If you've ever been charmed by some of the names of the streets in the Columbia/Laurel area, you're sure to be smitten with that Maryland community's latest eatery. That's because the name - Fire Rock Grill - is actually borrowed from one of those streets.
According to restaurant manager Greg Sanders, the owners of the restaurant were neighbors on Laurel's Fire Rock Road. Sanders says Nish Patel and Vahn Ennis talked for years about opening a restaurant together. This week, that fantasy becomes reality.
Located in the old Last Chance Saloon space, Fire Rock Grill boasts "upscale dining with exquisite downtown services with Columbia prices."
Sanders says the owners went for an eclectic, contemporary look. Think burgundy and cream with touches of black. In the main dining room, he says you'll also see two 75-gallon saltwater aquariums.
A back dining room boasts a rock-facade gas fireplace. And a separate bar/lounge area features a dark-wood bar, Italian halogen lighting and oversized black upholstered bar stools.
"If a family's going to the mall, and they want to go out for a nice dinner, they can come here. But a couple can also come here for an anniversary dinner with a nice bottle of wine," Sanders says.
The menu is also a bit eclectic. Appetizers include fried calamari ($7), a rock shrimp cocktail served in a martini glass ($9) and waffle-cut french fries served with gorgonzola cream ($5).
Salad choices run the gamut from a Caesar ($6) to Cobb ($12) to blackened prime-rib salad ($11). On the entree list, you can choose a Black Angus burger, turkey burger or chicken-breast sandwich (all $10 each). Or you can ratchet your choice up a bit and go for ravioli stuffed with cheeses, sea scallops, shrimp and lump crab meat and tossed with sun-dried tomato vodka cream ($17); crab cakes ($22); or prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with mango, orange zest, hazelnuts and smoked Gouda, finished with orange cream ($18).
There are also several beef choices including prime rib ($19 and $24), a New York strip ($20) and a Kobe rib-eye ($26).
Fire Rock Grill, 410-730-8955, is at 5888 Robert Oliver Place in the Oakland Mills Village Shopping Center in Columbia. Its dining hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. There is a light-fare menu for the lounge area after those hours.
And, Sanders says, in a couple of weeks, the restaurant will open for lunch with an all-you-can-eat buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
There are still tickets available for tomorrow night's Baltimore Foodies Holiday Dinner Party. This year, founder Lars Rusins says, the group is sitting down to a "simple, classy 1960s style" feast at the Brass Elephant. We're talking smoked salmon and lobster. Tickets are $79. Go online to baltfoodies.com to reserve yours.
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