After much buzz, The Chesapeake, named after its once-popular predecessor, opened a couple of weeks ago in the landmark building at North Charles and Lanvale streets in the up-and-coming Station North District. I had a chance to check it out on Saturday.
Even this early in the game, the food and service were very good. We had a great charcuterie plate (pictured, left) with prosciutto, sopressata, salami, and a house-made chicken pâté; ricotta gnocchi; a selection of oysters from the raw bar, and more.
The modern American menu, described as farm-to-table, is about as au courant as they get, though we like the restaurant's idea of offering Throwback Thursdays when menu items and classic cocktails from the former Chesapeake are offered.
The current dinner menu does have one oldie—a rendition of the old restaurant's "snowball" dessert. In this version (pictured), a two-layer coconut cake is lathered with chocolate ganache and toasted coconut and served with cocoa sorbet.
The main dining room (pictured, top), anchored by a gorgeous marble bar, is best described as rustic industrial with exposed beams, a seafaring mural (pictured, below), some brick, and bare high-top and banquette seating.
Over the weekend, the restaurant was also seating people in a darkened, more subdued dining room off the entranceway.
The white-tiled entrance is reminiscent of the old Chesapeake, which closed more than two decades ago. In its heyday, the restaurant was one of the most sought-after reservations in town. Think thick steaks and crab imperial.
The new owners—the Milk & Honey Market group—have created a more casual space. And in keeping with that spirit, the servers wear gray shirts and blue jeans.
We saw diners wearing shorts as well as more dressed-up folks. You'll feel quite comfortable eating here before or after going to a movie at the nearby Charles Theatre.
Eventually, the restaurant will serve lunch. There's also a coffee bar that will sell beverages in the future, a host told us.
The new Chesapeake is a work in progress that seems to have gotten off to a good start.