EASTON — The latest establishments from the premier collection of boutique restaurants and businesses by Bluepoint Hospitality in Easton, The Wardroom and FLYING CLOUD Booksellers, officially open their doors Friday, Sept. 4.
The Wardroom is an epicurean market showcasing hand-selected and house-made products, premium ingredients, and wines from top vintners worldwide and occupies what was once a mid-19th-century hotel. The restored brick building, with a vast basement, boasts an extensive wine cellar and tasting room. The curated cellar focuses on Italian, Spanish, French, Austrian, German and American labels. The rarest bottles are stored inside a reconditioned vault — discovered during the renovation process. Adjacent to the cellar is an extensive array of over 30 cheeses, carrying out their proper aging process in a temperature-controlled “cave.”
On the main level is the gastronomic European-style shop, with elegant glass cases displaying handmade pastas, house-cured meats, and assorted chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat, one of France’s top artisan chocolatiers. An alcove in the market is filled with products on every gourmand’s wish list, from Italian-made Gentile Canned Tomatoes, to Truffle Honey, Truffle Mustard, and Truffle Oils. In addition, readily prepared dishes to be enjoyed at home are created by the culinary team, led by Bluepoint Hospitality’s executive chef, Harley Peet.
For lunch, and continuing throughout the day, the fare features customizable gourmet sandwiches, brimming with a medley of heritage meats, artisanal cheeses, and seasonal ingredients. Popular condiments that enhance flavors are “Baltimore Hots” — a hot, pepper and vinegar relish, Kimchi, and Kewpie Mayo. Egg, Chicken, and Tuna Salads are offered alongside other house-made provisions.
Each evening the lively marketplace transforms into a relaxed yet sophisticated wine and gnocchi bar. Crafted daily, on the finest Arcobaleno equipment, the tender Gnocchi becomes tantalizing in combinations such as Coddled Egg with Osetra Caviar and Duck Confit with Truffle. Patrons are invited to savor one or two-ounce tastings, or a glass, from a parade of 24 exceptional wines dispensed from the Enomatic custom-cooling wine portals. The expansive list of wines is joined by 50 boutique spirits that are available by the bottle, including botanical gins, hand-crafted, and sipping tequilas, and a variety of international beers and ciders.
The Wardroom hours of operation are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Wardroom is closed on Sundays.
The boutique bookstore, FLYING CLOUD Booksellers, offers an engaging range of volumes that fall evenly into the categories of children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction. Maryland’s Eastern Shore is home to a number of the most elite racing sailors in the world, and this pursuit lends inspiration to the character of FLYING CLOUD Booksellers. The name refers to two renowned nautical vessels – one of which is the 19th-century record setting clipper ship, Flying Cloud, famously navigated by a woman. It is also a tribute to the log canoe, of the same name, built in 1932 by John B. Harrison. Log canoes, originally used for oystering in the Chesapeake Bay, later evolved into racing crafts. The Flying Cloud canoe retired from competition, and the Bluepoint Hospitality founders provided a grant to the Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust, enabling the restoration of the boat to its past glory.
Early booklovers are pleasantly surprised by their own exclusive, colorful reading area with a stunning selection of picture books and a vast variety of young adult series rooted in the traditions of classic storytelling. More mature fans of fiction have an assortment of titles to peruse that runs the gamut from buzzy bestsellers to thrilling mysteries to literary classics — penned by esteemed international authors as well as local writers. An extensive range of historical biographies and political narratives drives the non-fiction department, which extends also to chef-driven cookbooks and sumptuous coffee table books. Beyond the books, there’s even more tempting printed matter, in the form of unique cards and periodicals. FLYING CLOUD Booksellers’ virtual bookstore, www.flyingcloudbooks.com, allows customers near and far to support the local shop, with a stock that exceeds its in-store inventory.
FLYING CLOUD Booksellers hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Wednesday; from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday; and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday. FLYING CLOUD Booksellers is closed on Sundays.