By Kathy Knotts
The much-anticipated opening of True Food Kitchen in Annapolis was by all accounts a success.
The newest spot at Annapolis Town Center serves health food and drinks that taste like fine dining. Reviews and photos across social media platforms praised the restaurant’s dishes, drinks and design after opening to the public last weekend.
For its CEO, Christine Barone, the newest location has her feeling like she’s come home. “I actually grew up in Edgewater,” she says. “I attended Central Elementary and Middle School and went to South River before our family moved. My brother went to the Naval Academy. I love this area and miss being on the water.”
Barone has been crisscrossing the country since 2016 opening new TFK locations and bringing the brand’s philosophy to new diners—that delicious dining and conscious nutrition can go hand in hand, without sacrificing flavor or creativity. True Food’s seasonal menu is guided by the principles of integrative medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid. True Food Kitchen emphasizes wholesome, simple ingredients and preparation to highlight the natural health benefits and flavors of each ingredient. From nutrient-dense staples and sourced proteins to little-known superfoods, Barone stresses that the company is committed to using responsible, in-season ingredients.
The Annapolis Town Center restaurant, a former Brooks Brothers store, is the 38th property in the chain which originated in Phoenix, Ariz., in 2008. Small décor elements within the space are a nod to the sailing capital. “You may notice the oyster mural in the private dining room,” says Barone. “Or the sailing flags over the bar that spell out True Food.”
While you won’t find any crab dishes on the menu, you will find an emphasis on organic foods like grass-fed beef. “We follow the Enivronmental Working Group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ recommendations,” says Barone. EWG created a list of the 12 foods that carry the highest burden of pesticides.
The menu is a rotating seasonal selection of vegetable-forward dishes and long-standing favorites, such as edamame dumplings, spaghetti squash casserole, and vegan cheeseburgers. Fish and meat eaters aren’t left out, with shrimp and steak tacos as well as chicken parmesan, pan-seared sea bass and tuna lettuce cups. True Food also has a kid-friendly menu as well as a large selection of craft cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic “refreshers”.
You can eat in one of the dining room’s 174 seats alongside its open kitchen and full-service bar. A private dining room seats 10. And on nice days you can eat on the covered patio.
The restaurant’s design is earthy and contemporary, with natural elements and greenery including indoor and outdoor garden basins filled with fresh herbs and spices. Eco-friendly materials are used throughout the restaurant, including dining chairs made of recycled soda bottles.
True Food Kitchen is open daily (M-Th 11:30am-9pm, F 11:30am-9:30pm, Sa 10:30am-9:30pm, Su 10:30am-9pm) for brunch, lunch and dinner. Reservations are suggested (443-775-5179). General manager is Simon Brown, Executive Chef is Jason Routzahn.