I discovered a soon-to-open restaurant in Federal Hill last night after eating at the new Taverna Corvino. Taverna’s executive chef Chris Patternote (formerly of VIN in Towson) is turning out small plates and family-style portions in a creative menu that features dishes like veal cheeks with basil polenta and rockfish in a tomato-saffron sauce. My review will be in our July issue. (Darn my early publication deadlines.)
But after dinner, my friends and I were walking along South Charles Street and found The Hill (1015 S. Charles St.), which is nearing completion. It used to be the Indian restaurant Banjara.
Today, I talked to one of the owners, Clark Hudak, who said, "There’s a mad rush to get it open." He’s hoping to have the restaurant, whose name is short for Federal Hill, up and running in about two weeks. It has a great horseshoe-shaped bar and dining for about 75.
His chef and co-owner is Tony Petteway, who produced some fine fare at The Metropolitan Coffeehouse & Wine Bar down the street. The menu will be international and affordable, Clark said, with the most expensive items being crab cakes and steaks in the low $20 range. Look for an extensive dessert menu, too.
Clark hopes to set the mood with blues and jazz music (not live because of zoning restrictions). "It won’t be loud," he said. "It’s a quaint dinner place with a bar." There’s exposed brick, wood, and tin ceilings.
"I want to make it neighborhood friendly," he said.