Sometime in the second half of 2018, I became aware that True Chesapeake Oyster Company, based in St Mary's County, was planning to open a restaurant in Baltimore, that Zack Mills, who had most recently been executive chef at Wit & Wisdom in the Four Seasons, was involved in the project, and the restaurant would be housed in the as-yet-to-be-redeveloped Whitehall Mill complex on Clipper Mill Road. The Local Oyster, a popular raw bar in Mt Vernon Marketplace, had also signed onto the project. I'm not sure there could be a better trifecta of concept-chef-location, especially not in Baltimore. The resurgence of the region's oyster population, due to the recent boom in oyster farming, has made everyone's favorite bivalve more popular than ever. Maryland native Mills was known for his ways with local seafood. And opening a restaurant along the banks of the Jones Falls has been a recent success story for several restaurateurs (see: Birroteca, La Cuchara, Gypsy's Truckstaurant, and Cosima).
The wait for True Chesapeake the Restaurant (as opposed to the Oyster Farm) seemed interminable, but it finally opened its doors in October of 2019. Mr Minx and I hit them up fairly early, not always a fair thing to do to a new restaurant, but we were eager to experience the food. We weren't the only ones; on our first visit, there seemed to be a pretty good crowd, which included local seafood expert John Shields and his husband John Gilligan, owners of Gertrude's at the BMA.
|roasted half-shell oysters, Zack's crab soup|
|the fish stick: fried blue catfish, mayo, capers, cornichons|
|mushroom toast, crispy horseradish, tarragon, creme fraiche|
|crab cake, golden beet puree, creamed leeks, fennel salad|
|semolina fried oysters, braised swiss chard, caper hollandaise|
|spaghetti with clams|
|panfried snakehead, cauliflower, beluga lentils, romesco|
True Chesapeake Oyster Company
Historic Whitehall Mill
3300 Clipper Mill Road
Posted on Minxeats.com.