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Shab Row, Bistro and Wine Bar in Frederick


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Someone I know recommended a restaurant in Frederick that I believe opened very recently. She mentioned that the cuisine is meant to be along the lines of upscale bistro and that the sommelier is also the head chef (or at least involved in the kitchen in some way). Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it to save my life. Does this ring a bell for anyone? Have had no luck searching online, perhaps because it's so new.

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Someone I know recommended a restaurant in Frederick that I believe opened very recently. She mentioned that the cuisine is meant to be along the lines of upscale bistro and that the sommelier is also the head chef (or at least involved in the kitchen in some way). Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it to save my life. Does this ring a bell for anyone? Have had no luck searching online, perhaps because it's so new.

http://www.shabrowwine.com/

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Thank you! That's the one. Have you eaten there? Any feedback?

I haven't eaten there yet. I noticed it a few days ago on OpenTable. I showed the menu to my husband who said he would rather go to the Tasting Room for the $$ but I'm sure I can convince him to check it out for a glass of wine and a snack at the bar. I will report back if/when we go.

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Ewww ick, the dinner menu on their website is a Word document. The lunch and "gourmet to go" are pdfs, which is somewhat less icky. Why, oh lord?

Frankly, that was the least annoying thing about the menu, but hey, some people like menus that constantly code-switch between multiple languages, but I will say that this is the first time I have seen an 'aubergene' on a menu in this country.

Aside from that, I wonder if this might be a bit too pricey for bistro food in Frederick, the average entrée costs are equivalent to most fine dining establishments in DC - I do with them luck.

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We went for dinner last night. Right off the bat I liked that most of the two-tops are high-tops (is that the right word?) on the outskirts of the room by the windows. Much more comfortable and private than two-tops squeezed together along bench seating. When we arrived there were only a few tables seated, but the bar in the middle of the room was almost full. As more tables filled up, the room got progressively noisier but not unbearably loud.

Service began a little bit slow but I appreciated that our server had been notified of my allergies (I made a note on our OpenTable reservation request), and apparently had already had a conversation with the kitchen about menu items that contained allergens. She answered a few of our questions about the menu but left without taking our drink order. A few minutes later she came back to take our order and we asked for a recommendation for wine by the glass based on our individual preferences. The wine arrived a few minutes later and while her recommendations were excellent, the (white) wine was pretty warm. She was apologetic and took my husband's glass back to the bar. I opted to keep mine because it had been a long day and I really wanted that glass of wine! It took about 10 minutes for the wine to be chilled and although my husband was eying my glass thirstily, he was glad when his wine finally arrived chilled to his satisfaction.

Our appetizers arrived: a mixed green salad ($7) for me which was presented with 2 pieces of cucumber cut lengthwise wrapped around the mound of salad. Everything seemed fresh but I don't think it was tossed as well as it could have been. I hate when salads are overdressed, but I couldn't taste any dressing on about half of the salad. My husband had ordered the moules frites ($18) which was listed as an entree, as his appetizer. There was a choice of three preparations and he chose the white wine, garlic & tomato version. The broth was light and tasty, but the mussels were overcooked. We really enjoyed the frites with ketchup made in-house.

Our entrees were pan seared diver scallops with fennel and leek risotto and potato gaufrete ($28) for me and bone-in duroc pork chop with vanilla bean shallot reduction and pommes gratin ($28) for him. Mine consisted of 3 huge nicely seared scallops over a pile of the risotto with the gaufrete perched on top of the scallops. The risotto was creamy but not overly so with a nice al dente bite. However, I couldn't detect much fennel or leek. The gaufrete was almost impossible to cut, and I was left wondering if I was supposed to leave it as a garnish although I eventually conquered it. My husband was pleased with his entree, and his potatoes were delicious--decadent without being overly rich. Portions were a bit on the smaller side, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

We shared the chocolate mousse ($8) for dessert which was light and creamy and a nice end to the meal. With tax and tip we spent about $150, with 2 glasses of wine each. We would return, but would probably give it a few months to settle in before doing so. Right now, for the same amount of money, we felt like The Tasting Room is the better option for "finer dining" in Frederick but we're glad that we tried Shab Row.

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