Take the finest ingredients of Frederick, MD, put ’em together and what have you got? [classic article]

Frederick County has been growing and producing some of the most sought-out ingredients for chefs. How do they use these fine products? Well, Frederick County has a noted artistic/creative community, and this certainly extends to cooking. I’d even say that cooking is the new art of the decade. I was happy to sample some of Frederick, Maryland’s great dishes.

The Inn at Buckeystown has been winning awards for years and years. Not only are the breakfasts served made with garden ingredients, but they are presented with panache. They also fill that niche of if you are staying at an Inn to relax, for romance, or during inclement weather, you don’t have leave to forage for food. Gourmet afternoon teas and dinners are also available.

Do you ever wish you could take your favorite (non-chain) restaurant on the road, move it around a bit? Emmitsburg’s Carriage House Inn is located in a charming historic building and they also have a permanent catering set up at the glamorous Stone Manor Country Club. When people get snowed in at the Stone Manor Country Club — like last winter — it’s considered a lucky break. If I owned this very comfortably restored and huge building, I’d probably selfishly keep it private… with a sharp-shooter positioned at the front gate. Fortunately for you, it’s open for your complete enjoyment. So, how’s the food that you can get from Carriage House Inn? Well, they pride themselves on not only using local ingredients that they buy, but also garden ingredients picked just moments from hitting the pan. If you love crab, but your mouth is tired (oh, go ‘head, pronounce it “tard”) of the ubiquitous Old Bay/mustard/cracker crab cake¬† combo, you must try the Crab & Lobster Bechamel Croquette! It’s an appetizer that certainly could stand in as lunch or light dinner with a salad. They mix panko breaded jumbo lump crabmeat with a lobster bechamel, fried and serve it in a tropical manner, with exotic fruits, veggies and a roasted red pepper remoulade. Very refreshing and surprisingly rich.

Downtown Frederick is the home of Isabella’s (which doesn’t do Restaurant.com anymore, btw). Isabella’s is a tapas bar and tavern, where you can come as you are or more dressy-casual. They have a new assistant chef from the Dominican Republic who adds some tropical flair for sure to the menu! They go to the best purveyors and farmers in the county to create the fantastic dishes. So, local cheesemakers, farmers are making their version of Spanish items with a wonderfully fresh and unique localvore aspect. Deep fried asparagus fries with bacon aioli are its most popular item, but don’t skip the gorgeous salads and locally produced Cherry Glen cheese.

Frederick is also home to Firestone’s restaurant and tavern. Family owned and operated, it’s a place that’s cool and casual, without trying to seem that way. You know what I’m talking about — sometimes, restaurants feel like they have to have a gimmick to pull the young professionals in. Not at Firestone’s! Your date will totally be impressed. And even in the casual atmosphere, they are doing truly gourmet things. There’s definitely an innovative foodie back in the kitchen! Try the seared ” Diver ” Scallop with
Smithfield ham, Frisee, pea shoots, aprium tea sweet vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts. Another cool appetizer or small plate is the “Deviled” Eggs. These aren’t Granny’s picnic eggs! They’re composed of roasted fennel olive tapenade, salmon roe, brioche.

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