Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

September 3, 2011 11:53 AM

Restaurant: Bartlett Pear Inn

Bartlett Pear Inn

28 South Harrison Street
Easton, MD 21601
Gail suggested that Debbie and I have dinner at the Bartlett Pear Inn in Easton, while we were staying in St. Michaels. It turned out to be a great suggestion.

Entry into the Inn requires climbing a set of stairs leading to the front porch . As you enter, to the left is a small, very well appointed, open room containing a bar, with a half dozen tall chairs and a couple of tall tables with chairs. The reception stand is straight ahead.

The dining room is to the right. It seats 24 people at twos and fours, but there could be other combinations. Just off the dining room is a closed-in patio that seats an additional six people. There is an outdoor patio that can seat an additional 20 people. There is also a private dining room that can be used for a special small event or a larger meeting.

As we sat looking over the menu a person walked up to our table and said, “hello.” I recognized him, but was not sure from where. He said, “I saw your name on the reservation list and was wondering if you were the same Berman that I used to serve at the Four Seasons.” Then I recognized him, Jordan Lloyd.

Jordan and his wife, Alice, acquired the Inn a couple of years ago. They changed the name and did some upgrading of the seven sleeping rooms, each of which carries the name of a different variety of pears. You can view each room and its unique appointments on the Inn website.

Debbie started with “East Coast Cerviche”, Tobiko Caviar, Floridian Snapper, Atlantic Cockles, Wild Rhode Island Scallops, Citrus Mirin Maceration, and Cottingham Farm Radish. For her entrée she selected a Roasted Lobster Special in which both halves are taken out of the shell, roasted and then returned to the shell.

I opened with Councell Farms Local Corn Chowder, Pan Seared Chanterelle Mushrooms, Garlic Chips, Espelette Spice, Burgundy Summer Truffle Shavings. For my second course I chose the Pan Seared Ling Cod, Maryland Crab Dumplings, spicy Lemongrass, Haines Farm Kaffir, and Lime Broth.

We shared a side of Mashed Potato Aligot, Chapel Farms Chapelle Cheddar. These are mashed potatoes with a consistency and taste better and different than anything we have previously eaten.

There is a separate bar menu of smaller proportions and, of course, breakfast is served for those who stay overnight.

And worth special note, they did have the primary ingredient for my new drink of choice, pineapple juice and soda. You might be surprised at the number of restaurants that do not stock pineapple juice.

The servers are very friendly and helpful. We overheard Valerie, one of the servers, welcoming one couple with a reminder that she had served them on their last visit, and even recalled the table at which they had been seated. In a small dining room it is easy to overhear various conversations of the folks they are serving. All the servers were friendly and well informed about the menu.

The unisex restroom is located in the hallway between the bar area and the dining room. It is small, but well appointed. The white ceramic square washbasin and commode are side by side. The fold faucets and other fixtures include two well placed grab bars located between the washbasin and commode and next to the commode. White cloth towels are carefully rolled and placed in a large bowl atop a woven basket. The walls are painted a moderate green, and the floors are covered with mid-size reddish dark tiles.

The restaurant is open from 5:30 – 10:30 p.m., except on Tuesdays, when it is closed. There is a special Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Inn is open all of the time. Reservations are generally required, although the night we were there, a Thursday, there was at least one table open through the 2 hours we spent there.

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