Fleet Street Kitchen, the latest venture by the Bagby Restaurant Group, is scheduled to open in late August, it was announced last night. As a preview, Bagby owners David and Jane Smith hosted a tour and dinner at their Cunningham Manor in Cockeysville.
(Baltimore magazine sent summer intern Lowen Howard to the event. Here are his impressions.)
At 5, guests were greeted at a large, stone-cobbled driveway, whisked through a Dutch-style, castle-like home, and led to a backyard verandah overlooking English gardens. Waiters weaved and glided through the small, mingling crowd, serving drinks and offering bite-size portions of cod cake with parsley, foie-gras torchon, and sweet-corn soup. Soon, the group was piled into a fleet of Gator utility vehicles and given a tour of the Smiths' grounds and farm.
David Smith, pictured, spoke briefly about the history and philosophy behind Cunningham Farms. "What we will show you is an operating farm—in its first stages of evolution—providing great food for local restaurants," he said. The 10-acre property supplies products to the Bagby restaurants: Ten Ten, Bagby Pizza Co., the soon-to-open Fleet Street Kitchen near Harbor East, and Cunningham's (in the Towson City Center).
At the farm, there are 15 species of tomatoes, 240 free-range chickens, a micro-greens sanctuary, and many other vegetables, fruits, edible flowers, and herbs.
Later, guests returned to the Smiths' home and were seated at an outdoor table. Chefs Chris Becker and Omar Semidey, who cook for the Bagby restaurants, prepared a dinner menu that included salt-roasted black bass, smoked honey-brined fried chicken, and a summer vegetable gratin, pictured. Various desserts were offered, including an olive-oil lemon cake and peach-and-nectarine galette. Bettina Perry, formerly of Blue Hill Tavern, is the pastry chef.
With a food lineup like this, we're expecting great things at Fleet Street Kitchen.
Photos by Lowen Howard.