Belvedere comeback


August 14, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie

Baltimoreans gave a collective moan of despair when a pair of well-loved dining institutions changed drastically and then closed down earlier this year. But it's time for a collective sigh of relief: The John Eager Howard Room and the Owl Bar in the Belvedere Hotel are on the verge of getting new management, and the partners hope to restore both spots to their former glory.

Chef-owner Paul Santi has closed Champagne Tony's, his 2-year-old spot in Federal Hill, and plans to move it to the Howard room. Mr. Santi and his two partners, Tom Steuhler and Aristotle Strombis, also plan to reopen the Owl Bar -- complete with the famous owl figures whose red electric eyes winked at customers from behind the bar. "We found the owls in the basement," Mr. Santi says.

Mr. Stuehler, who is CEO of Truffles Catering at the Belvedere, says the partners will begin work as soon as all arrangements are final. "We want to turn the John Eager Howard Room into a really first-class restaurant," he says. He also hopes to open the 13th floor for desserts, coffee and dancing.

Canning tips

In August, all the hard work put into the garden bears fruit -- and lots of it. It's easy to capture the bounty with home-canning techniques. Heinz vinegar is offering a free 32-page booklet with directions, tips and recipes (traditional items as well as salsas, relishes and chutneys). For a copy, send complete name and address to Heinz Successful Pickling Guide, P.O. Box 57, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15230.

Teas and manatees

There's a new entry in the already crowded field of tea drinks: It's Tradewinds, from Horizon Tea & Spice Co., a subsidiary of Cincinnati's Hudepohl-Schoenling beer brewing firm. Tradewinds offers four flavors: lemon-lime, raspberry, sweetened and unsweetened/unflavored tea.

Tradewinds, which sells for around $1 a bottle, is brewed and steeped -- with 3-foot by 2-foot linen tea bags in 6,200-gallon kettles of boiling water. Tradewinds has also tapped into another trend, that of "cause-related marketing," with its support of singer Jimmy Buffet's Save the Manatee Club. Every bottle lists a toll-free number people can call to get information and to be included on a mailing list, and the company has made a three-year grant to the club.

Tidbits welcomes food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, mail-order finds, openings and closings restaurants and food shops. Send press releases to Tidbits, Attn.: Karol V. Menzie, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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