Gestalt & Pepper: Mom’s Day Out

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Guilford resident Beth Smith is one of those people who I constantly pester for restaurant recommendations. She is not easily beguiled by flashy decor or trendy menus, it’s always about the the food. I have never had a bad meal following her advice. Beth’s foodiness is evident in her kitchen too. As a mother to three girls she is always cooking something that is simple, well-executed and delicious. (And she’s my sister-in-law.)

Home cook assessment:  Do you consider Durkee Onions and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup legitimate ingredients or cheating?

Totally cheating . . . never, never, never.

Saturday night with the husband: Where do you book? What do you order?  

Petite Louis. I get a salad and make my husband order the frites. I eat most of them but it doesn’t count because I didn’t order them .

Where would you take fun friends down from New York?

Demi (basement level of Crush, in Belvedere Square). I like the idea of a lot of small plates because the appetizers are usually my favorite part of any meal.

How about for a celebratory dinner?

Wherever the new place is that I am dying to try.

Where is your go-to place with the kids?

Sushi Hana.

Any drive-ins, diners and dives that you hit?

My husband used to take the girls to breakfast at Paper Moon but there was always a very long wait, so they have switched to the New Wyman Park Restaurant (on 25th Street in Charles Village). Oh, and Joe Squared. Unbelievable pizza!

What new restaurant are you dying to try?

I am DYING to try Volt in Fredrick. It is the guy from “Top Chef” Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant. Unfortunately, it’s an impossible reservation.

Where do you grocery shop and why?

Whole Foods for quality and Eddie’s for convenience.

Is there a food item that you regularly go out of your way to buy?

Is it bad to say wine?

What Baltimore restaurant has the best vibe?

Woodberry Kitchen. I love that wood stack.

OK, we gotta do it: best crab cake?

Friendly Farms carry out in Upperco, no filler, great for dinner parties.

Anything on your wish list for the Baltimore food scene?

There is a restaurant in the Palisades area of D.C. called “Black Salt.” I would love to see it replicated in Baltimore. The front of the house is a scrupulously clean fish market and amazing restaurant in the back. For a town that is all about seafood we are lacking a great fish market.



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