Years ago, I interviewed Chef Chris Scanga on a Tuesday morning in an empty dining room at Petit Louis. Sitting amidst stacks of chairs felt so weird and special at the same time. As I sat there, I thought, wow — who gets to do this? (Be cool, Ame, be cool.) That was 2015.
The Charm City Cook shares her go-to carry-out restaurants
Since March, like most people, I have been hunkering down at home. A lot. Very thankfully, I like where I live, and as luck would have it, I rescued a wonderful senior dog in January. My girl Magnolia is an 11-year-old terrier mix, spry for her age, a little nutty, and definitely attached to me now that we’ve been together almost all the time for about nine months. She has been great company for me during confinement. What lucky timing, huh?
I’ve dined inside four times since March. Once was at Petit Louis in June, True Chesapeake in July, Dylan’s in September and Ananda in October. All of these experiences felt very, very safe, but I would have preferred to be outside now that I think about it. Hindsight, yeah. Petit Louis has done an incredible job with their outdoor set up. I will try to go there for as long as I possibly can. I just ordered hats and gloves on Etsy, and as I walked my dog last night, I thought…wow, it’s already cold. November 24.
I’ve ordered takeout from about 15 places with varying degrees of success. Since I live in Hampden, most of these are close to home. Here are a few favorites:
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this whole quarantine thing. Trying to write something meaningful or helpful. But I just keep writing sappy notes about the places and people I miss. So, I’m going with that.
I miss Old Fashioneds at Lobo and Manhattans at Peter’s Inn. Negronis at Sugarvale and Orto. Martinis at La Cuchara and The Prime Rib.
I miss driving by Dylan’s and scoping out a parking spot and miraculously snagging the last seat at the bar. Then, a cocktail, kale salad and whatever else sounds good that night.
The Charm City Cook Amy Langrehr sits down with one of the partners of True Chesapeake Oyster Co., the much-anticipated new restaurant scheduled to open next week.
I’ve known Patrick Hudson of True Chesapeake Oyster Company for a while now. When we sat down for this interview, Patrick reminded me that I was the first person to write about True Chesapeake six years ago when he launched the oyster business. I vividly remember the first time I tasted True Chesapeake’s Skinny Dipper oysters, Patrick suggested that I try them on their own without mignonette or cocktail sauce. They were plump and had a subtle saltiness and tasted very crisp and clean – they really didn’t need a thing. Not more salt, not sauce, nothing. I loved them right away.
Fast forward to now, I’m living at historic Whitehall Mill, the same place where Patrick and partners Nick Schaumann, Zack Mills (former executive chef at Wit & Wisdom) and Chelsea Gregoire (who will serve as general manager and lead the bar program) are about to open the first True Chesapeake Oyster Company restaurant. They’ve kept the historic space true to its roots – with the tall windows and exposed old brick and plaster. And, the old industrial smokestack – which you can see from the JFX – is right in the oyster bar. It’s a beautiful space with tons of natural light.
I sat down with Patrick to learn more about opening a new restaurant, what we can expect once it opens next week and how he became an oyster farmer in the first place.
I bought my house in Hampden in 2000. Yep, my neighborhood’s gotten better and better every year. And, when you look at the restaurants, even more so. I got into cooking later in life…in my mid-30s, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, America’s Test Kitchen and Ina Garten all taught me how to cook. And then in my 40s, Hampden got new restaurant after new restaurant. When I moved in, there was Holy Frijoles, Cafe Hon, Golden West and a few others. I still miss Mamie’s lobster night. Now? We have The Food Market, Dylan’s Oyster Cellar, Arômes, Paulie Gee’s Pizza and the list goes on. And on. Saturated? Maybe, but the good ones will stay. Quite possibly one of the best places to open in years? The Bluebird Cocktail Room.
Carlos Raba, Chef and Co-Owner of Clavel, has quite an interesting story. And it’s one I wasn’t expecting at all.
Michael Mina’s story is one of two decades of influence, passion and achievement. He has enjoyed accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” inductee in 2013, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year 2005. Chef Mina continues to dazzle the food world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco’s reputation as a world-class epicurean destination and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country.
Chef Brigitte Bledsoe of Miss Shirley’s Cafe was supposed to be in school.
But, no. She was busy working at Ocean Pride in Lutherville. And that’s where it all started. Born and raised in Towson, Bledsoe attended Dulaney High School and Essex Community College (now known as CCBC) and then, she got bitten by the chef bug.
Downtown Partnership of Baltimore announces the Maryland Crab and Oyster Celebration – a dining event featuring two of Maryland’s favorite culinary delights – crabs and oysters. It takes place at several restaurants around the city from October 16-25.