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Saturday will feature more clouds than sunshine with a chance for showers, especially during the morning hours. High temperatures wll be in the upper 70s. Skies are expected to clear for fireworks Saturday night. Sunday looks nice with tons of sunshine and highs in the low 80s.


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Cunningham's Preview Dinner

Updated: Wednesday, November 20 2013, 12:20 PM EST

Last night was the final in a series of five "friends and family" nights to pre-view the new Cunningham's in Towson. Billing itself as a 'Seasonal American Grill,' the appealing, accessible menu by chef Chris Allen uses a sustainable, farm-to-table approach, with many ingredients being grown here at Cunningham Farm in Cockeysville. The place is big, with four seperate but integrated dining rooms, plus a dining bar that looks into the working kitchen, a separate room for private functions across the hall and a large, open barroom. The rooms are decked out in warm woods, natural stone, floor-to-ceiling windows and beautiful light fixtures, thanks to designer Jane Smith. The lighting and sound levels are all excellently controlled, and the flow of the space allows you to feel part of a vibrant scene, yet able to have an intimate dining experience. Last night, owner David Smith was greeting multiple guests who came up to congratulate him on the opening. We settled into the big bar, open on all four sides and with views that overlook all of Towson and pondered our order from the handmade cocktails list. We were happy to see two of our favorite local bartenders, Andy and Matt, now transplanted here from the Food Market. Andy mixed me an excellent Manhattan, perfect for the chilly evening. Over drinks, I ran into a few fellow diners who were equally impressed with the surroundings, including Innovative Gourmet chef/owner Barry Fleischmann, Nick & Lydia Travelstead, Stephanie Bradshaw, and Dave Seel of the Bagby Group. It was also nice to be greeted by some of the other Cunningham's staff, including COO Chris Becker, GM Ryan Shacochis, and beverage director Tim Riley-- a real group of pros. In fact, for only being open for five days, the entire staff of the restaurant seemed to be in a smooth groove and on point. We were so comforatble at our bar perch that we decided to forego our table in the dining room and order our meal there. And our food lived up to the service-- excellent roast chicken; delicate, flavorful lump crabcakes with a creamy root vegetable slaw and yummy thick-cut fries served in a copper mug; a hearty beet salad; a roasted carrot and avacado salad; and a satisfying mac-n-cheese. The free valet parking made our departure a breeze, but when we return (which will be soon), we'll try out that dining room!

(Shown above: The barroom at the new Cunningham's, overlooking Towson Circle.) 

Cunningham's Preview Dinner

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