Easton’s New Culinary Treasures          


Psst. Come closer. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a culinary renaissance going on in Easton, the charming historic getaway on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. While this delightful destination still enjoys oodles of small-town charm with quaint antique shops, coffee houses and horse-drawn carriage tours, a tsunami of change is transforming this once sleepy town into a sophisticated dining mecca.  

The revitalization came after Paul Prager, a Naval Academy graduate and successful self-made businessman came to town. He invested in hundreds of acres of farmland with an eye on making this area a place to call home. But he missed the fine food he was accustomed to in New York and all the European cities he loved.   

So what did this innovative guy do? He purchased and renovated several historic buildings in the heart of town and established Blue Point Hospitality. World-class decorators were hired to produce high-style interior design from uber casual to elegant and refined. Above all, he consulted with New York and European chefs and charged them with creating one-of-a-kind culinary treasures. Currently eight epicurean establishments and two shops are open with more on the way — a luxe boutique hotel, Japanese restaurant and crepe shop are in development stages.  

Bas Rouge 

For now, get ready for your taste buds to experience amazing at Bas Rouge. If appearances told the whole story, Bas Rouge looks like it belongs in New York or any urbane European city. Seating just 24 people, the mood has the feel of a private club rather than a restaurant in downtown Easton. By day, light pours in from expansive windows. After sunset, the vibe downshifts to intimacy and quiet conversation. Embraced by creamy white walls with insets of antique mirrors and elaborate crown moldings, the room is filled with 19th and 20th century gold-framed oil paintings by masters of the Austrian and German hunt schools. An antique Viennese burgundy and gold banquette welcomes diners in one corner of the room. Nearby, a mahogany bar with bronze detailing attracts attention. So does a black marble-topped French Empire-style sideboard holding an opulent alabaster vessel. Or a solid silver English meat trolley dating from 1910 plus monumental fresh flower arrangements ever so artfully placed around the room. The place has the feel of “old money,” far from ostentatious or (heaven forbid) nouveau riche. As for the restaurant’s unusual name, it’s a nod to the owner’s passion for the Beauceron, a centuries-old breed of French herding dog distinguished by its red feet or “bas rouge.”    

The prix fixe dinner menu offers lusty food to tempt the palate with appetizer choices that include Roasted Beets and Speck Salad with Goat Cheese Mousse. From there it gets tastier. A Seared halibut entrée served with Fennel Potato Puree, Confit Tomatoes, Macadamia and Asparagus Salad gets a cheeky kick thanks to a burst of Yuzu Citrus emulsion.    

Embellishments include perfectly grilled endive, cashew-tofu cream or warm tarragon crème fraiche. And don’t for a moment think of skipping dessert. The dark chocolate pecan tart is crazy good. After dining here, everything else seems like pretzels and beer. Three courses: $100, four courses: $125; (wine pairings are available). Lunch and dinner: Thursday, Friday, Saturday. For more information go to https://basrougeeaston.com/. 

The Stewart   

Fancy sipping Single Malt Scotch whiskey or vintage Champagne? The Stewart boasts a world class collection of both, served in a space that resembles a grand Scottish estate. Each pour receives a specially selected glass thanks to a swanky collection of new and vintage Baccarat tumblers and flutes. For those who prefer adding hand-cut ice at their own pace, a gold-swagged ice bowl is provided. Nibble on a selection of small plates that include Mac and Cheese with Kaluga Caviar.     

Bonheur   

The setting alone prompts a smile. Pleated gold lampshades hover over banquets creating the illusion of haute couture dresses. Pale green, pink, salmon and grey frame a room where wit and whimsy meet timeless chic. Even the powder rooms convey irresistible playfulness. Pink elephants greet the belles. Blue elephants welcome the beaus.   

While a kaleidoscope of handcrafted ice cream is offered, the star of Bonheur is afternoon tea that’s fit for royalty. Served in traditional British fashion, a silver tea service is brought to each table accompanied by Scones with Devon Cream, Lemon Curd and Seasonal Jam or crust-less sandwiches of Scottish Smoked Salmon with Crème Fraiche and Watercress. Should one prefer something bubblier, fine Champagnes are on offer.   

More new additions include Roma Alla Pala, a Soho chic pizzeria featuring Roman (not Neapolitan) pizza. If you’re feeling green, Sunflower & Greens offers crisp salads, savory soups and freshly-baked sourdough bread served piping hot from the oven.    

For more information on Easton, MD visit https://www.bluepointhospitality.com/.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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