.” Bramble grew up on the banks of the Choptank River in a family of watermen. She admittedly hates to cook—a strange confession for a restaurant owner—and couldn’t wait to leave the Eastern Shore after finishing high school. And leave she did, attending college in southern Maryland and majoring in biology with a plan to enter the medical field. Bramble then bounced around the country, ending up in Florida until hurricanes forced her to return home. She never left again. “I fell back in love with my town, with my downtown, and unexpectedly found my next move in the last place I had thought to look,” she says. Bramble realized in her mid-20s that her real dream was to open a restaurant, one that would revitalize Cambridge’s community pride and teach tourists about crabbing, the Bay, and the people who work on its waters. Bramble did give nursing school a two-month tryout, but soon knew she had to find a way to make her restaurant dream a reality. However, the country’s crumbling economy during early 2009 wasn’t exactly conducive to opening Jimmie and Sook’s (named for the crabs on which Cambridge’s main industry was built. At the time, Bramble had no money and no business training. The community stepped in, answering her questions, building the bar, painting the walls, giving Bramble the support—and the money—she needed. “I should have had obstacles,” Bramble says. “I opened up the moment our economy crashed, and yet my community surrounded me and provided with a path.” These days, Jimmie & Sook’s fills up quickly for lunch on a weekday. By 12:30 p.m., there might be a wait for a table. In the center of it all, Bramble flits around—stirring a large stockpot of cream of crab soup, and then sitting down with a customer—who has likely become a friend—at a table in the center of the restaurant. Bramble might not be a cook, but she knows good food and good service, both key to making a restaurant successful. From here on out, Bramble is committed to repaying the community for everything they did for her. “I see the restaurant being a part of a revitalized downtown,” she says, “Full of rejuvenated energy that has already begun. I want Cambridge to succeed. I will do whatever I can to see that happen.”-Kelsey Collins  

Jehanne Dubrow, 35, Poet and Professor

The daughter of retired U.S. diplomats, Jehanne Dubrow was born in Italy and grew up in Poland, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Belgium, and the United States. Ironically enough, it’s her husband, Jeremy Schaub, a lieutenant commander, who does all the traveling now. The couple met while in college at St. John’s, dated for a year and a half, broke up, and ended up marrying in 2005 after eight years of remaining in touch despite Schaub’s travels and Dubrow’s time spent earning her M.F.A. and Ph.D. In fact, their unconventional marriage is the topic of Dubrow’s latest collection of poetry, Stateside. In the poems, she likens herself to Penelope, wife of legendary military hero Odysseus, of Homeric fame. It’s no coincidence that the couple decided to name their dog Argos, after Odysseus’ faithful canine companion. While it might be assumed that her husband and dog serve as her muses, Dubrow disagrees. “I actually don’t believe in the concept of inspiration. I do believe in work that excites you.” Writing is not the only work that excites Dubrow, who serves on the Honor Board and teaches literature and creative writing at Washington College in Chestertown. Although she’s won numerous awards for her poetry, she isn’t satisfied. “I don’t yet feel like I’ve had any kind of national recognition, and I have big ambitions for myself.” In the next five years, she hopes to have at least one new poetry collection out, as well as a series of essays. Eventually, she’d like to explore travel writing. At the top of her list of places to visit is Krakow. “My dream is to live there, and practice my Polish, and eat plum cake,” she says with a smile. - Emily Wilson    

Elizabeth Devlin, 29, Progressive Educator

In the heart of the Eastern Shore, one woman is changing the lives of more than a hundred middle-school girls. At the end of next year, that number could rise to more than forty-six hundred. In the past two years alone, Elizabeth Devlin, resident of Oxford, has watched her PageTurners program, designed to supplement the reading and critical thinking skills of at-risk middle-school girls through reading-based discussions and activities, grow from a mere idea into ten full-fledged, active book clubs at six different middle schools throughout the Shore. Devlin, who grew up in Bethesda and earned her undergraduate degree from Davidson College, has always dedicated herself to serving the needs of others. While in college, she participated in a local tutoring program. When the time came for her students to read, “They would crawl under desks and tables,” she recalls. “It was just so eye-opening, because for me, reading as a kid had always been such fun.” Devlin went on to teach Language Arts for two years in inner-city Charlotte, through the Teach For America program, and then worked at a national nonprofit in inner-city Baltimore before starting PageTurners. What motivates her? “It’s really the kids, and the kids that I’ve known,” she says. “Even when I wasn’t getting paid, and even when I was working two jobs, [they are] definitely what kept me going.” Devlin’s goal is not just to improve reading and comprehension, but also to empower the girls, grades 6–8, “with a stronger sense of self, and a stronger sense of the future and what they can do with their lives.” Moving forward, Devlin hopes to elevate the program to the national level. “I think I’m in it for the long-haul,” she says. - Emily Wilson  



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