As The Oregon Grille in Hunt Valley celebrates its 15th anniversary, I stopped by the restaurant today to try some of the new dishes that will soon be introduced to its menu. I also wanted to find out what's going on with owner Ted Bauer's newest project, the historic Valley Inn.
Make no mistake: The Oregon Grille hasn't lost its commitment to its main dish—dry aged prime beef. It's just making some additions. "We're continuing the mainstays," Ted assured me.
What's really great is that the executive chef, Matthew Siegmund, has been in the kitchen since the restaurant opened in 1997. He started as a line cook, working under former chefs Mark Henry and Stefan Sabo, before taking over the top spot and continuing his mentors' vision.
Only now, Matt contributes his own spin, creating new dishes like crispy leg of duck, surf & turf carpaccio, grilled farm-raised salmon with lobster risotto and crispy shrimp, and an exquisite Swiss chocolate torte, pictured.
The torte is an amazing concoction of Swiss chocolate sponge cake and chocolate mousse, draped with a gianduja glaze, a lush hazelnut chocolate. The pretty plate was drizzled with raspberry coulis, bittersweet chocolate, and Grand Marnier-orange-juice sauce. #theregoesthediet
Ted, who started the Mt. Washingon Tavern in 1979 before running The Oregon Grille, is also on the cusp of adding another restaurant to his resume—The Valley Inn in Brooklandville (officially Lutherville). A liquor license was approved almost two years ago, but the storied property has stood quiet since then.
Ted didn't disclose any new details today, except to say there have been bumps along the way. But he told me there will be some information coming soon.
The Valley Inn at 10501 Falls Rd. was owned by Bud Hatfield and other family members for more than 90 years and was a popular gathering place for the horse-country crowd. The food was old-fashioned, but there probably wasn't a better mint julep in town.
In the meantime, The Oregon Grille is one of the many local restaurants preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year. (I'll be compiling a list of other restaurants next week.)
For $49 a person, diners can enjoy a traditional holiday meal from 1-8 p.m. on Nov. 22, featuring roasted turkey, sausage dressing, whipped potatoes, yams, pecan pie, and more. The à la carte dinner menu will also be offered.
Contact the restaurant to make reservations.
Photo by me.