Looking to provide an oasis of cool blue from the searing heat outside its walls, the Cellar Door has opened at 20 Baltimore Ave.
Cellar Door managers Michael Ludden and Barbara Brewer said they want a low-key, fine-dining experience.
“It’s a quiet respite to get away from the noise and the clamor of the beach and the Boardwalk,” Brewer said. “So people can come into a space where they can feel relaxed and enjoy a nice experience where there is good wine and good food.”
Ludden said the food, prepared by chef Lenny Iorio, has a French-Cajun theme, with a mix of seafood items such as citrus crab cakes, and beef, such as steak au poivre, a filet mignon encrusted with peppercorn. Dishes at Cellar Door are $18 to $38, Brewer said.
Cellar Door’s wood-fired grill will be used for wood-fired oysters, smoked steaks and a hickory wood-fired mixed meat dish featuring a lamb chop, duck breast and venison sausage.
Given that Iorio started his career as a pastry chef, Brewer said the desserts are a big drawing card, with pecan pie an early favorite.
The Cellar Door opened July 18, but the restaurant is planning a grand opening at 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1.
While the name The Cellar Door is intended to play on the restaurant’s underground location, it also references the wine menu, which Brewer said was chosen to complement the food.
In addition to 98 seats inside, the Cellar Door seats 24 on its outdoor patio in front of Celebration Mall.
“Our expectations are to grow, find good food and provide a place for the community to gather,” Ludden said.
The Cellar Door is open daily at 4 p.m. and closed Tuesdays. For more information, go to cellardooronbaltimore.com or call 302-227-1004.