Java Blues, 243 W. Read St., (410) 728-JAVA. Java Blues...

DINING OUT/THE CRITIC'S REPORT

November 07, 1992|By ELIZABETH LARGE | ELIZABETH LARGE,Restaurant Critic

Java Blues, 243 W. Read St., (410) 728-JAVA. Java Blues has gotten a lot of press that may lead you to think it's more of a restaurant than it really is. It specializes in gourmet coffee and good things to go with coffee: pastries, brioche and breads. But you can get a quirky (and good) lunch here -- basically, whatever the owners feel like fixing. Pizza bagels are usually on the menu, and there might be tarragon chicken salad, an artichoke quiche, a pear and green bean salad. The tiny dining room is cute as a button, but don't be surprised if you don't get a seat. After all, there's only room for four tables. $$ -- moderate. (Last reviewed 10/92.)

Paolo's, Towson Commons, entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue, Towson, (410) 321-7000. Paolo's, sibling to the Harborplace restaurant, is stunning looking; unfortunately the noise level is pretty stunning too. But if that doesn't bother you, it offers the same innovative, casual menu that the downtown Paolo's does so well. We had an uneven meal at the Towson branch; still, the food showed promise. Pizza, cooked in a wood-burning oven, was delicious. Salads and pasta were good too. Where our meal ran into trouble were the more ambitious dishes: a blue marlin special; veal with risotto. $$ -- moderate. (Last reviewed 10/92.)

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