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Smokehouse Restaurant at Antrim 1844, in Taneytown, named Best Hotel Restaurant in USA Today contest

A hotel that predates the Civil War sits surrounded by lush gardens in Taneytown. The 24-acre estate, Antrim 1844, is renowned for its historic charm and upscale accommodations.

However, its culinary program is the main draw for many who visit the property.

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The Smokehouse Restaurant at Antrim 1844 recently received the honor of Best Hotel Restaurant in USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice 2020 contest.

Owners Richard and Dort Mollett were recognized for the award during the virtual Aug. 13 Carroll County Board of Commissioners meeting, during which all five commissioners voiced their congratulations.

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“This is quite an honor, my wife and I have stayed there, we’ve eaten there, you have a fantastic establishment. I think you deserve the honor, so enjoy it,” Commissioner Richard Weaver said. “They don’t come easy and I know you’ve worked hard to get to this level.”

Board President Stephen Wantz noted what the award means to the community.

“It’s very important and it’s exceptional for Carroll County and that’s why I wanted to bring you on this morning, because while you guys are doing a wonderful job, this says a lot for our county and it’s incredibly prestigious for us as well,” said Wantz.

The Smokehouse Restaurant at Antrim 1844 specializes in a six-course French-American style dining experience and is managed by Executive Chef Ilhan Erkek, who has more than 20 years of experience, according to a news release from the restaurant. USA Today made note of the establishment’s wine cellar, which features more than 17,000 bottles from all over the world.

The award isn’t the first the restaurant has received. Smokehouse also won the 2017 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award as well as, more recently, earning the honor of Best Historic Restaurant in 2020 from Historic Hotels of America, an official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

According to the release, the award was based on nominations that were made by a panel of experts and the 10Best contest winners were determined by a popular vote.

“It’s quite an honor and we’ve had unbelievable support from all of our patrons and all the people who have been supporting us throughout the years,” RIchard Mollett said.

Dort Mollett, Richard’s wife, also commented on the prestigious win during the commissioners’ meeting.

“I really think the Antrim is an American treasure and you’re welcome to come and peruse the grounds,” she said. “But dinner is the best.”

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