In December 2010, Executive Chef Thomas Dunklin took over the kitchen at B&O American Brasserie and has finally introduced his debutmenus. Chef Dunklin’s menus offer guests a seasonally changing, approachable American Brasserie menu that celebrates the robust flavors and rustic foods of regional America.
“It’s important to me that I get out there to meet and build relationships with local farmers and celebrate not just the robust flavors and foods of regional America but specifically right here in Maryland,” said Chef Dunklin. “I want to know where my ingredients are coming from so my goal is to bring as much local produce and meats to the menus I create whenever possible.”
I had the opportunity to sample some of the new menu items and was blown away but the flavors and presentation.
If you are looking for a drink to wind down with try the Hobo’s Cola & Bourbon with Bulleit Bourbon & housemade Cola ($9). Now I may not been able to drink this in my pregnant condition but according to my husband it is full of flavor and goes down nicely.
One of the first items sampled was the flatbreadswhich remain on the menu with Chef Dunklin’s original recipes including Wild Mushroom with pesto, goat cheese and pearl onion ($10). This flatbread is full of earthy and rustic flavors and will bring you back for more.
New to B&O American Brasserie is Dunklin’s offering of small plates. One unique item was the Oxtail Ravioli with parsnip, ricotta, cherry jus and calamari ($14). The ingredients mingle nicely together and the calamari was perfectly cooked. Oxtail isn’t on the top of my list to eat but I would honestly order this dish again. The Roasted Beet Carpaccio with goat cheese, avocado, pistachio and meyerlemon oil ($8). This item has a fresh flavor but in my personal opinion it need it a bit more citrus- but that wouldn’t stop me from getting again. The Butter lettuce Wedge with bacon vinaigrette, blue cheese, pecans and pickled onion ($9) was one of our personal favorites. The combination of vinaigrette with the cheese, pecans and onion worked well with the freshness and crispness of the salad. The Slow Roasted Pork Belly with saffron potato, pearl onion, chorizo and serranochili glaze ($10) would satisfy most- who doesn’t love pork belly?? The Brick Oven Roasted Prawns with ginger bbq, green onions, sausage and chivebiscuits ($11) were a nice change in preparation of the prawns and the biscuits would have you slipping them in you bag to go home.
“I love the idea of bringing small plates to the restaurant,” said Chef Dunklin. “To me, it gives guests the opportunity to sample and taste many differentitems from the menu without having to settle on just one entrée.”
Some of the new additions to the dinner menu included Organic Chicken Breast with sunflower seed “risotto,” wild mushrooms, apple and arugula ($19)- the meat was moist and the risotto was creative and unique (recipe please!). The Diver Sea Scallops with crab “fried” rice, radish, caramelizedonion oil and crispy ginger ($26) were nicely prepared and the combination of crab rice and crispy ginger textures was nice. Chef Dunklin’s dinner menu also offers daily dinner specials that change weekly.
The desserts made in-house include Chef Dunklin’s famed Red Velvet Doughnuts with cream cheese frosting and served with a sweet potato cashew milkshake ($7)- the milkshake was smooth and creamy and sure to please anyone of any age. The Flourless Chocolate Cake with toasted meringue, graham cracker and raspberry caramel ($8) was rich and decedent.
“I started making the Red Velvet Doughnuts in Portland and they were such a huge hit that I knew I had to bring the recipe with me to Baltimore,” said Dunklin.
In addition to a new dinner menu, Chef Dunklin is introducing new breakfast, brunch, lunch and bar menus at B&O American Brasserie. The brunch menu includes fresh-baked goods and small plates such as Blueberry Goat Cheese Pancakes with ginger syrup and cashew streusel($5); Double Smoked Bacon Rillette with slow poached egg, tomato jam and cornmeal brioche ($8) and Braised Short Rib with cheddar biscuit, watercress and jalapeño gravy ($7). The lunch menu also features small plates in addition to new flatbreads, entrée salads, sandwiches and entrées. The ever-popular B&O Power Lunch remains on the menu and offers guests a choice of soup or harvested greens and Adobo Chicken or Burger with cookies to go ($14).
Chef Dunklin has put a special focus on the bar menu, expanding it to include highlights from the lunch and dinner menus as well as a couple of items that can only be found on the bar menu.
With this sampling of some of the debut menu items, there are others ones listed on the menu that just reading will have your mouth salivating. I welcome Chef Dunklin with open arms and I am eager to head back to indulge my taste buds!
*Note that this tasting was a complementary media event to share new menu items, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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