Jul 30, 2014

At Barrett’s, Change is for the Best

Barrett’s Grill has given new life to the spot formerly known as Greystone.

At Barrett’s, Change is for the Best At Barrett’s, Change is for the Best At Barrett’s, Change is for the Best At Barrett’s, Change is for the Best At Barrett’s, Change is for the Best

Editor's Note: Have you eaten at Barrett's Grill? What did you think? Tell us in the comments. 

Restaurant Week may just be the greatest idea since sliced bread. Who doesn’t love a great food idea during a week of natural disasters that rarely ever befall Maryland?

Not that Cockeysville has a dearth of restaurants, but I’ve been around the block a few times, and Baltimore County Restaurant Week provided the inspiration I needed at the end of a trying week. I perused the site and found a restaurant I had not yet heard of – Barrett’s Grill.

I popped it into the GPS, and imagine my surprise when I ended up at the Hunt Valley Towne Center. It turns out that Barrett’s Grill is actually Barrett’s Grill nee Greystone Grill.

I’ll admit it – someone is out of the loop and clearly .

But the point is Restaurant Week got me out of the house and into Barrett’s, and it was nothing short of a very pleasant surprise.

When I arrived and realized I’d be dining at the former Greystone, I was a little bit hesitant. I hadn’t been to Greystone before, and I had heard that it was somewhat pretentious and perhaps an overrated, mediocre steakhouse.

But as soon as I entered, my doubts were laid to rest. The hosts were so incredibly friendly and attentive that I was instantly excited for my meal. It was also immediately noticeable how knowledgeable the staff was, from top to bottom, about the changes the restaurant had undergone as well as the menu items.

According to the hosts, the new owners, John Barrett, his father, and their partner Michael Sipes bought Greystone in February and gradually began to change things around.

Having not been to Greystone prior to its reincarnation, I cannot compare, but what I can say is that the new owners have delivered on their stated mission. The website says the owners strive to provide “high-quality, fresh ingredients prepared expertly and customer service that positively stands out from the competition.” My first visit to Barrett’s Grill exemplified just that.

It was the perfect Hurricane Eve, pre-apocalypse dinner. After a long, strange week, my roommate and I met to indulge in what Barrett’s had to offer.

This, of course, started with cocktails. She opted for the Greystone iced tea ($7), a summery blend of peach vodka, iced tea and lemonade. I chose the orange crush ($8), a favorite of mine from Canton’s Mama’s on the Half Shell, and it was a bit on the strong side for this lightweight, but for others, this might have made it better than the Mama’s version.

We both decided to start with soup. Her crab and roasted corn soup ($7) was a savory, creamy seafood bisque that I would have envied if my chicken tortilla soup ($6), a chef’s selection, hadn’t been so delectable with its robust, spicy flavor.

My petite filet mignon ($22) was perfectly cooked to order, nicely browned on the outside and complemented by buttery, garlicky string beans on the side. I sampled my roommate’s crab and champagne pasta ($19) as well, which had a bold kick to its tomato sauce over penne pasta.

Finally, we both ordered the creamy key lime pie for dessert, and the perfect consistency and flavor told me what I already had guessed. If new ownership tends to signal the downfall of many restaurants, Barrett’s is on pace to reverse the trend.

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