After sitting down with Brique Executive Chef William Dolan and Owners Billy Fairbanks and Tommy Inzer, I can shed a bit more light on the 51-seat, upscale restaurant that’s set to open in Centreville later this month.The three are confident that the restaurant can establish itself as the premier destination-dining spot on the Eastern Shore. They said Julia’s Fine Dining, which previously occupied the space, earned that title for a while, but wasn’t able to sustain.“We’ll offer better food at a lower price, in an atmosphere that’s as fine as it gets,” Inzer said. “We want you to feel like you’re at the Ritz Carlton, or at least the nicest restaurant on the Eastern Shore.”If the price point, atmosphere, and food quality reach their expectations, the three believe they’ll be equally appealing to the Annapolis and DC markets as to those in Queen Anne’s County, Easton, and St. Michaels.
Brique, a self-described “upscale-chic dining venue,” is set to open this month in Centreville, directly across from the courthouse in the space previously occupied by Julia’s Casual Fine Dining.I’ve been sitting on this news while I tried to get in touch with the owners, Tommy Inzer and Billy Fairbanks, and their executive chef, William Dolan. A press release came in last week. Turns out I can file this entry now, and update the blog once I speak to them. Lo, this crazy medium called the Internet.
As far as celebrity chefs go, Anthony Bourdain is something of a Keith Richards to Rachel Ray’s Shania Twain. His memoir, Kitchen Confidential, revealed both his battle with heroin addiction as well as the seedy underbelly of restaurant kitchens in fine dining establishments. It also vaulted him from relative anonymity to worldwide fame. Like Richards, he’s also the type of personality for whom pseudo-intellectual types like to profess their admiration. Stuff White People Like could do a lot worse than an entry on Anthony Bourdain.
Admittedly, we spend less time covering the Lower Shore than we’d like. None of us doubt that there’s plenty of interesting material south of Dorchester County, but sometimes our reportorial net just doesn’t cast as far as we’d like.But the industrious folks at Southernboys Concepts, a restaurant group owned by brothers Tom and John Knorr, have drawn our attention.In addition to the popular Evolution Craft Brewing Co. (EVO) beers that have been quickly gaining shelf space all over the state and in Delaware since they began being brewed about a year ago, Southernboys also owns three restaurants in Wicomico County (and another in Antigua Guatemala).
How we got here: India’s recently renovated and reopened after a small but disabling fire in the kitchen earlier this spring. We were eager to give them a go. We actually ventured into post-Navy graduation traffic, but not too far. India’s is located about 4 blocks from our West Street office and is opposite Park Place. Walking distance yes; but we were in a hurry so we zipped down by car, parked on a residential side street, and headed in (and yes, India’s does validate parking for the garage nearby).
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Every Wednesday, we’ll review a restaurant in Annapolis or on the Eastern Shore from the perspective of two people getting lunch in the middle of their workday. Hence, pace and cost will be factored differently than you’d expect from a typical restaurant review, which is usually from the perspective of a dinner experience.How we got here: The weather was abiding for an outdoor meal and after putting our heads together, we decided upon Ken’s Creative Kitchen, specifically The Back Porch. Neither of us have been, so we were excited to try something out of the ordinary. The café serves lunch created by the culinary prowess of Ken Upton; the quaint digs are located in Annapolis Landing Marina. From the outskirts of downtown Annapolis (Westgate Circle) to the marina/café, which is tucked away off Bembe Beach Rd., was a 15-minute drive during the lunch rush.
Recently, Mayor Cohen issued a RFP, calling for businesses (local and regional) interested in setting up shop in the once-famed-turned-blame-game Market House to pitch their ideas. Among the 15 who sent in proposals (most of them food service-related), the Annapolis Environmental Commission's (AEC) stood out. And now, the Mayor-appointed commission is seeking public support. If going green is your thing, you'll get a kick out the AEC's proposal. In a public release, the AEC states:
"To help boost Annapolis as a thriving, sustainable community to area residents and visitors alike, the AEC submitted a proposal to establish an Eco-Education Input and Outreach Niche in the Market House that will be a bustling center for eco-meets, information, education, and hands-on demos on environmentally friendly practices.
In response to my previous post about the reopening of the Robert Morris Inn in Oxford, someone on Facebook asked if she could expect to find Oxford Organic Raspberry Wheat Ale there once they reopen. I was pretty sure the Oxford Class Organic ales by Baltimore's Clipper City Brewing had nothing to do with the town of Oxford, but I figured I'd give the folks at Clipper City a call just to be sure.
As the local food movement continues to grow, it’s becoming increasingly transparent that some restaurants are trend surfing, while others are acting on genuine concern for the environment and/or the quality of food they serve.So I was heartened this week, after being CC’ed on an email introducing local farmers and other contacts to Joe Cline, the new executive chef at The Front Room at the Imperial Hotel in Chestertown, when Cline replied to his new contacts with a list of all the ingredients he needed to compose his next menu. He’d be changing menus in August, he said, so these ingredients would only be needed through July.
Named after "The Financier of the American Revolution," Oxford’s Robert Morris Inn is undergoing a change in power structure of its own.