Tag: drink

Starlite, a new diner at Belvedere Square, Opens





Leonard Clarke, one of the former owners of the Mt. Vernon nightclub Red Maple, opens this weekend Starlite, a diner, in the former Shoo-Fly location at Belvedere Square. Arim Isabel, of New York restaurant Cafeteria, will serve as executive chef.

Vino Veritas: The Aha Bottles


wine maryland

Everybody, that is, everybody with a commitment to the occasional/frequent/regular glass of wine, has bottles they remember as the “aha moments,” the ones that changed the way they thought about wine one way or another. It could be the first bottle they tried and enjoyed, or the one that showed them that Chardonnay wasn’t all that bad, or even that very inexpensive bottles of wine aren’t always offensive. Here are a few of mine.

Grimaldi Barbera 2005

This is the first wine that taught me that what I paid didn’t always reflect on the quality of the bottle. The Grimaldi was brought in on closeout, I think, something like that, but it was dirt cheap and easily dismissible. We all liked to pretend we were too good for cheap wine, but when it came right down to it, a shop girl’s paycheck doesn’t exactly support a high roller lifestyle, so we all drank the Barbera a lot. I mean a lot. It taught me to take a risk on an inexpensive bottle every now and again, because worst case scenario, I don’t like it or it becomes Coq au Vin. Best case scenario, I find an inexpensive accompaniment to a weekday dinner.

Barbera is an Italian grape from Piedmont designed for everyday drinking, high in acid and punchy red fruit. With a little age, it can have great depth and grip and is still one of my favorite varieties to drink. The Grimaldi wasn’t fancy, but if I were handed a glass without seeing a price tag, you could’ve fooled me.

Tenuta de la Terre Nere 2009

This Sicilian red was the first sheer, relatively light-bodied red I liked and enjoyed. It was inventory night at the shop and my boss decided she’d open a bottle for the five of us to help pass the time.

When you’re a new wine drinker, I’d say maybe 80 percent of the time, your way into the wine world is through fruit. A wine that has a lot of young, vibrant, “that’s right, I was made from grapes” fruitiness keeps acid and tannin, what usually get described as “bitterness,” in check. I was definitely no different and can with only mild shame reveal that I drank a lot of bottled sangria and fruit-infused local wines before dipping into the real stuff, and when I finally got there, it was a lot of red Zinfandel. Like, a lot of red Zinfandel. I think I bought us out of a few of them. The bold, concentrated, briery fruit punching me in the taste buds made the delicacy of Pinot Noir seem thin, watery, and weak.

But the Terre Nere, made primarily from the native grape Nerello Mascalese, was definitely light-bodied, and it definitely had plenty of acid and earth and subtlety, but I liked it. A lot. “Guys,” I said, swirling my glass. “I think I just became a big girl.”

Event of the Day: Mambo Combo Tonight at Belvedere Square!


Belvedere Square flyer_500x600

Mambo Combo was named best Latin music group in 2007 by WAMA (the Washington Area Music Association) and “Best Party Band” in 1999 by Baltimore Magazine. For more than twenty-five years, the band has been entertaining in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond, from the Caribbean to New England.Few people can resist dancing to the infectious soca and samba on Mambo Combo.  As Baltimore Magazine put it, “… crowds moving to the seductive rhythms of Island sound are a pretty good tip-off that the group is nearby.”
Belvedere Square will be open throughout the night for shopping and eating.  It’s the perfect night for Summer Sounds at the Square!

A Ravens Fan Shares Her Shots of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans


Oh what a weekend!  Whether here or in New Orleans, it was all Super Bowl, all the time.  Most Baltimoreans know someone who managed to make the trip (some without tickets, who just wanted to join in the revelry).  BFB contributing writer and photographer Krista Smith was there and shared with us her pics of the big game and sights in the Big Easy. – The Eds.

Baltimore Restaurant Week Starts Tonight!



It’s that time of year again. Time to test your mettle and see if you can stick to your diet through Baltimore Restaurant Week, January 25 – February 3!  Over 100 restaurants are participating this year in the one-week extravaganza when city restaurants offer specially crafted three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $30.13 and $20.13. Some restaurants offer two-course lunch menus for $15.13. 

Clementine Restaurant to Open at the Creative Alliance


Courtesy of Bmore Media – One of Hamilton’s best known restaurants is expanding to East Baltimore.

Clementine, the Hamilton restaurant focused on farm-to-table foods and meals will open a new location, Clementine at Creative Alliance on May 17, says Clementine owner and chef Winston Blick.

The 49-seat bistro will be a slightly more upscale and ‘downtown’ version of Clementine in Hamilton, which does rustic comfort food, Blick says.

The restaurant will be a partnership between The Creative Alliance and Clementine, with Clementine managing the restaurant. The Creative Alliance built out the restaurant and recruited Clementine to fill the space, Blick says.

Read more at Bmore Media


Gestalt and Pepper: Hometown Girl Rebecca Murphy Gives Her Favorite Food Picks


Baltimore, I think I have found your biggest fan. Her name is Rebecca Murphy and she describes her devotion to the city as “bordering on the weird.”

“I love every last bit of it, I mean, I am still a die hard Orioles fan.”  Enough said.

Rebecca’s passion for the city is not all lip service either, she works as director of special projects in the Mayors’s office (“it means I can be doing a different job every day”) and counts being engaged in improving the city as one of her greatest joys.

When you get to know Rebecca it is easy to see where all that passion for her hometown comes from. Her Baltimore roots run deep. The mother of two and Bryn Mawr and Western alum is a fourth-generation Baltimorean (her father is acclaimed attorney Billy Murphy) with a rich family tradition, a tradition where food took center stage. “My grandmother would ‘bring it’ for family dinners every Sunday,” she says. So it’s no surprise that when Rebecca talks about her restaurant picks, her focus is simple: good food and good people.