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BAR REVIEW

The Chasseur brings familiar charm to Canton

By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun

12:52 PM EDT, October 23, 2013

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Early last month, Canton lost a charming bar called Adam's Eve Gastropub. It was not transcendent or life-altering, nor did it aim to be. Instead, Adam's Eve provided comfort food and craft beers for locals needing a break from the well-worn establishments of O'Donnell Square.

So when the announcement came that Adam's Eve would become The Chasseur (pronounced SHA-sur), I hoped it would operate in a similar manner: without pretentions. On a recent Saturday afternoon visit, The Chasseur retained Adam's Eve's low-key atmosphere and emphasis on a quality bar program. In fact, almost everything about The Chasseur seemed similar to its former tenant. I had no reason to complain.

One meaningful change explained our daytime visit: The Chasseur is now a Virginia Tech bar. Our bartender explained that management and some early regulars were alumni, so it made a natural fit. I came with a recent Tech graduate, and we took a seat at the square bar, again the focal piece of the interior. Roughly 15 minutes before the noon kick-off, a handful of Hokie fans, dressed in Chicago maroon and burnt orange, were ready to watch their team beat Pittsburgh.

Our bartender immediately greeted us with menus and the good news that happy hour specials were, as they are every Saturday, in effect from noon until 5 p.m. Besides discounted food, The Chasseur's happy hour includes $2 off drafts, $5 glasses of wine and $6 select specialty cocktails.

A deal at the bar is only as good as the product offered, and The Chasseur has a stellar draft list. Of the 12 taps, none go to waste with unnecessary selections (say, Coors Light) or underutilized prerequisites (hello, Guinness). Instead, The Chasseur balances local (Union Craft Brewing's Balt Altbier, Flying Dog's The Imperial Truth IPA) with approachable crafts (Boulder Sweaty Betty Blonde, Otter Creek's Oktoberfest).

The pumpkin beer trend has graduated to a phenomenon this season, and like any style of beer, there are plenty of good and bad examples. The Chasseur has a good — and strong — one: Heavy Seas' The Greater Pumpkin ($7, without the happy hour discount). It is brewed with cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove, but unlike some of its overwhelmingly fragrant peers, this local brew has a more subdued scent and flavor. Our bartender provided nice details, such as the beer's bourbon barrel aging process. Be careful, future imbibers: The Greater Pumpkin is 10 percent alcohol by volume, and as with other Heavy Seas beers, it sneaks up with little notice.

The smart selection of beer expands from its taps to bottles and cans, and The Chasseur clearly has its audience in mind. A National Bohemian can is $2, and the majority of nicer stuff — Brewer's Art Resurrection and Heavy Seas' Davy Jones Lager, for example — is only a few bucks more. There are also interesting cocktails, such as the Cannon Fuse ($8) which uses mixes mango vodka, tequila, lime, orange juice and the Asian-inspired nectar better known as Sriracha. For $3, patrons can order a Dr. Pepper, which is actually a Miller High Life pony bottle topped off with amaretto liqueur. These options stay in line with The Chasseur's appeal: fun and contemporary without feeling stuffy.

If The Chasseur took a step backward from Adam's Eve at all, it's in the décor, which features dull blue-gray walls mixed in with exposed brick. It was fine, but bland, and had me missing Adam's Eve's quirkier touches, such as the vintage popcorn machine that served a well-seasoned bar snack. I even felt the absence of the glowing arcade console, which I never saw anyone use.

Nit-picking at décor is usually a sign a bar is executing its overall vision well. The Chasseur smartly kept the layout the same, and seems to excel in the same areas Adam's Eve did, namely service and its bar program. Canton may have lost a good bar this summer, but it seems to have gained something just as nice.

The Chasseur

Back story: Formerly Adam's Eve Gastropub, The Chasseur opened in Canton in early September. It serves elevated bar food and “New American” entrees. The Chasseur also has a nice beer selection, and an inviting collection of specialty cocktails.

Parking: Free on the street

Signature drink: The vodka-and-tequila-based Cannon Fuse ($8) blends the spicy and the sweet by using orange juice and Sriracha hot sauce.

Where: 3328 Foster Ave., Canton

Contact: 410-327-6984, thechasseur.com

Open: 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Monday-Friday. 10-1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.