Seeking To Satisfy The Up-to-the-minute Palate

WORD OF MOUTH

December 08, 1991|By Linda Lowe Morris

The phone number for the Old Waverly History Exchange and Tea Shop, which offers Saturday and Sunday tea and is being featured in the January issue of Victoria magazine, is 889-7112. An incorrect number was listed Sunday in the Maryland Kitchen section of The Sun.

The Sun regrets the errors.

It's late, it's dark, and driving north on Reisterstown Road, through the maze of signs and bright lights, shopping center after shopping center, you wonder how you're ever going to find the restaurant.

Then just past Valley Road, a rectangle appears off toward the right. It's glowing hot pink and even before you're close enough to see the letters, you know it's going to say "Lorraine's."

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

It's the newest venture of Larry and Lorraine Denmark, longtime Baltimore restaurateurs, who have created a contemporary setting for up-to-the-minute tastes.

The menu features everything that's currently hot: gourmet pizzas; grilled seafood, grilled chicken breast and grilled New York strip steak; pastas in a choice of shapes and sauces; and a constantly changing international appetizer bar.

"We call it the international appetizer or peasant appetizer bar," says Larry Denmark, "and by peasant appetizers we mean things done with olive oil, garlic, herbs and spices."

Their appetizer bar includes items from a repertoire of over 200 ethnic dishes that changes daily. On recent night it included potato pancakes; fusilli with cauliflower, pine nuts and raisins; poached calamari; kim chee; yogurt and zucchini with black mustard seeds; red skin potatoes with virgin olive oil and potatoes; tabouli; and chicken Marbella.

It's based on the principle of the tapas bar, where people can sample small servings of several different things. Diners can get single portions of any dish or select a group of them as either an appetizer, lunch or dinner entree or late-night meal.

There are 25 different pizzas on the menu that can also be customized with additional toppings. Caesar salad (with and without grilled chicken), pasta salad, oven-roasted potatoes, soup and garlic bread sticks are also listed.

Everything is made from scratch with fresh ingredients, Mr. Denmark says. They are currently working on a printed menu that will give the nutritional breakdown -- the calorie, cholesterol, fat and sugar content -- of each dish.

Lorraine Denmark is in charge of the kitchen, Ed Keene is head chef and Kato Kalita manages the dining room. Catering is available.

At Lorraine's, the Denmarks have put many of their beliefs into practice. The restaurant is totally no-smoking; everything possible is recycled and the menu leans toward vegetarian foods. Highchairs and jump seats are available for children.

They have designed the dining room so that one corner can accomodate a stage and they plan to host live music performances on Wednesday and Thursday nights in the near future. The first scheduled performer is Steve Hancoff, who will play accoustic ragtime guitar on January 15.

The 135-seat restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays to Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. There's a possibility, says Mr. Denmark, that the restaurant may be open around the clock on weekends during the summer months with quiche and breakfast pizzas for the night owls and early risers.

Lorraine's is located at 9637 Reisterstown Road opposite the entrance to the Valley Center in Owings Mills. The telephone number is (410) 356-1616.

*

The Greeting Basket is a new corporate and personal gift baskeservice that opened recently in Timonium.

Owner Debbie Mappus offers a dozen different theme baskets including include "Italian Delight," "Chocolate Dreams," "Afternoon Tea," "Cajun Cookin' " and "The Grand Gourmet."

Within each basket there can be gourmet packaged foods and non-food gifts like aprons, mugs, napkins, books of love poems, a peppermill or a cheese grater.

Ms. Mappus does not have a retail outlet. All orders are taken by telephone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Local hand delivery and UPS shipping throughout the country are available. A full-color brochure describes the selection of baskets. For more information, call (410) 560-0152.

*

Look for an article on the tea room at the Old Waverly History Exchange in the January issue of Victoria magazine, which has just arrived on the newstands.

Illustrated with a half-dozen full-color photos of the tea room, the article tells the story of how owners Donna Shapiro and Fred Shoken restored their Victorian-era building in Waverly.

The holiday schedule for tea is Saturdays at 2:30 and 4 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Catering for holiday parties is also available.

Ms. Shapiro is planning a special tea for Victoria readers to benefit a local charity. For more information, call the shop at (410) 366-7724.

*

If the holiday season finds you short on ideas for family celebrations, look into "The Penny Whistle Christmas Party Book" (Fireside Books, paperback, $12), by Meredith Brokaw and Annie Gilbar.

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