Unlike the other three restaurants (Dok Khao Thai Eatery, Matchbox, and Busboys & Poets) that will open along side it later this year in the Merriweather District, Clove and Cardamon will be a first of it's kind. There are no other locations in our area. While this intrigue is certainly welcome, it presented a bit of a dilemma for me, as I was determined to give it its just due in my series of articles previewing the restaurants that have been announced for the first wave at the Juniper building. So, with only limited information available on the Internet, I was forced to... gasp!.. actually pick up the phone and reach out to restaurateur Satish Gunisetty directly to get the inside scope straight from the man himself, and I am so glad I did! Gunisetty is developing a compelling concept and was ever so gracious filling me in on his vision during his conversation with me.
Clove and Cardamon will be a global fusion restaurant with worldly cuisine, accented by subtle Indian spices. Fusion bowls for lunch and platters and small plates at dinner will be inspired from regions around the globe, including China, Burma, Japan, Mexico, the Mediterranean, Italy, and of course, India. This is not an Indian restaurant (though some traditional Indian dishes will be available), but rather a tribute to International food. Grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables with be on the menu with plenty of healthy items, vegan and vegetarian dishes, and gluten-free options. Fresh-squeezed juices, shakes, Indian-spiced tea, mochas, coffee, spicy specialty cocktails, beer, and wine will be on the drink menu, and yes of course, the restaurant will have a kid's menu.
The restaurant will be the second restaurant from chef Satish Gunisetty, owner of the Indian restaurant Rangoli located in the Arundel Preserve mixed-use development in Hanover, MD. When I spoke with Gunisetty, he enthusiastically told me that he is experimenting with many different dishes in the kitchen of Rangoli as he puts the finishing touches on a menu that will blend together International flavors. While he would not disclose any specific menu items to me at this time, he plans to reveal the menu once the restaurant gets closer to opening. As described by Gunisetty, Clove and Cardamom will have a warm and welcoming atmosphere that resembles a high-end bistro. It will occupy a 2,680 square foot space with only indoor seating at Merriweather Drive and Dove Sail Lane (right in the corner of the Juniper building that you see first as you approach The Merriweather District from Hickory Ridge Road).
Satish seems like a genuinely good person who is passionate about food, was quick to respond to my request to chat, and expressed his excitement for Columbia's burgeoning downtown. Seems like The Merriweather District will be getting another winner with this one.
This is the final article in a series of previewing the four restaurants announced so far that will open in The Merriweather District later this year. Check out the articles previewing Dok Khao Thai Eatery, Matchbox, and Busboys & Poets.