This week, we went to lunch at Linwoods Restaurant in Owings Mills, at the urging of Jennifer’s aunt. After hearing that they have a 3-Course Prix Fixe lunch menu for $24, and optional wine pairings for an extra $10, we were immediately interested. Nods from Baltimore Magazine and Zagat also helped to seal the deal:
If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Baltimorean, a trip to Linwoods probably means a special occasion. The smooth dark-wood interior, walls of hunter green, and bevy of white-toqued chefs hard at work in the open kitchen promise something special and grown-up. But while the restaurant pre-dates many of the digs that define Baltimore as a foodie town, Linwoods is by no means over the hill. Even words like seasoned and mature don’t do it justice—unless you’re describing the way a pat of blue cheese slowly melts on the surface of a juicy tenderloin, or the sweet lemon crab salad embellishing a generous fillet of sea bass, with horseradish-spiked mashed potatoes on the side. Linwoods combines the cultivation we take for granted with such casual updates as pizza from a wood-burning oven, a dinner salad topped with grilled duck, and a crab cake with fried tomatoes. In other words, there’s no need to wait for a big event. — Baltimore Magazine, Best Restaurants 2012
Upon arriving, we were offered a seat at the Grill Bar, which we immediately accepted. Any time I’m offered a seat right at the kitchen, I always accept. I love talking shop with chefs and their staff, getting to know them and seeing their passion for food.
The 3 of us placed our orders for the $24 Prix Fixe lunch menu. I opted for the Iceberg Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing to start, while my dining companions chose soup to start.
The Iceberg Salad was quite large, and the Blue Cheese Dressing was delicious, with a copious amount of blue cheese chunks. Normally I find salads to be lacking in amount of dressing; this was definitely not the case. A Sauvignon Blanc from Languedoc, France was paired quite well with this.
For my entree, I selected the 4oz Beef Tenderloin, served with whipped potatoes, winter vegetables, crispy onion straws, and demi-glace. Perfectly sized and cooked to a perfect medium-rare, this was a joy to eat. A Pinot Noir, also from Languedoc, was a wonderful wine pairing.
For dessert, I chose the Chocolate Bread Pudding, with coffee ice cream. It was a bit on the small side, which was absolutely perfect as I was nearly full from the salad and entree. It was a delicious end to quite possibly one of the best lunches I’ve had in a while.
It was also a pleasure talking with Chef Aaron after our meal. We share a love for ice cream, so I made sure to tell him about our favorite, Jeni’s. He had never tried it before, so he got excited when we told him about her unique flavors.
I’m told that they are going to have some specials for Baltimore County Restaurant Week. I think we’ll be making a return visit sooner rather than later!