Monday, March 12, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rocket to Venus Named Best New Eatery

IN THE NEWS: City Paper's Best of Baltimore 2007 critics and readers pick Rocket to Venus as Best New Restaurant and Charleston as Best Fancy Restaurant, with the critics going with Eastern House as Best Cheap Restaurant and Chameleon Cafe as Best Underappreciated Restaurant and readers selecting PaperMoon Diner as Best Cheap Restaurant. ... The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin gives three stars to Il Scalino (313 S. High St., Little Italy, 410-547-7900), while Elizabeth Large reviews SoBo Café in South Baltimore. ... Kate Shatzkin reports that much-anticipated Italian spot Cinghiale ((pronounced ching-GYAH-lay, which means "wild boar" in Italian), the fourth restaurant from culinary power couple Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf, is to begin serving lunch the week of Sept. 24, with dinner to follow soon. (822 Lancaster St. in Harbor East, 410-547-8282). ... The paper notes that ribs joint Corner Stable in a Cockeysville hopes to reopen as early as Sept. 26 after recovering from a recent electrical fire. ... The Baltimore Snacker notes the closing of well-received Mexican spot El Salto, and visits Sam's Bagels (728 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD 410-719-6668), SugarBakers Cakes (752 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD 410-788-9478), Taneytown Deli (10 Mellor Ave, Catonsville, MD 410-747-2673), Thai Heaven (6413 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD, 410-455-9239), and Sea Hut Inn (729 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD, 410-788-0388).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pikesville Staple Backfin Restaurant Closes

IN THE NEWS:'s Ron Matz reports the Sept. 12 closing of Pikesville's historic Backfin Restaurant. Owners Sharon and Tony Thomas are retiring. ... An Inner Harbor hotel owner has sued seafood restaurant McCormick & Schmick's, alleging the eatery's owners violated terms of its lease agreement by opening M&S Grill restaurant one mile away, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. MJ Harbor Hotel LLC, the corporate parent of Pier 5 hotel where McCormick is located, filed a lawsuit July 31 in Baltimore City Circuit Court against the restaurant's parent company, McCormick and Schmick Restaurant Corp. The suit claims by debuting M&S Grill in 2003, McCormick & Schmick opened a restaurant that takes business away from the Pier 5 establishment. ... The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin gives three stars to Alabama BBQ Company (4311 Harford Road, Lauraville, Md., 410-254-1440). ... Elizabeth Large reviews Three ..., Patterson Park’s newest bistro (2901 E. Baltimore St., 410-327-3333), and notes Peruvian restaurant El Rinconcito (at 1801 E. Lombard St.) and Indian eatery Indigma (802 N. Charles St.) ... Pigtown Pigout goes to Donna's Cafe and Coffeehouse in Cross Keys. ... Marginal Foodie also reviews Three ..., as well as Thai Landing (1207 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon, 410-727-1234,

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, September 10, 2007

Admiral Fell Inn's True Restaurant Closes

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Sun's Elizabeth Large gives two stars in reviewing upscale bar Kolpers in Hampden (1520 Clipper Road. 410-683-0604) and notes the closing of True Restaurant at the Admiral Fell Inn and the opening of Aloha Tokyo (formerly the French Quarter at 1120 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point), while Karen Nitkin gives three stars in reviewing Beef Shakes (13022 Old Hanover Road, Reisterstown, 410-833-6650). ... City Paper's Cheap Eats reviews My Thai (800 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon, Baltimore, 410-528-8737). ... Baltimore magazine's September 2007 issue reviews Lebanese Taverna and notes Penn Street Tavern (213 Penn Street, 410-752-5858), Rumor Mill (8069 Tiber Alley, Ellicott City, 410-461-0041) and Cafe Spice (321 York Road, Towson, 410-583-7770). ... Marginal Foodie visits Iggie's Pizza (818 N. Calvert, Mount Vernon, Baltimore,, 410-528-0818), Nam Kang (2126 Maryland Ave., Charles North, Baltimore, 410-685-6237), and Rub BBQ (1843 Light St., Federal Hill, Baltimore, 410-244-5667,

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Airport Lands Greene Turtle, Rams Head

IN THE NEWS: Ocean City-based The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille has opened its first-ever airport location at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport's Concourse D, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. Another local bar chain, Rams Head Tavern, is expected to open an airport location this fall. ... The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin gives three and a half stars to the Thai restaurant Little Spice (1350 Dorsey Road, Hanover, 410-859-0100), while Elizabeth Large reviews the new Watertable (Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, 202 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, 410-685-8439) and notes: the new Tabrizi's (500 Harberview Drive in the Harborview development off Key Highway, 410-727-3663,, the opening of the new Westin Annapolis Hotel's Azure dining room, (100 Westgate Circle, 410-972-4300), and the closing of the Sun, Moon & Stars Cafe (400 Red Brook Blvd., Owings Mills). ... City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews Three... (2901 E. Baltimore St., Highlandtown, Baltimore) in the former Parkside space. ... Busy new blogger Marginal Foodie reviews Kawasaki (907 S. Ann St., Fell's Point, Baltimore), Asahi (629 S. Broadway, Fell's Point, Baltimore, 410-534-4255), Bertha's (734 S. Broadway, Fell's Point, Baltimore, 410-327-5795), Little Havana (1325 Key Highway, Federal Hill, Baltimore, 410-477-1975,, Costa's Inn (4100 Northpoint Blvd., Dundalk, Baltimore, 410-477-1975,, Kali's Court (1606 Thames St., Fell's Point, Baltimore, 410-276-4700,, La Tavola (248 Albemarle St., Little Italy, Baltimore, 410-685-1859,, and Cafe Hon (1002 W. 36th St., Hampden, Baltimore, 410-243-1230,

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, August 27, 2007

Critics Rate Silver Moon, Yellow Dog

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin gives two and a half stars in reviewing the new Silver Moon Diner (9605 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, 410-682-5050). ... Elizabeth Large reviews The Yellow Dog Tavern (700 S. Potomac St., Baltimore, 410-342-0280) and blogs about a visit to Gertrude's, and reports that chef Edward Kim (Saffron, Soigne, Ixia) has returned to Washington, D.C. as executive chef of the Beacon Hotel in Dupont Circle. ... City Paper's Erin Sullivan reviews Night of the Cooker (885 N. Howard St., Mount Vernon, Baltimore). ... The Baltimore Snacker visits Caton House Restaurant (1506 S Caton Ave, Baltimore, 410-644-8496) and Polock Johnny's (3212 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, 410-644-5997). ... The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's China Bistro are among the new retailers Towson Town Center executives expect to lure to the mall for its expansion, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brooklyn Park's Club 4100 Set For Auction

IN THE NEWS: A Brooklyn Park gathering place for Charm City notables including Johnny Unitas, Cal Ripken Jr. and Oprah Winfrey is headed for the auction block after nearly 50 years of private ownership, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. Baltimore-based A.J. Billig & Co. Auctioneers has scheduled a Sept. 6 auction for the Anne Arundel County establishment Club 4100, owned by brothers Dino and Manny Spanomanolis. The restaurant, established in 1959, is tucked into a property at the corner of 4th and Edison streets in Brooklyn Park and has been featured in the local media, including Baltimore magazine's "50 Best Restaurants" issue. ... The City Paper's Richard Gorelick writes about eating seasonally, including Lauraville's Chameleon Café, and notes the opening of Paula Szczepanek's barbecue stall called Smoke at the Cross Street Market, next to Fenwick's Fine Meats. ... Cheap Eats checks out Kitten's Eat to Live (Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., Baltimore). ... The Baltimore Sun's ( Karen Nitkin gives two and a half stars to Cocoaccinos (2831 Smith Ave., Baltimore). ... Elizabeth Large reviews Grapevine Café in Cockeysville, has dinner for the first time at 30-year-old Samos in Greektown, and reports: The space at 2110 N. Charles St., which was a restaurant called Lisa's Coffe House (that's not a typo) and before that Benny Gordon's French Restaurant 2110, is now the Lahore Kalal Kabab House, serving Pakastani and Indian food. ... Large also lists her Top 10 restaurants reviewed so far this year:

1) Pazo in Fells Point.
2) b Bistro in Bolton Hill.
3) Lebanese Taverna in Harbor East.
4) Brasserie Tatin in Homewood.
5) Dogwood in Hampden.
6) Pazza Luna in Locust Point.
7) Osteria 177 in Annapolis.
8) Della Notte in Little Italy.
9) Minato in Mount Vernon.
10) P. F. Chang's in the Inner Harbor.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bombay Grill Group Sets Indigma Opening

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Sun's Elizabeth Large reviews Brasserie Tatin and reports, "Tony Chemmanoor, head of the Bombay Grill restaurant group, has gone back to what he knows best: Indian food. Chemmanoor is the owner of what was the group's crown jewel, Saffron at 800 N. Charles St. When it opened, Saffron served Indian fusion cuisine and then later, Asian fusion. When its last chef, Edward Kim, left, Chemmanoor closed the place to regroup and make a few renovations. It will reopen as Indigma - "not a fusion restaurant," he told me. "He was planning to reopen Aug. 8 or at least by Aug. 15, the 60th anniversary of Indian independence. ... Baltimore Pho is going to open in October, where Mencken's Cultured Pearl used to be at 1114 Hollins St., across from the market. ... Large also notes the closings of Caribbean Kitchen (353 N. Calvert St.) and the Peacock Cafe in the Pier 5 Hotel. ... McCormick & Schmick's, the upscale seafood restaurant chain, will open its fourth Maryland location in Annapolis by the end of this year, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. The restaurant will be part of the $100 million expansion at Westfield Annapolis mall that began in May 2006. ... visits Iggies (N. Calvert St. in Mt. Vernon) and Taste in Belvedere Square.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wolf, Foreman Set To Open Cinghiale

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Sun's Elizabeth Large reviews Annapolis' Sam's on the Waterfront (2020 Chesapeake Harbour Drive East, Annapolis, MD) and previews Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman's latest venture, a Northern Italian restaurant called Cinghiale (pronounced ching-GYAH-lay), set to open soon across Lancaster Street from their signature establishment, Charleston. The couple's Charleston Group also owns Pazo, a Mediterranean restaurant at the edge of Fells Point, and the French restaurant Petit Louis in Roland Park. Cinghiale, which Foreman says will open in September - barring "unforeseen events," will be a combination of an enoteca, a place to drink wine, and an osteria, or tavern. ... Large also blogs a list of "The 10 restaurants you probably don't know about ... yet", including The Bistro (31 S Arlington Ave.). ... Karen Nitkin gives three stars in reviewing Reter's Crab House and Grille (509 Main St., Reisterstown, MD). ... Southern Living magazine's August 2007 edition features Annapolis, Md., and mentions restaurants Metropolitan, Kyma, Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn, Lewnes' Steakhouse, Severn Inn, and Caroline's Cakes. ... Investors in Full Moon Bar-B-Q's first and only out-of-state location have voluntarily dismissed their complaint against the Birmingham, Ala.-based restaurant's owners, brothers Joseph A. Maluff and David M. Maluff and their company Maluff Foods LLC, the Birmingham Business Journal reports. The group of investors had filed a complaint against the Maluffs in U.S. District Court in Maryland in June. The complaint accused the brothers of fraudulent activity involving Ray Lewis' Full Moon Bar-B-Q in Baltimore, which included the Baltimore Ravens football star Ray Lewis and the Maluffs as investors. ... Fresh City, a "fast-casual" restaurant that serves salads, burritos and stir fry dishes, has plans to open 10 to 15 restaurants in the Baltimore area in the next 12 years, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. The Needham, Mass.-based chain, which has 17 locations in New England and New Jersey, signed a franchise agreement with Capitol Fresh LLC to build the restaurants. ... City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews Ryleigh's Oyster Bar (32-36 E. Cross St., Federal Hill, Baltimore). ... visits Pazza Luna, Penn Street Tavern, and Bo Brooks.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Florida Chef Set For Downtown Watertable

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Sun's Elizabeth Large gives three and a half stars to Pazo (1425 Aliceanna St., Baltimore) and previews the new Watertable restaurant in the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel downtown, which opened July 26 after a six-month, $3 million renovation. The new executive chef, Dean James Max, created 3030 Ocean Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Max will move back and forth between his restaurants, while the day-to-day operation will be overseen by chef de cuisine Garrett Gooch, previously of a California Ritz-Carlton. ... Large also reports the July 26 opening of the new Lime tequila bar (1803 West St.) in Annapolis and the July 29 closing of 30-plus year old Riordan's Saloon in Annapolis and the closing of Gemini (710 S. Broadway) in Fells Point, to be replaced by Alexander's Tavern. ... Dogwood will be closed for all of July and most of August for renovations ... Karen Nitkin reviews the Italian eatery Via Mia's (8 N. Crain Highway, Glen Burnie). ... The City Paper's Anisha Jagtap features cupcakes, including Baltimore Cupcake Co. owner and baker Tracy Rice, in business for three years at 1433 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point. ... Cheap Eats visits Dutch Pot Café (Lexington Market).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Three... Shakes Up Ownership, Kitchen

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Sun's Elizabeth Large reviews Minato (1013 N. Charles St., Baltimore), visits the new Greek restaurant Grapevine Cafe (20 Church Lane in Cockeysville) and notes the scheduled August opening of Tabrizi's (500 Harborview Drive) and the addition of a second location of Della Rose's Tavern (1501 S. Clinton St. in Canton). ... Large also reports that one of partners in the new restaurant three ..., chef Jack Starr, has parted ways with the other two. Three... closed briefly and reopened July 17 with Peter Livolsi, who opened Pazo, running the kitchen. ... Brent Jones profiles Papermoon Diner, a 24-hour restaurant in Remington. ... Karen Nitkin gives two and a half stars to Two Sisters Grille (127 West 27th St., Baltimore). ... Andrea K. Walker reports on the opening of Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market, in The Shops at Quarry Lake. ... City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews Pazo (1425 Aliceanna St., Fells Point, Baltimore), while Cheap Eats visits California Tortilla (300 W Pratt St., Baltimore).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ravens Star Ray Lewis in BBQ Brouhaha

IN THE NEWS: Investors in Birmingham, Ala.'s Full Moon Bar-B-Q's first and only out-of-state location are suing the chain's owners for $6 million, the Birmingham Business Journal reports. The case revolves around Ray Lewis' Full Moon Bar-B-Q in Baltimore. The restaurant, which included Baltimore Ravens football star Ray Lewis as an investor, was slated to be the first of a nationwide Full Moon concept involving celebrity athletes. The investors, calling themselves Our House LLC, filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Maryland in June against Full Moon's owners, brothers Joseph A. Maluff and David M. Maluff and their company Maluff Foods LLC. ... The Sun's Karen Nitkin gives two and a half stars to J&K Jazz Cafe (1800 Belmont Ave., Baltimore), while Elizabeth Large reviews Minato, notes the openings of Eric's Eatery and "Simply Delicious" Carry Out (2334 N. Charles St.), and the planned mid-August arrival of Linda Doolittle and husband Carlos Venegas' Ranazul (8171 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton). They also own Sierra's Grill in Beltsville. ... visits Bonaparte, a French bakery in Fells Point.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Golden Dragon Inn Flies for Critic

IN THE NEWS: The Sun's Karen Nitkin gives two and a half stars in her review of Benny Der's Golden Dragon Inn (8109 Liberty Road, Rockdale, MD). ... Elizabeth Large gives two and a half stars to Patrick's (550 Cranbrook Road, Cockeysville, MD) and blogs about her visit to The Burnt Wood Roadhouse. ... City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews Babalu Grill (32 Market Place Road, Power Plant Live!, Downtown Baltimore), while Cheap Eats visits Mary Mervis (Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., Downtown Baltimore). ... The Baltimore Snacker reviews Perchi's Rotisserie Chicken and More... (103-B N. Crain Hwy, Glen Burnie, MD), The Rose Restaurant (6075 Belle Grove Road, Baltimore) and Regi's in Federal Hill.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

'SI' Features Boog's BBQ at Camden Yards

Sports Illustrated's sicom July 2 double issue spotlights former sports stars who now run restaurants, in particular barbecue joints. Featured athletes and their eateries include: Robert Porcher (Detroit Lions) Seldom Blues jazz and supper club, Detroit Breakfast House & Grill, and Grand City Grille, Detroit; Nate Thurmond (NBA Hall of Fame center), Big Nate's Barbecue, San Francisco; Randy Jones (San Diego Padres pitcher), Randy Jones' BBQ, Petco Park, San Diego; Sammy Walker (Olympic weightlifter), Sammy Walker's Bar-b-que, Rowlett and Forney, Texas; Billy Sims (Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winning running back), Billy Sims Barbecue, Tulsa, Edmond and Broken Bow, Okla; Larry Shreve (pro wrestler), Abdulla the Butcher's House of Ribs & Chinese Food, Atlanta; Lee Roy Selmon (Tampa Bay Bucs star), Lee Roy Selmon's, seven locations in the Tampa area; Al "Bubba" Baker (pro football player), Bubba's Q, Avon, Ohio; Greg "The Bull" Luzinski (Phillies slugger), Bull's Barbecue, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia; and Boog Powell (Orioles slugger), Boog's BBQ, Camden Yards, Baltimore.

IN THE NEWS: Anne Arundel County officials are trying to keep up with a surge in demand for new liquor license applications from restaurants moving into the fast-growing county's hotels, airport and new shopping centers, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. By the end of June, the county could have more than 500 liquor licenses, a nearly 20 percent increase from the roughly 420 establishments with liquor licenses three years ago, said Victoria Bowen, an administrator at the Anne Arundel County Liquor Board. About a quarter of the new licenses are for restaurants at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Changes in the county's liquor license regulations also have made it easier for chain restaurants to open additional outlets. Chili's Grill & Bar has applied for a liquor license in Linthicum while Outback Steakhouse received approval to hold a liquor license at Arundel Mills. Other new restaurants are opening at new retail centers, such as Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole. Formerly a strip mall known as Parole Town Center, the project is being redeveloped into a retail, office and residential complex by Greenberg Gibbons Commercial of Owings Mills. Restaurants slated for the site include P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., Brio Tuscan Grille and Chop House, an upscale steak restaurant. ... The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin gives three stars to Red Parrot Asian Cafe (8874 McGaw Road, Columbia, MD), while the Takeout column looks at rib joints. ... The Sun's Elizabeth Large gives two and a half stars to Petalo's Restaurant (1002 Eastern Ave., Baltimore) and reports: Abacrombie Fine Foods has closed until at least Sept. 1, after the kitchen staff left en masse; Saffron in Mount Vernon was closed effective immediately; Three, the restaurant that replaced Parkside at 2901 E. Baltimore St. near Patterson Park, has opened; Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chao is getting ready to open a branch in the Inner Harbor this August at 600 E. Pratt St.; and Soto's Grill has opened in the Ellicott City area (8001 Hillsborough Road).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fells Point Set for New Jazz Club

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin gives three stars to Raffy's Restaurant (8706 Belair Road, Baltimore). ... Elizabeth Large gives two stars in her review of The Rumor Mill ( and reports: Louisiana in Fells Point has bought the Full Moon Saloon next door at 1710 Aliceanna St., and renovations are in full swing to turn it into a jazz club. No name or opening date as yet; Neel Kamal recently opened Northern Indian aspot Sizzling Bombay (2108 Bel Air South Plaza), the site of his former Sky Room resturant. ... Large blogs about a visit to Tapas Teatro ... The City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews Minato Japanese Restaurant (1013 N. Charles St., Mount Vernon, Baltimore), while the Cheap Eats column visits S’ghetti Eddie’s (410 W. Cold Spring Lane, Roland Park, Baltimore). ... The Baltimore Snacker visits Beijing Buffet (7089 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Suite A, Glen Burnie, MD). ... Black Coffee and a Donut reviews SoBo Cafe.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bicycle Rolls Along With New Ownership

IN THE NEWS: City Paper's Richard Gorelick says new ownership means the already stellar Bicycle (1444 Light St., Federal Hill) has actually improved. ... Baltimore Snacker drops by Korean eatery Goong Jeon (202 N. Crain Hwy, Glen Burnie) and Vietnamese spot Pho Miss Saigon (111-5 N. Crain Hwy, Glen Burnie). ... Weekly Dig's Michael Brodeur considers rock nightclubs with rockin' good food, including The Beehive and Cantab Lounge. ... The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin gives three stars to Cafe Spice (321 York Road, Towson). ... Elizabeth Large reviews oZ. Chophouse (8191 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton, MD) and notes early praise for the new Pitango Gelato (802 S. Broadway, Fells Point) and blogs, "I've been hearing good things lately about the food at the Severn Inn in Annapolis. It turns out there's a new chef, Philip Sokolowski, a former owner of Sam's Waterfront Cafe, also in Annapolis." ... Large also reports the apparent closing of Park Avenue Cafe.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rams Head Tavern To Close Brewery

IN THE NEWS: Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis plans to shutter its brewery with a 300-year-old history to make way for expansion of its concert venue, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. Owner Bill Muelhauser has submitted plans to add about 100 seats to the 242-seat venue to the City of Annapolis' planning and zoning department, which reviewed the proposal June 7. The restaurant brand, which has five locations across the state, has been operating a brewery outside of Maryland since 2001 because of state liquor laws preventing owners from expanding the number of breweries they run. ... The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin reviews Playbook Sports Bar and Grill (6700 German Hill Road, Baltimore). ... Elizabeth Large reports on the openings of: Memphis-style barbecue joint called the Alabama BBQ Co., 4311 Harford Road, (Co-owner Jay Belle is originally from Huntsville); The as yet unnamed restaurant formerly known as Vespa at 1117 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill should open sometime late this month or early July, with former Vespa executive chef Michael Russell, now a part owner, running the kitchen; Late this summer a second Teavolve should open in Harbor East. Unlike the first teahouse, which opened a couple of years ago in Fells Point, this one will have a liquor license. ... Large gives two and a half stars in her review of Crackpot in Bel Air (510 Marketplace Drive, Bel Air). ... The Baltimore Snacker stops by El Salto (5513 Ritchie Hwy, Brooklyn, MD) and Crab Depot (5717 Ritchie Hwy, Brooklyn Park, MD). ... For its RA Sushi brand, Benihana officials say the company has seven locations under development: Mesa, Ariz.; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Tustin, Calif.; Baltimore, Md.; Lombard, Ill.; and Houston and Plano, Texas, the South Florida Business Journal reports.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chef Longo Eyes New Namesake Location

IN THE NEWS: With Longo's restaurant at Greenspring Station closed and its corporate parent in bankruptcy, its landlord is looking for a new restaurant for the space, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. Longo's, a second venue for well-known local chef Nancy Longo of Pierpoint Restaurant, closed earlier in May after about eight months in operation. Longo said in a recent interview that she wants to try to re-open the restaurant. Brookland Center Restaurant LLC, which owned Longo's, filed to reorganize in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Baltimore's U.S. District Court on May 11. ... City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews The Dogwood Restaurant (911 W. 36th Street, Hampden, Baltimore) from Galen Sampson, the former executive chef of Harbor Court Hotel. ... Cheap Eats visits Mama's Kitchen (2302 Wilkens Ave., Carroll, Baltimore). ... The Sun's Karen Nitkin gives three stars to the arrival of pizza chain ZPizza (8874 McGaw Road, Columbia, MD), while Elizabeth Large reports chef Edward Kim will leave as executive chef at Saffron Modern American. (802 N. Charles St. in Mount Vernon.) as of June 17. ... Large also reviews Abacrombie Fine Food and Accommodations (58 W. Biddle St., Baltimore). ... Baltimore magazine reviews Pazza Luna Trattoria Italiana (1401 E. Clement Street) and Tam Tam Restaurant and also reports, "The Thirsty Dog Pub (20 E. Cross Street) is answering to a new name: Now, it’s just the Dog Pub. Evidently, the pooch-friendly pizza pub in Federal Hill was threatened with legal action by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company in Akron, Ohio." ... Blogger Pigtown Pigout visits Mexican-Asian fusion joint Nasu Blanca (corner of Woodall and Fort Avenue in Locust Point). ... Blogger The Baltimore Snacker gives a shout out to Where the Locals Eat (Thanks, John!) and reviews Best Seafood (7319 E Furnace Branch Rd, Glen Burnie, MD), and Dotson's Barbeque (7317 E Furnace Branch Rd, Glen Burnie, MD), ... Bloggers Black Coffee and a Donut reviews Federal Hill's Little Havana, and the sushi joint Matsuri.

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pazo Garners New Chef, Format

IN THE NEWS: Baltimore Sun critic Elizabeth Large blogs, "Pazo, Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman's Fells Point tapas restaurant, has a new chef and a new format. Michael Costa took over as executive chef a couple of weeks ago and he's made some major changes in the menu. Tapas is still part of the mix, but there are now also main courses to choose from. The official line is that the change is simply to make guests happy with more choices. But the owners of the Charleston group of restaurants are savvy enough to make me wonder if the tapas craze has peaked. Maybe things are starting to trend the other way, back to more traditional ways of having dinner. ... By the way, Costa takes over as executive chef from Tony Foreman. As the pr woman said to me, "Something not widely known, that Tony is a chef." ... Large also reports on the opening of Rumor Mill (8069 Tiber Alley), a new Asian fusion restaurant that's opened in Ellicott City where Sidestreets used to be. ... Michael Harmel, 33, Jack Starr, 28, and Richard Karoll, 35, have found a spot for their new restaurant where the Parkside was (2901 E. Baltimore St.), near Patterson Park. Their eatery, which they're hoping will be ready to open sometime in June, will be called, appropriately enough, Three ... Harmel helped open the popular tavern One-Eyed Mike's. ... "John Staley, general manager of the Salsa Grill (6644 Security Blvd.) in Woodlawn, is remarkably cheerful for someone whose restaurant nearly burned down May 1. But he feels this is a chance to fix up the place with a new and better interior, including a state-of-the-art kitchen for chef/owner Jay Angle. "I've been telling people we'll reopen July 15," he tells Large with a laugh, "but it'll probably be September. I've dealt with contractors before." ... Fans of the Salsa Grill's Peruvian, South American and regional American cuisine (everything is made from scratch) can sign on to the Web site ( and request e-mail updates about when the restaurant will be back in business. ... Large also reviews Pazza Luna, while The Sun's Karen Nitkin gives two and a half stars in her review of La Fiesta Grill (9022 Church Lane, Randallstown, MD). ...The Takeout column recommends the bread pudding at Ale Mary's (Fleet and Washington streets, Baltimore). ... Blogger The Baltimore Snacker visits Big T’s BBQ (intersection of Ft. Smallwood, Riviera and Bar Harbor Rds., Pasadena, MD.) and Carmen’s Italian Ice (8461 Ft. Smallwood Rd., Pasadena, MD).

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Brewer's Art, Shamrock Inn on Esquire List

Esquire magazine's second annual Best Bars of America list is out in the June 2007 issue. They include:

Lou's Pub & Package, Birmingham, Ala.; J Lounge, Golden Gopher, The Edison, The Broadway Bar, La Cita, Bordello, Redwood, and Bar 107, Los Angeles; Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood, Calif.; The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills; Beach Ball, Newport Beach, Calif.; Brennan's Pub, Marina Del Ray, Calif.; Bourbon & Branch, The Owl Tree, Vesuvio, and Zeitgeist, San Francisco; The Sportsman, Sonora, Calif.; Cruise Room, and El Chapultepec, Denver; Jimbo's, and Churchill's Pub, Miami; The Clermont Lounge, Atlanta; Lewers Lounge at the Halekulani Hotel, and La Mariana Sailing Club, Honolulu; The California Clipper, The Red Lion Pub, Bungalow, The Matchbox, Hideout, and Chipp Inn, Chicago; The Red Key, and Nicky Blaine's, Indianapolis; The Old Seelbach Bar, Louisville; The Chart Room, The Bar at Tujague's, Fritzel's European Jazz Pub, and Napoleon House, New Orleans; The Brewer's Art, and Shamrock Inn, Baltimore; B-Side Lounge, Cambridge, Mass.; No. 9 Park, Boston; Doyle's Cafe, Jamaica Plain, Mass.; The Bar at Seldom Blues, Detroit; Miller's Bar, Dearborn, Mich.; Bulldog NE, and Nye's Polonaise Room, Minneapolis; Half Time Rec, St. Paul; John D. McGurk's, St. Louis; Any bar on the Strip, Double Down Saloon, and Petrossian Bar, Las Vegas; Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, Little Branch, The Bar at Keens Steakhouse, Minetta Tavern, Jimmy's Corner, The Angel's Share, The Brooklyn Inn, The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Flatiron Lounge, The Saloon, San Domenico Restaurant, Spuyten Duyvil, 21 Club, Grassroots Tavern, Bill's Gay 90s, Julius', and Pegu Club, New York City; Freddy's Bar & Backroom, Brooklyn; Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Queens; Thomas Street Tavern, Charlotte, NC; Andyman's Treehouse, Columbus, Ohio; The Library Bar & Grill, Norman, Okla.; Friendly Lounge, The Grey Lodge, and Southwark, Philadelphia; Dee's Cafe, Pittsburgh; Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, and Robert's Western World, Nashville; La Tuna, San Antonio; Donn's Depot, Austin; The Inwood Lounge, Dallas; Shooting Star Saloon, Huntsville, Utah; Sambar, Zig Zag Cafe, and Fu Kun Wu, Seattle; Hawk 'n' Dove, and The Tune Inn, Washington, DC; Holler House, Milwaukee.

IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Business Journal reports that Gov. Martin O'Malley has signed the bill (on May 17) that would ban smoking in bars and restaurants in Maryland. The statewide ban will take effect Feb. 1, 2008, one month after a smoking ban goes into place in Baltimore City. Bar and restaurant owners will get a written reprimand from the state for their first violation. A second violation will result in a $100 fine and at least $250 for subsequent violations, the paper reports. ... The Baltimore Sun's Karen Nitkin awards three stars to Eclectic Café and Creperie, 723 S. Broadway in Baltimore, while Elizabeth Large navigates the buffet at Wegmans' Wokery. ... The City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews Gino Troia Ristorante, 2304 Boston St. in Canton. ... The Baltimore Snacker reports the sad news of the final night (May 18) of Seidel's Duckpin Bowling Center (with snack bar), opened 1929 on Belair Road ... Dan Taylor's The Hungover Gourmet stops by Zack's Hot Dogs and Cafe Hon ... The New York Times spends 36 Hours in Baltimore and hits the restaurants Obrycki's, The Blue Moon Cafe, Attman's, the Helman, The Brewer's Art, and Nick's .

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Monday, May 14, 2007

America's Best Restaurant Cities

"Today ... most major cities in the U.S. have the kind of gastronomic diversity and regionality that is rich in every department, and even if you’ve visited recently, you can be sure that next time you go, there’ll be more new and enticing restaurants than you could possibly visit," writes Donald Burnam in a recent piece, "America's Best Restaurant Cities." "It’s getting hard not to have a great meal anywhere in the U.S.." Burnam continues.

Forbes' Top 10 Restaurant Cities:
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New Orleans
6. Houston
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Atlanta
9. Boston
10. Las Vegas

Rankings were based on: Overall number of restaurants above the fast food level; Number of fine dining restaurants with national and international standing; Solid representation of regional American food; A wide segment of second-tier restaurants that would include seafood, steakhouses, and independently chef-owned restaurants; Breadth and depth of ethnic restaurants, especially if the city has neighborhood such as a Chinatown; A significant number of neigborhood restaurants where the locals tend to eat out regularly; A well-traveled clientele that regards eating out in that city one of the real pleasures of going there.

IN THE NEWS: The Sun's Karen Nitkin gives two and a half stars to Looney's Pub North, 312 St. Main St. in Bel Air. Colleague Elizabeth Large also gives two and a half stars to Brightons, 550 Light St., InterContinental Harbor Court Hotel, and also blogs that Longo's in Green Spring Station may not be reopening this week after all. ... City Paper's Richard Gorelick reviews Lebanese Taverna, 719 S. President St. at Inner Harbor East, while Cheap Eats looks at Chicken Shack in West Baltimore.
Compiled by Pat Embry,

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

James Beard Awards Announced

Chicago's Frontera Grill won Outstanding Restaurant of the Year and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C. was named Outstanding Chef at the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards were held May 7 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center. More than 60 awards were presented by the country's pre-eminent nonprofit culinary organization, in its 20th anniversary celebration, and more than 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony. Other top awards went to: New York's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, named Best New Restaurant; Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca.) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Celebrity and culinary superstar attendees included Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. The Foundation's Media Awards took place at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 6. All Award winners received a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author, and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry in North America. For full awards results, please visit

Beard Award highlights are:

AMERICA'S CLASSICS: Primanti Brothers, Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Pickwick, Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, Minn.; Doe's Eat Place, The Signa Family, Greenville, Miss.; Aunt Carrie's, Elsie Foy, Narragansett, R.I.; I

Brookville Hotel, Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, Kan.; Weaver D's, Dexter Weaver, Athens, Ga.

BEST CHEF, GREAT LAKES: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago

BEST CHEF, MID-ATLANTIC: R.J. Cooper, III, Vidalia, Washington, DC

BEST CHEF, MIDWEST: Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.

BEST CHEF, NEW YORK CITY: David Waltuck, Chanterelle, New York, NY

BEST CHEF, NORTHEAST: Frank McClelland, L'Espalier, Boston

BEST CHEF, NORTHWEST: John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle

BEST CHEF, PACIFIC: Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco

BEST CHEF, SOUTH: Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

BEST CHEF, SOUTHEAST: Scott Peacock, Watershed, Decatur, Ga.

BEST CHEF, SOUTHWEST: Nobuo Fukuda, Sea Saw, Scottsdale, Ariz.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef-Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING CHEF: Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY

OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Frontera Grill, chef-owner: Rick and Deann Bayless, Chicago

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru, Chicago

OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.

OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE: Mark Slater, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC

RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY

IN THE NEWS: Yes, she knows it's a chain. But the Sun's Elizabeth Large still gives three stars to the new P.F. Chang's China Bistro, which opened in March in the Inner Harbor. Karen Nitkin also awards three stars to Smedly's, 600 S. Wolfe St. ... Baltimore magazine looks at: Artifact Coffee, 2010 Clipper Park Road; Highlandtown's Carlos O’Charlie’s Sports Bar and Grill, 3508 Eastern Ave.; and the Crown & Thistle, 10 Fila Way, Sparks. The mag also reports on the recent closings of the fine-dining Hampton's at the InterContinental Hotel, Golden Gate Noodle House in Towson, and the Italian eatery Buono in Mt. Washington ... Blogger The Baltimore Snacker visits longtime late-night (until 4 am) favorite Nam Kang Korean Restaurant on Maryland Avenue ... Blogger Johnny Dollar's Vault stops by the Big Kahuna Cantina ... Blogger Pigtown Pigout goes to Chesapeake Wine Co. in Canton. ... Baltimore Business Journal reports that "nearly 60 restaurants have signed up to participate in Baltimore Restaurant Week, a week in August when diners can bite into three-course lunch and dinner meals for a fixed price. Organized by Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc. and the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association and taking place July 30-Aug. 5, the promotion will offer lunch for $20.07 and dinner for $30.07. New restaurants participating this year include Lebanese Taverna, Brewer's Art, Eden's Lounge and Vin, in Towson."

Compiled by Pat Embry,

Sunday, April 29, 2007

James Beard Awards Await

Roughly the dining out equivalent of The Academy Awards, The James Beard Foundation annual awards ceremony takes place Monday, May 7, at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. Go to for the complete list, but here's a partial list of national nominees:

-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hill, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.

Restaurant magazine just released its list of the world's top 100 restaurants. ( Here are the U.S. entries:

The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca. (No. 4)
Per Se, New York City (No. 9)
Jean Georges, New York City (No. 18)
Le Bernardin, New York City (No. 26)
Charlie Trotter's, Chicago (No. 30)
Daniel, New York City (No. 32)
Alinea, Chicago (No. 36)
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Ca. (No. 40)
Masa, New York City (No. 56)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons, New York City (No. 64)
Peter Lugar, Brooklyn, NY (No. 69)
Nobu New York, New York City (No. 89)
Gramercy Tavern, New York City (No. 90)
WD-50, New York City (No. 91)
Zuni Café, San Francisco (No. 98)
Alex at Wynn, Las Vegas (No. 100)

IN THE NEWS: Baltimore Sun critic Elizabeth Large gives three stars to Middle Eastern/Mediterranean spot Lebanese Taverna ( Large also reports on the opening of Big Kahuna Cantina in Light Street Pavilion in the former Paolo's space, the reopening of Snyder's Deli in Owings Mills, and the expected late-summer Annapolis openings of Lemongrass Thai restaurant and sister fusion eatery Tsunami in the Tack Factory retail complex. ... Large's top 10 seafood joints: The Black Olive in Fells Point, Mama's on the Half Shell in Canton, O'Leary's in Eastport, Mr Bill's Terrace Inn in Essex, Blue Sea Grill, Schultz's in Essex, Robert Oliver Seafood in Mount Vernon, Kali's Court in Fells Point, the uspcale chain Oceanaire Seafood Room in Inner Harbor East, and Pisces in the downtown Hyatt. ... Pazza Luna Trattoria Italiana is reviewed by the City Paper's Richard Gorelick. .. Baltimore magazine ('s Hannah Feldman reviews Dominicano Internacional Restaurant, the city's only Dominican restaurant. The mag also reports on the expanded Miss Shirley's restaurant on Cold Spring Lane and the addition of S'ghetti Eddie's in its former site down the street, the opening of Glen Burnie eatery MJ Wagner’s Via Mia at 8 N. Crain Highway as well as the February closing of Parkside Restaurant, 2901 E. Baltimore St. ... The Hungover Gourmet ( chews on Zack's Hot Dogs.