<p>Artisan food blends with Shrewsbury antiques.</p>
Sometimes you find more than you bargained for while antiquing in Shrewsbury, PA, a quaint town less than an hour from Baltimore. In my case, I discovered a darling restaurant that’s not only a respite from the browsing but also a food find. Juliana’s in the Village (14 N. Main St., 717-759-8701), a new BYOB restaurant under the expert hands of chef/owner Joel Zaldivar, serves a constantly changing menu of seasonal, local fare in pretty dining rooms with wood floors and decorative glassware.
<p>Discover One-Eyed Mike’s alfresco dining.</p>
Yes, it’s best known as a “Grand Marnier bar.” And we’ll drink to that. But One-Eyed Mike’s (708 S. Bond St., 410-327-0445) is also a cheery place to nosh on delicious sandwiches, appetizers, and entrees, especially on the outdoor back patio. A privacy fence creates a feeling of seclusion, rare in Fells Point. Open wood beams stretch across the courtyard, allowing for romantic lights in nighttime, overhead heat lights for cooler days, and ceiling fans to ruffle up a breeze in sultry air. Seated at the sturdy tables with cloth napkins in hand, diners want to linger.
<p>A group of Catholics finds a local bar blasphemous.</p>
A priest walks into a bar. . . . No, it’s not the start of a joke, but closely mirrors a dispute between some Catholics and a Fells Point watering hole.
Recently, a group of religious devotees claimed that bar and restaurant Ale Mary’s was blasphemous because of its name and church-themed décor. The bar owners, in turn, said there was nothing irreverent about it, and that most of the objects were gifts.
<p>Hersh's Pizza & Drinks</p>
Hersh’s Pizza & Drinks is no ordinary pizza joint. And it’s not as plain as its simple name suggests either. It’s actually a sweetheart of a neighborhood restaurant and shows the love of its owner/sibling team Josh and Stephanie Hershkovitz.
The Owings Mills natives collaborated to revamp the space once occupied by Rub, a Texas barbecue place. They’ve transformed the South Baltimore corner restaurant, located in a pocket of industrial warehouses and urban homesteading, into a sleek, citified bar and dining room.
A new take on white wines.
Spring’s gloriously warm weather has us in the mood for refreshing white wines—specifically, whites made from grape varieties that show off lighter fruit tones, have zingy acidity, cool mineral tones, and are unfettered by oak aging. We’re talking about the kind of wine you’d want to wash down a plate of flash-fried calamari or deliciously local asparagus from the farmers’ markets. We’ve tracked down three thirst quenchers to get you in the mood for patio sipping.
SoBo Cafe gets another chance.
Who doesn’t love a savior?
<p>Brio Tuscan Grille fills Inner Harbor gap.</p>
After languishing empty for several years, the prominent Inner Harbor space once occupied by Legal Sea Foods has a new tenant, Brio Tuscan Grille (100 E. Pratt St., 410-637-3440). The national chain, which also has a location in Annapolis, specializes in Italian food inspired by Tuscany. It’s debatable whether we need another trattoria in Baltimore, but Brio provides a fun atmosphere and well-prepared food that will appeal to downtown visitors. On a recent visit, I ordered grilled shrimp with orzo ($14.95, lunch).
A devotion to cereal treats leads to a cafe.
Nikki Lewis has fond memories of making Rice Krispies Treats when she was a child. As an adult, they became her go-to dessert for friends and families. Eventually, her love of the sticky, crunchy rice-cereal treat evolved into her own brand, Mallow Crunchies. Lewis puts her imprint on the sweet snacks by using ingredients like homemade marshmallow and caramel. She sells them through a website (themallowbar.com) and at local farmers’ markets, but always envisioned having her own place. “It’s been a long-term goal to own a cafe,” she says.
This pick-up service helps busy shoppers.
There aren’t many things more stressful than pushing your cart through a grocery store while your baby cries and your toddler pulls items off the shelves. But those days are over thanks to a service at the new Harris Teeter in South Baltimore called “Express Lane," through which you order your groceries online, a personal shopper selects the items at the store, you pick them up, and an associate loads them into your car.
Louisiana comes to Lauraville.
Tooloulou’s space is humble—a tiny storefront, open kitchen, and a few tables and counters. But the ambiance is warm and inviting, and chef/co-owner Shawn Lagergren is happy to talk about his menu, which ranges from artisan pizzas and po’ boys to sandwiches like the Coca-Cola baked ham and muffuletta, a New Orleans classic. His Louisiana food leanings make sense since he hails from there. Today, he and his wife, Megan, live in Lauraville, where the store (4311 Harford Rd., 443-627-8090, http://tooloulou.com) is located.
Celebrating warmer weather with wines from Loire Valley
The promise of warmer days ahead infuses the current season with a sense of anticipation. This month, we turn to the Loire Valley of France to find three wines that embody this time of year, and that will pair well with springtime bounty like lamb, asparagus, peas, and leafy greens.
Since The Corner Stable opened in Cockeysville in 1972, it has attracted hungry, happy crowds with its aim-to-please menu—heavy on fall-off-the-bone ribs and oversized crab cakes and light on anything that might be construed as newfangled or trendy.
Heavy Seas promises heady cuisine.
There was no denying the excitement when Matt Seeber was named executive chef of the new Heavy Seas Alehouse (1300 Bank St., 410-522-0850, heavyseasalehouse.com) near Little Italy. After all, this is a man who headed up one of Tom Colicchio’s restaurants in Las Vegas. Colicchio is probably best known as a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef. If Seeber had his culinary approval, we could only imagine what his impact would be on Alehouse’s menu.
Artisan popcorn arrives on the local scene.
Caramel popcorn lovers, rejoice. You don’t need to make a trip to the beach for your favorite treat. Robin Garrison has come to your rescue with her new business, Popsations Popcorn Company. “Baltimore needed hot, fresh, gooey popcorn,” says the Towson native. “I decided to go for it.” She now makes gourmet popcorn—in flavors including caramel, chocolate caramel drizzles, and classic cheddar—in a commercial kitchen in Timonium the old-fashioned way, using copper kettles and wooden paddles.
Downtown Diane reins in her busy life by cooking.
Even in the calm and comfort of her own Pikesville kitchen, Diane Macklin is in perpetual motion. She makes coffee with her new single-cup Keurig brewer, throws open the doors of a cabinet to show off her Indian spices, rifles through a recipe notebook to share her favorite dishes, and quickly pulls items out of her refrigerator.