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8 Reasons to Drive to Frederick

By Rina Rapuano
March 4, 2014
Photo by: Rey Lopez/Under a Bushel Photography

With Frederick's Restaurant Week running through March 9, we've had a hankering to take one of our favorite day trips to the beautiful and historical town of Frederick, Maryland - which sits only an hour or so north of DC up I-270. The Restaurant Week dining deal features 18 Frederick eateries offering two-course lunches for $15.14; three-course lunches or two-course dinners for $20.14; and three-course dinners for $30.14, not including tax, beverages and gratuity. Here are eight of our favorite places to eat while taking in all that town has to offer (and all of those listed, with the exception of Volt, are participating in Restaurant Week).

  • Acacia Bistro

    This New American dining room that leans toward California cool, striving to use the best seasonal and organic ingredients. Even when it's not Restaurant Week, the bistro offers a deal of three courses for $30 Tuesdays through Thursdays, with optional wine pairings for $15 more. When the weather finally breaks, the patio is the place to be.  

    129 N. Market St.; 301-694-3015

  • Ayse Meze Lounge

    This den of Greek, Turkish and and Lebanese small plates offers up elegant versions of traditional dishes - and even puts some Maryland spins on them, as with the Maryland pide topped with blue crab, pepper, scallions, Old Bay aïoli and cheddar. Live music can be enjoyed here many evenings a week.

    6 N. East St.; 240-651-5155

  • Brewer’s Alley

    Upscale pub grub is the name of the game here, with such casual options as burgers and pizzas sharing menu space with dishes like cedar-plank salmon and roasted jumbo-lump crab cakes. The kid-friendly offerings and the well-regarded house-brewed beers make this a natural spot for families.

    124 N. Market St.; 301-631-0089

  • Photo by: Rey Lopez/Under a Bushel Photography

    Family Meal

    Top Chef and Top Chef Masters alum Bryan Voltaggio isn't just a chef - he's a father. This retro diner is a former car dealership that serves up dishes like meatloaf and fried chicken in addition to more "cheffy" dishes like beef tartare, celeriac soup or smoked scallops - with many items coming in under $10.

    880 N. East St.; 301-378-2895

  • Firestone's Culinary Tavern

    This two-story building on the main drag has a gorgeous view of Market Street from its expansive windows. The look and feel is all tavern, but the dishes are much less humble than they read - like the amazing clam chowder, which gets flavor boosts from Chardonnay, bacon and celeriac, and a beautiful hand-cut pastrami sandwich that is no ordinary sandwich. If you can, save room for dessert.

    105 N. Market St.; 301-663-0330

  • Tasting Room

    Big plates with big, rich flavors are the specialty at this corner restaurant that practically anchors the historic downtown area. You might start with uncured Duroc pork belly with maple-roasted apples, cider gastrique and apple salad, and move on to Colorado rack of lamb with chickpea purée and asparagus. Wear your stretchy pants if you must finish with dessert - or be prepared to pace yourself and take home leftovers.

    101 N. Market St.; 240-379-7772

  • The Wine Kitchen

    This offshoot of the Leesburg, Virginia, wine bar with the same name is every bit as enticing as the original with its fun wine flights and thoughtfully crafted small plates and entrees. And while you might be ordering something like a burger French dip or Peruvian chicken, these will be outstanding versions of their casual cousins. Flights are whimsically named things like Pinot Envy and Plains of Spain.

    50 Carroll Creek Wy., #160; 301-663-6968

  • Photo by: Nicole Wolf Photography


    This fine-dining room set in a gorgeous 1890s mansion was chef-owner Bryan Voltaggio's first restaurant, which he decided to open in his hometown back in 2008 following nearly a decade working for big-time chef Charlie Palmer. Carefully composed dishes here are a playground of color and texture, showing the masterful hand of an artist at work. Brunch is a local favorite, as well.

    228 N. Market St.; 301-696-8658


Places Mentioned

Acacia Bistro

American • Frederick

Food24 Decor22 Service24 Cost$40
The Tasting Room

American • Frederick

Food27 Decor23 Service26 Cost$48
Family Meal


Food- Decor- Service- CostM

American • Frederick

Food28 Decor26 Service28 Cost$104
Food22 Decor21 Service22 Cost$25
the Wine Kitchen on the Creek

American • Frederick

Food26 Decor24 Service25 Cost$34
Firestone's Culinary Tavern

American • Frederick

Food26 Decor24 Service25 Cost$34
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