Howard Magazine - Page 16 - All about ambience

Howard Magazine
- Page 16
All about ambience
At Elkridge Furnace Inn, a charming atmosphere but uneven food

There’s a fabulous culinary destination waiting to emerge at the charming and richly historic Elkridge Furnace Inn. The ingredients are on hand, but, judging by our visit, a little more consistency and finessing is needed to fulfill the abundant potential.

This 13-acre property on the banks of the Patapsco River includes a main house dating to around 1800. That structure, rescued from neglect and renovated by French-trained chef Daniel Wecker and his brother (an undertaking that cannot be praised enough), has been home to a restaurant and catering business since the early 1990s. The verdant grounds include the riparian Ceremony Point, which would make any special occasion doubly memorable.

The room where we dined one rainy evening gave off a warm, cozy vibe from wood-beamed ceilings, classy recorded jazz, and one of life’s lovely pleasures that many a restaurant has summarily abandoned — good old-fashioned tablecloths.

Our affable young server made us feel welcome (much more so than the gruff, smile-less manager who seated us). He soon had us supplied with ably constructed cocktails, including a wonderfully balanced martini made with Hendricks gin, and an amuse-bouche of spinach wrapped cucumber and tomato that hit the spot.

From there, things turned uneven.

The soup of the day — tasso pork and white bean — derived some kick from peppers, but didn’t have much else in the way of character.