March 20, 2019
GUESS WHAT TODAY IS?!?! Hell yeah the 1st Day of Spring!
What did you think I was going to say? "Wine Down" Wednesday? Hump Day? Ha! I don't know about you BUT I am so ready for the nicer weather. The warmer temps, alone, just put you in a much better mood!
Today, my 2 Health Nuts business partner, Daria, and I took a time out from the daily grind, and eating on the fly, to catch up on some business "to-do's" but, also, to check out "the new guy in town."
And, by the "NEW GUY," he has actually been an historic landmark in Baltimore since the early 1900's but just "reappeared" in early February 2019 as one of the hippest (and architecturally gorgeous) restaurants in the city.
Introducing The Alexander Brown Restaurant (also referred to as "The "A.B.).
As one of America's FIRST investments banks, the Alexander Brown Building was built in 1901 and withstood the infamous 1904 fire. Hmm, I am going to need to do a little more research on this one...just saying.
Noted on their website, "Today, the Alexander Brown building still maintains its historic and architectural legacy, and we feel that within this gorgeous building, as in life, it’s not about starting over, it’s about embracing what you already have.
The Alexander Brown Restaurant brings this stunning space to the next generation, for a new era.
At "The A.B.", we look forward to providing our guests from near and far a historic setting for modern conversation, phenomenal food, and worldly design. Although banking will no longer take place within the historic walls, The A.B. will deal in the currency of conversation and community."
Oxford Commons, the hospitality company responsible for the revitalization, definitely, kept the feeling of a very GRAND bank from back in the day, especially with the hustle and bustle of the downtown crowd that ranged from stockbrokers and attorney's, to graphic designers, IT consultants, and, of course, health & wellness professionals (and an influencer, of course)!
The elegant marble floors and columns that spanned the main dining room from floor to ceiling, and the accents of rich greens, reds, golds, tans, navy, and even dark wood, make this a, DEFINITE, destination the next time you are looking for a culinary treat that is modern, yet elegant, and so sophisticated. I loved the mixed of velvet and leather for the furniture; talk about RICH. I am sure it is just gorgeous at night, as the dome-shaped stained glass ceiling takes center stage, the lights get dim, and the candles/lamps get lit. Happy Hour will be on the "must-do" list!
While deceiving at first - it appeared to only be the main dining room/bar for seating - there was a beautiful "portrait room" that was filled with a huge dining area with round tables and booths, more high ceilings, a stunning fireplace, and, can you guess, some amazing portraits! Additionally, there was another room, right in line with the bar, that provided a cozy, quiet nook (if you prefer to be away from the high ceilings and want a more intimate setting) for small tables and booths of 2 or 3 that seemed perfect for a meeting, a catch-up with a friend, or even a date...;)
Downstairs provided a large "board-room" like set-up that is used for private parties of (I believe) 25 or 26, and the bathrooms, well, while I did not venture into the men's room, this portrait with protruding pearls (YES) hung against a peach tiled wall and underneath some bougie gold light fixtures.
Alright, enough decor talk - although I LOVE it - time for da FOOD! In true Fit4Janine & 2 Health Nuts fashion, it was a boozy lunch and we kept it to one glass of chardonnay. Because, it is Wednesday after all! The wine list was AMAZING; it appeared that every bottle they offered could come by the glass too, with the exception of the champagne. Who knows, there might have been a separate menu BUT it was super extensive and the wine list alone would bring me back. On tap today - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Karia" Chardonnay from Napy Valley baby. Ugh, I really want to go back...
While there were so many awesome dishes to try, we started with the Octopus, Beef Tartare, and Root Vegetable Salad. One of the nice things is that their plate sizes are the perfect portions to try multiple items. This is super "FIT" for the foodie who wants to try it all!
The Octopus came grilled and it had a nice, subtle kick. The only thing is the pieces were a little tough (and do I use the word "rubbery?); it did come with some baby roasted potatoes that were really yummy though! While I am picky about Beef Tartare - my grandmother and mom make one that is out of this world - this one, in particular, had nice flavor. Most of the time when I order it out there is WAY too much salt, but this seemed to have the right balance. Finally, the Root Vegetable Salad came with beets, roasted carrot, radish, goat cheese, pistachio, orange, mixed greens, and a honey-yogurt vinaigrette. Probably my favorite of all 3!
For the main course, I had this beautiful piece of Ora King Salmon (skin on) overtop of forbidden rice, white sesame seed, miso butter, and spinach! Just like the appetizers, it was a great portion and it was delicious! Super satisfying and cooked to perfection! Daria chose the scallops which she said were amazing too!
All in all, a must try restaurant in the heart of downtown's "financial district." So much history, charm, and elegance! Looking forward to going back BUT, next time, I think I would like to sit at the bar during Happy Hour (or at least to see the lights go down)!
Dear future husband...