Happy Thursday! A lot of my conversations yesterday had the same “theme” – April went by SO FAST. I felt like my family and I were just in Denver for the Easter weekend. Now, we are heading into a month full of FUN! Cinco de Mayo, I am (officially) MOVING, Mother’s Day, back to Denver, my Mom’s Birthday, Memorial Day and HELLO SUMMER! Speaking of fun, last week I had the pleasure of dining at a restaurant whose property has been around for 267 years – yes, no joke – and touts its farm-to-table menu as a tasting experience like no other. I like to call it “a tavern with a whole lot of expression!”
The Manor Tavern is located in Northern Baltimore County and has been a beloved establishment for family, friends, and gatherings in what feels like a country oasis. It’s the perfect setting to grab a cocktail at Happy Hour, casual dinner with family, celebrate a special occasion, meeting, party, Wedding, etc. While my days of visiting the restaurant are fewer than I would like, I have a feeling this may be a new go-to when I want excellent food, a cozy environment, and a change of pace from the hustle and bustle.
What is even more fabulous is that, within the last year, an amazing and well known chef/caterer in the area has merged with the restaurant and is now their Executive Chef.
Executive Chef Jerry Edwards has transformed The Manor Tavern menu into a culinary masterpiece. Actually, he likes to call it “modern country cuisine.” With 40 years in the industry, Jerry has won more professional awards than I have space in this post. As Principal & Executive Chef of Chef’s Expressions Catering & Events from 1981-2020, he received 2 “National Catering Company of the Year” awards, was inducted into the National Association of Catering & Events, and even holds a doctorate in hospitality. He is a food legend in Baltimore – yes Jerry, a food legend – and his craft in creating a culinary experience is like no other. Plus, his love of wine makes him a go-to when it comes to pairing the appropriate varietal with a dish. Pre-Covid, I had the opportunity to attend one of his wine pairing dinners at local bed & breakfast in the area – Gramercy Mansion.
Beyond the yummy Caymus that was paired with the meal – check out my Instagram for this fun little reel – I definitely went out of my eating comfort zone to try some of the recommended appetizers and entrees.
I am going to start with the “Bacon in a Bucket.” It was not, originally, chosen by Jerry insisted on trying. I may not be able to eat bacon the same way again! O.M.G. I will admit, I am a bacon snob to begin with. Gone are the days of the cheap stuff you can purchase in the grocery store. This appetizer comes with 4 thick slabs of good quality smoked bacon, infused with miso maple glaze. Dip it in their homemade onion pineapple marmalade sauce and, I will say it again, O.M.G.
The next 2 were the “Manor Crab Dip” and “Sesame Crusted Tuna.” Crab dip is not really my thing; a lot of times it is heavy and just not good (more calories and questionable ingredients than anything). I would much rather have a glass of wine at that point. This dip was probably one of the best I have had in a long time, if ever. The addition of the Gruyere cheese gave it a heartiness that was satisfying and delicious. I may still be dreaming about it.
How can you go wrong with an ahi tuna dish, unless you don’t like it. In that case, choose accordingly. I loved the addition of the broccolini slaw mixed with the seaweed salad. Plus, the colors of this dish were just swoon worthy too! Oh, and the amount of tuna you get is pretty amazing too! While I was splitting all the photo, I could, easily, see this a main dish alongside another appetizer.
Finally, the main course! This was a really hard decision; there were SO MANY awesome options from which to choose. There was everything from salads, chicken, duck (the crispy duck legs were the chef’s favorite), and beef (the short ribs sounded delicious), to seafood and lighter fair options, there is something for every palate. I ended up choosing something I do not see a whole lot on menus, and wanted to try out since it had been awhile from when I last made.
The “Backyard BBQ Grilled Tri Tip Steak” was a nice change of pace from the traditional cuts of beef I eat more frequently. If you are unfamiliar – I was until my parent’s friends in California talked about it – the Tri Tip steak is cut from the tri tip roast (or bottom of the sirloin). Generally speaking, it is triangular in nature. This entree came with a plethora of roasted root vegetables and a yukon/sweet potato mash.
Needless to say, I left with a very happy & full belly!
If you live in the Baltimore area, I highly suggest checking out The Manor Tavern. Rich with culture and history, it is the perfect escape from city life! I think you will agree that it is a “tavern with a whole lot of expression!”