After spending several decades in the catering business, Federal Hill resident Barry Fleischmann is excited to finally open his own restaurant. Named after his daughter, Rachel New American Cuisine will be located at 554 E. Fort Ave. in Federal Hill/Riverside. The location has been the home of Soigné, Sly Fox Pub, Ullswater, Tuscan Fresh, and Breadbangers since the mid-2000s, but Fleischmann is confident that his experience and concept will give the location a permanent dining destination.
He described Rachel as a casual neighborhood bistro. It will be open for dinner from 5pm to 10pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and 5pm to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The first floor will seat approximately 65 people and will feature a bar area, a formal dining room, and small kitchen. The second floor will seat approximately 30 people in an additional dining room. Fleischmann anticipates using the space for private parties, corporate lunches, and large groups. The second floor kitchen will be used for Rachel as well as to run his new catering business and to host cooking demonstration parties. Office space will occupy the third floor.
Fleischmann is performing a mostly cosmetic renovation of the restaurant which includes painting and design elements done by a local artist, and a renovation of the bar previously used for food preparation. A new Rachel sign has been added to the outside and more exterior renovations will follow including replacing or removing the existing awning. The outside will have an area for valet parking.
The menu will feature many locally-sourced items as part of its small plate, sandwich, dinner salad, dinner plate, and dessert offerings. Fleischmann is a fan of smoking meats and said they will be used in many of the dishes. Rachel’s sandwiches will include a house-smoked turkey, a smoked pork loin, a Baltimore take on a Cubano, and Fleischmann’s specialty meatloaf with blueberry ketchup and roasted onion relish on Challah bread which he described as “the best around.”
Small plates include meat and cheese platter, shrimp fritters, and more smoked meats. Dinner plates include roasted cornish hen, roasted chicken, grilled duck breast, crab cakes, rockfish, beef medallions, and eggplant. Rachel’s will also offer a chopped salad and smoked salmon salad.
Beverage-wise, there will be a large selection of wines, as well as craft beers, house cocktails, and a full bar.
Fleischmann is aiming to have a soft opening on October 1st and to offer the full menu starting in November. Rachel will hire about 20 employees, including a cook Fleischmann described as his “number two” in the kitchen.
Fleischmann knew he wanted a restaurant in South Baltimore and is excited it’s finally a reality. “I’m just thrilled as I’ve always wanted a restaurant. I’ve already met so many neighbors and business owners who are so welcoming and excited for us to open.” He also loves all the redevelopment in the area and noted he can’t wait for the completion of the new apartments at Anthem House and Stadium Square.
Brick archways getting restored behind the bar