Written By Sheila Herbst

Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 13th this year – is the most popular day to dine out. A full 38 percent of Americans do so, according to the National Restaurant Association. And while Mother’s Day and brunch seem to go together like a Belgian waffle and whipped cream, dinner is still the most popular meal.

A survey of Carroll County eating establishments turned up only a few that are scheduling a special Mother’s Day brunch, or even a special Mother’s Day dinner. All of the brunches, of course, include the usual breakfast favorites such as made-to-your-specifications omelets, Belgian waffles, pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage, home fries, fruit, and an assortment of desserts.

“Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year for us,” said Brian Walsh, General Manager of Fenby’s Restaurant, of Wakefield Valley Country Club, which typically offers an amazing Sunday Champagne Brunch. “It’s like our regular brunch on steroids,” Walsh said.

Those more interested in lunch can enjoy the soup and carving stations as well as the raw bar.

“We’ll have over a thousand people,” said Walsh. Good thing the dining room and ballroom are huge (and beautiful).

Seating will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. by reservation only. Costs are: $24.95 per adult, half price for children 7-12, and $4 for kids 6 years old and under.

Another establishment that is no stranger to a good brunch is Belisimo’s of Finksburg, but like Fenby’s, their typical Sunday spread is no match for their Mother’s Day buffet.

“There is just so much food,” said owner Anna DiFatta, “it fills up the entire bar area and out into the hall.”
DiFatta remembers an Italian?proverb?she often heard as a child, “Chi Mangia Bene, Vive Bene”?(“Who eats well, lives well.”). “There were five children in my family,” DiFatta said, “therefore it was shortened to,?ÔMangia, Mangia!’ (ÔEat! Eat!’).”?

Seating for brunch will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the cost is $19.95 per person. Then, between 2 and 3 p.m., Belisimo’s will switch gears and get ready for their Mother’s Day dinner. Also buffet style, this meal will include steamed shrimp, cream of crab soup, garden salad, lemon pepper chicken breast, vegetable medley, garlic and herb mashed potatoes and more. Cost for dinner is $29.95 per person.

The shortage of brunches around Carroll County has prompted Harry’s Main Street Grille to open on Mother’s Day, even though they are normally closed on Sunday.

“After checking around and seeing there wasn’t a whole lot being offered, we decided to have a Mother’s Day brunch,” said Manager Cindy Kertiss. Along with the breakfast menu that they do so well, for lunch lovers, Harry’s Main Street Grille will be serving Seafood Newburg and Roasted Pork Loin. Brunch will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and reservations are requested. Cost is $18.95 for adults, half price for kids.

If you are like most Americans and prefer an early dinner on Mother’s Day, some restaurants around Carroll County are offering expanded menus with special entrŽes. Costs will vary and reservations are highly recommended at all establishments.

When planning for Mother’s Day, Stewart Dearie, owner of Baldwin’s Station in Sykesville, has considered every detail.

“I keep the family atmosphere of Mother’s Day in mind,” said Dearie, “costs should be low with plenty of choices; it’s all about making Mom feel special.”

Seating at Baldwin’s Station will be from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The restaurant, housed in the town’s 1883 railroad station, has two elegant and distinctly different dining rooms, The Freight Room and the Victorian Waiting Room It also has an award-winning menu created by Executive Chef Eric Yeager. His Herb Roasted Duck with Strawberry and Arugula Salad (see recipe on page 91) is just a sample of what can be expected for dinner.

Antrim 1844, in Taneytown, was once a thriving plantation. Grandly restored by owners Dorothy and Richard Mollett, the mansion and estate buildings, all situated on 24 acres, are now home to the inn and the renowned Smokehouse Restaurant.

On Mother’s Day, seating will begin at 1 p.m. for the six-course meal. Past Smokehouse Restaurant menus have included Pheasant Sausage with Apple Puree, Wild and Gathered Greens Salad, and Filet Mignon with Bacon and Walnut.

One of Executive Chef Michael Gettier’s favorite recipes is Grand Marnier SoufflŽ (see recipe on page 90).
“A soufflŽ is usually thought to be difficult,” said Gettier, “but this is really very easy, and always impressive.”

Todd Bricken, owner of Brick Ridge in Mount Airy, believes in conducting business on Mother’s Day just as he does every day, with the utmost of thought and consideration for his patrons. Seating on Mother’s Day will begin at noon and Bricken believes that diners will be pleased by the leisurely pace of the gourmet meal.

“We allow at least two to two and a half hours between reservations,” Bricken said; “we want everyone to have time to thoroughly enjoy their meal.”

And though Bricken doesn’t specifically advertise for Mother’s Day, years past have been booked solid.
Brick Ridge is located on property that was originally the home of Cabbage Springs School in the mid-1800s. The present building, Ridge No. 4, was built in 1892 and housed Ridge School until 1947.

The culinary team at Brick Ridge designs menus to provide traditional foods from diverse areas of the United States. A few examples of their Regional American Cuisine include, Porterman’s Pie (Massachusetts), Bay City Pasta (California), and Jambalaya (Louisiana). Another popular choice is Pecan Encrusted Salmon with Mandarin Rum Sauce (see recipe, page 90).

If you’re looking for something different, the new trend is tea. In recent years several tea houses have cropped up around Carroll County.

Mother’s Day is especially important to the staff of Gypsy’s Tearoom, mother-daughter team, owner Gypsy (Jo) Fleck and her daughter, the chef of Gypsy’s Tearoom, Lora Andrews. That’s why they have their special theme celebration-this year it is rose petals, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. There will be two seatings: Noon and 2 p.m., and reservations are strongly encouraged. In fact, Gypsy’s started taking reservations for this year’s Mother’s Day just after last year’s Mother’s Day .

“We’ve been doing this seven or eight years now,” said Fleck, “so we have a good following.”

As the theme indicates, it will be all about roses this year, from rose petal tea to rose petal soap favors, with plenty of delicious food, all prepared on premises. Elegant and intimate, Gypsy’s Tearoom is located in Westminster’s oldest standing home, built by William Winchester, the town’s founder. Call for more information about prices.

Whatever your choice on Mother’s Day, brunch, early dinner, or tea, the time spent with Mom is the most important part of the day. And a great meal doesn’t hurt either.

Grand Marnier SoufflŽ
Chef Michael Gettier

6 egg yolks
5 Tbsp. sugar
zest of 2 oranges, 1 lemon, grated fine
3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
3 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
6 egg whites
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Whip the yolks with the sugar and the zest until very pale and thick. Add orange juice, whip until incorporated.
Whip the egg whites, incorporating the sugar a little at a time until stiff peaks form, and then quickly whip in lemon juice. Be sure not to whip the egg whites to the point of being grainy.
Rapidly stir about 1/4 of whites into yolk mixture, and then gently fold in rest of whites.
Pour into 4 buttered and floured 12-oz. soufflŽ dishes (Approximately 4.5” in diameter).
Bake in the bottom of the oven until golden brown on top and still a bit soft in the middle.
Serve immediately!

Pecan Encrusted Salmon with a Mandarin Rum Sauce

The culinary staff at Brick Ridge
15-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 oz. golden rum
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 lbs salmon filet
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp. oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Puree oranges in food processor or blender.
In a medium saucepan, combine orange puree and brown sugar.
Make a paste with?rum and cornstarch and whisk into sugar and orange puree.
Bring all ingredients to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Divide salmon into four portions.
Press each salmon portion into chopped pecans.
Heat oil in a skillet or sautŽ pan over high heat.
Place salmon face down into hot oil.
SautŽ until pecans become golden brown.
Turn Salmon filets over and place pan in oven.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until salmon flesh becomes flaky.
Spoon mandarin sauce over salmon and serve.
Serves 4

Herb Roasted Duck with Strawberry and Arugula Salad
Chef Eric Yeager

2 8-oz. duck breasts
1 Tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tsp. chopped rosemary, divided
4 oz. balsamic vinegar, divided
4 oz. vegetable oil, divided
4 oz. dried cranberries
1 oz. honey
8 oz. arugula
4 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. diced walnuts
1/2 pint strawberries

Place duck on a clean dry surface. In a small mixing bowl, add the thyme, salt, pepper, and one finely minced garlic clove. Add 1 tsp. of rosemary to the mixture once well incorporated. Sprinkle the rub onto the duck and let sit in the fridge while you start the dressing.

Dressing: In a blender, combine 2 oz. balsamic vinegar, 2 oz. vegetable oil, the remaining rosemary, 2 oz. cranberries, and honey. You don’t want to blend it entirely. Then, place dressing in a container and add in the remaining cranberries, balsamic vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. This will give the dressing body and different layers of flavor.

Place a pan on medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Take the duck out of the fridge. When the pan is hot, place the two breasts in the pan and sautŽ for about 3 minutes on each side – you don’t want to cook it well done. While duck is cooking, start the salad.

Salad: In a large salad bowl, place the arugula, half of the goat cheese, half of the walnuts, and half of the strawberries. Add in the dressing as desired, lightly toss and plate. Drizzle the rest of the dressing that’s left in the bowl on top. Use the remaining walnuts, goat cheese and strawberries to garnish. When the duck is done, slice and place on top of salad. Serves 4.