Over the past several years, Towson has experienced a revitalization of people and places. Businesses reopening along York Road, and development projects such as 101 York, Circle East and Towson Row, have created community and conviviality. Towson’s cuisine and culinary profile are also getting a lift as well. In July, Perennial restaurant opened its doors at 1 Olympic Place, and it now invites patrons from across Baltimore County and beyond to discover this exquisite dining destination.
A member of the Atlas Restaurant Group, which operates 23 restaurants in six markets across the country, Perennial’s dining and hospitality focus honors the American tradition of ingredients sourced from local agriculturists and purveyors that strengthen the ties with their community.
The restaurant occupies space once held by the former establishment Cunningham’s and is adjacent to its sister business, Cunningham’s Café & Bakery. In April, Atlas Restaurant Group announced it also entered into a partnership arrangement with the café and its bakery operations.
Designed by Patrick Sutton of Patrick Sutton Interior Design of Baltimore, Perennial’s environment takes its cues from nature. A garden-like setting defines its interior spaces: an elegant conservatory dining room with seating for 44 people; a casual masculine bar and lounge with wood-paneled walls and ceilings with seating for 32 patrons; and a private dining area for special celebrations and events that can accommodate up to 25 people.
No matter what Maryland’s weather may bring, guests dining outdoors will find a covered, outdoor terrace accommodating up to 75 people during all seasons of the year, thanks to the state-of-the-art heaters installed within the space. Inspiring the restaurant’s name, perennial foliage plants sourced from Maryland-based nurseries add living structure to the foundation of the terrace.
The culinary genius behind Perennial’s cuisine is its executive chef, Jay Rohlfing. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, Chef Rohlfing brings more than two decades of restaurant industry experience to Perennial, including service to Linwoods in Owings Mills and Cunningham’s in Towson.
Perennial’s menu delivers an exceptional food experience with every bite. Starters feature crispy lobster tail served with a wildflower honey vinaigrette. Brick-oven flatbread variations offer toppings of mushrooms and caramelized onions.
Diners seeking meat main dishes will find the steaks and chops section of the menu replete with dry- and wet-aged steaks. Entrees include a house-ground sirloin burger topped with a roasted garlic mayonnaise and aged cheddar and New York strip steak served with fingerling potatoes and pickled peppers.
What would a Maryland restaurant be without its seafood? Slide your fork into a flaky tempura flounder served with vegetable slaw, chow-chow dressing and remoulade. Homemade pasta and in-house charcuterie further complement the menu presentation.
World-class cocktails occupy the heart of Perennial’s beverage program, with classic spirits and new-age favorites. “Atlas has a team of mixologists who have been brainstorming and concocting these craft cocktails,” Chef Rohlfing says. “They have their finger on the pulse of what’s new and exciting.”
A diverse wine list literally brings the world of wines to Towson. In addition, a reserve list of highly sought-after vintners ensures that every meal has a perfect pairing.
Chef Rohlfing explains that agriculturists such as Chesapeake Farm to Table, located off Mount Carmel Road in northern Baltimore County, will provide the locally sourced ingredients comprising Perennial’s dishes. “One thing about being in the county, we’re close to all these local farms,” he says, “so I think it’s important that we try to support them as much as possible. As someone who lives close to these farms, I appreciate their place in our community. It’s important to spotlight them.”
Chef Rohlfing believes that Perennial complements Towson’s renaissance and revitalization. “It’s just bustling with commerce. The streets are packed; there are new buildings and housing,” he says. “I think it also spearheads the city—the diner who is up in the valley and wants that city dining experience can now drive into Towson.”
“As owners of Towson City Center, we are ecstatic to collaborate with award-winning Chef Rohlfing and acclaimed designer Patrick Sutton to bring their vision to Towson,” says Michael Fader of MileOne Holdings, which owns Towson City Center.
“We have always been impressed by the Atlas Restaurant Group as the leading hospitality group in Baltimore and beyond,” says Perennial’s managing partner Steven B. Fader. “They will be a very strong partner for Perennial, and their expertise will help to ensure a great experience for the restaurant and for our patrons.”
What does Chef Rohlfing think about adding another high-caliber restaurant establishment to his repertoire?
“When we were thinking about transforming Cunningham’s, we said, ‘What did we want it to look like? What was the story we wanted to tell?’ My family and I live in the seasons—we stay grounded and look forward to living in the moment,” he says. “I was here from its inception. For me, being part of the creative process of building a restaurant from the ground up, being involved in every little nuance, has been the most accelerated learning lesson I’ve had.”
Make Your Reservation …
1 Olympic Place, Towson
Perennial offers complimentary on-site parking in the Towson City Center garage.