French bakery a Vietnamese restaurant, too


August 01, 1996|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

For 15 years Moulin de Paris in the Benfield Village Shopping Center has been a successful French bakery. Recently it also became a Vietnamese restaurant, unlikely as that seems. The family that owns it came here from Vietnam; the father and pastry chef, Chan Tsin, learned his trade in France. The Vietnamese food is from his wife Amyna's recipes. Daughter Channa is the manager.

By the end of the year Moulin de Paris also should become a French restaurant, French bakery and Vietnamese restaurant. A second daughter in the family, Aina, is in France finishing an apprenticeship in four establishments. When she returns in December, she'll do the French cooking, sharing the kitchen with her mother.

Opening delayed

Suddenly the much-ballyhooed opening of the Crab House on Pier 5 is on hold. The company that was to have opened the Crab House has been taken over by Landry's Seafood in Houston. As we go to press, no decision has been made on the fate of the Inner Harbor seafood restaurant.

Changes at Sisson's

A friend came back from Sisson's recently raving about her lunch of a sauteed soft crab in a Chesapeake sauce (cream and lump crab meat) with a fresh garden pea salad over field greens. It sounded so good and so unlike the Federal Hill pub's usual fare (beer-based dishes and Cajun specialties) that I gave the place a call.

It turns out that there's a new sous-chef, Wankina Pendarvis, who has worked at Stars in San Francisco and more recently at Champagne Tony's here in Baltimore. She's revamping the lunch menu, which will include more vegetarian dishes and light fare.

Also new at Sisson's: Joanne Goshen, the pastry chef from Louie's the Bookstore Cafe, is baking her specialties -- peanut butter mousse pie, bread pudding, chocolate rum pecan pie and harvest pie.

A crowded Factory

So you don't feel like waiting an hour to get a table at the hot new Cheesecake Factory in the Pratt Street Pavilion at %o Harborplace? Try eating at the bar. Its menu is more extensive than many restaurants' dinner menus, and it's easier to get a seat there than in the dining room.

Desserts that fly

Of course we have great bakers in Maryland, but flying in your desserts from Italy and Germany does have a certain cachet. The new Dessert Cafe in Ellicott City does just that: The pies and cakes (like the popular Italian chocolate ribbon cake) are baked and immediately frozen, so they taste freshly baked even after a trip across the Atlantic.

The cafe also has specialty coffee drinks and gourmet ice cream. And for breakfast, you can get bagels, croissants and other pastries.

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.

Pub Date: 8/01/96

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