The Ambassador is coming back


September 05, 1996|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC

Good news. The Ambassador, one of Baltimore's fine apartment-house dining rooms in its heyday, is reopening after closing last New Year's Eve. It could be back in business as early as next week. Service America will be managing it, with Jon Mark as chef. He's worked in such prestigious kitchens as the Inn at Perry Cabin.

In spite of Mark's background, the plan is not to compete with the Polo Grill and Jeannier's (the two fine-dining restaurants in the immediate area). Instead, says manager Margaret Jackson, the Ambassador will offer American cuisine, with "home cooking" specials to attract the apartment dwellers on a regular basis. The Ambassador is on West 39th Street at Canterbury Road.

Salad days at Viccino

Check out the salads at Viccino, the new bistro at 1317 N. Charles St. I particularly like the mixed green salad with translucent slices of Granny Smith apple, pine nuts and Asiago cheese, and the pasta salad with penne, grilled chicken and olives. Prices are reasonable; and good, fresh focaccia comes with your meal.

Mushrooms to go

Now you can take home mushroom sushi and the other good things you've come to love at the Wild Mushroom. Fells Point's popular bar-restaurant has opened a carryout and deli called the Wild Mushroom Merchant at 1641 Fleet St. Its juice bar is a hit, as are the overstuffed sandwiches, gourmet-to-go specialties (many but not all involving fungi) and hors d'oeuvres for entertaining.

Charming, romantic

Baltimore's newest spot for a romantic dinner is Tomcat Alley's just-opened courtyard. The enclosed space is tiny (with seating for only 12) but charming. At night it's lighted by candles and little lights among the flowers. Soft jazz plays in the background.

Also new are the sidewalk tables, with seating for 15. The wine bar and restaurant is located at 1705 Aliceanna St. It's on the tree-lined side of the street so the sidewalk tables are always in the shade.

Good hospital food

Who says hospital food has to be terrible? If you're at Johns Hopkins, try the Grille 601 on the second floor of the Outpatient Center (601 N. Caroline St.). For hot food, there are grilled sandwiches and pizza. The salad bar is one of the best in town, with ripe local tomatoes, beautifully fresh lettuces, jewel-green broccoli vinaigrette, a fine bean salad and much more in the way of fresh vegetables. The curried chicken salad with raisins and almonds is great, and the freshly made soups are very appealing. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, closed weekends and holidays.

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: 9/05/96

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