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March 25, 2009

Maryland's favorite new restaurant isn't in Baltimore

MitchumsApp.jpg

 

The Restaurant Association of Maryland's Stars of the Industry awards have been announced; and when I read the list, my first reaction was, "Wow. Those are weird."

We've talked a lot on the blog this week about whether the Sun is too Baltimore-centric in its restaurant coverage, but this seems to me to be going a little too far the other way. For instance, who would have thought that Trappe, Md., pop. 1,146, would be the home of Maryland's Favorite New Restaurant 2008?

That would be Mitchum's Steakhouse. ...

Luckily Baltimore is the home of the Pastry Chef of the Year, Chef Arismendy Infantale, although I had to Google him to see what restaurant he works for.

According to the press release, the awards are the results of "intense" public voting, "with thousands of votes collected." Most of those voters seem to live on the Eastern Shore.

More power to them. At least they voted. I promise next year I'll post a link to the association's Web site when it comes time to vote, and we can get a better representation from Baltimore.

Here are the results in full:

Award Winners and Honorees

Restaurateur of the Year- Leighton Moore, Seacrets Bar and Grill (Ocean City)

2009 Chef of the Year
- Chef Michael Gettier, Antrim 1844 (Taneytown)

2009 Favorite Bar and Tavern- Fager’s Island (Ocean City)

2009 Pastry Chef of the Year- Chef Arismendy Infantale (Baltimore)

2009 Favorite Caterer- Putting on the Ritz (Laurel)

2009 Wine and Beverage Program of the Year
- Liquid Assets Wine & Martini Bar (Ocean City)

Maryland’s Favorite New Restaurant 2008- Mitchum’s Steakhouse (Trappe)

Maryland’s Favorite Restaurant 2009
- Marlin Moon Grill (Ocean City)

Allied Member of the Year
- Lankford Sysco Food Services represented by Fred Lankford

The Brice & Shirley Phillips Lifetime Industry Achievement Award- Nicholas Mangione (Turf Valley Resort)

The Schellhase Award- Steve F. de Castro of Big Steaks Management

The McCormick Cornerstone Award
-Bill Bateman’s (Havre de Grace); Glory Days Grill (Gaithersburg); The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille (Edgewater); SODEXO (Gaithersburg)

Maryland Hall of Honor Inductees
- Fager’s Island (Ocean City); Jimmy’s Cantler’s Riverside Inn (Annapolis); McGarvey’s Saloon and Oyster Bar, (Annapolis); Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant (Ellicott City); Three Brothers Italian Restaurant (Greenbelt); Turf Valley Resort (Ellicott City)

Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation ProStart Teacher of the Year-Bette Mullins (Carver Center for Arts and Technology)

Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation ProStart Student of the Year- Francisco Flores (High Point High School)

Marcia Harris Scholarship
: Sarah Baker (Howard High School) and Monica Preibisch (Howard Community College)

(Photo courtesy of Mitchums Web site)



 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:26 AM | | Comments (27)
        

Comments

So, where does Chef Arismendy Infantale work?

Tio Pepe. EL

I've been to Liquid Assets. pretty expensive but worth it. If I do go to OC this year, it'll be on the agenda to get back there again. BTW, the food was great too.

WOW!! As a proud Trappe resident, I must say, I am flattered. With that being said, my husband and I have never even considered going to Mitchum's Steakhouse for a meal. It is walking distance from our house (well, what part of Trappe isn't?!), but still, the allure is not there. Mitchum's Market (next door) charges $8 for a little sandwich that could have been made in the cafeteria where I work. I have heard that that mentality carried over to their more upscale steakhouse. A little for a lot. It is the ONLY restaurant in Trappe, so it has pretty much cornered the market on rich Eastern Shore retirees who can't or won't drive further for a better meal. If I am going to spend upwards of $100 for a nice dinner, I would certainly make the drive to Annapolis of Baltimore. Again, wow.

Since you've done the work could you let us know the restaurant that the pastry chef of the year works for?

Apparently Baltimore isn't in Maryland.

Looks mighty rigged. I guess each member voted for themselves and Aunt Martha's Yahtzee Club in Ocean City otherwise stuffed the ballot boxes.

Thanks, EL. Tio Pepe is another place on my long list of "restaurants I have to get to one of these days."

Apparently Baltimore isn't in Maryland.

Every state I've lived in, Owlie, the folks outstate don't want to admit the major city of the state is in the state, and the people who live in the major city forget there is a state out there.

Any awards that list Sysco as an award winner has to be suspect. Fresh is best!

I find it funny that Fager's Island received favorite Bar and Tavern. While their Monday deck parties are a summertime staple, I (and most OC locals) feel that it consistently has the best upscale cousine in the area.

I'm in the restaurant business & I've been to Mitchum's. I'm not affiliated with the restaurant, but I appreciate passion and quality. In a part of Maryland that can be a culinary wasteland of chains and bad food (unless you want yours fried), Mitchum's does a fabulous job. It over-delivers. Their efforts deserve the plaudits.

Now... Don't get me wrong. I love shore food. It's an indulgence (when done well). Capt Buddy Harrison's fried chicken, crabs at Suicide Bridge restaurant, Grove Market, Scossa, Kentmorr Marina Restaurant (apple dessert is awesome).... Believe me, I love it.

But Mitchum's delivers an experience that competes with "city restaurants.". Great ingredients, uncomplicated but delicious preparations, etc... They're good. And a concern for good ingredients in this business translates into higher menu prices--which I'm happy to pay for quality.

And BTW: for the snobs out there, whom I'm sure are not in this business, SYSCO actually does sell some very high quality products. Sure, they offer turn-key prepared foods that you just fry & serve, but they also have small divisions that focus on extremely high quality products. Almost every broadline distributor has a fine food division. It's up to the chef & operator to know how to ask for & recognize quality.

I know it sounds like a rant, but it's just FYI.

I'm in the restaurant business & I've been to Mitchum's. I'm not affiliated with the restaurant, but I appreciate passion and quality. In a part of Maryland that can be a culinary wasteland of chains and bad food (unless you want yours fried), Mitchum's does a fabulous job. It over-delivers. Their efforts deserve the plaudits.

Now... Don't get me wrong. I love shore food. It's an indulgence (when done well). Capt Buddy Harrison's fried chicken, crabs at Suicide Bridge restaurant, Grove Market, Scossa, Kentmorr Marina Restaurant (apple dessert is awesome).... Believe me, I love it.

But Mitchum's delivers an experience that competes with "city restaurants.". Great ingredients, uncomplicated but delicious preparations, etc... They're good. And a concern for good ingredients in this business translates into higher menu prices--which I'm happy to pay for quality.

And BTW: for the snobs out there, whom I'm sure are not in this business, SYSCO actually does sell some very high quality products. Sure, they offer turn-key prepared foods that you just fry & serve, but they also have small divisions that focus on extremely high quality products. Almost every broadline distributor has a fine food division. It's up to the chef & operator to know how to ask for & recognize quality.

I know it sounds like a rant, but it's just FYI.

Hmmm.. do you think MDRestauranteur works for SYSCO?

I can believe that SYSCO has a high end line. Everytime I go to Eddies or Grauls I see these $30 or $40 frozen dinners, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are a subsidary of Sysco.

$40 frozen dinner? That better come with a frozen lap dance.

For $40 I want the hot lap dance and a cup of good coffee afterwards.

Just where is it that you two (Owl and Lissa) think you're going to get a lap dance for $40 - hot or cold? I don't think that Score's is having a recession...

Joyce, I have no idea. Lap dances are not something I know about. My friends had to explain them to me. I thought they were talking about when my cat jumps up on my lap and hits all the pressure points jiggling around.

It's comforting to know that Joyce W. is the Sandbox's go-to person when one needs to ascertain the current market value of lap dances. ;-)

sigh, alright hmpstd, you got me on that, but I can explain....It's only because I listen to Howard Stern (embarrasing disclosure there too).

Ha ha, Lissa, we call that "making bread".

SYSCO does have a high-end, excellent quality subsidiary. I used to be involved with a large Food Outreach program. We bought (at a generous discount) from regular SYSCO, but we were aware - and used to dream of - their high-end stuff.

Lissa - we call that 'nit nit' and I have no idea why!! Joyce - nothing to be embarrassed about - H.S. is the king!

If you go to the SYSCO outlet store (South of Elkridge on Route 1 between Routes 100 and 175) you'll see that for many food products they have three grades. I think the top one is called "Imperial."

I think the bottom grade of SYSCO is called Applebees.

I am a frequent diner at Mitchum's Market and Steakhouse, and I will just say that I've never been disappointed. In fact, my experiences at both establishments have been more than pleasant, always filled with friendly and attentive service, a warm atmosphere, and not to mention...the FOOD. In response to the post a couple below mine, I feel bad for you that you've allowed your close-mindedness to keep you away from a remarkable dining experience. Yes, Mitchum's may be a little pricy, but it's well worth the $8 for a sandwich thats actually not little, but overflowing with top quality ingredients such as fresh jumbo shrimp salad that could feed a small army--or maybe a small town, like Trappe. I don't know why anyone who lived in the area would allow themselves to drive to Baltimore or Annapolis when they have this gem right at their disposal, but its commendable that you were honest enough to say you've never been there. So don't be flattered, the praise coming with this award is acutally not for you, it's for Mitchum's Steakhouse. I encourage everyone, Trappe residents or not, to try Mitchum's and enjoy what critics recognized as special enough to steal the thunder from some of Baltimore and Annapolis finest new restaurants.

Rock on Mitchum's, and hopefully Trappe residents that have decided to boycott your restaurants will someday realize what a great thing you're doing for thier town.

Mitchum's is awesome.

Annnnnddddd...yet another drive-by.

EL, can we have a topic tomorrow that is shill-proof? Best authentic Inuit food in Baltimore, or something?

And, noted that they did the tandum drive-by technique!

Congratulations to Marlin Moon - my favorite and probably best restaurant in OC.

My experience at Mitchums, however, was not as pleasant. It is the former home of the late actor Robert Mitchum who had a tobacco farm on Eastern Shore. The atmosphere and decor were lovely.

The two meals of four were not satisfactory as the steaks were grisly. The waitress was inattentive although there were only two other tables occupied.

Why not take a trip to Eastern Shore and check out some of the upscale restaurants and the popular smaller local ones?

Last year, I sent you a notice of Bobby's Restaurant at the Clearview Golf Course, formerly, the Cambridge Country Club. On our way to OC, we sometimes stop there, although off the beaten track because we like it so much.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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