The Mollet’s standard of excellence is apparent in every aspect of their Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel located in Taneytown, Maryland. Dort and Richard employ a staff of 85 to keep their hotel running at peak performance. The standard is maintained with the exquisite dining experience.
They have wisely chosen to locate the main dining area in what appears to be the original kitchen – brick wall and floor with an enormous walk in fireplace. The result is a very serene vibe in an intimate setting.
The evening we dined at the Inn the fire was burning at just the right flame to create the needed warmth and atmosphere. We felt honored to have Tim as our guide through the food and wine experience.
Wine connoisseurs beware – there are 19,000 bottles of wine in the wine cellar. Each bottle of wine in the cellar has a white sticker on the top of the foil with a number that corresponds to the inventory kept on their computer and the list is updated every week. Every Wednesday is tasting day for Mr. Mollet. He tastes and selects the wines that he will add to his collections.
Tim guided us through our wine selections. We chose a 2012 Albert Bichot Poilly Fuisse for white and with Tim’s help a 2004 Pinot Noir Santa Robles from San Luis Obispo, CA. Upon opening the Pinot Noir, Tim was dubious if it was palpable. But we were all pleasantly surprised with the pour after it breathed for a few minutes. Exquisite.
The 6 course offering for dinner (accompanied with an amuse bouche and intermezzo) was quite innovative and aimed to please. Kudos to Executive Chef Spencer Wolff for his creative menu.
There were 5 offerings for the first course. All were perfectly portioned and beautifully presented. The Maryland Crab cake was delicately accented with a honey butter and a touch of apple fennel cream. My female friend chose the heartier homemade ribbon pasta with a very aromatic pork and veal ragu , which we all tasted. It had us all wishing for more. Pumpkin Risotto with a definite hint of sage was a seasonal highlight of the first course offerings.
The best choice for the third course was a velvety butternut squash soup - perfectly sweet and delightful. Those in our group who ordered the soup had a difficult time not licking their bowls!
The chef made sure there was a solid choice for every desire whether you are a meat, fish, fowl or veggie lover. All were enhanced with creative accents and beautifully presented.
The men in the group chose the braised short rib served with a celeriac puree accompanied with a Madeira reduction, and a Black Angus filet with a veal and mushroom reduction sauce. Both were outstanding and cooked to perfection.
The fish choice was a generous piece of Arctic Char artfully prepared with a sweet corn and brussel sprout medley, bits of applewood bacon topped with a delicate sweet corn sauce.
Quail stuffed with a delectable combination of black rice, cranberries, and pecans was my selection for the main course. The flavor combination tasted like a mini Thanksgiving dinner – all in a neat little package. Superb!
Although we all were at our limit and tried to opt out of dessert, when it arrived we succumbed to the tempting array of goodies that was laid before us. - a panache of mini confections. We were each presented a 10” white tray-like plate with mini waffle cones filled with perfect pumpkin mousse, a cup cake of ever-so-rich and very dark chocolate bread pudding, a perfect mini vanilla custard tart, and a cannoli filled with a flavorful ricotta almond cream.
Afterward we retired to the Pickwick Pub and enjoyed a cocktail by the warm open fireplace . . . the end of a perfect evening at The Antrim 1884’s Smokehouse Restaurant.