The Carolina Kitchen is the most amazing and popular southern cuisine restaurant chain in the nation. It was created to offer its guest taste buds an amazing journey through the South. From the moment One enters, they are transported to another world; designed to stimulate the soul and indulge the senses.
Chef Timothy Dean, a former contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Season 7, builds gourmet burgers with certified grass-fed Angus beef free from hormones and antibiotics. Even though Dean honed his culinary skills under chef Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel and later at Paladin in New York City, he chose to focus on more casual cuisine for his own restaurant. According to a 2012 article in the Washington Post, Dean says, "I've always been in fine dining but I realized that people are just not spending that kind of money anymore." So he decided to pair his gourmet finesse with food that is accessible to everyone.
That decision paid off because his burgers earned him a rave review in the Baltimore Sun, which proclaimed, "The vibe is fast food, but the food – burgers, fries and gourmet pizzas – is worthy of white tablecloths." His burgers come crowned with classic toppings such as american cheese, vine ripe tomatoes, and bibb lettuce as well as inventive combinations such as The Baker burger with housemade jalapeño aioli and fried onions.
Along with signature burgers, Dean also features hand-tossed pizzas topped with jerk chicken and thai basil and sides of sweet potato fries with honey. For dessert, patrons may sip thick, handcrafted milk shakes in flavors including dark chocolate, vanilla bean, or strawberry. Sweets include red velvet cupcakes, Belgium chocolate-chip cookies, and Kahlua chocolate-chip brownies.
After admiring the lush gardens and historical exhibits of the stately and new renovated Riversdale House, sightseers often stroll the few blocks down to Calvert House Inn for fine dining. Built to pay homage to the hospitality and finery that the Riversdale House was renowned for, the elegant eatery now celebrates its 50th anniversary serving fine seafood to locals and tourists and has garnered praise from local news outlets. Pots bubble and hiss within the kitchen, where chefs fold oysters, shrimp, and scallops into a variety of classic dishes and craft their signature Maryland-style crab cakes from seasoned jumbo lump crab. The versatile chefs also extend their culinary expertise to a variety of land-grown specialties, including freshly ground burgers and premium steaks.
Out in the cheerful dining rooms, diners clink glasses of white wine in intimate booths, their faces illuminated by the glimmer of chandeliers. And to keep the mood convivial, these rooms play host to special events, including karaoke parties, Caribbean music nights, and performances from live bands. On Sundays, brunch diners raise glasses of OJ while live jazz music mingles through the air.
This sophisticated and inviting establishment is the hatchling of master restaurateur and rhyme master, Chef Geoff Tracy. He’s built a menu with great latitude, covering a wide variety of dishes served throughout the day. Sunday brunch features classic egg dishes such as steak and eggs (NY strip, sunny-side-up eggs, and golden Yukon hash, $18.95) and lunchier sandwiches like Lia’s burger with tomato, pancetta, sautéed onion, and provolone ($10.95). Take a lunch break to the Mediterranean with a big salad ($13.95–$16.95) such as the crispy calamari caesar (with tomato, prosciutto, scallions, and grana padano) or a feta, black olive, tomato, and pepperoncini pizza pie ($12.95). Check out the hours each menu is offered here.