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Oregon Grill in Hunt Valley

bbhoover Nov 5, 2008 09:38 AM

has anyone been recently? what are the best things to get? Is it worth the drive from Annapolis?

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  1. f
    FoiGras Nov 5, 2008 11:24 AM

    It definitely is a destination restaurant. Upscale and dressy with a pianist to provided soft music during dinner.

    The veal chop is excellent. In August there was a special appetizer of seared foiegras that was out of this world. The thinly sliced beet salad is highly recommended.

    Their soft shell crabs are also very delicious.

    Conversely, what restaurants would you recommend in Annapolis that would be worth the drive from the Baltimore City area. I used to like Northwoods--have been to Lewnes, but would prefer Flemings, Capital Grille or Ruths' Chris which are only about 10 minutes from home.

    Aqua Terra appears to have an interesting menu, but haven't as yet heard any comments or reviews from the Chowhounds. FoiGras

    1. f
      FoiGras Nov 5, 2008 11:28 AM

      Oh, one more thing--after you dine at Oregon Grille, drive down to the Hunt Valley Town Center. It's very nicely decorated, some decent stores and restaurants. But, if you've never been to a Wegman's grocery store, it is definitely a worthwhile drive, especially when combined with a meal at Oregon Grille. They claim to carry about 400 cheeses. It's truly overwhelming to see so many different varieties of cheese.

      The prepared food section, along with the desserts will certainly impress you. FoiGras

      7 Replies
      1. re: FoiGras
        bbhoover Nov 5, 2008 11:57 AM

        FoisGras - thank you so much. I am looking forward to it now - I am glad it will be worth the drive. I dont like when bf and I can t both enjoy wine because of worries of driving.
        btw, I believe Northwoods in Annapolis recently closed.

        1. re: bbhoover
          FoiGras Nov 5, 2008 03:14 PM

          Geez--I'm sorry to hear the Northwoods has closed. Albeit, haven't been there in quite a few years, it was always a nice, romantic place. The food wasn't outstanding, but enjoyable.

          It seems that other Chowhounds don't feel as though Oregon Grille is worth the drive, but as I mentioned previously, if you combine it with a shopping experience at Wegman's (and that you enjoy live music along with dining), it is worth the drive. Lawhound mentioned that Oregon Grille would not stand out in Annapolis, so I am curious as to what he/she believes is a first rate, destination restaurant in Annapolis--or "remarkable." FoiGras

          1. re: FoiGras
            lawhound Nov 6, 2008 10:18 AM

            Well, how about Lewnes Steakhouse, for starters. Or how about Cynthia's in Severna Park?

            1. re: lawhound
              bordeauxfan Nov 6, 2008 10:46 AM

              As an Annapolitan who works in Baltimore, I agree. I especially think that Cynthia's doesn't get the attention that its cuisine deserves, possibly due to the "strip mall" location.

              1. re: lawhound
                FoiGras Nov 6, 2008 11:40 AM

                I wouldn't drive to Annapolis for Lewnes Steakhouse, despite the fact that it is very good. I live less then 10 minutes from Fleming's Steakhouse, Capital Grille, Morton's and Ruths' Chris and Prime Rib, hence, no need to drive 25 to 30 minutes to a standard steakhouse.

                Am definitely interested in trying out Cynthia's. It's on my "go to" list. FoiGras

                1. re: FoiGras
                  bordeauxfan Nov 6, 2008 11:56 AM

                  You really should -- it's only "halfway" to Annapolis for you. And the chef does an excellent seared version of your name!

                  1. re: FoiGras
                    lawhound Nov 7, 2008 09:22 AM

                    If proiximity to Morton's (and its separated-at-birth friends, Capital Grille, et al) is what you want, then I understand. But if you were looking for a warm, family-run steakhouse with great steaks (and an excellent (and fairly-priced) wine list, then I would absolutely consider a trip to Eastport worth the drive.

          2. JonParker Nov 5, 2008 12:25 PM

            I wouldn't drive from Annapolis for it. While the food is quite good, as befits its price point, it's also not really memorable. I look at it as a place for people in the area wanting higher end dining, but not a destination place.

            1. l
              lawhound Nov 5, 2008 01:11 PM

              I agree with Jon Parker below -- this restaurant would not stand out in Annapolis, let alone Baltimore. Only in the culinary wasteland that is Hunt Valley can it be considered remarkable. It's a pleasant enough place, but the food is unimaginative and the preparation middling.

              1. o
                onocoffee Nov 6, 2008 05:21 AM

                I literally live down the street from Oregon Grille and have been there a few times since they opened. The prices are considerable and while the food is well executed and the service was good, I never have eaten there and felt compelled to return ASAP.

                Don't get me wrong, I'm no Applebee's kinda person. I enjoy eating out and sampling quality foods. In the past two years I've eaten at places like Alinea, Trotter's, L'Arpege and per se and have very little problem spending a considerable amount of money.

                Oregon Grille reminds me of an "old school" approach. Jackets required, classic American, To be fair, I won't comment too much on the food since I haven't eaten there in over two years (which also is telling about how compelling I found it).

                However, I do think you should give it a go. You may find a gem that I hadn't. Plus, I think it's worth eating and sampling as many places as possible to develop your palate and gain perspective on food - the more you eat out and try different place, the better your reference point. I think Oregon Grille is worth your investigation.

                And while you're driving this far, go whole hog. Drink up from the wine list, spend the night at the Embassy Suites or Marriott here in Hunt Valley. Lazily spend the next morning combing the aisles of Wegman's. Visit a winery (or two) - several are nearby. Visit Springfield Farm for some locally raised meat and dairy. Finally check out that BBQ place so many chowhounders think is the best in Baltimore (Andy Nelson's) and decide for yourself.

                There's a lot to explore in the Hunt Valley area - much more than people let on. But really, I guess us locals don't want to see our area invaded with tourists like the Inner Harbor...

                5 Replies
                1. re: onocoffee
                  JonParker Nov 6, 2008 06:59 AM

                  I would drive from Annapolis for Andy Nelson's or Springfield Farm, but not for Oregon Grille. I think a lot of it has to do with expectations for the price point. I can't afford to dine out at that level too often, and when I do, I want something to wow me, not just be ok for what it is. The kitchen is quite competent but not creative or innovative, and for what I'd be spending there (all my meals there have been on the corporate dime) I wouldn't bother, esp. if it involved a long drive.

                  1. re: JonParker
                    sas Nov 6, 2008 07:45 AM

                    Ditto to everything you have said JonParker

                    1. re: JonParker
                      pleiades Nov 6, 2008 09:00 AM

                      And you better look spendy, otherwise you will be summarily ignored by the waiters, as has been my experience the last 3 times I have been for dinner.

                      Now, when I attended lunch with a known VIP, it was a very, very different story.

                      FWIW, there is a new Chef at OG. So I will not berate the food as I would have 6 months ago. The lunch I had under his leadership was very good.

                      1. re: pleiades
                        svilnit Nov 6, 2008 10:09 AM

                        The new chef is Stefan Sabo, who was formally with the Willard Room in DC

                        1. re: svilnit
                          tartuffe Nov 6, 2008 11:19 AM

                          OG has a much better priced lunch menu (and more interesting), and, when the weather's good, a great outdoor dining area. I wouldnt drive from Annapolis, altho I cant think of anyplace in Annapolis I would drive to from Roland Park

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