Our trip to Frederick may have been all about the booze, but for me at least, the food was just as enjoyable as the drink. Visit Frederick arranged a wonderful three-course dinner for us at The Wine Kitchen on the Creek in downtown Frederick. I’ve heard a lot about this restaurant over the years, through folks we worked with at a winery in Loudoun County, and was very eager to finally check it out.
I was excited to get a chance to try some of the spirits we’d tasted on the tour in cocktail form. I loved the sound of the Lords and Ladies, a seasonal cocktail with Dragon Distillery moonshine, strawberry and moonshine.
Before our weekend in Frederick, I avoided moonshine at all costs, but our distillery tour taught me that it’s not all super harsh. This drink was a perfect example, and actually one of the lighter cocktails on the menu.
Tom opted for the SB Squarepants with Tenth Ward’s smoked corn whiskey, pineapple, lemon and espolette. This was reportedly quite strong with a lot of smoke and spice, but everyone who ordered it was a fan.
Like the cocktails, the food at The Wine Kitchen takes its inspiration from local ingredients and in-season produce. I started with a gorgeous beet salad with beet curd, chocolate cardamom “soil”, goat cheese, mouse, almonds and a sherry vinaigrette.
I’ve eaten a lot of beet salads in my lifetime, but this one really stood out. I loved the varying textures, the unexpected flavor of the chocolate cardamom soil and the exquisitely cooked beets.
As it turns out, The Wine Kitchen has a way with simple salads. Tom’s WK cobb salad was excellent as well. All of the usual suspects were there in their freshest representations. We were off to a great start.
Produce continued to shine in our main courses. I couldn’t pass up the butternut mignon, one of the most thoughtful vegetarian entrées I’ve seen in a long time, featuring an 8 oz. butternut squash “steak”, royal trumpet mushrooms, creamed leeks and pistachio butter.
There was so much flavor on this plate, I didn’t miss the meat for a second. Several of my dining companions raised an eyebrow at my choice, as there was real steak on the menu in addition to tempting chicken and fish options. But I had no regrets trying something more unusual.
Tom opted for the local wild rockfish with a tamarind glaze, plantains and jicama salad, which he paired with one of The Wine Kitchen’s expertly curated wine flights.
He really enjoyed this dish, saying the fish was cooked very well. He also really enjoyed the two different preparations of the plantains – one a crispy chip and the other roasted to a delicate caramelized sweetness.
After two enjoyable courses, we were excited to see what dessert would have in store for us. The banana chocolate pavé with flourless chocolate cake, banana, oat crumble and banana ice cream came highly recommended.
I’m not a fan of flourless chocolate cake, but everyone else raved over this one. I left them to it and dug into the traditional tiramisu instead – the perfect cap to a lovely meal.
Dinner at The Wine Kitchen was yet another way that Frederick surprised and delighted us on our trip. We’d overlooked this nearby locale for far too long, but we’ve officially learned our lesson. Stay tuned for more reasons why Frederick is not to be missed!
Our meal at The Wine Kitchen was covered by Visit Frederick. As always, opinions are 100% our own.