The Grille at Maple Lawn has opened in the space that was formerly Venegas Prime Filet. Venegas closed in June, leaving a vacancy in the anchor position at Maple Lawn, a 600-acre mixed-use, planned community in southern Howard County.

The Grille is the first of two major openings at Maple Lawn. Coming in February is the Polo Club, an Indian restaurant from the operators of Baltimore’s Ambassador Dining Room. While the Grille is occupying a pre-existing building, the Polo Club will operate in a new building, currently under construction.

“We’re thrilled that we have two really terrific new concepts coming to Maple Lawn,” said Michael Greenbaum, a principal in Greenbaum & Rose, the developers of Maple Lawn. “We’re already known as place to meet for great food, and a place to meet friends halfway between Baltimore and Washington.”

The operators of The Grille started inviting diners in for trial-run “Friends and Family” evenings on Nov. 14, but have been mostly reticent about the restaurant’s opening.

Adolfo Mendez, one of the restaurant's co-owners, said that he and his partners were welcoming comments and suggestions from diners during their extended trial period, which made a quiet transition into the restaurant officially being open. In any event, The Grille at Maple Lawn is now open, serving lunch and dinner daily.

Mendez described The Grille's menu as a combination of classic American and classic Mediterranean fare. Specialty items include filet mignon, paella and scallops with grits.

A retired pharmacist, Mendez is the operator of Cubano's, a Cuban restaurant in Silver Spring, and Nellie's Sports Bar in Washington. His partner at The Grille at Maple Lawn is his friend Javier Lecha, an aerospace technician.

For more information call 410-776-7711 or visit thegrilleml.com.