Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Wine Kitchen—Frederick, MD—A Restaurant Recommendation

While I was back visiting my folks over the holidays, my uncle "U.P." had a 76th birthday roll around. Being one of my favorite uncles, I suggested that we spend his momentous day together and just do whatever the heck he wanted.

And so we did. We started the day by driving one of U.P.'s best friends to the Baltimore airport. Doesn't sound very exciting, I know, but if you took 30 seconds to meet Greg, you would quickly understand that the hour-and-a-half drive really was a rollicking good time.

After saying our goodbyes to Greg at BWI, U.P. and I stopped in at Mt. Airy Liquors, his favorite wine store in Mt. Airy, MD. MAL's service was excellent and friendly, and the shop was clean and exceedingly well-stocked for its size. U.P. and I both found some new wines for great prices to give a try, AND I found a 1.75L bottle of Beefeater for $24.00! That will keep my brother and I stocked on G&Ts for months of visits to Mom and Dad!

Next was lunch. Wending our way down a winding business park road, we came to a.k.a Friscos, a sandwich joint that was HOPPING. With everything homemade, including a few beers on tap, I quickly saw why U.P. had frequented this little restaurant in his past to the point of being considered a regular. It was delicious—especially the "Exploded Potatoes."

From there we headed to the old side of town to wander the shops on East Street, grabbing a fantastic coffee at Frederick Coffee Company & Cafe before we began our afternoon of poking around the neighboring arts-and-crafts and antique stores.

As the temperature dropped and the sun began to set, we decided it was time for a light dinner and a glass of wine to warm up. U.P. decided he wanted to take me to one of his all-time favorite places to sit for a glass of wine and talk, and this...this was the highlight of the day.

Along Frederick's downtown riverwalk dubbed "The Creek" sits a simple beauty, the Wine Kitchen. Part French bistro, part American hipster bar, the Wine Kitchen keeps itself trim and tidy, not just with its service and bearded but clean-cut staff but also with its menu and wine flights and somehow warmly spartan decor.

Seated beside a window looking out onto the water, U.P. and I sat sipping our wine and a Manhattan Curve (with Campari ice!) while grazing on a beautifully delectable charcuterie board, one of WK's most popular offerings, and a basket of warm, crusty bread.

The full charcuterie board at the Wine Kitchen in Frederick, MD

The Manhattan Curve with Campari ice at the Wine Kitchen in Frederick, MD

I wish we could have sat there all night. And if we had been able to, I think the staff would have let us. Our handful of servers carried out our evening with American verve but European tact. U.P. and I were there to talk, first and foremost. The WK servers felt that vibe and respected it, showing a discreet sensitivity that only seasoned, truly humble servers can do.

The evening could not have been more exactly what was needed: the talk, the food, the drinks, the service. Thank you to the Wine Kitchen for that. I'll be back, without a doubt.

But I just may order that charcuterie board all for myself next time.

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