I went to check out a new restaurant for a work event last week.
Bluegrass is in Federal Hill on the corner of Hanover and Ft. Avenue.
There were regulars at the bar downstairs during lunch and the space had a very cozy charm.
My colleague Jeff and I were decked in our fur hats and a guest at the bar welcomed us as the "Fancy Hat Brigade".
The upstairs space is charming with a private bar.
It is perfect for a group of thirty.
The restaurant is a tavern but the details are as lovely as a private club in Georgetown, less the tablecloths. I noticed Frette Linen napkins and wonderfully heavy Fortessa flatware. The napkin looks like it is folded upside down, but still, fancy pants for a tavern.
They used reclaim barn wood from Iowa downstairs in the dining room.
They went to Second Chance for the fireplace and chandelier.
Chef Patrick Marrow and his business partner Jorbie Clark sat down with us to talk about the restaurant and it's mission.
Their website sums up Bluegrass below:
Chef Patrick Morrow, executive chef, was born and raised in Texas and North Carolina. His contemporary American dishes are infused with both southern and southwestern flavors. Attention to detail, inventive ingredients and skillful balance of each dish are hallmarks of his menu. Chef Morrow’s focus and attention on local and sustainable produce and meats began during his tenure as Sous Chef at VIN in Towson and then as Executive Chef at Ryleighs. The relationships he forged with Maryland farmers, cheese makers, and fishermen continues to grow with Bluegrass; Gunpowder Bison and Trading, Piedmont Ridge Beef, Firefly Farms Creamery, and Chapel’s Country Creamery are just a few of the local producers that are featured on Chef Morrow’s menu.
Jorbie Clark, Operating Partner, is originally from Australia and a veteran of the Federal Hill restaurant and bar scene. He is former General Manager of Ryleigh’s Oyster Bar and worked at both MaGerks and Boomerangs. He has gathered a very successful front of the house team to insure quality service.
I told Patrick that I could live on cured meat and cheese and he graciously sent us this Charcuterie platter. The wood is made from leftover barn wood used on the walls. Clockwise from the top, Bacon Jam, Venison salami, mustard, duck prosciutto, pickled mustard and Sopressatta. I've had this Sopressatta before from The Wine Source. You read correctly! Bacon Jam. Amazingly smokey and spread on the crunchy bread was divine.
My colleague had the shrimp and grits and said it was delicious.
We ordered a side of Mac n Cheese. It was a huge portion for $5.00 and enough to share and have left overs. There was a lingering heat that was addictive. I'm guessing cayenne pepper.
I ordered the burger. The bun was soft and fresh. The cheese, I'm guessing Gruyere, was perfectly oozy and the ketchup was house made and had a barbecue essence. The fries were thin and perfectly cooked. I was extremely happy with my choice. I brought the other half to E who enjoyed it for dinner.
It's great to meet new restaurateurs who are passionate about curing meats, meeting farmers and bragging about cheese. I look forward to returning to Bluegrass with Uncle Charlie and hopefully for future work events. Many thanks to Patrick and Jorbie for their time and the great meal.