- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2002

Tthe price is right if you're on the prowl for a chic dining spot in Prince George's County.
Strawberry's Bistro is a trendy white-tablecloth restaurant in the new Bowie Town Center just off Route 50 in Bowie. Judging by the size of the power-lunch and dinner crowds, residents are finding Strawberry's an answer to calls for more upscale eateries in the Bowie area.
"We consider our restaurant and its beautifully intimate atmosphere to be the perfect addition to dining options offered to our business and residential community," says restaurant owner Rosalyn Doaks.
A Bowie resident, Mrs. Doaks was a vice president for Black Entertainment Television for 15 years before she leapt into the culinary business.
The reason she chose the name Strawberry's Bistro, she says, "is simple; I love strawberries." The interior is fashioned in crimson and ivory, and her love for strawberries is expressed in the decor as well as on the menu.
Mrs. Doaks says she is extremely pleased she found executive chef Clair Epting, who has been associated with gourmet cuisine for more than 20 years.
Mr. Epting formerly worked in Baltimore and at a five-star restaurant in New Orleans. He specializes in contemporary American cuisine with an international flair.
The warm, crusty bread served promptly as we were seated arrived of course with strawberry-flavored butter. Sound interesting? It was berry, berry good. The strawberry flavor was a pleasant surprise.
For starters, we shared shrimp on the rocks ($11). Six huge gulf shrimp were served in a goblet of Cajun ice with cocktail sauce on the side. The combination of the Cajun ice and the spicy cocktail sauce gave a new dimension to the standard shrimp-cocktail appetizer.
Other tasty starters included grilled Caribbean chicken skewers with tangy guava sauce, grilled pineapple-and-plantain spider; baked Chesapeake oysters with creamy spinach, sweet corn and Parmigiano-Reggiano topping; Bistro house salad with mixed greens, orange sections, black currant vinaigrette and strawberry corn-bread croutons; and several homemade soups.
For the main course, the Ocean City black sea bass ($19.50) served over steamed baby clams and Manhattan-style vegetables (like those in a Manhattan-style chowder) was fabulous. So was the grilled rack of lamb ($25) with red wine and roasted garlic, barley demiglace baby green beans and roasted new potatoes.
Other signature dishes include pan-seared Georges Bank sea scallops with rice medley, grilled asparagus and a vanilla-bean-mango beurre blanc; Amish free-range chicken with a green-apple-and-chestnut stuffing, sweet mashed potatoes and green beans; and a grilled Black Angus rib-eye steak served with chive-Cheddar mashed potatoes and green beans.
A special children's menu features handmade burgers and chicken tenders. The chef was kind enough to serve my daughter a petite cut of grilled salmon ($8.50) with rice and freshly cut french fries.
Desserts are to die for. We shared a wonderful creme brulee ($6.50) with fresh sliced California strawberries. Other delights from the chef included Key lime pie; New Orleans-style bread pudding; chocolate cake with blackberry-chocolate sauce; strawberries with Grand Marnier and whipped cream; and ice-cream and sorbet selections.
Strawberry's Bistro also features specialty martinis at its trendy martini bar.
There's also a good list of wines and champagnes.
The restaurant is located directly behind Benneton and across from the food court on Town Center Boulevard.

RESTAURANT: Strawberry's Bistro, Bowie Town Center, 3851 Town Center Blvd., Bowie; 301/262-7300
DIRECTIONS: From Washington, take Route 50 east from the Capital Beltway toward Annapolis, exiting at Route 197, then turning right and proceeding to Bowie Town Center on the right
HOURS: Lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner 5:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until midnight Friday and Saturday, and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday
PRICES: Lunch starters $4 to $13.50, sandwiches $8.50 to $14, salads $4.50 to $10.50, main courses $13 to $17.50; dinner main courses $10 to $27; desserts $6.50; Sunday brunch $25 per person
CREDIT CARDS: All major cards
PARKING: On site
ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible


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