Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More than a rumor: Fusion Vodkas

Welcome to
The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar
& Restaurant

On the last Sunday in May, a Catonsville friend and I decided to enjoy the Rumor Mill’s Sunday Brunch. Perhaps you have seen a cobble stone alleyway and bridge over the Tiber River on lower Main Street next to Tea on the Tiber and across from Cocoa Lane?

By all means, go into that charming alleyway! Not surprisingly, The Rumor Mill’s street address is 8068 Tiber Alley.

There is a sign on the side of the locally quarried stone building to lead your way. Then, this one sentence on the restaurant web site makes it clear:

Welcome to the Rumor Mill Fusion Bar & Restaurant, where the ever-evolving, globally-influenced menu allows guests to taste and travel the world without even leaving Howard County…

Back to my experience—first, just to note that this is not the first time I have enjoyed Sunday Brunch, with one of the featured Drink Specials--namely The Rumor Mill Mimosa, Spicy Bloody Mary and White Peach Bellini. ($5). I always order the Spicy Bloody Mary.

So…as part of the decision to include this unusual restaurant on my Historic Ellicott City blog, I thought it would be a good idea to put the Sunday Brunch drinks front and center as opposed to describing the incredible Tapas and Bowls on the menu. They have been reviewed at length and you need to experience those firsthand!

Once inside the historic building with the upbeat interior, and after ordering two drinks, I walked to the bar, and looked as closely as I could to see just what was going on.

At the same time Rumor Mill “mixologist,” Clint Szafader—who looks as if he is straight out of Hollywood stardom--was pouring and shaking and pouring the Sunday Brunch specialties for us, owner and chef Matthew Milani was pointing to the beautiful bottles in front of me, then explaining the process of infusing vodka with different flavors.

At my request Matthew was also writing in my little notebook so I will quote him here:

“The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar & Restaurant makes over 25 different Fusion vodkas with fresh fruit, extracts, or dried fruits. I have seen a huge trend in “House infused” or “Chef fused” vodkas. People are willing to try different flavors of vodka in their typical vodka drink Martini--or they might ask one of our bartenders to create something original for them."

Then, as I continued to listen and photograph, Matthew Milani once more pointed out those beautiful bottles of vodka in the process of being infused (note the Vanilla Bean), then added, “The Rumor Mill has even started a Vodka Club to get the word out!”

Finally, I asked him about the “Bellini” in particular. He told me that it consists of White Peach Puree with a splash of orange juice and champagne.

Back at our table in a side room, my Brunch companion had just taken her first sip of the Peach Bellini. You can see from the expression on her face what she then put into words: "Oh! It has the most beautiful flavor!" That's it! I know you will want to find, then come into this unusual restaurant as soon as possible. It's fun, too!

From Milani’s web site at:
“We strive to please everyone - carnivores, vegetarians, vegans and those with dietary restrictions - right off of our menu. The Rumor Mill’s wine list offers affordable bottles that pair perfectly with the fresh flavors in our food. We also serve a number of signature cocktails made with house-infused vodkas, as well as a variety of bottled beers. And all of the Rumor Mill’s desserts are made in-house – even the ice creams.
Our dedication to cutting-edge technique in the kitchen only complements our commitment to the environment. Our restaurant is 100% wind-powered, we use local ingredients and recycle whenever possible, and we are certified “Healthy Howard" by Howard County - the healthiest county in Maryland. Join us for lunch, dinner, late night or Sunday brunch at the Rumor Mill.”

8069 Tiber Alley
Historic Ellicott City, MD 21043
Tel: 410.461.0041
Fax: 410.461.3235
Kitchen Hours:
Monday - Saturday: open at 12 pm
Sunday: open at 11 am
Brunch served every Sunday!
Please call for current bar hours.

Feature by Kay Weeks and Matthew Milani
Photos: Kay Weeks

For comprehensive information
on Ellicott City Historic District, be sure
to visit Jeremy Kipp Clark's web site:


Anonymous said...

The drinks and the flavored vodkas sound delicious? Do they serve Eggs Benedict??

Denee Barr Art News and More said...

I was on Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland last week lunchtime (and did 10 second video promo on Ellicott City currently on YouTube and a photo shoot) will check them out...Thanks!

Kay Weeks said...

You may wish to click on the link to the Rumor Mill's comprehensive web site. My article and visit was a sharp focus.

Anonymous said...

Ellicott City is an amazing and wonderful place to live. You have so many treasures. Im wondering if you can keep this up. I really love these blogs. The Rumor Mill is just one more exciting place to visit in Ellicott. Seems too good to be true. I will bet there are some fantastic B&Bs as well. Anonymous, regular eggs benedict would be too ordinary for the Rumor Mill. I have had great lobster benedict in Maine and walleye benedict in Minnesota at the Blue Goose. I would suggest crab benedict for the Rumor Mill.


Anonymous said...

Great blog Kay, I LOVE the Rumor Mill :)

Kate St. John
Co-Director, Animal Awareness Project

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this so much....I can taste everything. Yummmm.....

Kaye Keeble