A perfect table setting requires pristine linens and polished cutlery, except at off-Broadway restaurants where waiters set every table in postapocalyptic Vienna. Avoid avant-garde eating with today’s Groupon: for $30, you get $65 worth of fine dining at The Milton Inn Restaurant in Sparks.
Executive chef Brian Boston, who was recently named 2011 Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, besieges bow-tied taste buds with a menu of upscale American cuisine at The Milton Inn Restaurant, which resides in a nearly 300-year-old fieldstone manor. Guests can begin meals or meditations on prime numbers with a trio of artisanal cheeses, including a soft-ripened saint-andré and aged Guinness cheddar, that chaperone crisp baguette slices and fresh and dried fruits ($18). Jumbo lump crabmeat cannonballs into saucers of Maryland crab soup ($11), splashing its fragrant broth atop the seafood andor, a medley of lobster, rockfish, crab, mussels, and shrimp in a creamy dill sauce with wild mushroom risotto ($37). Bourbon-and-red-wine sauce rains over a grilled pork chop ($35), and knives' serrated edges also sink, like yachts made of sponge cake, into tomato halves peppered in garlic-bread crumbs ($7).
Nearly 200 handpicked red and white wines age gracefully in an underground wine cellar, which rests beneath colonial-style dining rooms illumined by tabletop candles and crackling flames from a rustic stone fireplace. The Milton Inn Restaurant requests that male guests don jackets, a prerequisite that arose after the short-lived “shirtless cummerbund” fad of the late 1980s. Diners that commute via four-wheeled steed can deposit their vehicles in the eatery's free parking lot.
The Milton Inn Restaurant
Within a 272-year-old fieldstone building, the aroma of pan-seared seafood and glazed meat drifts through dining rooms as patrons clink together glasses of fine wines. Throughout its history, the building served as a rest area for travelers and a prestigious school for boys. It wasn't until 1947, when Ivan Drechsler purchased the location, that it was restored and established as a country inn.
Executive chef and owner Brian Boston, who was named 2011 Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, crafts upscale American dishes in the Inn's bustling kitchen. To complement its food, the Inn boasts a wine cellar that includes more than 200 handpicked selections, which rest beneath colonial-style dining rooms illumined by tabletop candles and crackling flames from a rustic stone fireplace. The restaurant's romantic ambience and open-air garden terrace have drawn diners celebrating momentous occasions for many years.