Baltimore’s newest restaurant, Milan, opens tomorrow (Jan. 15). I got an insider’s look this morning along with Jess Blumberg, who writes the magazine’s On the Town blog. (Jess will be posting about the restaurant’s bar scene soon.)
First of all, the massive, multilevel space—1000 Eastern Ave. on the edge of Harbor East and Little Italy—is stunning. The lounge level plays off a white, crimson, and espresso color scheme.
Bright white couches and tables overlook a gray marble fireplace highlighted by a fabric rose wall on top. The rose theme is picked up in cushions on the couches. The bar also goes glam with a red sparkly top and comfy white stools with backs.
As Hilary Keil, the restaurant’s assistant general manager, told us, "We wanted to create a space like no other and have guests step into Milan and step into a different world."
Local designer Meghan Hoffmann gets kudos for creating the glizy vibe. Tomorrow night, the razzle-dazzle scene will ratchet up a notch when the women servers wear glittery masks and the guys don bandit masks to celebrate opening night.
To the rear of the lounge is a sleek sushi bar featuring the restaurant’s sushi-Italiano creations, an interesting twist, with offerings like salmon with lemon caper aioli and yellowfin tuna with red-pepper oil and sea salt.
But you have to check out the upstairs fine-dining area with its giant palladian windows, white-and-silver overtones, and VIP booths with silver beads and gauzy curtains. (There are also VIP rooms with couches and flat screen TVs for rent.)
The Italian-Mediterranean fusion menu takes its cues from executive chef Stephen Carey, a Johnson and Wales culinary grad and Maryland native. Look for entrees like linguine with shrimp and lobster in a brandied garlic cream sauce ($26) and a veal porterhouse with wild mushroom risotto cakes ($30). There are appetizers, antipasti, bruschettas, flatbreads, and salads, too.
Of course, there’s a pastry chef, whipping up confections like ricotta cheesecake, tiramisu, and crème brûlée. The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. (Its website is under construction.)
It’s going to look magical at night with hundreds of votives flickering in the dark. The restaurant expects to go through 250 candles a night, 300 on weekends!
"Here at Milan, we’re all about the experience," Hilary said. Visually, we agree.
Photo: Courtesy of bmoremedia.com