Tag: dining

New Restaurant at Cross Keys Opening Mid-November


Courtesy Bmore Media – The Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys is putting the finishing touches on its new contemporary Italian restaurant Scoozi that will open mid-November at the Roland Park property.

Scoozi — a play on the word for “excuse me” in Italian — will seat 120, about double the capacity of the old restaurant, Crossroads, Radisson General Manager Tom Cook says. He estimates the restaurant renovation cost around $300,000. A $6 million facelift is also underway at the property. 

A Tiny Peek Inside Shoo-fly, Spike Gjerde’s New Restaurant

Inside Spike Gjerde's new restaurant in Belvedere Square
Inside Spike Gjerde’s new restaurant at Belvedere Square.

A reader sent the above picture of Spike Gjerde’s new restaurant Shoo-fly, which she snapped on Saturday.  “It looked like they were having a staff run-through.  The door was wide open and I couldn’t resist taking a picture,” she says in an email.  “A guy came to the door and said that the restaurant would be opening “soon,” and that was the best he could tell me…”

It looks pretty cool, we think.  In case you haven’t heard, the restaurant will inhabit the old Hess Shoe Store spot, which housed restaurant Taste for a few years and then Crush, which closed last year.

While we’re on the subject of Spike, the innovative chef gave a long interview that is worth a read to our friends at Eater:

Baltimore chef Spike Gjerde recently revealed that he is going to be adding a new member to his family of restaurants. In mid-September, Shoo-fly will join Gjerde’s acclaimed Woodberry Kitchen and buzz-worthy Artifact Coffee in the Baltimore dining scene. And Gjerde’s not just opening this “farmhouse diner” concept — a descriptor which he admits “doesn’t really mean anything.” He’s also moving all of the canning and preserving operations from his flagship over to the newer and bigger kitchen. And there are even more projects coming up beyond that (including retail, butchery, and beyond).

Eater caught up with Gjerde by telephone as he and his team drove out to look at soft-serve machines for Shoo-fly to see if they can make soft-serve work on Gjerde’s local sourcing ethos. “We get some amazing local milk, but the whole question about how to create a soft-serve mix based on local dairies is kind of up in the air. It hasn’t been done very frequently,” he explains. In the following interview, Gjerde explains all that he’s got in store for Baltimore, reflects on how “the energy is returning” to the city’s dining scene, and shares his philosophy on creating food systems and appreciating Chesapeake cuisine.

Vino Veritas: Aren’t All Wines Fruit Wines? Not Exactly…


fruit winesI opened the paper this morning and found an article about an amateur winemaking competition here in Maryland that focuses heavily on fruit wines. Fruit wines? As opposed to…root vegetable wines? Fungus wines? Legume wines?

As it turns out, in the European Union, the word “wine” applies solely to those comprised totally of grapes. In the UK and across all fifty of these United States, however, wines can be made of other things and are usually delineated by adding a qualifier to the title: cherry wine, or blackberry wine, for example. The standard definition, though, is fermented grape juice. So what’s so special about grapes?

First, let’s talk fruit. I’ll go ahead and say that the best wine (“best” implying quality of ingredients, longevity, attention to detail, and careful construction) always comes from grapes and we can argue that however you like, but there are plenty of other wines made from alternative fruits.

Fruit wines are about as old as beverages get and probably generated from where so many wonderful things come from: necessity and accident. Think about it: you plant crops or stumble across a patch of wild berries of one kind or another, you pick as many as you can, eat as many as you can, but maybe there’s excess. Left alone in a pot or bucket, the juice starts to ooze out as the berries crush each other. Maybe you forget about it for a little while, and come back and it’s a little foamy, a little less sweet, and when you taste it (because obviously you taste the mystery pot of foamy liquid…) makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And voilà: accidental fruit wine.

I’m not terrifically well-versed in alternatively fruited wines, most of my experience hinging on the sippy cups of apple juice my sisters would leave in the back of a hot van for a few weeks, but I have sipped a few from blueberries or blackberries and I have a pretty basic understanding of what this is all about. They’re generally a little sweeter than your standard grape wine, they’re often a little simpler as far as production goes, and their shelf life isn’t all that long—that is, drink ‘em young.

What Baltimore College Campus Boasts the Best Food?



The kind of food you can find on college campuses these days is far from cafeteria slop. Schools around the country are doing everything they can to make the college experience a posh and attractive one for students (which results in some problems, but let’s just forget about that for the moment), which includes gussying up their dining options. Many schools have jumped on the local/fresh/sustainable bandwagon, while others offer cooking classes to make sure their students will be able to fend for themselves in the post-college world. But only one local school made it onto The Daily Meal’s list of the 60 best colleges for food in America…

Dishcrawl Around the Harbor



catch of the day fish (2)“As Fall comes rolling in, what better way to say farewell to Summer than one last stroll along the harbor?” That’s the take from the folks at Dishcrawl Baltimore regarding their upcoming event—a Dishcrawl that winds its way around Baltimore’s famous waterfront (and we don’t mean just the Inner Harbor). Never heard of a Dishcrawl before? Well, you may not be alone, but you’re definitely missing out. Basically, think of a pub crawl, but instead of overt public drunkenness, you get pleasant company, fresh air, and amazing food from some of the city’s best local restaurants. Coming Wednesday, September 25: Dishcrawl Baltimore, Waterfront Edition.

Pigtown Design: Use the Good China


I was listening to NPR this morning and they did a report about the fact that foods taste better if you eat them off silver and china. Researchers have been studying how “cutlery, dishes and other inedible accoutrements to a meal” can alter our perceptions of taste. I’ve said this for ages.

The Lost City Diner (Part II)


Lost City Diner

catch of the day fish (2)The best thing about the Lost City Diner reopening is that it happened on, as one friend put it, “the only day when people would not actually believe it was open.” April Fool’s day. Yes, after what seemed like (okay, was) years, the diner finally opened a year or two ago, only to immediately close. Signs went up, swearing that it was coming back soon, but it never did. Until April 1st, just a couple of weeks ago. The place is finally open again, with all the meticulous décor from its first incarnation, and a menu that is still pretty diner-y, but also decidedly vegetarian and vegan friendly.

I Seriously Can’t Believe the New Foods that Camden Yards Is Selling

The Walk Off: an Old Bay Roma sausage in a pretzel roll covered in crab dip
The Walk Off: an Old Bay Roma sausage in a pretzel roll covered in crab dip

Camden Yards’ Opening Day is this Friday when the Orioles play the Twins, and they’re celebrating with some bizarre, but mostly still ballparky menu items. If any of our readers are going to the game, you’ll have to tell us how these culinary monsters taste.

Roll Through the Food Truck Scene at The Gathering

Matt Groncki eats a Gypsy Queen Crab Cone. Photo by Steve Ruark.

Courtesy Bmore Media – It was a dark and stormy February afternoon in Hampden. The smell of french fries and chicken curry filled the air. That’s when I encountered a gypsy queen in a castle full of iced gems.

It was my third visit to The Gathering: Baltimore’s Traveling Festival at the Castle on Keswick and 34th Street. The pop-up food festival began in the summer of 2011 and has continued to become a favorite of foodies living in Baltimore. 

Charm City Cook: A Visit to Wit & Wisdom

The wood-fired lamb at Wit & Wisdom.

That’s me. Taking it all in.

I’ve never been one for fancy restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love great food and service but I can do without the formality. I suppose I’m more of a Peter’s Inn or Corner BYOB kind of girl. So, this was my first time at Wit & Wisdom and I wondered…what would a girl from a tiny town with two traffic lights who now lives in the land of hipsters and pink flamingos identify with there? I figured that out pretty quickly when I visited for dinner a few weeks ago. It was pretty eye-opening actually.