Visionary foodCall the food Pacific Rim or fusion cuisine...

TABLE TALK

November 23, 1995|By Elizabeth Large

Visionary food

Call the food Pacific Rim or fusion cuisine or just plain trendy. How would you categorize Chinese dim sum with charred pineapple and coconut aioli? Or Japanese wok-seared ahi tuna with Thai vegetable cole slaw? Or cinnamon and chocolate grilled beef tenderloin with white bean flautas and mango mint salsa?

The Joy America Cafe, which opens tomorrow, sounds just as intriguing as you'd expect the restaurant at the new American Visionary Art Museum to be. You'll be able to enjoy a view of the Inner Harbor from the clean-lined, elegant main dining room; the patio overlooks the museum's wildflower and sculpture gardens and a towering whirligig sculpture.

The cafe is located at 800 Key Highway; the phone number is (410) 244-6500.

Think you can't afford to eat out in New York City? According to the latest Zagat Survey of comparative costs by city, the average New York restaurant meal costs $29.81; the average of the 20 most expensive is $65.86; and the average of the 20 best values is $9.37. Compare that to Baltimore, where the average cost is $22.38; of the 20 most expensive, $36.16; of the 20 best values, a surprisingly high $14.53.

I'm not sure what it all means, and it's hard for me to judge just how scientific Zagat Survey's comparative restaurant statistics are; but the results are fun to consider anyway.

For what it's worth, among the 27 cities surveyed, the only place the average cost of a meal at the city's 20 best values is higher is Cleveland ($15.31).

Beyond bistro

Regi's may call itself an American bistro, but how many bistros do you know with crispy duck sushi style and salmon Napoleon on the menu? The Federal Hill restaurant has a new menu and a new chef, Paul Lever, whose background includes a stint at the Ritz Carlton in Washington and the Center Club and Citronelle in Baltimore.

Open on Christmas

If this year is like last year, I'll be getting calls soon from &L readers wanting to know what restaurants will be open on Christmas Day for a festive dinner. I'm usually hard pressed to make any suggestions other than hotel dining rooms. Tips would be most welcome, and I'll publish as many as I can. (If it's your restaurant, please send a copy of your holiday menu.)

Table Talk welcomes interesting tidbits of restaurant news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Table Talk, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or fax to (410) 783-2519.

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