East County Times Dining Guide




Sunset Cove
3408 Red Rose Farm Rd
Baltimore, MD 21220
Phone: (410) 630-2031


- Article & photos by Devin Crum-

If you're still undecided about where to take your mate or date for dinner on Valentine's Day, let me be the first to recommend Sunset Cove. The perfect way to describe it is "gourmet food without the gourmet price." A coworker and I decided to head down to Sunset Cove, in Bowleys Quarters, recently for a sneak peek at their special Valentine's Day menu they'll have running the week of the holiday. Upon entering the restaurant, you immediately notice an elegant feel, and the items offered on their special menu are nothing short of the same. We started off with a beautiful shrimp cocktail consisting of fresh jumbo shrimp and a zesty cocktail sauce. Considering much of the menu is seafood, it was the perfect way to prepare our palates. Next we sampled a plate of jumbo, bacon-wrapped scallops served over crispy slices of potato and finished with whole grain mustard beurre blanc. The smokey flavor of the apple wood bacon and the mild taste of the mustard beurre blanc contributed greatly to the tremendous taste of the dish, while the potato slices complimented and completed it with their crispy texture and buttery flavor. Definitely not one to pass up! For our entrées, we tried the Glazed Salmon and the Pecan-crusted Tilapia, which could not have been better choices. The first was a generous portion of grilled Atlantic salmon, brushed with honey and topped with a ginger-teriyaki glaze. It was served with basmatti rice and perfectly boiled and cold-cured sugar snap peas. The milder flavors of the rice and peas were a commendable compliment to the more active flavors of the glazed salmon. The smooth, sweet glaze was also exceptionally mixed with the flame-kissed edges of the salmon in each bite. Now, tilapia (and other white fish) doesn't usually have much flavor to speak of. But that's where the pecan crusting comes in. This crust was comprised of crushed pecans, brown sugar and a hint of garlic to create a sweet and nutty flavor which my coworker described as "a surprise to your mouth!" It was served with wild rice, grilled asparagus and lemon beurre blanc. Chef Scott explained to us that seafoods like scallops, tilapia and salmon are "very accepting of other flavors." Which is why he enjoys working with them and is able to create such uncommon treasures as these. He tries to create things at Sunset Cove that you won't find at other places in the area. And finally, never one to pass on a steak, I had to try the Blackened Ribeye. This succulent cut of steak was cooked just right and bursting with flavor, to say the least. Topped with a bleu cheese cream sauce and served over garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, it was certainly not like the rest. Here I should mention that this special menu also lists a recommended wine pairing with each item to perfectly round out that aforementioned elegance and gourmet feel, which will be perfect for your Valentine's Day dinner date. We capped off our magnificent meal with two of the decadent desserts on the menu - the Oreo Cheesecake and their special pound cake dish. The pound cake was a lemon cake served with a mixture of fresh berries over a Grand Marnier fruit sauce and topped with whipped cream. It was as pleasing to the eyes as it was to the tastebuds. And the Oreo Cheesecake was the kind of thing that can put a smile on anyone's face. It was a rich chocolatey dream, served over a thick swirl of chocolate sauce. Scott Opdyke, who attended culinary school in New England but grew up in Baltimore County, also manages the Gunpowder Lodge on Belair Road in Kingsville and has been in the business for 16 years. With regard to his culinary philosophy he said, "If you start with the right ingredients, treat them right and keep it simple, you end up [with delicious food]." He will also be managing the Steelefish Grill (formerly Marli's) when it opens in the spring. So look for the quality there to be just as high. Sunset Cove is located at 3408 Red Rose Farm Road in Bowleys Quarters, and will have the Valentine's Day menu from Monday, Feb. 11 - Sunday, Feb. 17, so you won't have to worry about them being too busy on the actual day. Visit them online at www.sunsetcovemd.com for more information, and contact them at 410-630-2031 to make your reservation today!

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