The new FLAVOR Restaurant, Bar and Lounge, formerly located in the spot known as the Midtown Yacht Club and Midtown BBQ , has cleaned up the former’s act — no more peanut shells on the floor. A total remodel on the Mt. Vernon space on Centre Street, FLAVOR is fresh, clean and bright. The muted pale grey washed brick façade with a large picture window, lets plenty of light in the main dining room and bar. Wood floors, well placed mirrors, off white wainscoting and light grey walls open up the small space to feel very spacious and airy.
Executive Chef Julia Belton brings serious street creds to FLAVOR: A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Cornell’s Business Hospitality School and working at the 3 starred Michelin rated Eleven Madison Park under Chef Daniel Humm.
I had met Vanna and Julia Belton, FLAVOR owners, about six weeks ago to talk about the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs organization and it was at that time they invited me back as their guest. Brunch it was going to be.
Recently a friend was searching for a restaurant that does brunch, but later than most restaurants, so I recommended FLAVOR’s brunch, it is an all day affair on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. FLAVOR was perfect for my brunch with a friend who thinks mornings are for other people, getting up when the rooster crows is not in her vocabulary, so our brunch date was 1 p.m.
Executive Chef Julia Belton was working the front of the house for an employee who called in sick. That was in no way a detriment to the dishes coming out of the kitchen. A peach Bellini was my cocktail of choice and my companion went with the lemosa, you can mix and match your brunch libations – one for $7, two for $10. The coffee arrived in a French press – always impressive.
On the day of our visit they were out of the dill gravlax which had appealed to both my guest and I. Instead, we went with the two brunch specials the shrimp and grits and their rich version of a croque-Madame. My choice on my side was bacon, but the house made sausage my companion ordered was exceptional, the bacon was good, but the sausage had a nice blend of spice, and the texture was spot on. My grits were creamy, the shrimp, tender and flavorful.
Chef Belton sent out the popular oatmeal crème brûlée side —who knew oatmeal could be so decadent. Another side dish I might have ordered, but meds prohibited its consumption, is the grapefruit brûlée. I don’t think we left a morsel or remnant of our brunch on the plates.
While we were there, FLAVOR, was hosting a party in their upstairs lounge which from what I gather is quite popular for private events, networking, etc. FLAVORS’ staff, all the staff, was gracious and checking on our experience – even the bus person.
A Sunday in Mt. Vernon, no need to feed the meters, there was sufficient street parking, my companion Ubered and of course there is always the Charm City Circulator.
I look forward to heading back to FLAVOR for dinner – brunch was such a success.
FLAVOR – 15 East Centre Street – Baltimore, MD 21202 443.563.2279 www.flavorbaltimore.com Facebook Instagram & Twitter @FlavorBaltimore – Closed on Mondays, Brunch all day Sunday