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August 27, 2010

Brasserie Brightwell

208 TalbotThe owners of 208 Talbot in St. Michaels -- a restaurant that once made EL's list of "Top Ten Places Worth the Gas Money" -- are getting ready to open a second restaurant, this time in Easton.

Starting in mid- to late October, Brasserie Brightwell will provide an "upscale localvore-focused contemporary American dining experience," "a cozy and casual 120 seat European Brasserie with an American feel," according to an e-mail sent on the restaurant's behalf from the PR firm 2911 Productions.

(Note the use of "localvore" versus the more common "locavore." Prof. McIntyre and other wordsmiths, please weigh in on the localvore/locavore debate. Personally, given the crazy lengths I've sometimes gone to get local foods -- schlepping all the way to Buckeystown for gass-fed beef, for instance -- I think the prefix should be  "loco." But I digress.)

Described as "a cozy and casual 120 seat European Brasserie with an American feel," Brightwell will be open for lunch and dinner. The owners are brothers-in-law and business partners Brendan Keegan and Brian Fox. Keegan will serve as chef and Fox will manage the front of the house and oversees the wines, beer and cocktails.

"The contemporary menu borrows from the classics, offering a large variety of small and large dishes," says the e-mail. "Escargot in garlic butter, frog legs, French onion soup gratinee are just some of the ageless brasserie standards that will be served, in addition to a 10 oz. Brasserie Burger, Whole Grilled Bronzino or the Whole Roasted Maine Lobster, to name a few. Entrees of fresh fish, beef, lamb, pork, and poultry will also be available daily."

There's also news that 208 Talbot has opened an offshoot, 208 Burger, which offers seating for 25 in the bar area. It offers "gastro-pub themed dishes including an impressive selection of gourmet burgers, milkshakes – spiked or non-alcoholic – and an assortment of eclectic bar snacks such as Fried Garbanzo Beans, Hot Marcona Almonds, and White Anchovies, for guests looking to enjoy a more relaxed casual dining experience."

For those of you who enjoy an effusive press release, I'll post a bit more below. For those who do not, read no more. If you get there, I do like the bit about the garden snail mural as an ode to both French cooking and the slow-foods movement.

"As the sounds of Miles Davis, Madeleine Peyroux or Benny Goodman, stream through the speakers, diners will have the option of pulling up a chair at Brasserie Brightwell's antique zinc bar to sample a selection of fine beers on tap, imbibe in creative cocktails, or interesting glass pours of wine in tumblers, dine amongst friends or neighbors turned friends at the large communal table situated in the main dining room, or venture outside through two massive garage doors to take-in the crisp fall air as they dine al fresco. 

"As meat sizzles on the grill, its mouthwatering smoke will waft through the spacious main dining room and through the huge garage doors that slide up and open onto the large outdoor patio. An outdoor fireplace provides a cozy ambiance, while heating the patio in the cooler months. Spring, summer or fall, the patio will be the preferred gathering place for Eastonians and visitors alike.

"Neatly appointed, tall mirrors line the walls, guiding the eye up towards the immensely high ceilings and the dramatic open cupola at the center of the main dining room. A beautiful open exhibition kitchen with an eye-catching wood burning grill acts as the center piece, providing an exciting energy and atmosphere. An enormous mural of a garden snail, an ode to Brightwell’s French roots and the slow food movement, hangs on the far wall. Small votive candles flicker on brown butcher papered table tops as ceiling fans slowly circulate air. Guests can dine at the Brasserie’s counter and watch the cooks in action or find a more secluded seat at one of the two large banquets."

Sun file photo

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:32 AM | | Comments (6)


Tre gauche!

I prefer "locavore" to "localvore," which sounds more like a gargle. But there may be times when "locovore" is apt.

How exciting! 208 Talbots is incredible, so I can only expect the same from this new venture. I am very intrigued about the 208 Burgers as well.....YUM!

"Tre gauche" est très gauche, Papa Supérieur du Maryland.

Pourquoi assassinez-vous ma langue?

I hate it when I get my "upscale localvore-focused contemporary American dining experiences" confused with my "cozy, casual and affordable French Brasseries with an American feel."

But that's just what I did in the entry above.

Quoting from a press release about the opening of Brasserie Brightwell, I picked up language describing another restaurant with the same owners, 208 Talbot. So for the record, 208 Talbot is the "upscale localvore" joint, not Brasserie Brightwell.

The Sun, and this blogger in particular, regret the error -- and the delay before correcting it. A PR person for the restaurant pointed it out in an e-mail weeks ago, shortly after I posted the item. But I overlooked his message until just now.

Zut alors!

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner 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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