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dinwiddie

The Comus Inn At Sugarloaf Mountain, Dickerson, MD - Chef José Molina Lopez takes over from Patrick Schrader

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My wife wanted us to take her out for brunch in the country for her birthday so I made reservations at the Comus Inn for Sunday brunch. The Inn is at Sugarloaf Mountain in Montgomery County MD. (Dickerson, MD, about 10 miles south of Frederick MD)

Brunch was excellent. The Inn, the original part which was built in 1860, has undergone a major renovation recently. The views are nice, overlooking the rolling hills of the western part of the county. The buffet brunch on Sunday features a pancake station and an egg station. They will make any type of eggs you want and bring them to your table so you don't have to wait as they make them. I had some excellent Eggs Benedict, the eggs poached to my specifications. My wife and son had the Eggs Comus, poached eggs on home cured bacon over a slice of brioche with hollendaise. The pancakes were so light they almost floated off the plate and they would make them with whatever you wanted (the boy had blueberry and chocolate chips)

They also had a carving station with roast beef and roast pork. The bacon and sausages were also very good, not overcooked and very flavorful. Very nice cheese blinzes, a wonderful rockfish in a lobster/champagne sauce, tiny muffins (chocolate and blueberry) that were so light they melted in your mouth. The usual biscuts with sausage gravy, roasted potatos, nicely done and crisp veggies, a house smoked ivory salmon that was to die for, and a dessert table that was out of this world.

Service was superb. Plates were wisked away as soon as they were done with, and when you left to get another plate of food, you returned to a newly folded napkin and fresh silverware. Coffee cups were always kept full, water glasses never empty. As I said before, if you ordered eggs or pancakes at the buffet, they were brought to your table as soon as they were done. The damage was $28 per person, with drinks extra (coffee and tea came with the brunch) We all
left so stuffed it almost hurt, but thought it was an excellent brunch.

The Comus Inn has an excellent wine list which they were glad to let me look at. Running to 24 pages or so, with almost 600 selections, they have a cellar of about 4800 bottles. Of course this is Montgomery County so the prices were high (after all the county is the wholesaler and marks everything up 35%) Well balanced, there were some bottles there that I hadn't seen on other wine lists in the county, such as a 94 Ridge MonteBello, several years of Harlans, a 97 Grange, several years of Latour, Haut Brion, etc. All in all an impressive list, especially for this county.

At dinner they offer four and five course dinners. The menu looked very interesting and reasonably priced for a fancy dinner. (I think it was $89 for the five course dinner.) I might have to try it soon.

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There are worse things in life than sitting in the long, glass-enclosed dining room in the back of Comus Inn, sipping a glass of 2006 Sugarloaf Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($12.50), and watching the sun set over Sugarloaf Mountain.

I was surprised at how good this wine was, despite Comus Inn charging the obscene price of $52 a bottle for it on their wine list. It has a brett-like nose, but if you can get beyond that, it's a really structured, balanced Cabernet with very "normal" tasting black fruits. As opposed to the undrinkable 2006 Revolution Meritage ($12.50) which smelled like jelly, and had an aftertaste of caramel.

As expensive as these wines sound for what they are, my glass of Cabernet Sauvignon was a monster six-ounce pour.

Comus Inn is running all sorts of dinner specials right now (Wednesday night dinner for four, $68, etc.). I'd love to come back and try their empanadas which seem Bolivian-influenced, but I'm also looking forward to returning for their Sunday brunch - there's something about overlooking a mountain that makes scrambled eggs taste better (and it's much closer than Old South Mountain Inn).

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Ate there Saturday night. The crowd was light but it was early and we got to watch the sunset behind Sugarloaf while sipping a nice red wine. (my wife just converted me finally to the 'dark side' of red wines, and this was maybe my second meal enjoying such. So I have no historical reference to what wines should be or could be. But no bother - what matters is what they ARE that moment - and mine was wonderful.)

Appetizers: The crab fritters were nice, with a spicy avacado/guacamole dip and the potato gnocci were (per my wife) good.

Main: I had the special seafood stew - it was good with a heavy (flavor and consistency) broth. My only wish was for more of the deep red broth, however I understand it may have overwhelmed the seafood. My wife had Chicken with goat cheese polenta - the chicken was a little dry for my taste, but maybe too many popeyes trips have me pavlovianly trained to expect a liquid center to each chicken piece. The taste was subtle, not overly done.

Dessert was for me a lemon creme brulee, which was so good I nearly inhaled it. Then again, I'm a sucked for carmelization.

The service was excellent. We really had two waiters and both were appropriately attentive and knowledgable when needed.

OK, so Comus has a checkered past and it isn't perfect. My wife and I had a horrible experience there years ago. But hope springs eternal and we're forgiving - and this weekend, we left full and satisfied, having had a nice meal in a wonderful setting, braketed by a nice drive through the country.

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Since we can't go for Thanksgiving I suggested we go for Mr. BLB's birthday dinner.

He said no--it looked too nice for our six year old.

Our six year old who went to RTC at 2 weeks and was a regular at Dino and Palena at age 2.  Who picks the Mussel Bar for his own birthday every year and rocked out Central just this past summer.

I suspect he means that it is too quiet and sedate .

So--how elementary school age kid friendly is it?

If we ditch the kid at school and try for lunch are we going to get the full experience?

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Since we can't go for Thanksgiving I suggested we go for Mr. BLB's birthday dinner.

He said no--it looked too nice for our six year old.

Our six year old who went to RTC at 2 weeks and was a regular at Dino and Palena at age 2.  Who picks the Mussel Bar for his own birthday every year and rocked out Central just this past summer.

I suspect he means that it is too quiet and sedate .

So--how elementary school age kid friendly is it?

If we ditch the kid at school and try for lunch are we going to get the full experience?

You'll be fine with your son.  And they aren't in a position to turn people away because they don't fit a profile.  We went once with our neighbors and their kids - 4 grade schoolers.  No problems.   One nice thing is that the seating is divided into a number of smaller rooms so there's less risk of collateral damage to every diner.

I don;t know about your lunch question but the sunsets are a nice touch (and not always available at lunch) :)

Edit - I'd also add that Comus has the room to space the tables.  We've taken our kids to Dino's and had a successful time as Dino's is very accomodating - BUT - the tables are also very close together.  So the kids being quietly cranky still made us worried as people we're sitting only a foot or two away.  Comus is generally much roomier and it seems they won't seat people right next to you if they can help it.  Enjoy.

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We had brunch at Comus Inn on a beautiful Sunday before heading up to Sugarloaf Mountain.  

The lemon blueberry bread was everything you are looking for in a breakfast bread: moist and sweet, cut with the lemon and blueberries.  We also enjoyed the crab hush puppies, plump, fried to a deep golden brown, and served with a trio of dips.  The Chesapeake Eggs Benedict was also well done, the breakfast hash was ok, really just cut up fried potatoes, and the herbed tomato slice was mostly an after thought.  For dessert we had the very good Autumn Apple Cake.  The Bloody Mary was only fair.  

All-in-all a very pleasant brunch and it's tough to beat the Sugarloaf area on a spectacular Fall morning.

Has anyone been to the nearby Sugarloaf Winery?    

 

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48 minutes ago, Tweaked said:

The lemon blueberry bread was everything you are looking for in a breakfast bread: moist and sweet, cut with the lemon and blueberries.  We also enjoyed the crab hush puppies, plump, fried to a deep golden brown, and served with a trio of dips.  The Chesapeake Eggs Benedict was also well done, the breakfast hash was ok, really just cut up fried potatoes, and the herbed tomato slice was mostly an after thought.  For dessert we had the very good Autumn Apple Cake.  The Bloody Mary was only fair.  

Do you think the bread, hush puppies, and apple cake were house made? If so, maybe they have someone who knows how to bake.

They own that winery, btw, or at least they used to. The last time I went to Comus Inn, it was just for a glass of wine while out for a drive. My memory is hazy, but I think I remember being told that they own the winery - that's easily enough confirmed or debunked.

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2 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Do you think the bread, hush puppies, and apple cake were house made? If so, maybe they have someone who knows how to bake.

Every indication was that they were house made. 

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