With new menu and chef, Johnny's in Roland Park is becoming a seafood restaurant

With a new executive chef in the kitchen and a fresh menu, Johnny’s in Roland Park is becoming a seafood restaurant.

The restaurant, owned by Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group, will continue to serve coffee, pastries and breakfast in the morning, but starting Tuesday, lunch and dinner customers will find local seafood and comfort food offerings later in the day.

The dinner menu includes starters like Maryland crab soup, rockfish crudo and crab fluff; main dishes such as pan-fried crabcakes, buttermilk pan-fried skate wing, Maryland fried chicken and smoked baby back ribs; and sides like grilled asparagus, farro verde, and macaroni and cheese.

“There’s certain things that are just a lot more the way they should be,” Tony Foreman, a partner in the restaurant group, said.

In the past, Johnny’s menu has centered on American cuisine with more West Coast and Latin American influences.

The new menu coincides with the debut of Johnny’s new executive chef, Shane Freeland. Previously the executive sous chef at Cinghiale, Freeland joined Foreman Wolf in 2010.

“When I presented the idea to him he was super excited,” Foreman said of the changes at Johnny’s. “He did a couple brilliant tastings.”

Freeland is a graduate of the Baltimore International College culinary school.

“The menu reminds me of my favorite family food memories,” Freeland said in a statement. “There are elements of comfort, familiarity, but also excitement. This is the food I love to eat and the food that I have been cooking for my family for years.”

Although the menu at Johnny’s has changed, the interior of the restaurant remains the same.

“The menu feels pretty natural for the space,” Foreman said.

Freeland is the third executive chef to take the reins in Johnny’s kitchen in the last 14 months. He took over from Ryan Shaffner, who has since become a sous chef at Cinghiale.

Shaffner had replaced David Garcia Reyes in September. Reyes came on board in March 2016 as executive chef and co-owner, and is no longer with the restaurant group.

Foreman Wolf also owns restaurants including Charleston, Petit Louis Bistro and Bar Vasquez.

smeehan@baltsun.com

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