New Desserts From TEN TEN’s Pastry Chef Nikki DeBrouse

Pastry Chef Nikki DeBrouse has been hard at work creating some fabulous new desserts for our guests at TEN TEN.  The Hazelnut Bombe, you may remember from our Valentine’s menu, is now being put on the dessert menu permanently. These are all certainly worth a try.



Hazelnute Bombe – devil’s food, orange ganache, chocolate glaze


Cranberry-Mascarpone Panna Cotta
Pistachio, vanilla reduction, cranberries


Lemon Tart
Pine nut shortbread, sweet cream reduction


Caramelized Banana Cake
Crème fraîche, walnuts, coconut sorbet




“Behind The Dish”: Creating The TEN TEN Corned Beef Reuben

At The Bagby Restaurant Group, we talk a lot about attention to detail and doing things “the right way.” For us, “the right way” is taking time with our ingredients, preparing them properly, and making as much as we can from scratch. Even each sandwich is given thought and time. The result are dishes that highlight local ingredients and transform individual flavors into a cohesive, savory experience for our guests. Such is the case with TEN TEN’s housemade Corned Beef Reuben.


When creating the TEN TEN Reuben, sous chef Roger Black doesn’t mess around. To start, he uses fresh sauerkraut rye bread, baked daily by Bagby’s Head Baker John Aversa. “The bread is full of good, healthy energy,” Black explains, “It’s a good start to any sandwich, but designed specifically to echo the flavors in the Reuben.”

Black’s next ingredients are the stars of the sandwich, but also the most time intensive – sauerkraut and corned beef.  For his sauerkraut, Black uses fresh local cabbage to which he adds salt, juniper berries, and caraway. The juniper and caraway here are especially unique and something that won’t be found in your ordinary can of store-bought sauerkraut. “Our thought was to make the caraway flavor (which is the main flavor in rye bread) carry throughout the sandwich, so we introduced the caraway from our bread into the sauerkraut as well.”


Once mixed together, the cabbage sits for over three weeks, but is turned by hand weekly to make sure that undesirable bacteria doesn’t interfere with the pickling process. This procedure is not undertaken with mass-produced sauerkraut and a detail that Black is particularly passionate about. “It just doesn’t taste the same. There’s not the same level of flavor in that sauerkraut. It’s completely different.” His passion and effort translates into a beautiful ingredient – a slightly sweet, spicy, and tangy sauerkraut accented by the earthy notes of juniper and caraway.

The same care is given to curing the beef brisket for the Reuben’s corned beef. Using modern twists on classic corned beef preparation, each aspect of creating the corned beef is meant to build more and more flavor into the meat. Sous chef Black first prepares a brine of pickling spices, curing salt, kosher salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. The brisket then sits in the brine for two weeks and rotated frequently. This both tenderizes and imparts the brine’s sweet cinnamon flavor to the meat.


When fully cured, the brisket is dried and rubbed with a toasted spice mixture of coriander, black pepper, star anise, sliced garlic, fresh red pepper, mustard seed, and bay leaves. Then vacuum sealed with some of the remaining brine and sous-vide (a slow modern method of cooking in a hot water bath) for 18 hours, the meat builds even more deliciousness as it slowly cooks in herb and spice infused juices.


After being cooked, the corned beef is sliced and piled on top of the Sauerkraut Rye, along with the sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and TEN TEN’s bistro sauce. When you take your first bite, the different layers of flavors are staggering. From the creamy sour of the sauerkraut to the cinnamon-laced corned beef to the caraway accents throughout, each ingredient plays its part in creating a cohesive flavorful sandwich.

There is something about time and care that imparts food with a special essence. Like our grandmother’s thanksgiving supper, when effort is put into a meal, when time is taken, and each detail of preparation is considered, the flavors of the dishes build and so does our appreciation of that meal. It is this deep appreciation for good ingredients and slow, thoughtful preparation that we aim to create in our Reuben, and with every bite that we hope you will savor.

New Desserts at Fleet Street Kitchen!

Pastry Chef Bettina Perry has been hard at work creating some masterpieces for Valentine’s Day Weekend. These desserts will be available all weekend! 

Passion Fruit Soda Float
chocolate ice cream, violet, chocolate bubbles



Pistachio Pavlova
milk cream, roses, harvested mixed summer berry sorbet



Chocolate Palette
dried cherries, red rooibos tea, vanilla, saffron


The Underground & Weekend Specials

TEN TEN American Bistro (Restaurant Week Menu)


Hazelnut Bombe – devil’s food cake, hazelnut mousse, chocolate glaze, orange granache

Fleet Street Kitchen 



(The Underground Menu) Cauliflower Steak – romanesco puree, golden raisin puree, curry oil, carrot emulsion, almonds


(The Underground Menu) Country Pheasant Pate – violet mustard, toast, pickled breakfast radish, mustard cress



Marco Farms Veal – carrots, rutabaga, baby leeks, maitake mushrooms, breakfast radishes, lobster, lobster-veal stock

Blending Perfection: On Creating Wine in Bordeaux, by Beverage Director Tim Riley

cos_viewtolafiteIn January, Bordeaux is cold and wet.

On the morning I arrived, the air was damp; the sky a lifeless shade of gray.  I met Laurent and Alan near the baggage claim, and soon was in the back of Laurent’s black Audi, whipping north on the A630. After a stop at a bakery near Arsac for a baguette, we wound through the vineyards of Margaux on our way to Château Monbrison.

Compared to the illustrious estates further north, Monbrison – a property that dates to 17th century – seems homey, though not inelegant, its main building looking more like a farmhouse than a château. Also unlike most other Medoc estates, Monbrison is family owned; Laurent and his wife, Pascal, live on the land and make the wine.

monbrison_barrelroomBut I wasn’t there for Monbrison – or Bordeaux. I was there to blend.

In addition to owning Monbrison, Laurent is also partners – with Alan – in LVDH, an American importer, and works with various wineries across France. At my behest, he had obtained over thirty tank and barrel samples with which to blend. My goal was to create a red wine that we could sell in all of the Bagby Group restaurants – an offering that would, in a way, define who we are and what we believe about wine.

After a shot of espresso I ripped off a large hunk of baguette and set to work at a long wooden table in a room adjacent to Monbrison’s main office. Laurent and Alan had obtained samples from several domaines, but within minutes one had clearly stood out: Domaine de Bois de Saint-Jean.


Domaine de Bois de Saint-Jean is a small estate located in the little town of Jonquerettes, just east of Avignon in an area of the Rhône Valley known as Châteauneuf de Gadagne. For reasons that remain somewhat unclear, Gadagne was not placed – nor did it even apply to be placed – in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation when it was drawn up in 1923, despite being just miles away and sharing similar soil types and topography.

Perhaps the vignerons of Gadagne were less concerned about the details of appellations in the early twentieth century than they are today. After all, it wasn’t until many decades later that Châteauneuf-du-Pape would attain the worldwide fame it enjoys today – or command world-class prices. Or maybe Gadagne’s estates were simply too young and not entrenched enough to demand their placement.

Certainly the latter was true for Bois de Saint-Jean, for in 1923, the Anglès family – like so many others at the time – were growers; they sold their harvest each year to negociants or nearby wineries. In fact, it would be almost sixty years before a young Vincent Anglès would try his hand at making wine, and another two before the domaine was officially begun.

In the early 1990s Vincent was joined by his brother Xavier, and as their father Joseph grew older, the two took increasing control of the estate. Today, while still based in Gadagne, the brothers have expanded, and now dutifully farm vineyards in Vacqueyras, and as of 2012, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where they purchased a tiny plot, less than an acre in size.

The wines the brothers produce are simply stunning; classically Rhône in style: rich, spicy, heady and complex. One is already featured on our list at Fleet Street Kitchen – the L’Intrépide Côtes du Rhône – and it is highly recommended, a perfect accompaniment to any of Chef Becker’s lamb or beef dishes.


blending_table2Blending wine is a difficult task and one that almost certainly sounds more fun than it is.

When dealing with young wines – the grapes that made that wines I had in front of me that morning at Monbrison were picked no more than twenty weeks before I tasted them – the differences between them seem incredibly minute. Nearly all are full of fruit, and finding secondary flavors can be hard. Certain wines – in this case the Syrahs from Bois de Saint-Jean – are also fiercely tannic; tasting them repeatedly exhausts the palate.

After setting aside the wines from other wineries I was left with five bottles from Bois de Saint-Jean: two were Grenache, two were Syrah, and one was Mourvèdre, a lesser known but important Rhône varietal. Each wine was given a number that linked it to the parcel of vines from which it was sourced. I took brief notes on each wine. For the 38 Grenache, for example, I wrote “plump, rich, ripe, delicious – the backbone [of the blend]!” For the other Grenache, sourced from vines planted about a hundred years ago by the brothers’ great-grandfather, Joseph, I simply wrote “wow.”


With these initial thoughts in my head I proceeded – with assistance from Alan – to blend the wines in various proportions. I tasted each blend we created – and there were nearly two dozen – took notes and made subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) adjustments. A blend of one and half parts No. 31 Syrah and one part 38 Grenache was “floral, detailed, round and silky, but structured.” I inversed the two and found the resulting blend “broader and richer, classic, but with a ripe, almost Californian feel, and a rich, sweet fruited mid-palate.” An equal parts blend of the two was “more peppery,” but also “more precise and more elegant.”

Decisions did not come easily. At points I sat and stared at the wines in front of me, perplexed, trying to imagine what they would taste like once bottled and in front of guests in our restaurants. I thought of our farm and our chefs, trying to picture our cuisine with the various wines.


In crafting what became the final blend, I arrived at a wine that I am convinced will be as at home at Ten Ten American Bistro  (I simply cannot wait to try it with our Steak Frites) as it will be at Fleet Street Kitchen, and our upcoming Towson restaurant, Cunningham’s.

It is, like I hoped, a wine that reflects our restaurants and our values – a wine that is handpicked and artisanally produced from sustainably farmed grapes. While it will not arrive for several months, I am thrilled to share it with our guests.


lunch_cheeseWith the wine complete – Laurent, in tasting the final blend, pronounced it simply “fantastic” – the three of us walked from the winery to Laurent’s house where his wife Pascal had prepared lunch. Alan poured a young white from Savoie producer Jean Perrier, a welcome respite after hours of tasting reds. Pascal’s lunch was simply prepared but each item was delicious – a first course of zucchini with fresh cheese, a main course of duck breast, followed by cheese and then a gâteau des rois for dessert.

With the duck, Laurent poured his 2005 Château Monbrison. Though still tightly wound, the wine was understated, but strikingly elegant, classy, and precise. It was classic Bordeaux – I jotted a quick note that said “this is how red Bordeaux is supposed to taste.” It was a fitting end.

The Bagby Kitchen New Year’s Eve Highlights

Wow! What an incredible experience! Thank you to all that attended our New Year’s Eve dinners at TEN TEN American Bistro and Fleet Street Kitchen. It truly was an indulgent, amazing meal that we had the pleasure of serving you.

For those of you who had other plans or for those who want to revisit their amazing meal. Here are some highlights…


FSK kitchen staff getting ready for the big night


NYE amouse – Dairyless apple fennel soup / split pea panisse with yogurt, carrot purée / local cheddar grougére


Lobster-Pumpkin Soup with Pumpkin mousse, puffed wild rice, lobster claw


Fois Gras Torchon with a carrot purée,
saffron-vanilla froth, shortbread crumble, honey cake (FSK)z


Fluke Crudo with citrus purées, pickled ramps, black tea tapioca, mint, chili (FSK)


Seared Domestic Black Bass with Rose finn potatoes, kale, pine nuts, marinated golden raisins, house bacon, fresh herbs (FSK)

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Seared Black Cod with Daikon, bouillon japonaise, cashew, chili (FSK)


Brown Butter Poached Lobster with roasted sweet potato,
lemongrass-lobster nage, curry granola (FSK)


Roasted Elysian Fields Farm Lamb Saddle with Lamb tortellini, big city farms romaine, chanterelle mushrooms, cauliflower purée (FSK)


Seared Scallops with black-eyed peas, prosciutto, and autumn vegetables (TEN TEN)