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Fleet Street Kitchen Tasting Dinner

Updated: Tuesday, June 25 2013, 04:17 PM EDT

I'd been hearing good things about the new executive chef, Chris Amendola, recently installed at Fleet Street Kitchen. His predecessor, Chris Becker, is still with the company (Bagby Restaurant Group), but has moved up to the role of chief operations officer, where he'll be overseeing the operations of all the restaurants in the burgeoning chain. Amendola has been in some respected kitchens, including the farm-to-table pioneer Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York. This was an opportunity for some writers on the local food scene to sample his handiwork, and what a treat we had in store. First out was a leaf salad plate that included spring vegetables and goat cheese in a lemon viniagrette; that was followed by a course of butter-poached lobster, which included a rhubarb puree. After that, a plate containing a stacked square of crispy pork belly and poached fresh egg with maple glaze and a butter toast powder. (All of the produce used at Fleet Street is grown locally at Cunningham Farms in Cockeysville-- even the pork belly we had was from pigs raised at the farm as well.) Pan-seared halibut with glazed confit carrots, hazelnuts and lime followed. Everything we tasted was wonderful, but I really have to give a special shout-out to the halibut. I'm not a big fish fan, and when I do eat it, I generally find it to be somewhat bland and boring. This halibut was anything but-- it was hearty, flavorful, succulent and satisfying-- I could have easily eaten another plateful, and this would be my order the next time I'm dining here, for sure. My dining companions, who included Dara Bunjon of Dining Dish, Amy Langrehr of Charm City Cook, food writer Martha Thomas, Brian Stander, and Kelsey Snell and Jack Tomalis of Where magazine, were all as impressed as I was. Bagby beverage director Tim Riley was on hand to pour a hand-selected wine with each course, and he made some nice choices. Sadly, after two hours, I had to dart out to get to another engagement, so I missed the dessert course of lemon thyme cake, but the sound of it is right up my alley. I said my goodbyes, and let marketing manager Dave Seel how much I enjoyed the evening. I hate it when I double book!


(Shown above: The fourth course-- pan-seared halibut with glazed confit carrots, hazelnuts and lime.)

Fleet Street Kitchen Tasting Dinner


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